Friday, May 01, 2015

Happy Spring!

Wow, it's been a long time since I posted. I have been swamped at work lately, but nothing has really changed, in either a good or a bad way. My last MRI & CT scan (at the end of January) showed good news--the brain MRI was still all clear! And Dana Farber was "thrilled" with the results of the CT scan.

I have my next MRI and CT scan tomorrow, and I feel really good about it. My body just somehow knows when to be worried and when not to be, and I am not at all worried about either test. Woohoo! So it's nice to be back in MA with family and be able to have fun with my adorable niece :)

Tomorrow night I am going to the "Sarah's Shining Stars" fundraiser for the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. My sister is the team leader for our team and it should be fund. I am also planning on attending the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance annual conference in July. It will be in San Diego and I am really looking forward to it! It will be good for me to connect with survivors from around the country. San Diego here I come!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ovarian Cancer Sucks

Wow, it's been a long time since I updated this blog.  Whoops. I have had a lot going on with my cancer.  I ended up needing stereotactic brain radiation, which I got in early August.  It was awful having to wear a mask and lay on a metal table with no cushioning for 2 hours, but I got it done in one session! Yay for me. I had a follow up MRI in late October and got the all clear.  4 of the 5 spots were totally gone, and the 5th spot had shrunk significantly.  It may never totally go away, as it might just be dead tissue, but as long as it doesn't get any bigger, the radiation oncologist will be satisfied.

In other news, I had to change my chemotherapy regime in late September.  Taxol as a single agent was no longer working for me.  I am now getting Carboplatin and Gemzar, and holy hell, it has been rough.  Extreme nausea, an ER visit due to a bloody nose, serious bone pain from the Neulasta shot you get, blood and platelet transfusions, leg swelling, etc.  However, the most important thing is IT'S WORKING!!! My CA125 is the lowest it has been since this all started.  I have 2 more cycles left and then a follow up CT scan at Dana Farber to discuss next steps.

After all this, I am so happy it's almost Christmas and I can fly home to Massachusetts and celebrate with family.  Tis the season!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Praying for No Radiation

So, I had my follow up radiation oncology appointment on June 3. My MRI was actually extremely inconclusive, and nobody, including the tumor board, could determine whether or not the possible lesions (which were only able to be seen on one of the images the MRI took) were actually disease or not.  The decision was made to hold off on radiation and stop the Avastin for a month and then do another MRI.  Avastin has been known to "cloud" images on MRI pictures of people with brain tumors, so the thought is perhaps that is what my Avastin is doing too.   

I am having the follow up MRI here in DC on July 2nd.  Depending on what the images show, I may or may not need radiation.  I am praying that it is nothing, but if I do need radiation, everyone has assured me that it is not a big deal, the procedure is very easy, and I will handle it very well.  Sigh. It's just one thing after another.  When will this all be over??????

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A New Bump in the Road

I flew home to Boston last Thursday for appointments at Dana Farber. My CT scan was Saturday, which went very smoothly.  I had an appointment at 8:30 am on Tuesday with my gynecological oncologist to go over the results . She was very pleased with how treatment was working, my CA125 tumor marker was down to 18 (normal is 35 or less), and the lesions on my liver are continuously shrinking.  She asked me about any problems with side effects, so I mentioned how my sinus headaches were getting worse wiht the Avastin.

So, she ordered a head CT scan for the same day, which I had. It takes less then 5 minutes. My mother was with me for the appointment, so once the CT scan was over we headed back home.  Less than 10 minutes later, I got a call from Dana Farber. They saw a lesion on my right frontal lobe so I needed to get an MRI THAT DAY (their emphasis, not mine).  They got me in for an MRI that afternoon, and made an appointment for yesterday at 9:30 am.

So yesterday, I got the news that I had two "tiny" lesions on my brain and now need 10 days of radiation. Super. I now have to stay in MA for mostly likely the next 3 weeks and work remotely while I get this new treatment. Dana Farber is very confident this was caught extremely early and they can get rid of the lesions, and this will just be a "bump in the road." But seriously.  WHEN WILL THIS END????????

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Cancer, Candles, and Wax Tarts

How's that for a hodge podge of topics? LOLOL.

First off, I am still doing fairly well.  Yesterday was week 3 in my infusion cycle, so I have next week off (week 4). I get decadron, a type of steriod, to prevent nausea and an allergic reaction, when I am getting my treatment, so last night I woke up at 1:30 am and was awake until 3:30 am. Fun times! Steriods cause sleeplessness and I definitely feel it on treatment nights. I had to get up at 6 am to go to the hospital before work to pick up my glasses that I left there yesterday, so I am EXHAUSTED today.

I bought Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips on Amazon last week and I swear, it is the best $15 I have ever spent. Every young adult (and other ages too!) cancer patient should pick it up.  I love it. Go buy it. For real.

In other subjects, I got my long awaited January RoseGirls Wax Tarts order and a Butterfly Lane Scents RTS order last week.  Those companies are two of my top wax companies so I was super excited to get them.  Butterfly Lane Scents has now closed for good, which makes me sad :( Anyhow, here they are:

I haven't had a chance to melt very many, but I am sure they won't disappoint. RoseGirls has great fruity scents, and Butterfly Lane has the best Key Lime scents I've ever smelled.

I have also been trying to make a dent in my candle collection. I have a Better Homes & Gardens Very Berry Tart candle and a medium Yankee Candle in Farmers Market I have been burning. Both have been burning very evenly and have a decent throw. Good times!

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Update, Etc

Wow, it's been a long time since I have posted.  Whoops :) Well, not much has changed since my last post.  I am still getting the same treatment.  I had a CT scan in February and it showed the treatment was slowly making progress.  I have another one scheduled over Memorial Day, so I will know more then.  I can't help but hope they'll say "Congratulations! You are cancer free!" but I know that's unrealistic.  I just hope it shows things are still getting better.

I am still feeling pretty good. Avastin is making my blood pressure climb higher than normal, but so far it's still in normal range, so I don't think I'll need to go on BP medication. It also causes a lot of congestion for me so I get a lot of sinus headaches. Oh well. I'm alive, so I guess I won't complain :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Back to DC!

Well, I am back in DC, and I am quite happy about it! It's nice to be back in my own apartment, back into a routine, and back to working in an actual office (as opposed to working from home).   I even went back to the gym last week! Good times.

I am still getting treated.  My new regimen is Avastin and Taxol on Week 1, just Taxol on Week 2, Avastin and Taxol on Week 3, and off on Week 4.  So far it seems to be ok, my CA125 has gone down about 20 points when I was treated on Christmas Eve (at Dana Farber, since I was in MA for Christmas anyways).  Hopefully that trend continues.  The fatigue with this treatment is not nearly as bad as it was with the Carbo/Taxol treatments the first time around.  I think I have a sinus infection now, but such is life.  I have an appointment today with my doctor's Urgent Care facility so hopefully I can get some antibiotics and cough medicine with codeine so I can sleep at night.

Next weekend is MLK Jr Day so I am heading back to MA to spend time with my family.  I miss my niece terribly :( At least I can Skype with my sister and brother-in-law so I can talk to my niece that way.  If one good thing came out of this whole situation, it's that I was able to spend so much time with my niece.  She's so comfortable with me now, and we have so much fun.