Miss Judy has three-and-a-half rounds of chemo under her belt (or I should say ‘below the belt’—man those life-saving chemicals are a bitch).
Time for testing!
The tell that he had good news was when her UCSF oncologist was startlingly positive, to the point Judy didn’t realize how doom and gloom he was during their previous visits—who knows what a person’s baseline is, aye?
The tumors have stopped spreading! This is huge. And while the current configuration isn’t much improved, this is a better result than her oncologist anticipated.
Other positive news is that her bilirubin (her liver enzyme that describe the health of her hepatic system) looks great. Judy will still need to have the stents in her bile duct replaced every 3 months-or-so—her next procedure is right around the corner.
There’s no question that the chemo has taken its toll on Judy physically, but her spirit remains ebullient and lovely. Adjustments in her medication to treat the symptoms of the cancer itself and side-effects of the drugs are returning positive results, and she is feeling much better. (Far less vomitous!) She’s even drawing again!
All-in-all she is coping fairly well, especially given the circumstances. There are lows, of course, but Judy maintains her pragmatic viewpoint of the situation.
And now, far better in her own words…
Isn’t it nice to get some good news?
I have another heartening tidbit—a preliminary blood test shows that my cancer probably has the DNA marker that will make me eligible for a trial immunology-therapy treatment when chemo stops working. Immunology-therapy is the next big leap in cancer treatment. My cancer is so rare the only approved treatment is the somewhat “catch-all” chemo I’m receiving, and it is only effective for 40% of patients at that. Any additional treatment will be via trials.
A support group for women with metastatic cancer that I recently joined is really helping me feel not so alone in this. All the folks have great tips and tricks for getting through it all. It’s also facilitating me in accepting that I have a terminal illness. Because, although I’ve been sick since October, it’s been hard for me to accept that this is really happening. Overall, the group is assisting me to become more grounded and centered.
The fact that the chemo is working is really positive. Now, I’ll go through another 3 rounds of treatment and then get tested again.