Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Change in Focus

Hi, everyone. Sorry for the lag in updates. It's been a very overwhelming week and I've just needed some time to get my mind and emotions wrapped around all the news I have received. As I noted in my last post, the cancer has spread to my bones and a spot on my spinal cord. Dr. Livingston started me on monthly Zometa to help with the bones and I've started radiation treatments to the spot on my spinal cord. I am on treatment 7 out of 20.

Since the tests that showed these results, I had a chest CAT scan that shows some cancer in my lungs and possibly in the space surrounding my lungs, and a spot on my spleen. I don't know about anywhere else because I think that is all they were able to see on this particular scan.

The scan also showed quite a bit of fluid around my lungs and that is partly why I have been having so much trouble breathing. They removed 1200cc of fluid from my left pleural space yesterday and 1100 cc from my right pleural space today. Already, my breathing is somewhat better.

So, we are really truly in fight mode right now, not for a cure, but for a possible remission period and time. Initially, Dr. Livingston was hesitant to treat me concurrently with chemo while recieving my radiation treatments, fearing permanent damage to the spinal cord. Dr. Tannehill, my radiation oncologist was out of town until last night, but got right in touch with me and Dr. Livinston last evening when he got back and we've been able to come up with a plan to start chemo that should be safe tomorrow. I will be going up to Tucson early tomorrow to get started.

It is a very scary time for me right now, but it does feel good to have a plan in place. I'm realistic about my prognosis, but also have hope that some people do attain fairly decent periods of remission. It is all going to depend on how my cancer reacts to the chemo. So far, it has been pretty darn resistant and aggressive.

So, my plan is to continue to use my blog to keep people updated with what is going on medically with me, but to also put the focus on the wonderful things I am finding to celebrate in each day. And, in spite of all the bad news over this last week, there has been plenty to celebrate, too.

Pam is here. She went up to Flagstaff Sunday morning to bring Joey down for a visit. He has to go back up on Saturday to return to work, but it has been wonderful spending time with him. He and Joe are going to look at a car this evening, so that he has a way to get back and forth from Flagstaff without worrying about the bus schedule. This will also help him commute between his job and classes at the community college this fall. He looks great and is such a happy spirit!

Janaya and Andrew came over for Easter breakfast on the patio. We made chocolate chip pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream on top! YUMM!

The weather has been beautiful and I've been spending a lot of time outdoors just enjoying it. I put in new planters at the front entrance and they look really pretty.

And, I actually was able to get on my bike and ride a mile around my neighborhood yesterday. It feels good to be able to do normal things like that.

Michael has decided that spending $12 for a haircut is way overpriced and so enlisted my help the other night in a home do. When Joey arrived from Flagstaff on Sunday, he had done his own, too! I will have to get a picture of them together. They look so much alike!

Easter Morning Pictures

Enjoying the spring weather spending time outdoors planting.

Well, that is it for now. Probably no update tomorrow. This new chemo can be a bit rough and they told me to plan on an eight hour day in Tucson. I have been feeling all of the love and support coming my way and as always it sustains me.

Love you all!


L- said...

The picture of Joe kissing you is my very favoritest of all the pics you've ever posted. It is the very essence of "picture perfect!"

NP said...

Have safe travels! These pictures are absolutely wonderful and make me smile. I'm sorry for this latest news but I so admire your fighting spirit. I love you tons!
Love & hugs,

N-Search of Peace! said...

I am with L...the one of you and Joe made me both smile and giggle! You both are such cuties!

Love your green planters out front! Beautiful! The weather this time of year really is why we are all here right? Hoping that you bring more color and flowers into your beautiful life!

My love and prayers of course are yours! My hugs are forever too!


Jane said...

Love the easter pictures, you have such a great family. You can just see the love that your husband has for you in his face. I think my fave is the one you have on facebook, you can just tell how much he adores you! (ok sorry got side tracked)
Martha, you are a fighter! You have my prayers and positive thoughts. I hope you know how amazing I think you are.

I am going to our temple tonight, I hope it is okay to put your name on the prayer roll, so others will have the opportunity to pray for you too.


Cheela said...

Hi Martha,

You have such a wonderful outlook. I truly admire you. I love the pictures--of course I love the ones of Michael. He is such a great young man. I know you are proud!!

All of my family is praying for you and that is a LOT of prayers!!


velvet brick said... ARE getting a copy of that sweetest of sweet pictures of Joe kissing you printed and framed....RIGHT??!! It is priceless! : ) As are you, sweet girl! As are you! : ))

Dawn Chandler said...

I'm with you, Martha.
And I've been feeling your presence in my studio....Magic's about to happen...Good magic — I can just feel it!

Take good care. And thanks for sharing the pics of you and your wonderful family!

~ Dawn