Friday, June 25, 2010


I seem to have gotten the wrong message - our meeting at Sunnybrook yesterday was not with the surgeon - I appear to have had my one and only session with him two weeks ago. Instead, I met with an anesthetist to go over my file, have multiple tests run, to make sure that I am ready for surgery, physically. Blood was drawn, X-rays of my chest taken, EKG measured. My CA 125 has risen to 400, which was not good news, but overall I seem good to go. Monday, when I meet with my oncologist at Princess Margaret, I'll have a chance to get some answers to my questions, but I must prepare well so that I get the most out of my 5 or 10 minutes with her.

I am keeping busy with gardening, work around the house and visits from friends. Eric has a bad cold, and is keeping away from me, wearing a mask and trying to get well fast. This is his second since his arrival in March - not much fun! Ranger has found a new place to drink - the bird bath - and he sends out the message that he is thirsty if I let it dry up by lying in it. What must the birds think??

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chemo 5

Yesterday I got the unsettling news that my surgery was going to be postponed for an additional 2 weeks, which felt like a postponement of convenience vs the best plan for my treatment. I panicked about running through my chemos too fast, not having enough for post surgery. I still don't understand how the maximum number of treatments is arrived at, and if I sound like I am babbling, it is because I am confused.

Anyhow... This morning we were wakened at 7:30 with the good news that someone had cancelled their surgery, and that my operation would go forward as previously thought, on July 8th. This is a wonderful way to start the day, and all the questions of yesterday have just become moot.

This 5th round of chemo, begun last Friday, is going well. I have been less uncomfortable and more focused and energetic for days 4 and 5, that are typically my bad days. Wednesday, day 6 is not great, but I am pretty sure that by tomorrow I'll be back up and running once again. I don't know if an easy chemo means that the chemicals are not working, or if the cancer is on the run???? Or is the iron that I am taking in preparation for surgery giving me more energy? Maybe it doesn't matter - my oncologist says feeling good means doing well, period!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Surgery Alert!

Eric came back from Montreal last night, and we all went to a very satisfactory meeting with my new surgeon this morning. Sunnybrook is a brighter, more relaxed hospital than Princess Margaret, but the parking is super expensive. I was so impressed with the amount of quality time that I was given with Dr C. He was well-versed with my case, and his direct, clear assessment of my options made it an easy decision to opt for surgical intervention over just chemotherapy. On July 8 he will remove my uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. He will also take out anything else that looks suspect, most probably the omentum, and he says that the cancer has shrunken significantly since the beginning of my chemo. I am feeling very relieved to have a consensus for having surgery and to know where I am going in all this.

This week I have been healthy and energetic, and I will try to hold this feeling in my head for the bad week of chemo coming up very soon. I will have round 5 on Friday at Princess Margaret, and will begin taking an iron supplement in preparation for my surgery next month. Miriam will be arriving for a few days on Friday night - poor thing, she seems to be here for my worst days...

The weather is disagreeably cold and wet - fine weather for going through my closet and getting rid of things that I haven't worn in years. I'll be dropping off bags of clothes and household items to the nearest women's shelter tomorrow.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Checking In

It's been a while since I last wrote, but nothing has changed on the health front, except that this week three is fantastic. I feel almost like I have not had chemo. Except for a bit of tingle and numbness in my feet and legs, and general weakness, I am fighting fit. The weather has been sun and rain for the past three days, and this has been good for the garden. We've been eating at the picnic table as much as possible, and the rest of the time are enjoying the sunroom, from which we can watch the squirrels in the back yard.

Work continues with the house, and we have furnished two new sleeping areas. The downstairs is now comfortable - just in time for my next treatment. Wednesday will be my appointment with a surgeon for a second opinion. If he convinces me that surgery will be a good option, then that will be my summer. If he convinces me that chemo is the way to go, then I will have my 5th chemo on Friday. It looks like a lose-lose situation, but hopefully I will end up with the best treatment available.

A friend who is through with her chemo, though not quite finished with her treatment, brought me some new caps for the summer and a red wig, which I wore today to JP's choir concert. He left the house before me, and didn't know that I would be wearing it, and couldn't find me in the church audience. It was funny to see him scan the crowd and move right over me time after time. We did find each other during the intermission! The concert was inspiring, and I got to catch up with some good friends who were there to cheer my man on.

So another 5 fantastic days - I'll post again after my appointment Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Second Opinion

At the end of last week I heard back from my wonderful Minnesota friend, who had shown my file to his colleague, a specialist for my kind of cancer. He reported back that he felt that, without hesitation, surgery was my best option at this time. Needless to say, this new information filled my weekend with confusion, and not a little bit of anxiety. After consultation with more of my medical friends, I went to my scheduled oncologist appointment yesterday, and was pleased, and relieved, to learn that she was a fan of debulking (but went by her surgeons' recommendations), and so suggested a second Toronto opinion with an aggressive surgeon at Sunnybrook Hospital. I am waiting now to hear if she has been successful in getting me a quick appointment - it is important that I have this second opinion before my next chemo in a week's time, as there are only limited numbers that I can have, and I must be able to have some after surgery.

Once again, it feels weird to be hoping for invasive abdominal surgery, but my doctor says that chemo alone will not eliminate the cancer.

I am at day 14 in this 4th cycle, and I am feeling just great. We are trying to sort out the house - today I will hang curtains in the sun room and try to get rid of some free funiture on Craig's List.

My New Boubou

My New Boubou
Boubou with handy pocket

Getting better

Getting better
Wilson and Me

Due to Popular Demand

Due to Popular Demand
I'm a Redhead

I still love my chemotherapy

I still love my chemotherapy
Who needs hair anyway?

I love my chemotherapy

I love my chemotherapy
walking to Princess Margaret