Friday, June 03, 2011

A Long and Winding Road, Please

Dreams do come true. More of my videos here.

I was supposed to get my final chemotherapy treatment today. No such luck. I'm having weakness in my left hand and wrist, and my feet are increasingly numb. CIPN (Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy) or too much cycling last weekend, or a combination of the two are to blame. Oh well.

What else can I say? I don't know if I'm risking my overall survival in favor of comfortable typing, keeping my fingers together when I swim the crawl, and one-handed bicycle gear shifting. But it's not up to me. I tell the doctor what I'm experiencing as accurately and honestly as I can, and she makes the call. Though I trust myself as the expert on my own body, I trust her more when it comes to this. She's seen what happens to other people, I have not.

I'm supposed to call in to report my symptoms on Monday.

What happens after that? It's yet to be determined.

A friend of mine from high school, a co-inhabitant of Planet Cancer, wrote me last night to tell me she's in the hospital. (She has breast cancer too; we have the same oncologist. I made this video about her.)

She had a seizure on Tuesday. They've found a tumor in her brain. Because of this progression of the disease, she can no longer continue with an experimental drug that seemed to be keeping the cancer in check in other parts of her body. On the bright side, she tells me, she will no longer have to travel several times a week to Boston for treatment.

Next stop: cyber-knife, targeted radiation to the brain. After that? It's yet to be determined.

We spoke on the phone this morning and we're in agreement. It's the not knowing that's the hardest part.

In the meantime, we grieve our losses and enjoy whatever blessings we're offered.

There are no straight roads in life. The twists come when you least expect them. But hopefully the road is long and you can take great pleasure in the winding.


Rosemary said...

Hi Amy, I've been following your blog for some time now, even though I am post treatment (chemo ended mid-march) now just herceptin. I came via Yvette's blog. My name is Rosemary and I'm 46, from Brisbane, aust, and have a 17 year old and 6 year old. First husband died 14 years ago, so second marriage with the 6 year old.
Just to let you know I love your blogs, you are a fantastic writer and philosophiser.
Good luck with all thats ahead, I check your posts every couple of weeks. There must be lots of us out here enjoying your thoughts on life!

nancy said...

hey sweets.. so sorry to hear about the continued neuropathy and the delay in the final chemo. that pushing the end of this stuff off for more days really stinks but we all have to trust that your doctor knows best. that's what i'm holding on to.

Sorry to hear about your friend. Let's try to meet up next week… I promise to bring a furry pal for millie and some distraction for you. xo

thinking of you and your amazing grace under uncertainty.

Karin said...

I so agree that the "not knowing" and the waiting are the worst of all...
and it sucks that you got worse with the numbness!! Hope you can finish your chemo's asap, so you can go on!

hope to speak to you in reply of my message thru youtube...


Anonymous said...

Hi Amy,

The last time the neuropathy had gotten bad you waited it out and the pain subsided so hopefully this is the case with this bout. Your doc seems very determined to not have this stay with you which I think is really good--so hopefully you get the best of both worlds: complete chemo treatment soon (just one more) and get out w/out having to live with the neuropathy.

Keep us posted.

Hugs from California...