Friday, July 19, 2013


I know I probably sound like a broken record, but changing oncologists, a trip to WV, a CT scan, another appointment with oncologist and packing for a week in FL is a lot. I am feeling slightly (or not-so-slightly) overwhelmed and like I'm running on empty. Sleep has been quite evasive over the last couple of weeks.

We saw Dr. C this morning for my follow-up appointment, and basically the scan results are the same as the past 2 years. Since remission seems to be out of the question, stable is the best result possible. Dr. C is much more blunt and free with information than Dr. W ever was, and I admit to missing Dr. W's warm fuzzies quite a bit today. She (Dr. C is a woman if I haven't mentioned that before) even went so far as to tell me that it's not "if" but "when" I resume treatment and that I should maximize the chemo-free time I have been given. It's not as if I didn't already know that, but your not-warm-and-fuzzy oncologist telling you that is not easy to hear.

We were also able to see my CT results for ourselves (for the first time ever) and confirmed that the "widespread" little pieces are also on my liver and bladder, which means that when this cancer decides to activate again, it's not going to be pretty.

My logical head tells me we have chosen my new oncologist/hospital wisely, but my heart misses the familiar small office that I'm used to visiting. I am trading a reassuring doctor and small office for a large, well-oiled machine that gives me top-notch medical care and quick bloodwork/scan results. The trade-off is that it's a HUGE well-oiled machine and my office visits have taken 3 hours each time. Instead of a quick visit to have my port flushed, I have to make appointments and go through several check-ins complete with a pager. Instead of writing a prescription for ongoing pain, I have to have a separate appointment for their official pain and symptom management center.

And she doesn't believe in Xanax for scan anxiety. I. am. in. trouble.

The other news is that she considers me a very high risk for breast cancer (because I need another cancer to worry about?) and is referring me to their breast center to step up the screening and monitoring that I have already been doing. She said that my genetic results "boggle" her mind because with our family history, it is inconceivable that my cancer is not genetically linked to Becky's and the rest of our family. But double genetic tests say they're not related.

So really all this means is that everything is just as it has been for the last 2 years. I'll see her every 8 weeks for bloodwork and an exam with a CT scan every 16 weeks. And let's pray that this cycle can continue for longer than Dr. C thinks it will.

And because this post feels depressing, how about some cute kid pictures? In preparation for FL, I finally got these pictures from my camera to computer, but immediately decided to ignore them because 600 pictures felt overwhelming. I pulled these 3 and left the rest. For when I have buckets of time.

You do not even want to know what it took to get this picture. Nine kids.

These 3 could not be cuter. (and look at Rory's snaggle tooth - she lost it a few minutes later)

Unless it's these 2.


Joan B said...

she doesn't believe in xanax? argh I'm sorry. I can feel your frustration. I hope you enjoy your weekend!!!

Amy said...

Well, I know it was not exactly the news you wanted to hear. I'm praising the Lord that everything is still stable but I know you must be battling the fear and anxiety that comes from her "when" statements. I'm praying specifically that the Lord will give you peace in your heart and mind and that you are able to focus your mind on the truth that He is in control. I hope you are able to enjoy your trip to Florida and enjoy seeing friends! Hugs to you, my friend!

Norman said...

Thanks for sharing, Melissa. And I'm praying you just have many exciting moments, surprising you each day, and the time goes fast for the trip and you're home again.
And those pics are miracles, as you got them perfectly--no blinks, etc.

Joanna B said...

Glad to hear everything is stable, but bummed to hear that it's just a matter of time till you resume treatment...
The pictures are amazing! I don't know how you do it! I feel like one picture out of twenty I get my kids looking at me at the same time, and that's just with two kids!

Julie said...

I am praying for you!

Shelba Cherchio said...

Very cute kids...

Christine said...

I don't really know what to say here.... cause really, what can I say to make you feel better?! (Tell me, I'll do it!) I think of you often... and really, really, really hoping that "when" = "never" Hugs my friend.