Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Scan Results

The scan results are the same as April.  No change.  The same.  Good news he said. Then why am I feeling so what?  I don't know.  

This morning as we drove to the doctor's Mary was tired from not sleeping, I was hyper.  I could have sat in a corner by myself and talked nonstop going faster and faster until even dogs could not hear me.  I really tried to control it, but I know that I drove Mary a little insane. 

Ok, here is one reason I am feeling, anxious? disappointed? depressed? umm no those aren't quite right?  I had the first CTscan in April.  I had had many chest X-rays and each time they were the same, no change.  So it is not like the chemo is holding this disease at bay.  

The cancer is not spreading.  My lungs are not filling with fluid.  But the fluid had not increased from April until they aspirated the fluid, around 400 cc, from my pleural/lung area.  So the fact that the fluid has not returned does not necessarily mean much to me.  I mean other then comfort.  I can breathe so much better and I am not having the severe pain from the pleurisy.  Mary pointed these out to me.  She is right, I am so much better in those ways.  I can walk and do more physical things now then before they pulled the fluid off.  It is hard to remember that when I am dealing with the side effects of the chemo.  

So yes, today was good news, and Dr. B was pleasant and didn't look so shocked and scared of us, so that was good.  And I had questions and I asked them and Dr. B answered them.  He looked so much more comfortable with us.  It was a good visit, and a visit that did not end in chemo.  That is good.  I will get to celebrate my birthday no worse then I am now.  That is good.  I might even be a little better maybe a little stronger.  Dr. B was very open to a second opinion and said that he would call Archibald for an appointment for me for.  We left on some of the best terms that we have had.

Why am I not happier?  Did I really subconsciously think it would be gone?  Did I think I was healed?  I know that I had hope that things would be better, that somehow this would not be incurable.  I know I hoped for that.  I just didn't think that I had set my heart to that so hard.  I have incurable cancer.  It is not getting worse, it is not getting better.  It is not spreading, I am not in pain or discomfort or have any problems because of it.  I am not sick.  I don't get nauseous except for a day or two on the chemo and that is controlled with a single pill.  This is all good.  I feel healthy, strong.  Alive.  I am alive.  There is no reason to think that I will not be alive for years to come.  

Now I rest.  No chemo to wear out my body for a little while now.  This is good news.  I was set for the chemo today.  It is the pattern that I have set in my life for the last several months.  I know it, I am used to it.  I was getting used to the side effects.  I felt strong that I could handle it.  But not having to deal with the chemo is definitely preferable.  And with my birthday just two days away and maybe having friends coming through town during that time, and the St. Marks Monarch Butterfly Festival on Saturday and a St. Andrews party not to mention baby Colin's birthday party, well this is a big weekend and will be much more enjoyable without the struggles with chemo.  I might even be able to do most of these things.  This is all good.  

So again, why don't I feel better?  I know more today about my little "c" then I did before, or I should say that what I knew before has been reinforced.  And that news changes this from a ferocious cancer to once again my little "c", the wimpy, slow moving cancer.  

Each time I learn more about my disease I have to process it.  Sometimes that takes minutes, other times days or even weeks as I roll it around my brain.  I am sure as I work through this I will realize how good the news today was.  Mary and Judy understand.  That is 2/3rds of us.  

And we had a wonderful celebration morning to replace the chemo.  And before the Doc came in we talked and laughed and had our usual good time.  Then we talked with the doctor and we all felt like it went well.  From there to Broken eggs for mimosas and delicious food.  More laughter.  Then to Goodwill where the tags on the clothes spoke of high dollar and Goodwill did too.  Mary had found this lovely silk dress with velvet that fit me and a couple of shirts.  I put the skirts and sweaters back, they were lovely, but the prices were too high for me.  Each of us got something.  Then Mary and I went to Lily's Publix, where shopping is a pleasure.  A lovely morning.

I have lived with an incurable disease already.   For 25 years I have lived with an incurable disease in my liver and I live an active, happy life.  Busier then most, strong and healthy.  So now I have an incurable disease on my lungs and bones.  Is that how it is going to be with me?  Will I just keep getting incurable diseases until there is no more room for incurable?  Well, we all will have our bodies die in this world sometime.  That is how it goes. You are born, you live your life, or not, and then you die.  It is not that you live and die, it is how you live your life.  It is not the beginning or the end of the journey, it is the journey itself.  I have said this over and over, and many people have said the same thing.  They know too.  

So I shall live my life.  I will take this journey and try to notice as many moments as possible.  I am strong, I am healthy, I am alive.  I am alive and I plan to be this way for, well, I don't know that anymore then anyone else, but I do know, the doc gave us good news. 

I am alive
good news


  1. Yep. Good news. And I have never in my life met anyone who lived her life to the fullest better than you. You are aware of every moment, every gift of that moment. That's one of the many things you have taught and are teaching me.
    You didn't drive me insane at all this morning. You may have thought you were being manic, but you weren't. You were perfect.

  2. Today is a good day. Re-read your fifth paragraph and please just take it one day at a time.

  3. I'm glad you get a break from the chemo.

  4. How should you feel? Such a question posed as your life has been following a course of treatment for these many months. Perhaps the digesting of all you have been through, then to not have chemo (so happy you have a break for your birthday!), well it was a shift from the pattern you have had Kathleen.

    Pick a wish you have and try to fulfill it...not because of your incurable cancer dear lady but because you deserve a treat...a hug is going your way...right now!

  5. Sometime you just live with a disease. It seems you are already used to this concept. So now you live with this one.

    I think Ellen has it right. This is why you feel disjointed. And I also think you should follow her advise about the wish.

  6. I can imagine unease because you know that the "c" is still there, albeit not changed. That is a good thing to not have it be changed as in bigger, more of it, etc. But it is still there which would make me wonder what the cells are doing. I too am glad that you didn't have chemo and that you are getting a second opinion. I feel really good about that. So considering that your birthday is coming up, I think that it's good news that there is no change. Status quo isn't so bad when it comes to "c".

  7. Of course you have hope -- we all must have that. More than anything else, I think that must be.

    Glad that the day had so many good parts to it.

  8. Thank you for the good news this morning. You and Ms. Moon and Judy are remarkable. You inspire. I too, immersed in paragraph 5, and in your last two lines.

    Blessings, Dear One. I am filled with awe. Your grace is impeccable.

  9. just always a wow from me Kathleen.
    enjoy your birthday .
    let this good new settle in to your core.

  10. just seen photos of your lovely birthday party posted by Ms looked both look fab in that're so lucky to have family and friends around, it makes me so homesick for my own!

    I don't really know a lot about it but it seems like you and Ms Moon have a great friendship going there...

    Have a nice time with the sounds intriguing...hope you get another chemo free day soon...