Option 3

I don’t even know where to start with this update. Let me get to the medical details first and go from there. Saw Dr. Benigno a couple of weeks ago for my regular monthly appointment. He continues to be pleased. We talked about my pain level lately and I asked about getting out of treatment some day. He said “you know, I don’t even know that those shadows on your scan are cancer – you might be doing this for nothing… BUT if I take you off, and it IS cancer, then it can get worse.” In the end, his ideal plan for me is some treatment that is less invasive, not so hard on my body, but alas, that hasn’t been developed yet. But he is confident, with the way research is moving these days, it won’t be long. How long is that? Yeah, no idea. But it seems clear that I’m on this protocol for the foreseeable future, until something better comes along. Or, as I keep reminding myself, until I have a couple of completely clean scans. Speaking of which, scans every 6 months now since my number is consistently in the 9-11 range. So the next one will be September. 

So once again, I don’t want to feel or sound ungrateful for where I am. I am coming up on 3 years with late stage ovarian cancer, and I am stable. I am living with cancer, not dying from it. THAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. And I would MUCH RATHER have pain and other side effects than to be dying of cancer. However, I would really like a 3rd option. I think it’s time for my 3rd option. You know, the one where I can just live a completely normal life again. Well maybe not normal, but normal for a survivor. 

June kicked my ass y’all. It was filled with things like graduation and graduation parties, college orientation, college move-in, and we also moved our office home – the house is empty, we have the space, and we need to do this for a while to get things rolling. When we move back into an office, it will be to accommodate a bigger business with an employee or two. Anyway, here’s what I learned. I have a LOT of pain, still, mostly in my feet, and in my lower back. And I am so so tired. BUT, I have a lot more energy than I had 6 months ago and am feeling more and more like myself. I did see a rheumatologist last week to talk about my Harry Potter curse (see last blog), and she ran a lot of tests and took some X-rays of my feet, so I’ll be anxious to see what comes back from that later this month. 

In the meantime, I am trying to move more, in spite of my pain, in order to try to regain some semblance of my normal old life. We’ll see. Maybe I’m supposed to just accept this is my life now. What if there isn’t an Option 3? Then I guess I just learn to live with the pain and side effects and remind myself that I’m one of the blessed/lucky ones because I am living with cancer and not dying from it. Yay. I’m living with cancer. yay. 
 

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4 thoughts on “Option 3

  1. Dearest Ann,

    While no one can appreciate the difficulties, pain and anguish of your journey, I am unceasingly impressed with your courage. You have been dealt a really tough hand but you’re making the most of it. Keep that great attitude…it’s hugely important to your survival and to those who love and rely on you.

    I keep you in my most positive energy.

    Donna

    Donna C. Burchfield 859 Springdale Road, NE Atlanta, GA 30306 Donnacburchfield@gmail.com 404-514-8648

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  2. Ann – I love reading about your life and your journey and am so proud to call you my friend! As a wife, sister and friend of those who have been dealt this hand, I can’t say I know what you’re going through but I’m pretty damned close. The uncertainty of it all can be daunting but like you said, you are LIVING with cancer, not dying of it! Working here at Emory has also given me a totally different view and I’m just going to be totally honest and say it…YOU’RE ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES! I know you don’t feel that way a lot of the times when everything hurts and when you seem to hit that wall, but believe me, you are. Every single day I walk into work and see people, a lot of very young people, just starting on their cancer journey and I truly feel for them. I sometimes see them again and they have had terrible complications and the outcome was not what they or their loved ones had hoped for so come people’s cards are just a very cruel game.
    I hope you have a ton of “good” days and keep up that fantastic attitude because it is CRUCIAL to your survival !!
    Love you and hope to see you soon!!
    Sandy

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  3. Hi Ann, Winning is all about the living and you are living your life with attitude, humor, courage and love. Lots of other stuff too! Chronic never ending pain can suck everything right out of a person and tire you even if nothing else is happening. Rest when you can and keep feeding your soul!πŸ’•πŸ™πŸ»

    Liked by 1 person

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