The post I hoped to write was that I kicked cancer's ass finally, that I can finally say I am in complete remission, with no evidence of disease. Yet, those of you who have been reading my blog from the beginning have seen me on this emotional roller coaster, experienced my highs and lows and know that everything is not that simple.
Today was one of those lows. After a great scan in October that showed I was in partial remission, the scan I took yesterday showed that there was a small increase in the lymph node cells. Part of me is shocked, but the other part is not because I've been down this road before. Something works, and then it doesn't. It's like I keep putting in the same movie, hoping for a different ending this time. Or one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books where I keep picking the wrong ending. I'm exhausted, defeated and really, really sad. This drug was supposed to be my silver bullet, the one that changed my life and ended this nightmare. But to the surprise of my team of doctors and nurses, it wasn't. Research showed that if a patient initially responded to the drug well, they should continue to respond and I did have really high hopes. Again, I've learned I'm part of the small percentage that it doesn't continue to work for. I hate writing these posts after trying to be positive, but it's the truth in my story.
So what are the next steps you ask? Well, one thing I love about my doctor is that he always has a plan. He doesn't like to stick with any regimen that shows it may not be working anymore...he's always on to the next one. So the new plan is for me to take an oral pill that is technically not chemo, but as been known to shrink lymphoma. The good thing? No trips to the doc for IV drips, I get to take it at home and it doesn't have too many side effects. That's as much as I know now, my brain was a little fuzzy to all the details. Thank goodness Ross was there as my 2nd set of ears and to comfort me...actually 2 doctors and 1 nurse comforted me as well...it was all very surreal, I felt like it was happening to someone else.
But in the next moment I realized it was happening to me. I looked in the mirror at my red, puffy eyes and noticed I desperately needed to get my eyebrows done. So after several long tearful conversations with some of the staff and a few blood tests for the new medication, I went to get my eyebrows threaded and threw in a manicure just because I was feeling sorry for myself. As I walked to the nail salon, I was simultaneously crying and laughing at the absurdity of the situation. But that seems to be my life these days...cancer treatment and eyebrows (believe me they were out of control). I'm not saying that this is easy, I just had an all out marathon crying session with Ross and I'm incredibly upset about this situation, but some moments help me remember I haven't completely lost myself in this disease. And as my hubby and I settle in to watch "The Office" (the only show we watch together) and I hear myself laugh at loud on such an awful day, I realize that I will get through this somehow, someway.