sometimes about cancer

January 19, 2009

My personal blog, Not Just About Cancer, is having an existential crisis. I don’t seem to write that much about cancer these days. A more appropriate title might be in order (“Occasionally About Cancer?” “Not Just About Life, Kids, Dogs, Books, Weather Extremes and Cancer“?) but then how would people find me?

I was interrupted by the phone ringing. This is the subsequent telephone conversation, transcribed pretty much verbatim:

A (nurse who works with my oncologist, returning my call about my most recent CT scan results*): “May I speak to Laurie, please?”

Me: “This is Laurie.”

A: “Hi, it’s A. from the cancer centre.”

Me: “Hi A.”

A: “Everything’s fine. No change.”

Me: “Yay! Yay! Yay! Thank you, A!”

A: “You’re welcome! Bye!”

The cancer centre’s stated policy is that they do not give out results over the phone but my oncologist has been making an exception for me for a while now. If they ever do ask me to come in, I will be very suspicious.

So, I am happy to say that I have nothing new to report on the cancer front. I will continue on with treatment every four weeks, until it stops working. And with every clean scan, I know I’ve gained a little more time.

*I just tried to link to the post about my most recent scan (it was last Wednesday) and found that I didn’t write one. Instead, I wrote about the weather and losing my dog. It appears that, while they still make me anxious, CT scans are less newsworthy than the cold and my pets. Lucky me.

nothing new going on here, thanks.

September 19, 2008

Just got my CT results from a very up-beat sounding nurse.

No change. I am still in remission.

I have not begun to appreciate how relieved I am.

I have a new post, The Metastatic Cancer Patient’s Guide to the CT Scan in 16 Easy Steps up at MyBreastCancerNetwork.Com.

the waiting game

September 17, 2008

I am waiting for results from yesterday’s CT scan. My oncologist said that I should call him for results after five days, so I am going to start calling on Friday (it’s only four days post-test but what have I got to lose by calling?).

I did have bloodwork done yesterday and was very relieved to see that all my liver functions are well within the range of normal. I actually startled the nurse who was hooking me up for chemo by giving a little yelp of pleasure.

It is still possible to have tumours on the liver (or nearby) and have normal liver functions. However, abnormally high liver functions can be a sign of a problem.

And I will embrace every indication that all is well.

I have a new post up (I wrote it on Monday) at MyBreastCancerNetwork.Com. It’s about how hard it is to play the waiting game:

“I have no real reason to expect anything but good results this time, yet I can’t escape the feeling that something is wrong. My digestion feels a little off and I can’t decide if the pain in my side is a phantom one.

The truth is, I am scared. I am trying to reassure myself with the fact that I have been feeling pretty good, that I have been biking and running But I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was feeling the healthiest and most fit that I had in years. And I was diagnosed with liver mets three weeks after I returned to work, at a time when I was feeling strong, energetic and (so I thought) on the road to reclaiming my life from cancer.

I have been fairly racked with anxiety these last few days and yet today I feel calmer. Perhaps I have had the time to come to terms with the fact that I have no choice but to meet whatever challenge lies ahead. Perhaps it has helped to keep myself really busy. Or maybe I am in denial.”

I also wrote in the same post about how I how I cope with the anxiety. I was a little
crazy on the week end but there are definitely things that help, when I can remind myself to do them:

“My advice to women awaiting test results or doctor’s appointments remains the same.

Try not to torture yourself with worst case scenarios.

Go out and play (I went to the National Art Gallery with my family yesterday).

Get together with friends (I had a great time at last night’s book club meeting).

Get some exercise (I am going running with my son after school today).

Write it all down (I procrastinated over doing this but I can’t tell you how much it helped.”

Cross-posted to Not Just About Cancer.

Ahhh, the CT scan results

July 3, 2008

Yes, we did get those on Tues. Well, the tumors didn’t shrink. The oncologist said that they could be “dead” tumors, but there’s no way of knowing that now. We’ll find out about the breast tumor after surgery on the breast.

We see the surgeon on July 14 and find out when surgery is and what kind of mastectomy I’ll have at that point.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed at the results — we had hoped for something more definitive. Dr. Funky Glasses didn’t seem discouraged, however, and we are moving forward. In the meantime, I’m doing my maintenance chemotherapy once/week.

Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.