Friday, July 11, 2014

CT Scans #7, Update

     It's been four months since my last set of CT scans. Although there are times when I seem to suddenly run out of energy, for the most part, I have
Just a nice photo from San Juan Island, WA
been feeling pretty well. 
I'd like to think that the way I feel is some indication of how I'm doing on the inside.  Most times I'm able to reassure myself that Xalkori, (my miraculous chemotherapy pill,) is still working because I don't feel sick.  However, every once in a while, what creeps into my mind is the fact that in the weeks and months leading up to the discovery of my cancer, I was feeling fine, too. 

     Around the time of my last scans I was experiencing some significant fatigue.  My work days were especially challenging.  I was so exhausted by the time I got home, I'd need a nap before dinner and was asleep for the night long before Jimmy Fallon.  My oncologist suggested that I back off of my workout routine, which at the time wasn't a problem, since I was so tired. He reminded me that fighting the constant cancer battle requires a lot of energy.  That lasted through mid-May.  

     My energy level has gotten better since then, but I've significantly reduced the intensity and frequency of my workouts.  Being relatively fit before I was diagnosed, getting in regular workouts and trying to stay strong made me feel better equipped to do battle.  So, it felt a little like a defeat when I admitted to myself that I needed to scale back my exercise routine to preserve my energy for the long game.  Plus, it makes me sad to pass up opportunities to bike with Wynn and our friends, decline invitations and miss events. (BTW:  The amount of energy I spend trying to overcome the physical challenges of cancer pales in comparison to the energy I spend trying to win the 'head game' of cancer.)

     For most of my adult life I've been a busy person.  I love being with family and friends, entertaining and being entertained. My job and the active lifestyle I share with Wynn have been an unconscious way of living for us.  It's how we've always been.  But, perhaps, we have been too busy...also unconsciously.  Cancer has made us re-think this, so lately we've been trying not to over-schedule ourselves.  I've had to reconcile that I'm not able to do everything I want to do and that re-balancing my life will need to be a more conscious and deliberate act, which is probably not a bad thing...even if I didn't have cancer.

Siberian irises in my garden. 
     Yesterday I had more surveillance CT scans of my chest, abdomen and pelvis.  I received the following in an email from my oncologist:
"Great News!  There is no significant change from the previous scan in March and the serum tumor markers all look stable.  So overall the findings are favorable so we will definitely continue the Xalkori."

     Unlike past CT scans, I didn't worry so much or lose sleep the night before the appointment.  I'm guessing that's because I've gained more confidence that, at least for now, I'm doing OK.   


Bob said...

Just catching up the last few months. You're so eloquent.
It sounds like you're achieving a very agreeable equilibrium between fear and optimism, urgency and normal, and balancing energy expenditures.
Nice scans!! Rock on.

Yurie Lorange said...

Great to hear that Luna!!
- Yurie

Anonymous said...

My Special Friend, Luna, it is with great joy that I read your blog and share with you your ups and downs of living with cancer. It is not a pleasant diagnosis to have for you or the people that love you. It is wonderful that you and Wynn are able to reflect on your lifestyle choices and maybe make a change or two. People don't often have that opportunity. I love you!!! Kathy in Omaha