November 24th Blog Entry
I continue to be blessed with healing! About every 4 weeks I am now getting blood work done and an MRI every 3 months. Going for these appointments tends to bring up the standard worries and fright. I struggle and continue to strive to give my worries to God. I believe that God does listen to every single one of our prayers. I do believe that we also need to pray for wisdom, guidance and understanding. So, even though I strongly believe in the power of prayer; I also believe in being active in my bodies healing. I hope this makes sense. Ie – we can pray for something such as help with our financial struggles but we have to show up for the job, do the work etc. I continue to pray for the guidance and wisdom of my medical team, I nourish my body with healthy food and my mind and soul with the power of God and the support of loving people around me. When given options for treatments, I take a step back; pray on it and ask my power people for second, and third opinions.
I have changed throughout this storm and my interests and priorities have altered. I continue to try to be a better person every day and I know every day I fall short. Forever, I will keep trying and press on. There always seems to be those moments every day that you think you could have said or done more. (or, in some cases said less) I pray for God’s guidance to help me find the right words to say to others and when to say nothing at all.
On Tuesday, I had my appointment with my oncologist. Mostly good news. My CA15 breast cancer tumor marker fell once again. (to 25) And, 0 – 25 is normal. The CEA tumor marker also fell. Some of my liver enzyme markers rose a bit but this could be a reaction to the chemotherapy treatment Xeloda. The bit of unfortunate news is that I will be on the blood thinner injections indefinitely. This does limit some options for any supplements or prescription medicines. I do need to watch for signs of internal bleeding etc. The new oncologist is very thorough and both Tim and I feel confident under his care. He spoke to 8 hematologists and 3 of them are blood clot specialists and they all believe I need to stay on the blood thinner injections. They did reduce my dose due to my weight reduction since the healing of the ascites. The technical term is Budd-Chiari syndrome or hepatic veno—occlusive disease. This is not a definitive diagnosis but one that continues to be probable at each appointment and MRI. I know, I know too much information!!!!!
The immediate plan is that I start another round of chemo in one week. (14 day duration) My oncologist is also quite on top of future potential treatments for me. He is referring me for a clinical trial (Palbociclib) I could get rejected for various reasons and he would then apply for it on a compassionate basis. (it is an extremely expensive drug) He would like to improve my quality of life and one of the possible treatments is this new clinical trial drug combined with an aromatase inhibitor . However, the clinical trial drug brings down your white blood cell count which I am already currently struggling with. They do have options with massaging the dosage and timing of treatments to help with this. I am still struggling with hand/foot syndrome, fatigue and inability to sleep much.
I am getting physically, emotionally and spiritually stronger. Cycling on the stationary bike, light weights and stretching. I am continuing to do what was designed to be a 90 day Bible read. (hopeful goal is 120 days) I have started to see an acupuncturist this week and feeling very positive that she will be able to help with some of my issues. Likely, will have to go for a few months to determine if it is helpful.
My MRI is coming up on December 7th and faithfully believing that all will be ok. Moments like Tuesday make me feel so grateful , so incredibly thankful. I do not take my current stable health for granted. I know too well the unpredictability of life.
Months ago, I could only plan my life until the next drain day. Now, I am thinking of my life in very different terms. When I am feeling well, it ranges from one oncologist appointment to the next or even thinking many months ahead and planning short term goals and making future plans. My physical and emotional health go hand in hand.
I pray for those who are currently trying to find healing for their health issues. We all have storms that we have been in or are coming. To have the peace, joy and assurance that Jesus is walking beside me through my struggles is beyond describable.
Romans 12:12 –
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”