Friday, February 9, 2018

Dancing in the waiting room and some "tumor numbers"

As promised, the dance!

Let me start by saying that the cancer center waiting room is anything but fun. Many of my fellow cancer survivors come in very slowly, some in wheelchairs, some towing oxygen tanks, almost everybody has someone with them. Not me, not yet, hopefully maybe please maybe not ever.

So I met this nice lady while we were both "on the chair," lingo for getting treatment, chemotherapy, bone medications, transfusions, whatever...basically you get hooked up to an IV and sit on a comfy chair while some meds flow through your veins for about 30 minutes.
She was with her beautiful daughter and I happened to talk to her in Spanish and then she talked and talked for the entire session--no! she stopped to gobble up a Subway sandwich at some point (eating makes the potential nausea of chemo tolerable).
She has nine children! she said proudly, and grandchildren too, she talked happily about everything, she tells the doctors "no tengo nada" (I don't have anything) and laughs and laughs. It is her second battle with the beast, she says. She lost her hair, she snickers showing me by removing her hat, and her legs hurt, she wears special socks, she tells me to take some ancient remedy, it helps a lot! "no tengo nada!"...and she smiled and laughed.

Two weeks later, thinking about her made me smile and so I walk in and sign in and wait my turn to the bloodletting room as usual. And there they are! Sitting right by me she hits me in the arm and scolds me for not saying hello. I told her I was spaced out and I was thinking about her. She is wearing a beautiful new hat and her daughter removes her to display her new growth of beautiful even and short hair. I congratulate her and she breaks out into her usual speech of take this, take that, tell the doctors "no tengo nada!" Then she starts singing happily with a Latin rhythm "no tengo nada, no tengo nada, no tengo nada..." and I start dancing in my seat and then she starts dancing in her seat and her daughter laughing and shaking her head.
Weeeelllll, not exactly like that but we had fun

Then I was called and I had to go so I blew them a kiss on my way to the blood lab. I still smile thinking about that.

And the winner isssss....

ME! After my first 21-day cycle of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza (Ibrance/Letrozole) my "tumor markers" are down by a LOT! My oncologist says "it's working great!" He seems more relaxed now, he greeted me with "hey you're still alive!" which cracked me up (okay so I have a strange sense of humor). I told him not to say that in front of my husband because that'll freak him out.

Nearly all my other blood numbers are good too, like liver enzymes and other weird things that were elevated due to the cancer. Of course my blood counts are low, in fact so low that I was prescribed a shot of something that's supposed to help stimulate my bone marrow to fabricate more red and white blood cells. I will be giving it to myself due to a strange insurance thing whereby the shot is considered medicine, and thus sent straight to the patient rather than the doc. So I will have to learn how to inject myself, cool deal!

More blood-letting on a weekly basis until my blood recovers. No bone meds this time, we do that every three months. I guess I won't be "on the chair" for a while. I'm celebrating all this by going to the mountains tomorrow and getting me a good dose of quiet and cool nature.
Our refuge in the pines

I built that bench!

1 comment:

  1. Hallelujah!!! I am dancing all over my living room after reading this list (making it very difficult to type this message). So happy fir you. I love your new mantra, courtesy of your New friend! Maybe chant it at the cabin, sucking in huge lungful if clean, fresh air? Hugs, hugs and more hugs!


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