It’s been quite a few weeks since my last public update. For those who have been on this journey, I suspect you can relate when I describe our journey having several personalities. Sometimes it feels like we are riding a roller coaster, sometimes we’re using cruise control, sometimes we hover in a holding pattern. I would say these last few weeks have been a little of each.
Dialing back to 7 weeks ago, HP wrote to family:
“The Brain MRI provided some great news. Apparently the pills are working. The doctor said that there are no new lesions. Some lesions are completely gone. None are growing. Some are shrinking. Amazingly good news. I feel very lucky and grateful.
My blood work was great. Still don’t have the EKG report. They did X-rays today as the doctor was concerned about a cough I have and hoarseness. She didn’t think it will be a problem but thought it is good to just check.
I told the doctor about all my side effects, and most can be attributed to my pill. She thinks that eventually they will dissipate. Anyhow I will put up with anything as long as the pill is working.
Judi and I are thrilled with the news and feel so blessed right now.”
dialing back to the first week in February, HP wrote to family:
“I had blood work and a PET scan on Wednesday and then saw my Oncologist and had a Zometa infusion on Thursday.
First the good news: the new pill is not only working on decreasing the cancer lesions on the brain. The PET scan showed that the lung tumor is shrinking; the areas of the bone metastases are actually healing, and no new signs of any metastases. Amazing!
BUT…..the PET scan also showed inflammation in both lungs. It is causing me to have problems breathing. The doctor said it could be something caused by the Opdivio I took before I started getting treatment in Houston, or it could be caused by the Tagrisso – the drug that is warding off the cancer. My doctor is very concerned and has told me to stop taking the Tagrisso until they figure out the reason for the inflammation. The doctor said the inflammation could cause serious, long-lasting problems. I will start taking prednisone today and they are setting up an appointment to see a lung specialist next week.
I’m very worried again. Not happy I have to stop taking this miracle pill. Here is something that is making me better and I have to stop. 😢 The doctor will not know if i can take it again until I see the lung doctor and the steroid has done its job.
I’m really hoping i can start back up with Tagrisso. Or something just as good. But who knows? Don’t know if the doctors will have more tests for me. I’m in limbo!”
As I re-read our family updates written in January and February, I am re-experiencing the feelings we felt in real time. January, in hindsight, was the cruise control part of the journey. Early February, in hindsight, we hopped back into the roller coaster car.
Today, we happily observe HP’s lung inflammation has been resolved by prednisone. His breathing is normal. It is a very welcomed relief. And, talk about energy levels! His appetite is tremendous. HP continues to feel great with enough energy to run circles around most of us. There are not adequate words to describe my happiness that comes from HP feeling great. Today, we hover in a holding pattern.
It took us a bit of time to process the news from February’s visit. That included moments of sadness and anxiety, followed by meditation and just simply enjoying our time together. Inner peace has returned as long as we stay in this moment.
Today is a new day. This week is a new week. Test results are available online and, this week, we await a phone conference with the oncologist to put it all together for us.
We send all of you, our travel companions, bushels and bushels of love. As I write this for you and me, may we remember ebb and flow are very real. Each will continue to visit. When in ebb, I forget flow. Simply said, I cant see her, even when I am consciously, deliberately looking for her.
It’s hard to see when on a roller coaster. Everything is a blur. Until the roller coaster car comes to a stop. That’s when I shake my head, blink my eyes a few times, and then realize Flow never left my side. And, hand-in-hand with Flow, inner peace cautiously tiptoes back into my sights. And, then I can write again.