Today was my visit to Walter Reed for another infusion and appointment to meet with an oncologist, Dr. Gallagher, who is the attending physician for the doctor I have been under since January. Tim and I met with him for over an hour with many questions that ranged from how long am I suppose to continue these infusions to what can expect my recurrence risk to be? My other doctor had recommended infusions through April 2010, but as I suspected that is not correct and I will be finished in mid December. Yeah! My other doctor had also recommended I have my port removed due to the clotting risks associated with the oral chemo therapy I will be going on for the next 5 years, and this doctor said I do not have to have the port removed. I was very relieved to hear that since I have another 9 infusions to go and would have otherwise had to have a new IV started each time. Chemo therapy has thrown me into premature menopause, “chemopause”, as they call it. Along with that comes some uncomfortable side effects like waking during the night with sweating, and hot flashes all hours of the day. We discussed some natural remedies I can take to alleviate that, thank goodness! So it was a positive day and I was happy to get a second opinion on some of the treatment recommendations. Prognosis is very good, and by following the plan of starving off cancer cells for the next 5 years, I have a 86% chance over ten years that I will remain cancer free.
I have cut my fingernails extremely short now, and they are gradually growing out along with the rotting parts. The doctor said it takes about 3 or 4 months before the toxic chemo drugs leave my system so it will still be some time before the nails and hair grow at a normal pace. Right now is it soooo slow! My hair is back to the length of a fuzzy – marine style cut. (So, as you might guess, this is NOT my real hair here!) After my infusion 3 weeks ago I had headaches for 5 days and extreme fatigue the day following so I am hoping those symptoms won’t return this week.
While driving to the hospital today I changed the news radio station to a Christian music station and this song(below) came on the radio. Its words were just what I needed today, since each and every time I go to the hospital now I get a sick feeling in my stomach. (Once again someone is watching over me, putting just the right people and even songs in my path to light my way!) I start to tear up in my eyes at the thought of yet another day there in the ward. It is not a happy place to go to as so many sick and injured people are there, and now that I feel so good I just don’t “belong”. Yet my hope endures!! Hope is much more than optimism, as the song says.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now FAITH is the substance of things HOPED for, the evidence of things unseen