Going for the cure again!
I have meant to create this updated post for a couple of weeks, but I was in the midst of a heavy deadline in getting our latest magazine completed, so everything else was set aside. I praise God that I am gaining strength daily and am able to get into a work schedule again even though it is a modified one. I no longer have a need to nap during the day unless I don’t sleep well at night. If is so wonderful to feel strength coming back. Richard is taking me for walks up the mountain and even though I feel like I am going to die, pressing myself on to complete a goal has been very good for getting some muscle back. I still have nerve damage in my legs, so walking to gain muscle back is very important.
My brain still has a ways to go to get out from the fog leftover from chemotherapy. The lingering fog could last as along as a year, or sometimes longer, but I trust that my short term memory loss and my inability to remember words in conversation will continue to come back. One major change that I have noticed is that I can multi-task again which is something that was pretty much impossible during my six months of treatments. My hair is starting to grow back and I am pleased that I am getting some added warmth back to my head! My hair hasn’t grown very much yet, but it is getting thick as more hairs are coming in daily. I am not totally sure what colour it will be when it is grown out, and for now it is mostly light brown. Where did the red go that is my question! I do know that often hair can change drastically after chemo and the colour, texture or curl can be a big change when it grows back. I am waiting to see what colour it will finally be when I have a few inches of growth back.
My finger nails are growing back quite nicely after they all fell out from the chemo. It might not be too long before I can pick small things up or scratch myself. I never knew how much I would miss my finger nails! The toe nails are another matter. All ten of them also fell out but they are really slow at coming back. I am so thankful that I have no pain as I heard that losing one’s toe nails could be very painful.
The best news
I knew that this whole cancer journey was a roller coaster ride, but the last corner and last loop of this ride surprised and really blessed me. We are going for the cure again! Here is what happened…
After I got the pathology report following my surgery, I had an appointment with my cancer doctor. I was very happy with the pathology report that showed what was left of the cancer was only a minute amount and it was in a tiny lump that had not previously been found. The two main lumps and all of the lumps that were spread to the skin were completely gone and only a few cells were found that were suspicious of being residual cancer. They were rare cells that were in bad shape after they endured the blast of chemo. That is a fantastic result from the strong chemo I endured! But one thing that I had not realized from the pathology report, was that there were lymph nodes that were removed around the edges of the breast, and all of the lymph system was clear of cancer. After seeing this report, my doctor was so encouraged, that he said that maybe the spots found on my spine are not cancer after all. He had dialoged with my surgeon who was not convinced that the spots that showed up in the scans were cancer. He thought they could be consistent with degenerative disease in my spine. My cancer doctor is a realist and he comes across as a bit of a pessimist because he does not want to give people false hope and with two tests on my spine showing either one or two spots, he had been convinced that I had stage 4 cancer. But after the good pathology report, he tells me that we are once again “Going for the cure” which is something that would be impossible if the cancer had spread. He has rescheduled the bone scan for September, but until then we are moving forward as if I am free of cancer!
I am joyful and full of hope and just praising God that I am in such a good position. Not only am I completely free of pain in my spine, but I am gaining strength and gaining my life back, and I have the hope of living a life free of cancer! If you remember me in prayer, please pray that the bone scan in September will verify that there has been no growth of cancer and that God will grant me a reprieve from this nasty disease so that I can continue to serve Him with all my heart and strength. For now I am rejoicing in this new breath of life!