Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chemo 3 - Elation

Ok so on Monday night I went to bed and I had this thought. I had a cat scan and a brain MRI scheduled for Tues. afternoon. All of a sudden I was thinking, well I have these scans tomorrow I should do something. As in pray really, really hard or something. Now look, you know I believe in the power of prayer, but that's not what I'm talking about. I mean of course you should pray for your good health. But I was thinking about all the "begging" I did back when I had my pet scan and first MRI. That's not the same thing. This is that feeling of, "if I don't do it, I'll be sorry" feeling. And that's not a good mind space to be in. I felt like I was regressing or something.

But then I remembered what my internist said "this is a journey and each stage comes with it's own anxieties" and she mentioned that when you start getting scans and test results it all comes back. So I stopped before I got my mind into that "oh please, please, please" place and instead said, hey whatever comes my way I can handle it. And I really believed it, like yeah it's ok whatever those scans say, I can do this.

So I get to Sloan in the afternoon and I have to drink this contrast that tastes like very watered down Hi-C. But it was tolerable. Then I go back for an IV and I tell them I have a port. Now we have to find out what kind of port for the special dye that they need for the cat scan. Turns out I have a brand spanking new "power-port". Yeah bitches! It means that it can be hooked up to automatic dye injections. But when the nurse tries to access it, it's not giving him any blood return. So he has me raise my left arm over my head, hold out my right arm out to the side and cough. Son of a bitch it works! I'm crazy impressed!

First up is the Brain MRI. But my re-surrender the night before worked, instead of crying and thinking about brain mets, I spent 25 minute hotly debating how to spend my birthday money. I was like, well there's this pocketbook I like, but then maybe I should get a rain coat cause it's more practical. And then I said to myself (and literally almost said out loud in the machine, which would have been funny) "it's birthday money, what am I buying something practical for?!!!"

I waited for ages for the cat scan and the room I was in was ice cold. The nurses were like, this building is crazy cold here's some heated blankets. Every office in Sloan is ice cold. So I'm now convinced that air conditioning PLUS Sloan pretzels, cures cancer. Cause I otherwise can't explain the ice cold office in winter.

Anywho, the cat scan is pretty fast. I almost broke their machine because my pants had metal buttons on the ass that I didn't realize were there. Honestly, I need a mirror to see my ass, so whoops! But after about 20 min, I am free to go home. John and I went to Golden's deli cause we haven't been there in ages. And it turns out I can't eat there without having Cousin Brucey's voice in my head yelling "They're DEEEEEEEE-licious!" It wasn't bad, I had an egg cream for the first time in years.

Then today was chemo 3 and I saw my oncologist. I am in the office waiting for him to come in for about 30-40 min. Which I'm not thrilled about because after him I still have 6 hours of chemo to go. And as I'm waiting I'm going over all the questions in my head that I have to ask him. It's not until about 20 min into waiting that I remember, he's going to tell me my scan results. I actually forgot that's why I was there. Now that's some serious surrender yo!

So a new young, lovely doc comes in and introduces herself as Dr. Krug's fellow. I forgot her name, but I immediately like her. She sits down and smiles and says, "good news first, your scan looks great! There's significant shrinkage. We are on the right track and the meds we're using right now are working well. Ok now tell me how you're feeling." We're all smiles and I tell her about some things and then she goes to get Dr. Krug.

Now I'm like, ok what does significant shrinkage mean? I mean she's smiling so I know it's good, but like how does it actually translate to sizes? When Dr. Krug comes in he's smiling and he is excited that it's shrinking across the board. The brain mets have really responded as well as the liver and the lungs. So the assumption is the bones are too, even though they were not specifically scanned. And then he says "They are all less than 1/2 their original size." I was like dude that is not significant shrinkage that is, in the immortal words of Charlie Sheen, "D'uh Winning!" I could not believe it. In 6 weeks, really!!!

Ok not running into the chemo ward and tackling nurses with bear hugs took a lot of self-control. I was seriously the happiest person in chemo. And not just cause I pee'd like a champ today! So I didn't get my cool chemo room today, I got an area with just a curtain instead of my suite with the bed. But it's all good. Plus we played around with my new iPad, which I am so not cool enough to own! But my in-laws bought it for me for my birthday. Mostly because they are truly insanely generous people in general, but I fear they feel guilty about the whole poison anchovy thing. They keep apologizing to me about it. First of all, it's no one's fault except the people who canned the damn anchovies and my mother-in-law had to deal with her son and granddaughter barfing all over my house. AND my father-in-law was almost as sick as I was! All I know is I somehow scored an iPad!

So we played Trivial Pursuit, in which I mounted the greatest come back in history! And then my mom slaughtered us in not one, but two games of Yahtzee! No movies this time. Maybe next time we'll watch What's Up Tiger Lily? It's a classic that I highly recommend, I haven't seen it in years. I'll have another set of scans, probably in about 6 weeks. Again to see about the brain and if I have to have radiation. But I'm going to ride this high for a while and buy that damn pocketbook! :)

To everyone who has taken a moment to think of me and pray for me and more. I owe this all to you! It's the love that keeps me riding high!!!! Love you guys!!!!



  1. Great news! This was a lovely blog entry, Jaime. Thanks for writing this. I feel like I'm along with you on all these ups and downs. And I'm glad it's been mostly ups. Except that anchovy incident, which is the kind of "up" that you *don't* want, amirite???

    And, dude -- iPad!!! I'm so envious. Were you playing Trivial Pursuit on it, or the old-fashioned way? I know you can play Scrabble on it.

    You are so "d'uh, WINNING!" I think they switched your chemo out for tiger's blood. Those sneaky SK nurses! :)

  2. Thanks man! Ooo, Tiger blood, didn't think of that!

    We played by passing the iPad around when it was our turn. It was cool, if I disable the time limit for the questions, we can read them out to each other. That was the only thing missing from the original game.

    I suck at scrabble so I haven't downloaded that app yet. But I have to say, I'm loving this thing. It's very, very cool.

    I almost had a vasovagal incident when I opened it up on Saturday! I was totally shocked. My in-laws got me good yo!

  3. the tumors shrunk to half their original size??! that is the most awesome news!! YAY! :)
    you keep riding that high!

    oh, and happy belated b-day to you!

  4. Great post! I gotta sit down with Mike this weekend (Spring cleaning weekend! SCORE!) to figure out a day we can come up (or over?) to see you :) You supply the chicken chimmychangas and I'll supply the brownies! :)