Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Extremely Good News!

9/6/2011 - Hello, again! It's been more than 2 months since I last posted an update. Things have been very busy this summer. I never was able to return to work from my medical leave because of the shortness of breath, but I retired as of June 30, 2011. Now Al and I can grow old together!! I have been bogged down with paper work - for example, straightening out my medical bills and getting them paid before any of them got turned over to collection agencies. My first retirement check was supposed to come on July 31 but my former employer (Duval Co. Public Schools) neglected to turn in all the necessary paperwork, so I will have to wait until the end of August to get it. Finally I have to get records to continue my disability insurance payments. And I found out that due to my current diagnosis I am eligible for social security disability, but I have to reapply for it, so I am trying to contact them to find out what documents/paperwork I will need. And the shortness of breath continues. It is an adverse side effect of the new chemo drug. I use my wheelchair more when we go somewhere that requires a lot of walking, like to the mall. But I'm not on....

Now I move on to a more positive note. On July 26 I went to my oncologist to have my blood levels tested to see if they were high enough to take my next treatment. I was anemic the last time I was checked so I have been eating red meat and pickled beets to bring my hemoglobin levels up.

By this time I have received 3 treatments of the new chemotherapy drug Alimta. I had never gotten sick from IV chemotherapy before, but with this new drug, I got all of the adverse symptoms!! I acted sick, felt sick, and I was sick! So for the second round I said to myself, "I forgot my own philosophy - if you act well, you'll feel well, and you'll be well". This time things are going to be better. And they were. But I still had some uncomfortable days. So when it came time for the third treatment, I said to myself, "This time I will act more well, feel more well, and Body, you better get with the program because I expect you to BE MORE WELL!!!!!

So this was my attitude when I went to the doctor on July 26. He came into the treatment room with a big smile on his face and said, "I have good news for you!!" I'm thinking to myself, "Oh boy, my hemoglobin levels came up!" The doctor plopped my chart on the treatment plinth in front of me and, pointing to some numbers on the lab report, he said, "YOUR TUMOR MARKERS HAVE COME DOWN FROM 204 TO 61! We will definitely continue this treatment!" That is less than 1/3 the original number!

Wow, God, you are awesome! I'm thinking anemia and you killed more than 2/3 of the cancer cells! WOW! This happened after only 3 treatments, only 2 months on the new medicine. Previously it had taken 3-4 months for a new drug to show up such a significant improvement on a medical test. I had commanded my body to "be more well" and it did more than I was expecting! Well, I've said it before and it's worth mentioning again. I should not be surprised at God; He always comes through for me!! And the healing continues! When I went for my next chemotherapy treatment in August, my tumor markers were down to 48! And when I went in today, September 6, they were down to 24!! Yea, God!! Al and I went out to lunch to celebrate.

Pictures show a pink zennia which produced 2 orange blossoms! 5 gerber daisies; a lavender hibiscus, also known as a Rose of Sharon, surrounded by Mexican petunias; our red and white variegated hibiscus plant, and a closeup of its bloom.

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