Sunday, November 29, 2009

Feeling Better/Still Waiting for Test Results

Hi, everyone! It has just been a week since I last wrote and I am feeling much better. I went on Tuesday and had a thoracentesis done. Basically, they stuck a needle into the space where the fluid had accumulated around my right lung and drained it out. They removed a half liter of fluid and within a few hours I was able to breath much better. They tell me that a half liter of fluid is a relatively small amount compared to what they sometimes remove from patients, but it has made a huge difference in how I feel. They sent the fluid off for testing and I should know the results of that tomorrow.

I went for my second dose of Navelbine on Wednesday and Dr. Wendt drew more labs. My alkaline phosphatase went down a little bit, from 283 to 255 and my tumor markers went from 32.5 to 33.4, up a tiny bit, but still in the normal range. They did a test on the alkaline phosphatase they drew last week to tell if the elevation was coming from the liver or the bone and it turned out that it is the bone causing the elevation. All of my doctors tell me they don't think the cancer has spread to my bones. They don't have any real reason to think this, but say it just doesn't "feel" like bone metastasis to them. They qualify this by saying that this doesn't mean it's not bone metastasis, they just don't think so right now. I am scheduled for a PET/CT scan tomorrow and hopefully this will give us more information. We are all hoping that all of the things going on symptom-wise and lab work-wise are side effects of all the treatment I've already had. Fingers and toes all crossed!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Joey was able to come down from Flagstaff for a couple of days. It is always great to see him; I miss him terribly. We had a quiet day at home, watching football and playing games and cooking. No funny turkey story this year because we skipped the turkey altogether! The boys don't like turkey and Joe has just gotten a new grill, so we did steaks! I did make stuffing and apple pie, so we weren't completely nontraditional. Janaya and Andrew did lunch with his family and then were here in time to do dinner with us. Then, we played a domino game called Mexican Train. It was a great day.

Yesterday, I took Janaya and Michael to the ASU/U of A game. We had a great time! Last weekend, I couldn't come up the stairs from the basement in our house without almost passing out and having to lie on the couch for twenty minutes to catch my breath. Yesterday, I climbed up to row 23, twice, and was just a little bit short of breath! It is amazing the difference a week can make. ASU lost, but it was a great game and we all came home a little bit hoarse from all the yelling and cheering we did.


This is a picture taken in our driveway before we left for the game. We dropped Joey off in Scottsdale because he was getting a ride back up to Flagstaff from a friend. Joe stayed home and worked on his car.


This is Janaya, Michael, and me at the game. We were in the nosebleeds!

I can't help but think about where we were at this time last year. I had just been diagnosed less than two weeks before Thanksgiving and had been given a pretty poor prognosis. It was a very scary and overwhelming time for us. I am very thankful for every day I've been given this past year. I'm thankful for all of my doctors. Joe, Pam, and I are constantly amazed and in awe of how knowledgeable and caring each of them are. I'm thankful for the experiences over the last year that have opened my eyes and heart in new ways to the beauty of the world, my friends, and my family.

I hope each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. You were all in my heart and thoughts.

Lots of love!
Martha

5 comments:

N-Search of Peace! said...

I miss hearing a "Turkey Story" by Martha Hitzel! Maybe one next year!

Sounds like your day was wonderful! Joey coming home, steaks on the grill! AND, that you were given the chance to breathe like the rest of us!!! I am so so happy to hear this!

Yes, ASU lost but, it was a great game from what I heard. So glad that a memory was created happily, than where it was for you all, last year!

Blessings have always surrounded you sweetie and always will.....
Love and Peace ~
N-Peace

Jim said...

I'm sending many good thoughts and prayers for your test results, and prayers of gratitude for you and your wonderful family.
You are a blessing to everyone who knows you.
love, Ruthie

NP said...

Phew ~ glad to hear that you are feeling so much better. Comparing walking up from the basement to climbing up and down to row 23 twice really painted a good picture in my mind of how much better you are doing. I LOVE the new pictures of all of you and the big smiles on your faces at the game. It is wonderful that your doctors are being so thorough with your care ~ they must know how special you are to so many people. I will be praying for good test results!
Love & hugs,
Nancy

velvet brick said...

Check you out, girlfriend!! Hiking up those stadium stairs! You go, girl!! : ))) Love the colorful family photo - you all take great pictures and have the best smiles!! Thanks for putting up with me, Martha! I appreciate you always being so kind and smiling when I pop in, check on you, hug ya, etc. You're my girl! : ) xoxo Prayers for good news! : ))
Carol

Dottie said...

What a wonderful Thanksgiving with your amazing family, Martha! I'm so happy for you!

I've got my fingers and toes crossed (and, BTW, it's hard to type that way!! :o) too for good news on your test results! My thoughts and prayers have never stopped for you!

You still are such an incredible pillar of strength and courage, dear friend! You definitely remain my hero!

Keep on believing, dear friend! We're all right there beside you!

Lots of love,
Dottie