To borrow from Stevie Wonder,
“For once in my life, I’m moving slow,
Something that I’ve never done before!
For once, I can say I’m not speedy
Because that will keep the chemo away”
It appears that I must learn patience and trust longer than I ever thought I could last. After the results of my last CT scan mid-January which showed some ‘disease progression’, a few more nodes and a small area in my left abdominal wall; I was ready to start chemo. Again. It was time! I’ve said this before. I was done with the waiting, the ticking time bomb inside of me, and the passivity of it all……not fighting.
I saw a GYN Oncologist, Dr. Tinker who works at the main BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver. She specializes in ovarian cancer. I saw her in late October, to see if I qualified for a new drug trial. I was excited about that – PARP Inhibitors using DNA to target the cancer caused by certain genes. I didn’t qualify because my tumours were too small! A blessing to be sure. I asked if I could see her again to see what her thoughts were about starting treatment. She concurred with Sasha that until my side effects (more pain, enlarged tumours) are worse and a scan shows more cancer there is no point in rushing the next round of chemo. This is difficult to comprehend, but studies have shown that “early treatment doesn’t affect the outcome” or in other words…….; well, actually I don’t really understand it. No one knows how long I will remain in the slow lane – I just have to keep myself from going crazy with worry and accept the “here and now”. This is a favourite phrase that Jon Kabit-Zinn uses in his mindfulness meditations.
I see Dr. Tinker again on May 14. I have a new list of questions. My latest CA125 is 200. Up 20 over 5 weeks. Still slow. My supraclavicular nodes are noticeably bigger and cause some pain, especially at night. Since I started writing this 2 weeks or so ago, they’ve gone down a bit. Inflammation?
Tragically, my friend Val Forward passed away on January 31. Val was diagnosed about a year before me, same cancer, same stage. She had a terrible time with most chemo drugs and didn’t get a single break after 1 year of remission. She was so kind and helpful to me when I was diagnosed. Val guided me through those first scary months. We even had the same surgeon which simply delighted Val! I don’t know why I have had better luck. I asked Dr. Tinker why. She knew Val and she doesn’t know why. Cancer is still such a mystery and such a scary, scary disease.
I visited my friend, Adele Engel in Panorama, BC recently to get re-charged, spend some time under her John of God crystals and learn how to brew Chaga and Reishi mushroom tea. I like it. It tastes a little woodsy but quite pleasant. Lemon or ginger is also good with it. 2 cups a day brewed in a slow cooker. I am so grateful for Adele – her knowledge, passion and intuition have been a huge reason I am still relatively well.
People also wonder what the hell I do with my days since I’m not working! I am just looking after myself – drinking Adele’s Essential Nutrition first thing in the morning with coconut oil, reishi and turkey tail powder, cinnamon, Nutracleanse, frozen strawberries, unsweetened almond milk and coconut water. It’s delicious. I still enjoy 1 cup of really good coffee with a small amount of organic frothed milk. Then I will take Sophie for a good walk in the woods here in Whistler or by English Bay in Vancouver. Lunch – thank you Roland, yoga class in the afternoon 3 or 4 times a week. I have to drink my 2 cups of Chaga/Reishi tea during the day and then at least one large, cold green tea and chlorophyll with organic lime juice. Also delicious! That’s a lot of drinking during the day and I have to do all of that in time for the evening wine service, which I have not given up! Dinner – thank you Roland!
I know a lot of you have been checking my blog for an update. Thank you everyone for all of your support and concern.