Cancer remission is a "period of time when the cancer is responding to treatment or is under control."
Cancer remission is a "period of time when the cancer is responding to treatment or is under control."
Last night we visited my oncologist and for the first time in all the months since this nightmare started we left with great news. My cancer is officially in remission. I had no idea how much I had been holding my breath until all of a sudden I wasn't.So where to now?I am still recovering from my bilateral mastectomy. It was fierce I tell you. I made the decision to have reconstruction done at the same time. Which for me meant expanders being placed and my skin being stretched over a series of "top ups". Once everything is right my surgeon will remove the expanders and replace them with implants.Unfrotunately I have an infection in my right side at the moment which is not uncommon. Last night they drained 700mls of fluid -ouch not fun. So now I am confined to doing very little, lifting little, keeping still, also not fun.I feel like I want to go run a marathon and do a thousand things - all the things that I haven't been doing but my body won't let me.Once I get through this little hiccup and I am "filled" up I will undergo 6 weeks of radiation. Normally after a masectomy you don't need radiation but my medical team have decided to err on the side of caution. After that I will return to surgery for the implants to be put in and I will be as good as new if not better.Richard is thinking that he may be able to trade me in for a newer younger model after all as I won't be anywhere near as dodgy as he first thought.To say we are relieved that the end is in sight is an understatement.Thank you for all your warm thoughts, positive vibes and prayers as we have walked this path.Still a way to go but it's all filled with sunshine and I'm still standing :)Happy Days
I am home :) Arrived home sometime Monday.
I m feeling abit battered and bruised but in mostly good spritis.
My head is spinning with all that is still to come so I'm just taking everything very slowly. Though as usual my version of slow and my surgeons are slightly different. I had my knuckles wrapped yesterday so am slowing again.
In terms of surgery two more tumours were found in the left side that had grown since the pet scan two weeks ago. I knew about one - I had felt it and asked them to show me the spot on an ultra sound. The fourth was a surprise.
Yeterday I went back to my surgeon for a check up - he is not thrilled with how one side is knitting so I may have to go back in to get it sorted I will know Friday.
Tomorrow I meet with my haematologist and also go to have my port flushed they decided not to take it out.
Tuesday I am back to the onologoist - he wants to talk more options now that these latest tumors have appeared.
Trying tiring days. Wishing that time would pass quickly but also slowly.
I'm breaking my days down into manageable pieces and not looking back on the what I used to do. I'm not even thinking about what I might be able to do soon anymore.
Today lets talk about lentils.
I know - I always thought they were yucky LOL. But while in hospital I always choose the soup options because I love soup.
I chose a red lentil currry vegetable soup. I said to Richard this will be so yuck.
Boy was I wrong it was delciious and I could't wait to get home and make some.
So Monday night that is what I did. Here is a little picture visual for you but its not the soup lol
In a large pot fry off the celery capsicum, garlic, carrots, corriander until they are just starting to soften - add in the pumpkin and curry powder
Rinse the lentils
Add in the stock and lentils
Bring to boil then leave to simmer until veges are all softened
Use a swizzy bender to puree it all together.
Serve with a dollop of yoghurt or sour cream and some coriander.
SOOOO good and my girls loved it too.
If you get a chance please share your fav soup recipes - esppecially any croc pot ones I'm in soup making mode. Its all I can cope with right now lol.
Cancer is so limited...
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.
Thank you Adele for these words. This evening I am resting after surgery. I thank you all for your ongoing prayers and light.
I have a new bag packed - I finally decided after all these trips into hospital it was time for an overnightish size bag. It's pretty cute - silver and the girls found a funky silver glitter tag for my name to go in so it doesn't get lost in the shuffle.
This is surgery number four and if everything goes to my surgeon's plan then I really will only have one more in about 4 months time and I will be done. To date nothing has gone to plan so I'm figuring it is about time that something does.
I started yesterday with a long to do list.
Beginning at gym (last one for a while - sob) and then meeting a friend for coffee.
I had allowed an hour and half for our catch up. Somehow I got stuck there though and we sat for nearly three hours on one cup of coffee and shared a million things. She too is fighting her own cancer battle. It was very therapeutic and I feel much calmer heading into surgery today than I would have if I hadn't have met with her.
We talked for some time about faith and whether mine has ever waivered. It was good for me to reflect on my answer to her and I am so glad she asked me.
It hasn't. It doesn't. I have a sense of peace that I think would be harder to find without a faith in God.That's not to say I don't get cross or tired or frustrated or questioning or a million otehr things. Of course I do. Honestly I'm not happy about the journey he's placed me and my family on ( who would be ? ) but I trust in it. He hasn't led me astray in all these years so I have no doubt he won't now.
Right now I am at a turning point in my treatment plan. This is our last big effort and it's scary. There have been more changes since my last scan and I'll know some more before I go under. I am trying not to think too hard.
So today I head in at 8.00am and sit in a variety of waiting rooms until 3.30pm.(agggghhh) Nil by mouth from 9.30am - that's my least favourite part. I may see some of you on instagram or twitter over the next few hours :) My kindle is loaded and my ipad is set with movies. I have a pretty puzzle book to take with me (thank you Tammy)
I am ready.
See you on the other side.
And the rest of the to do list ? Never got done. LOL never mind. I'll save it for another day.
Thank you for all the book recommendations. I have decided to go with the Diana Gabaldon series :)
and for everone following here were the other suggested reads ...
Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
The moment by Douglas Kennedy
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen- read this and have seen the movie
The Descendants by Kaul Hart Hemmings enjoyed the movie
The Help by Kathryn Stockett Love love love this one
Before I go to sleep by S JWatson
The Lucky One by Nicholas Spark - have seen the movie
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins -still have the third one to read
The little coffee shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriquez - this one has been on my to read list
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini - have read this and highly recommend it as well as The Kite Runner
The language of flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The man who broke into Auschwitz by Denis Avey
The Villa Girls by Nicky Pellegrino
Tess of the D'Urbevilles by Thomas Hardy
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton
50 Shades of Grey by EL James (this one may not suit everyones taste )
I have also heard good things about The Dove Keepers by Alice Hoffman
I am on good reads as Tamar Bostock - if you want to add me :) and I'll add you too! I joined yonks ago but have only just updated my read list.
Phew that should keep us all going for sometime.
Thank you all for your suggestions :)
I have lots of stories to tell and photos to share so this is kind of backwards but you may remember I was researching E readers. In the end I plumped on the Kindle just the wifi one not 3G. Given where I live I figured I could get by without 3G. I spent the dfference on a lighted cover- totally worth it! Richard told me it was my mother's day present :) YAY I was happy to have it earlier.
I have to say I love it sooo much- best purchase ever. I don't sleep very well and in the past I have spent the early hours of the morning googling - NOW I'm reading again - My brain seems to have pieced itself back together enough to remember story lines.
I also find that I read so much faster ( I have always been a fast reader ) but now its super fast on the kindle
I'm just about to finish a trilogy which I have throughly enjoyed, by Jennifer Donnelly
It is a lovely light read - set in London before World War 1 it follows the story of the Finnegan family. Each book has a main heroine and while the story line can be predictable and we all love a happy ending you have to fall in love with the characters tennacity. ( there is some language)
SOOOO I'm putting it out there what your favourite reads?? Kindle lovers? Anyone? hook me up :) I need to get ready for some serious reading over the next few weeks.
Thank you to my reader I can't remember who sorry - that shared the Pixel of Ink link which gives links to free or cheap kindle books each day.
Looking forward to adding some new reads to my kindle :)
On Sunday a friend popped round to see how I was holding up. She had walked a similar path just over a year ago and she very kindly left with me a lovely book that helped her get through.
There is no place like Hope - A guide to beating cancer in mind sized pieces by Vicki Gerard
I want to share with you a little section that spoke volumes to me. It's how I have lived this whole journey and just reaffirmed that I need to keep walking the same way one step at a time.
How do you ever feel totally safe again ? It's difficult, In my case I was told that I could never get cancer free and then they hedged their bets by saying that even if I did, it would likely reoccur. Jeez, the power of positive thinking- how do I deal with that ?
Well I dealt with it by choosing to live my life somewhat like a picnic on a cloudy day. I went ahead and planned the picnic, made the food, packed the car, went to a great location, and had a blast - even though the weather man kept saying there was a chance of showers.
You have two choices: You can either let the prediction of rain ruin everything as much as the rain itself would (and this still wouldn't stop the rain from falling if it's going to). Or you can throw some rain gear in the car just in case - in the trunk, out of sight - and enjoy every minute of sunshine that you have. It may not rain at all or, if it does, it may just sprinkle - but you've make up your mind that the mere possibility of rain will not rob you of even one second before it falls.
Enjoy the sunshine, If the rain falls, you'll deal with it, but you'll have some wonderful picnics in the meantime.
And that is what I am doing - what if this is as good as it gets ?- this is as well as I'm ever going to feel?
I'm packing my umbrella along with the chocolate cake :) I'm not missing out on a second.
Happy Picnic Days
You know you have been away from your blog too long when typepad asks you to sign in again. I am not sure where I have been or what I have been doing. Time moves infinitely faster yet slower at the same time.
My grandma rings each day and asks the same question - I didn't wake you did I?
I wish. I wish I could sleep - I am so bone weary tired.
tired of thinking about this stupid stupid disease
tired of weighing up options when the only option I want isn't on the table
tired of worrying
Thank you for your questions and for waiting. I'm not sure I can tell the whole story yet but I'll do what I can until next time.
The pathology shared with me late last Friday night was that the new tumour was indeed that - a new tumour 1.3 cm in size DCIS with some break out and evidence of microcalcification. Triple negative. Smaller than the first one - that's something. But everything else the same. So I come out of 8 months of treatment to be back to where I first started.
and it's chemo resistant.
In reality, when I had time to think none of that came as a surprise. I guess we were just hoping for it to be something else.
The kicker though is I have reached the end of my options. There is no more chemo that will work ( chemo resistant ). Radiation will not make any significant difference. This is the bit I didn't realise. I was imagining a new cocktail of drugs some radiation a long list of side effects and I was stressing about what that would look like, wondering how I could back up again.
HA well the joke is on me - now I think if ONLY that was all I had to worry about.
My last surgery removed the tumour and my next surgery will remove the calcification and my port.
That's a sure sign my chemo time is over.
I still didn't get it so I asked what's next.
What will you do after that to make sure I don't have another tumour in two weeks.
It's a little word - two syllables that packs a fierce punch.
noun 1. no thing; not anything; naught:
There's a number of articles out there about triple negative chemo resistant cancer. Trust me I have googled. What did we do before google?
The treatment options for chemotherapy-resistant TNBC are limited.
That's what they all say - just in different formats.
My surgeon told me that if a new drug is developed I'll be the poster girl for trials.
Bring on the poster girl thing I can do that. I'd look good on a poster wouldn't I ?
So for now I ask that you keep me on your prayer lists because that is all I have left.
Fortunately as a dear friend has said to me I have
"an avalanche of prayerful people surrounding you and your family"
And I do. I know I do. For that I will be ever grateful because in the days to come the prayers will carry us through.
Next up is surgery I'll be in a few days this time round - Miss Mel will of course keep you updated as per usual and Richard still doesnt knwo how to drive my blog LOL. I hope to go in on Wednesday but it just depends on a few factors I should know in the next day.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Last night after 7pm I finally got into to see my surgeon with the pathology results from surgery. For those of you who follow on instagram you would have seen the waiting pictures. It's a crazy busy life they lead.
The results are not what we wanted and I need a bit of time to work out what words to say.
Thank you for your ongoing commitment to prayers and postive light.
Last week I tweeted about receiving some happy Nuffnang and Tefal mail in the form of a great big box. It was my brand new Tefal Steam Generator Iron. I'm so excited to be writing this Product Talk by Nuffnang because we are huge Tefal fans in our house. Our last two irons have been Tefal and now we have this whizz bang steam generator one. When I told Richard that I was going to do this he laughed at me - he said who is ??
So I do have to confess that I don't do the ironing -at all - that would be Mr Tarisota - aka Richard. I unpacked it from the box and told him to check it out.
The biggest difference between this one and our previous irons is the size - the unit the steam is created in is huge.
As Richard was ironing I asked him if he would recommend it to my readers - I told him to be honest I didn't want cranky readers saying had gone and got one on his recommendation. The next part is our little interview - his comments are in blue...
Yes he said It's really good. The steam steams up quickly ( sigh? what kind of comment is that ?)
What do you like about - what will my readers like do you think ?
It's going to be great for tablecloths, sheets, jeans and things that need plenty of steam. The base bit holds lots of water so I won't be constantly filling it up like I have to now.
The other thing I like about it is I don't have to use ironing spray.
Actually Tamar it's so easy to use and works so well I think you could even iron with it. ( ha ha - he is so funny )
How does it compare it to our current Tefal iron.
Oh it's totally different. ( sigh I tell ya hard work! )
This isn't just an iron it's a steam generator.
This one has a retractable cord which is good. It makes packing it up faster. I don't have to worry about waiting for the iron to cool down before wrapping the cord up.
It also gives you the flexibility of the length of cord that you require depending on where your power point is in comparison to your ironing board. The cord doesn't tangle around while you are ironing.
It locks into the base.The advantage of the locking system is if you bump the base system it won't tip the iron over.
The reason we liked Tefal irons in the first place was because they all have calcification removal system ( which is just a fancy way of saying self cleaning ) and more importantly they turn off automatically after a certain time. We need a self turning off iron in our house because if Tamar ever does iron she usually forgets to turn it off. She has also been known to burn through the ironing board cover with the iron left face down. ( sigh yes that is true although it pains me to type it )
The base unit has indicators on it to show you the water levels too.
When you rest the iron without putting the lock on you can pick it back up easily because of the ergonomically designed tilted iron rest. It's very stable.
Have you ironed anything that doesn't need steam ?
It works great - it has a non stick soleplate so I find that it glides nicely. The advice in the instruction book is to sort your ironing out into different materials and work from lightest items up.
Are you going to do that ? Because that sounds like a good idea.
Richard is happy to take any questions you have just pop them in the comments :)
Oh and my opinion?
Anything that keeps him ironing makes me happy and it's a really pretty colour. I have to also add that I am very impressed with the steam generation - I tried to take a photo to show you but I couldn't do it justice.
Edited for comments
and Richards response
Of course One Crafty Mumma - Provided you make me some of your cinnamon scrolls and a cup of tea - Richard