Sunday, August 19, 2012

Time for a little blog catch up. The pain meds titrating (or a word something like that) is going well. I was nervous about another step down, as I had a couple bad days with the last step. I did, however, step down right when I saw the doctor, and had Zometa treatment. In retrospect, that was probably a bad idea. But I waited until after my birthday this past week to step down another step, just in case. I think I did it Friday, and so far, so good. I'm getting very close to as low as I can go.

For anyone following my CEA, it was up again...over 180 now, jumping another 40 or so. It's been three months on the Tamoxifen, and those numbers say it isn't working. It is currently in Bonus Month time, a fourth month, and I have a little glimmer of hopefulness that something will improve. I quit taking all antidepressants about a month ago, and while the one I was on wasn't high on the Enzyme Interference list, I guess I can still hope for a difference. As I've said before, this is my last hormonal avenue. The next step is chemo, albeit an oral one first. It's still chemo. I see the doctor a week from tomorrow and if the tumor marker numbers show no improvement, he's going to want me to start the chemo. I think this fourth month on Tamoxifen is my hmmmm-ing and hawing month about it. We need to do something about those hot spots before a vertebrae crumbles or something equally painful. Or spread. I guess the rising numbers mean growth mode, and eventually a cell will hop from bone to organ. Since so very little research is done on metastasis, your guess on the mechanics of it all is as good as mine.

The thing bothering me the most right now is the numbness thing in my leg. My hips are out of whack I think, no surprise, and the Radiation Oncologist assumes there is an unhappy nerve. We can do an MRI to pinpoint, or I can keep doing PT exercises that I learned with the other hip in '08/'09, which seem to be helping a bit. I also have thigh pain along with the excruciatingly annoying and uncomfortable tingling, and increases neuropathy symptoms in my feet and lower legs. Oh, and aching legs, feels like bone pain, which may be weather / fibromyalgia related. Won't know until this monsoon season is over andthe dry heat dries back up. In short, my legs are driving me nuts.

Yes, I mentioned having a birthday. No, I didn't do anything fun, though I'm not sure I know what fun is anymore. That puts me just over three years since the stage IV diagnosis. I know I'm supposed to celebrate each year I'm still here, but for me, loneliness is a big factor, and that feeling of pointlessness. The only reason I feel to celebrate is that each year gets my son closer to that college degree that I really want him to finish while I'm still around. I don't trust that anyone else will see him through that if I'm gone.

Which brings us to that morose contemplating death kind of place that is getting more and more real. So let's skip it.

Signing off from my cell phone in's hoping my legs let me sleep, since I need to be up early tomorrow to drive the above-mentioned college student to school (no, he doesn't drive, and we haven't made a decision on the bus yet, since his classes are at the campus very near our house this semester.)


marnee said...

I know we don't know each other, but each time I come to check in on your blog - you amaze me. Despite all the vision of what could be (and is), you have this amazing clarity about being there for someone else. I so admire that. It gives me courage, in my little things.

Maybe I've posted it before, maybe it will mean nothing to you. But again, today, for me, you embody this quote:

"To do one's best in the face of the commonplace struggles of life -
and possibly in the face of failure -
and to continue to endure and to persevere in the ongoing difficulties of life
when those struggles and tasks contribute to others' progress and happiness and one's own eternal salvation -
this is true greatness."
-Howard W. Hunter


The Dirty Pink Underbelly said...

Thank you marnee! It means the world to me that you not only read my lowly blog but that it actually resonates with you!

Thank you for the quote. It is hard to remember sometimes, when the struggle is just to get through the afternoon. That my struggles can help someone else through there own is why I do this publicly.

"The ongoing difficulties of life" part of the quote humbles me. I whine a lot and feel sorry for myself, but I know just in my ward area alone there are many who deal with daily pain and loneliness. I'm having a difficult day today of feeling useless and purposeless. I cleaned out my email inbox (I think I need to turn off Facebook notifications!) and saw notification of your comment. Thank you again. I get a silly little thrill when anyone reads my blog. ;-) Thank you again for bringing that quote / teaching to my attention.