Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Doctor's appointment and CT scan

Dear friends,

I hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday.  I can't believe that it's June 1st already and that this year is nearly half over.  I don't know if I already mentioned this before in a previous post, but while I was in the ER/hospital during Christmas, one of my Doctors told Kevin that I just might make 6 months.  In hindsight, I was in pretty bad shape back then, so it is humbling to be here and kicking.  Don't get mad at the Doctor though ... he is a good doctor and was probably only just trying to prepare Kevin in a just in case scenario.

This past chemo treatment has been a bit different than some of the previous ones.  I didn't really have any vomiting issues this time around, but boy, I was nauseated at least once or twice a day for most of the 2 weeks.  The consistency factor here seems to be the inconsistency of it all.  I'm pretty much on or have available to me all the best nausea medicines so it's just a matter of what seems to work best for the majority of the time.  I plan on doing some acupuncture, but I'm waiting until all the kids are in school this fall and it will make planning appointments so much easier.

It's a hard game to play, trying to give me the opportunity to "live" life  with a resemblance of normalcy while treating me with chemo doses that do their job, but don't rob me of that "normalcy" factor.  We looked over my weight issue and it turns out that I weigh the same as a year ago, but of course how that weight is distributed  and consists of is totally different.  Last year I could easily run 3 miles in 30 minutes, now I can barely manage 1 mile in 20 minutes.  Trips to stores, spending time outside, activity in general sometimes lead to nausea spells in the evening.  Fortunately it's not all the time, but I have yet to figure why certain activities do and why other activities don't.

Perfect example was the evening before yesterday and the middle of the night last night.  I should be on the "good" side of chemo, but for whatever reason the nausea wanted to rear it's ugly head.  Last night, I was nauseous enough that I woke up from sleeping to go heave.

I did get something figured out though.  A little over a week ago, I had vomited some blood in the morning and my Doctors and I decided to let things be since there weren't any other symptoms occurring.  We weren't feeling the endoscopy at this time.  Fast forward to last night and I woke Kevin up (the things that he does for me) to analyze the contents of my stomach.  Blood mystery solved though... my gums were bleeding;  kind of gross, but it is really better than the alternative.

When the nausea hits, I get so frustrated and aggravated with my own body.  I want to be active and it is a proven fact that activity is good for chronically ill people.  There is of course a fine line between good activity and being over active, but I have yet to figure this out.  All the same issues that bugged me pre-cancer continue to bug me now. One being the weight issue that plagues many of us.  I would love to lose some weight, but doing this in my state is going to be much harder for me.  Before, I would use exercise and activity as my main tool, but I just can't right now.

This whole dilemma just drives me crazy and I want to wail at my own body, but on the other hand, I don't want to feed my body too much negativity because I know that it would do more harm than good... it's just one of those things that makes me say grrrrr towards myself and life in general.

Finally I will end my post with the update from my CT scan.  The CT scan shows no progression or growth of my tumors and the other stuff that shows up are things just to be aware of and to watch.  All in all, this news is good and life goes on.  I have 3 treatments this month and then I will get to take all of July off.  Will be very interesting to see what happens with the hair growth with a break of two treatments this time around.  My Doctor is such a comedian, he suggested that it just maybe time for a cut and style... NOT!

Here are some excerpts from my official medical report: (google time)


  • Chest:  No lymphadenopathy within the chest or axilla.  No suspicious pulmonary nodules.
  • Abdomen/Pelvis:  Stable mild thickening of the antrum of the stomach noted..  Small amount of omental nodularity seen anterior to the stomach at midline... measuring 8mm in size stable from prior study.  Additional omental nodule more inferiorly and slightly to the left of midline measures 1.5cm x 0.7 cm
  • There is fatty infiltration within the liver (nice huh... this is nothing new... of course I would have a "fatty" liver - this shows up in blood work as slightly elevated cholesterol.  Nothing related to the cancer)
  • Uterus is retroverted and normal in size
  • Left ovary appears normal
  • Within the right ovary there is a small enhancing focus that measures 9 mm in size suspected to represent an involuting corpus luteum given its appearance and probably intraovarian location although metastatic disease not completely excluded.  Close attention to this site recommend on follow-up examinations.
  • No new or enlarging lymph nodes within the abdomen or pelvis
  • Urinary bladder is unremarkable (love these terms... "unremarkable" - haha)


Thanks to all for visiting...

Until next time,

-Katie

28 comments:

Bobbi-Lynn said...

It sounds like you are doing quite well, all things considered, and I am glad that you are looking at things in a positive way. Your hubby sounds like quite the sweetheart!! Prayers are still being said for you...

Margie H said...

Hey, friend!
I'm liking the fact that all this is going in the right direction. As with many, I continue to think of you and send good POSITIVE thoughts your way. Love ya!!
MargieH xo

Nancy ~ Inkcicles said...

This is a good day!

:-)

Robyn said...

Hi Katie! Glad it was pretty good news from the doctor- sending hugs your way!

Meredith MacRitchie said...

Hi Katie! I haven't left a comment in a long time, but I do keep up with you, and think of you often. I can't even imagine what it must feel like to know your doctors advised your family to prepare to be without you by this point - and know that you defied that. You are clearly a fighter - and one strong woman!!

Susan said...

Thank you, once again, for sharing your journey. You are ever in my thoughts and prayers. I have followed your journey and draw strength from your strength. Yesterday I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer (it's one of those that you would pick if you have to pick a cancer, or so they say - LOL). So thank you for the help and inspiration as I begin my own journey.

Bernadette said...

"Unremarkable" is good. LOL. A mom (who happens to be a doctor)from my kids' school was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years back. She did some research and found that zinc is good for nausea. She swears it worked for her while she was undergoing chemo. You may want to ask your doctor about it.

Joan B said...

congrats on a decent ct scan report. i hope july is fabulous. you and your body deserve a break! thanks for sharing with us.

Saskia said...

Katie,

You're always in my thoughts!! :)

Sweet greetings, Saskia

Gina said...

Nice one Katie!! Does anyone have a cycling machine you could borrow and try out. That might help with the need for exercise(in small doses) without over exerting your system. You could just do a bit each time you looked at it, no "mile a minute" targets or anything, just enough to help pump your blood around a bit more :D
As for doctors...when I was in 2 years ago they phoned my hubby in the night to ask if I'd want the last rites,just in case!!! They forgot to ask me. All because I refused pain killers. They assumed I couldn't feel anything, I could, I just didn't want or need them. (still haven't lost any weight though haha!)
Lots of love :D XXX

cbuswell said...

Glad things are going ok. I think of you often. Happy to hear you're going to give acupuncture a go, I hope it helps with some symptoms. 'bladder is unremarkable'... that is funny! : )

Ted said...

Six months, eh? I guess it's a good thing that God doesn't seek doctors' counsel. Wish it was the other way around, frankly. Sounds like mostly good news with the CT scan, praise God. You remain in my daily prayers, Katie. Continue to fight the good fight, dear.

Lori said...

Katie,
Sounds like things are going in the right direction for you. Congrats on the 6month mark (Grr to that doctor!)
:)
I'm so sorry about the nausea. That has got to be so hard to deal with. Keep doing what you're doing and know that so many people out here are thinking of you and wishing you nothing but the best!
Looking forward to July for you! :)

Katy Clark said...

My pastor's wife just got finished with chemo for colon cancer. She used those accupressure wrist bands used to treat sea sickness to help control her nausea. She said it really helped her. You might have tried this already but just in case you haven't.......

Praising God for your "unremarkables"!!!!

Grandma Nancy said...

Keeping you in my prayers and sending positive energy to keep on doing what you're doing. You're doing a good job! I am sure this is an insanely difficult thing to go through and hopefully all our love, prayers and positive vibes are helping you!!

Cassie said...

I agree with Nancy, this is a good day :)

IamDerby said...

Overall this seems like pretty good news? I think of you everyday. I hope you are able to have more of the normal you crave.

Whimcees said...

Hi Katie!

I thank God every day that you are continuing to do well and be with your family at home! Your bravery and willingness to do whatever is asked of you is inspiring. You are always in my prayers. Stay strong!

Wishing you a happy day! One mile in 20 minutes is great! :<)

Hugs,

Barbara Diane

Joanna said...

Hey Katie,
Oh for unremarkable. What a nice word, right? Those acupuncture wrist bands might be good (re: previous comment) -- my sister's daughter gets car sick and she wears them. They help.

Hang in there. It was nice to catch up last night.

Donna C said...

Katie, I am so glad that the horrible chemo is doing its job. "Unremarkable", "normal" are wonderful words. I hope that you continue to do well, and, of course, I hope that the nausea meds work better. I hope that you find happiness and joy in your days.

Kathy Mc said...

Katie, I faithfully follow your blog but seldom comment. However, yesterday's posting is a BIG one. I'm not in the medical field so can't really analyze the report but it sounds great to me…all things considered. You've beat a milestone by surpassing the 6-month mark. Hang in there as you continue fighting this nasty disease! You remain in my thoughts and prayers.

Kathy said...

Katie, so glad your days aren't all about hanging your head in the commode! I read your post and realized my own weight issues are not helped when I have a negative view of myself. Thank you for sharing your personal thoughts. I'm praising God that you're living past your dr.'s original prognosis! And what a praise that as bad as the chemo is, it is working!!!!! Yay!
blessings and prayers,
Kathy

Sue from Oregon said...

This sounds like a good report Katie. So sorry you are suffering with an upset tummy all the time though. You would hope with all these "wonder" drugs, something would help!

jackib said...

I think of you so often, Katie, as do many of us, wishing there were something we could do to help - cure your nausea, wish the cancer away, give you physical strength - but we can just continue to pray and hope and send positive thoughts your way. Be strong, girl - it will all be worth it!

Nana Diana said...

Hi Katie,

I just found your blog and I want to let you know that you will be in my prayers!! You are an inspiration I am sure to many people and I am amazed and humbled to think that you take the time and make the effort to give us some insight into your difficult journey!! May God be with you and be all that you need.

Prayers and Blessings,
Diana

Cricket said...

Hi Katie, just checking in to see how you are doing. Glad that you get to take July off from chemo.

Keep that positive attitude - it truly helps.

God bless you and keep you!

Cricket

Chef Mama Lori said...

Hey Katie! Your bladder may be unremarkable, but you are remarkable! You can run a mile? Dang, lady, I can't do that & I have no chemo to blame! I'm so proud of you for wanting to be so proactive. That (the mind work) is a huge part of the battle. I'm also thrilled that your report does not show new growth or growth of current tumors. What were the measurements of the nodules pre-chemo? I am just so glad they are doing these tests to be sure the chemo is working. Now that it's not growing we just need to get that chemo to kick some tumor booty! ;)

I'm really glad you get to take off in July. We'll be looking forward to pictures of your new "do." :)

Anonymous said...

Prayers for you!
Barbara from Ct

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