Friday, September 19, 2014

The naked truth

Here's the truth. It's raw and revealing. It also says a lot about how far I have come in managing the heartache and disappointment of my divorce and X's choices. 

When I see cute videos of women with cancer telling their story with their husband by their side I feel sad. I wish I had a husband who stood by me through this. One who took some of the responsibility for everything life requires to help me bear this burden.  One who loved me no matter what happened through chemo and surgery.  
I look at the husbands in these videos and I think, don't screw this up.  Be a man. Dig deep and become the man God expects you to become. Don't give up. 
The good news, I believe that there are men out there who are good enough and selfless enough to be that kind of man, the kind of man I wish I had and I hope to have someday. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Toughest day in a while

I am feeling more tired today than I have for a while now. Thursday was my second treatment of this cycle and it hit me almost immediately. I took a 5am run so it would be done before work and my treatment, and I am glad I did.  By the time I got back to the office I was dragging myself through what felt like cement. I don't think I would have made it out that night.  Friday was equally difficult when my alarm went off, but I managed to get up and going because of some important budget meetings at work. It's been good for me to have responsibilities at work that push me when I feel like lounging around. 

Yesterday I was up early again taking care of some things in the garage before my men (a group of the kindest men from church who volunteered to help me out) came over to help move boxes and haul donations to good will. These men are amount my guardian angels. They are so wonderful to the girls and take care of us like family. It is amazing they all live so close to one another and to me.  That is definitely a blessing from God.  

The day didn't end before another run and a soccer game. I came home ready for bed pretty early, but feeling like it was a productive day. No wonder I am feeling it today. By noon today I hit another wall and have some nausea.  I am so blessed to not have nausea every treatment anymore, and the times I do feel sick it is pretty mild, I almost don't need to take anything for it, but why make myself fight that feeling and fight cancer growth. That's just cruel punishment. 
So I will let this little fella take half the battle. He's such a black/red it seems like he should be black cherry flavored. 

Today is a day the kids will have run of the house and I am going to curl up for a quiet nap. 

Tomorrow, I am taking Miss S to get the rest of a mole removed that is diagnosed precancerous and I will have the doc check another that concerns me.  I don't know how much discomfort she will feel, so I have arranged to work from home tomorrow to take care of her if she needs. She will have a few weeks off from gym class.  A much better recovery than letting it become skin cancer. I am so glad we caught it.  

Remember, get an annual skin cancer screening.  
There are so many things we should be tested for every year it really might be better to have all the doctors meet the patient at one place for annual exams than have patients schedule visit after visit. 

Thank you to those praying for my blood tests to be accurate and conclusive and that the insurance company will authorize a PET scan. I appreciate having your faith to back me up.

Love, Kel

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Blood Tests and PETs

My CA27.29 is up 3 points again today.  That is a tiny increase, but a trend none the less.  So, today Dr J requested a repeat of that test through the regular lab as well as sending me to an outside lab.  Having two separate tests from two separate blood draws will provide a comparison that can tell us if the regular lab is providing accurate results.  I don't think we will see anything different, but it will rule out the concern that the test results are wrong. 
And today I completed my 6th round of Havalen chemo.  So, Dr J is also ordering a PET scan.  6 months ago the insurance denied the request for a PET because they felt I was not sick enough.  Maybe so, but it made it so that we didn't have a recent baseline test to compare with.  I have now had 2 CT& bone scan exams in place of the PET, both came back clean both times.  But, the PET scan looks at your body in a different way. 
So, while I am always praying for the miracle that my cancer will be gone and I can look forward to having some of my other dreams to life this week I would appreciate you praying with me for these specific blessings:
1. I am praying that the blood tests will be accurate and support each other.  I want to know where we stand, and if both are the same(ish) then we can be sure that they are accurate.  This will help us know what is happening and how we should move foward with treatment.
2. I am praying that the insurance will authorize a PET scan.  Hopefully this will allow us a different look at things and help the Drs find whatever little cells are keeping me from being cured.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

65 and baseball

long time ago I was asked what my dream car is. I answered anything that I own out-right. What a boring answer. Finally I have a good answer. It is a '65 mustang. I want either Tropical Turquoise or Twilight Turquoise Metallic and Palamino interior and while a convertible would be wild fun I might choose the fastback. 

Wait, I would choose the tropical turquoise exterior on a convertible but the twilight on a fast back. The one thing I would demand is a good sound system and A/C. Then I would drive fast on a quiet two-lane highway with the music cranked up. I would be free out there - no stress, just me, my car, my diet coke and singing at the top of my lungs. I would visit New England in the fall, Padre in the summer for the turtle release and San Fran anytime. I would drive leisurely along the old Route 66 and not eat in a single chain restaurant along the way. That's the whole car dream, and it is a tantalizing vision. 

What else have I figured out about myself? I like security. I am scared of risk and this was made clear again to me as I watched the Yankees play tonight. 

I have been preparing for football season by getting to know the game and relearning everything Coach Jensen taught me in 7th grade PE which was long forgotten by 8th grade. The whys of this learning is for another post. But, having learned which channel is ESPN I land there sometimes now. 

I tuned In to ESPN during the 6th inning. Yankees up 3-0 against the socks. Things are looking pretty ok. But, as soon as the red socks score I begin to feel panic. If they can score once then they can score again, then they only need one more to tie it up. And, just like that we are tied and risking the game. I don't want to watch them loose. I spent the rest of the next couple of innings reminding myself it won't change the orbital path of the earth of the Yankees loose. 

Guess what, it isn't just sports. I hate it when the month and the bills match up. I need more money than month. I don't really like slow and steady progress in my cancer treatment. I want a big win followed by overwhelming evidence that I beat cancer. I like the Boy Scout motto, always be prepared. I like goals, checkpoints and check marks. And, I making a plan and working to the plan. I like to dig in and blow the timeline out of the water.

I llike to succeed, and the bigger the better.  I like a challenge, but not a trial. 

I wonder if articulating it will make any difference in how my life plays out.  Probably not, maybe I should go back to my daydreaming about my dream car. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Drop in tumor marker and other progress

A little over a week ago I got my latest CA27.29 tumor marker results and celebrated a nice drop of 14 points. Super great news after 3 tests with no change to speak of. It was a great bit of encouragement and maybe a little sign that my self-prescribed supportive therapy is helping. I have been narrowing my diet to some basic wholesome foods, increased my exercise and been working through a difficult forgiveness I have not been able to give completely. 
I sort of curtailed my exercise when I made a crash landing when walking at 5am. I was unwise in using my right rib cage to stop the fall. Ouch! I wonder how this will impact next months tumor markers. Maybe it will give an indication about what is helping, but maybe not. 
I have found the best supportive therapies are those that give me hope and make me feel like I am successfully killing my cancer. There really isn't a scientific answer as to why some bodies respond to treatment and some don't. It surely isn't because of the protocol or the patients desire to live. Similar protocols don't yield the same result. And, plenty of friends who have passed have wanted to live as much as I have.  It's something else all together that has granted me the good years I have had and continue to have. I am grateful for this years. And, for my 3 Wild Angels I am spending the with!