There are so many good things to report that I thought another update was in order. Those of you who live near enough to see me in person will know how well I’m doing, but for those who don’t, I will tell you. Although I didn’t think I was doing too badly before – my interpretation being that I wasn’t in constant pain – I realize now that my limitations were more severe than I wanted to admit. The cancer in my lymph glands under my arm and in my breast were hardened to the point of not being able to raise my left arm above my shoulder level. The bone pain in my ribs prevented me from being able to cough or sneeze without intense, searing/burning, excruciating pain. Even laughing was uncomfortable. Hugs had to be very gentle to avoid pressure. Turning from side to side in bed was painful and Walt had to help me get to a lying position. Halfway through the night, I’d have to go to the living room and try to get comfortable on the recliner chair we borrowed. I had to curtail my morning jogs early on when the jarring movement hurt too much to continue.
That was then. About a month ago we started noticing changes. Turning from side to side at night without pain enabled me to stay in bed through the night and thereby get better sleep. Little by little we noticed all the above mentioned problems disappear. Sometimes I didn’t even realize things were improving until my family pointed it out. Miriam watched me laughing one day and reminded me that it used to hurt to laugh. Now there is absolutely NO pain or discomfort of any kind to deal with.
Yesterday we got even better news. The doctor said the PET scan I had done last week showed so much improvement that he took me off chemotherapy after only 8 weeks! I will still be getting Herceptin – a drug that works with your own immune system to fight the cancer, but instead of weekly treatments, he changed it to once every 3 weeks at an increased dose. To top it off, my 2 cancer markers are vastly improved with one of them back within normal range!
As you can imagine, we are thrilled with this good news and the speed at which it has happened. There is still cancer present so the fight persists, but it is great to have hope. We have learned not to take anything for granted and every morning I wake up and thank God for a wonderful new day. I expect that everyone who is reading this has prayed for me at one time or another – many have said they pray for me daily. What a wonderful gift you’ve given me. It’s very humbling to be on this side of so many prayers and well-wishes. What a joy to have much love and support. We are so grateful.