Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Gambling

More of my videos here.

In a few minutes I will peel myself away from the computer and get ready to leave for my morning swim. After that, breakfast, a walk with the dog, then back into the car, back on the long road to Hartford to see the neurologist I met with yesterday. This time, she will not be asking kindly questions and having me do fun little tasks like touch my nose, her finger, my nose. This time she'll be hooking up electrodes and shocking the muscles of my forearms with electricity in order to test for nerve damage. And after that, assuming the results are either alarming enough or not definitive, she might want to stick needles into those muscles and take samples of my tissue. All of this to help make a more objective determination as to whether I should go ahead with my last chemo treatment.

"Anyone else," my doctor told me on the phone Monday, "and I would say let's just go ahead with treatment. But you're an athlete and if things get worse this could mean a real impact on your quality of life. Let's see what the neurologist has to say."

So far, the neurologist has not said, but I have become very clear. There's no knowing if the numbness in my feet and problems I'm having in my hands will persist or get worse, and it is unlikely that today's tests will change that.

I never gamble anything I'm unwilling to lose. Given the choice between alive and impaired, the choice is not a difficult one. I want to go ahead with treatment. And I don't need any needles stuck into my muscles to help me decide.

I'm hoping that, between these two doctors and myself, we can come to a consensus without that test.

7 comments:

Kerri said...

It's good to hear that you'll push for doing the last chemo regardless. I know everyone is different and has to do what feels right for them, but as a fellow young BC patient, the thought of forgoing treatment makes me nervous. The Taxol-induced neuropathy in my fingers and toes went away within a few weeks of my last dose, and I really hope yours does the same.

I wonder if your onc has ever seen neuropathy become permanent in patients your age? It seems like a younger patient's nerves would have a better chance of repairing themselves than an older patient's. Maybe it's not a factor, but it seems like it should be.

Anyway, best of luck with those awful-sounding tests. And with talking to the doctors, your last chemo, finding more chill-time for yourself, and everything else.

r3 said...

I love your garden. I love how it's not perfect and there are weeds (and very healthy looking veggies).

But please, tell me what you are vlogging with? A flip camera?

Amy said...

Kerri - Thanks, and good point! I should ask her about the age factor. Nice to know your neuropathy cleared up so quickly. That's encouraging.

r3 - I probably have never told you how much I love the banner photo on your blog, so real, so homey and familiar, I love it. The camera IS a Flip, sorry, I thought I responded last time but I guess that was in my imagination. It's an HD. There might be more to the name of it, I forget, but it has 2 hours of memory (which comes in handy).

Jamie said...

Just letting you know there are more people out there thinking about you as you get ready for this last treatment. Even with moving forward, I give your doctors credit for being very realistic and concerned for the quality of your life after treatment. It would not surprise me (sadly) if there are doctors out there that would assume someone would choose life over impairment. It is still your body and your decision, even if the choice is obvious to you.

Amy said...

Jamie, thanks for that, and very true. I agree 100%.

r3 said...

Thank you for the photo compliment. This is an upstairs bedroom in my Grandmother's house--a pre-civil-war era saltbox in the Midwest. The photograph of the beautiful woman is my Aunt, who was an actress in Peyton's Place (an ancient soap). She is nearly 70 and still stunning.

r3 said...

Oh and duh, I should have noted that my Aunt, the lovely young woman in the pic, is a breast cancer survivor. She's had a double mastectomy and reconstruction. She's an avid balloonist--she races and teaches.