Scan reports are in and Dr. F gave me the proverbial thumbs up that everything is stable. Woohoo!
On Monday, I had another round of scans including a full body bone scan, chest/abdomen/pelvis CT and a thoracic MRI. Three months ago, I had a thoracic and lumbar MRI which showed stable bone mets throughout various regions of my spine and left hip and I was praying for continued stability this time around...so grateful that is the news I received! Now I can return to my 6 month scanning schedule, if all continues to go well.
The only hiccup lately has been the fact that my blood counts continue to struggle against the onslaught of my oral chemo that I have been on for the last couple of years. I have been on a schedule of taking my medication for 3 weeks, and then having one week off to allow my body to rebound. As of late, I have had multiple months where my counts just haven't rebounded as they should, even after one or two weeks off treatment. So, earlier this month, my oral chemo was changed to two weeks on/two weeks off. Hopefully, that does the trick to allow my body to rest and recover- allow my counts to come back up so I am not at risk of infections and other side effects.
Overall, I have been feeling really good and have figured out how to best manage some of the symptoms that started last summer and continue to be bothersome. I have learned what can provoke some of these symptoms and how to avoid that. I have learned which symptoms I simply have no control over, and how to emotionally cope with that, without becoming overly frustrated or discouraged by it. I have learned how important various forms of self-care are, so that I can truly allow my body and mind to rest and heal, without beating myself up and looking at myself as lazy, weak, or unable to keep up with my ultra-fit husband. I have been super hard on myself most of my life, so this type of thing has taken a great deal of work and patience and I am learning and growing a lot in that arena. Hopefully, I will always be a "work in progress"...learning how to navigate life as I fumble and make mistakes, but ultimately learn from it and grow.
This time of year always feels like a "New Years" celebration, of sorts. With the celebration of my birthday and then the anniversary of my diagnosis two days later, combined with the break in the winter weather and the promise of spring on the horizon, it always feels like a time full of hope, anticipation, and optimism about the rest of the year ahead.
I am feeling so thankful that some dark days are behind me and that there is a wonderful spring and summer ahead. Dealing with chronic pain is something no one should ever have to deal with. I have a whole new perspective on that and have great empathy for anyone who has had to deal with it. The physical and emotional side effects seep into all aspects of life and have debilitating consequences. By the grace of God, the pain and other various difficult physical symptoms from new tumors in my spine, chronic sciatica, and severe medication withdrawal have been steadily subsiding and I am living life to the fullest again!
Thank you so much for the love and support. I feel it, and let myself feel wrapped up in it like one huge, loving hug from so many friends and family, all at once. What could be better?!
Time for my second infusion of the new medication to help manage my bone mets. Praying it's smooth sailing this month since the side effects were a bit brutal in January.
A beautiful bouquet of roses sent from my amazing friend, Kyle. Every year on the anniversary of my diagnosis, she sends a dozen roses, with a white rose turning into a pink one, marking each year of my survivorship. I cherish this every single year and can't believe I now have 8 pink roses and only 4 white!
My blog to keep you all