Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The end and the beginning

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished.That will be the beginning.”
― Louis L'Amour

We were crazy late getting out the door today and I don't know I if ever got my head completely on straight.   It was just a glimpse of how the day was going to go.  So many things coming at me all at once my head was swimming before I even sat down.  So I sat with my pager waiting for my turn at the lab and trying to collect myself. When they finally paged me, they took me back to a station with 6 tubes for blood and one pregnancy test waiting.  The study wants its final samples from me as a parting gift.  But it meant I got to see Kathy, my research nurse again and hug her, so it was a good trade off.   It may be awhile, but I am sure our paths will cross again.  She also graciously offered to take calls with questions from me, so in a way I don't really feel I've lost her completely.

Dr. Panwalkar was his usual- in a good mood but ready to get down to business.  He carefully showed me my scans.  In my lungs, instead of just 1 small spot, I now have about 4 spots, but they are still quite small which is good.  My lymph nodes under my arm have also grown a bit.  And the spot in my brain, grew just a smidge.  But since I am off the study, and the lymph nodes under my arm are probably impinging on a nerve causing pain in my arm, we are going to zap those pesky buggers away! In fact we are going to zap my brain, my back and my lymph nodes with some targeted radiation.  Is it crazy that I feel a little relieved/excited that we may just get rid of them altogether?

So I am losing my research team, and gaining a radiation team.  In fact, one of the nurses that works in radiation is another hockey mom/friend, and the radiation scheduler, is a dear high school friend!  Could I be in better hands?  Seriously?  While all three doctors come highly recommended, my sweet friends chose one to work with me, called him about me already, and have me all lined up to see him first thing Monday morning.

But before we even get radiation underway, I started a new chemo today named Eribulin.  I will have chemo once a week for two weeks, then have a week off.  Its a newer drug thats been on the market for a couple of years, but has been known to shrink if not melt lung mets away.  I will also do my "Vitamin H" or Herceptin, once every three weeks.

Of course it comes with a bit of a drawback.  Initially Dr. Panwalkar mentioned trying Xeloda, which is a pill you take every day, and it has few side effects.  But its several thousand dollars a month, and my insurance won't cover it since its a pill.  The insurance, will however, cover infused drugs.

So I decided, I will go with the insurance covered Eribulin, and be willing to lose my hair instead.  I am neither happy, nor sad about the whole thing.  It just is.  It happens differently for everyone, so I have no idea how much or how little hair will come out, or when.

Dr. Panwalkar did ask me why I didn't call him back.  I told him I just trusted him and have felt such calm and peace knowing I could leave it in his hands, and in HIS hands.  All week last week, my prayers were pretty simplistic- I just needed God to show up.  And I can't help but feel, in the beauty of how all the details came together, he was behind all of it.

The rest of the day has been a blur.  I had people in and out of my tiny chemo hole, oops, I mean room, all day long.  The remodeling being done is creating makeshift areas for infusion and crowded waiting areas, and chaotic hallways, but we are all just doing the best we can.  In many ways, whether its cancer, or an upheaval in a work situation, or a divorce, or some other burden being carried, we all long for the same thing... for the hope of something better on the horizon.

I continue to be inundated with texts and emails and I haven't been able to respond to them at all!   Please know they comfort me, support me, and continue to lift me up and keep me going.  Love to you all...


  1. Your blog background feels so warm and triumphant. You are the LIGHT that will navigate through it all beautifully.

    I'm with you...we are with you. Our love and prayers are holding you tight. Hugs always - Kelly

  2. What a day you have had...hopefully you will be able to sit on the couch and just snuggle with your boys tonight.

    I agree...your blog background is wonderful and your site really amplify's your 2012 word: Light.

    Prayers continue that your side effects will be few and this new treatment plan will zap those cancer cells far, far away!

  3. I can't tell you the peace that came over me as I read your blog, Vicky.
    I can't explain it...but I wanted to share that with you.
    As you rest after your visit to the center today, please know that you are surrounded by prayer. Such a privilege to come before His presence...
    Love you,

  4. Vicky, you are such a beautiful gem in our world! You have such courage, such insight and a wonderous beauty. The words that come to my mind when I read your blog is "Hope springs eternal" and it does as we hug our God! I picture you sitting on His lap with His arms wrapped snuggly around you and your children and husband beside you sharing in that widespread hug! Blessings my new friend!

  5. Words always escape me when I visit here. Your courage is admirable! Thank you once again for the beauty and light that you share. Prayers continue!

  6. Oh Vicky, I am so thankful you posted right away. I have been checking all day for your news. Your response to the dr regarding trust were so convicting and humbling that I can't begin to tell you how much I admire you. Your courage and grace in the face of all of this are truly amazing and a lesson to be learned. You are my hero!!! Sending prayers and love your way.
    Grace and peace to you...

  7. I love the quote, Vicky, that you have at the top of this post. There are so many times in life that we feel down as we think it is the end of something, the thing we are familiar with. But what we tend to forget, is that God sees the bigger picture and He always has something better planned. I have read where they have had very good results with Eribulin. So glad that you are giving it a try. And, the news that they are going to zap those spots is good too! Prayers, thoughts and hugs surround you, ALWAYS!

  8. i love your attitude.....i truly love it!! and what comes next, just comes. that's just how it is. kind of like how you have left your doctor to just do....you trust him.

    and that amazing sun below...i think it was a kiss from god, just for you. granted, he wanted lots of people to see it, but it was just for you...xoxoo

  9. I don't know how you do it, Vicky. I am awed by you. I still pray that ALL the little buggers will DISAPPEAR forver. God bless. XO, Pinky

  10. I am so pleased you are not taking this study cancellation as a draw back Maybe it was not for you and maybe other things will help you better and faster. Keep going and looking forwARD vICKY

  11. I love that you continue to feel the presence of God, the hand of friends, the love of family. Keep attaching yourself to those things Vicky. Don't let go! :)

  12. Just so you know, I NEVER write to you or contact you with the expectation of ANY response - you have your plate just a LITTLE full. My only hope is you will know I am praying and thinking about you and loving you.

    I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO encouraged by your news today. It feels right and hopeful and "clicks," if that makes sense. I was very moved (though not surprised) by your simple prayer: that God would just show up. How straightforward - how powerful - how trusting - how not-dancing-on-the-head-of-a-pin that is. Very unlike me who feels she must plan, execute, and manage everything. It's something I can hang on to and ask for as well. You ALWAYS give much more than you receive, Vicky. I do believe it must be why so many have poured out their hearts and their efforts to support you. I honestly don't think anyone can give back all you given. Love you, of course.

  13. Sweet friend,

    so many news on one day for you and so many new situations for you.

    But I can feel it, you are full of light and hope and I can understand that you are "excited" that every point in your body will became the radiation.

    Vicky, you ar MY light, every day and I love you so much over the ocean ;-).


  14. Thinking of you as you navigate these waters... know that your light is evident in every word, whether you're feeling it or not.

  15. Loving you, sweet girl. So thankful for a peace that passes all understanding filling you up...Praying, praying, praying. I love you.

  16. I too feel peace reading your plan of action. I love your prayer of asking God to show up. I feel so good when I read your blog. I'm sending love and warmth right back atcha.

  17. Vicky,
    Prayers with you. If your insurance won't cover Xeloda there are patient assistance programs that can help http://www.xeloda.com/financial/xeloda-access-solutions/. You should have the best therapy regardless of cost. I hope they can help you.

  18. I've just gotten the chance to comment...one more time, one more day and I'm amazed by you.

    "I'm neither happy nor sad about the whole thing. It just is."

    These words took my breath because they came from a place of tremendous release and ultimately trust.

    ...taking them, your words with me today Sweet One.
    love you

  19. I just read it today & I can only say, DON'T worry about the side effects, Which I'm sure you won't.

    Xeloda is an oral chemotheuraputic drug which converts into 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in the body in the tumors. 5FU is one of the oldest chemos designed for cancer & hence have much side effects esp. GI symptoms & Hand-Foot syndrome (my wife got all these troblesome effects & we were in a mess at that time).
    You have rightly opted for the latest Eribulin. Eribulin exerts its anticancer effects by triggering Apoptosis of cancer cells following prolonged and irreversible mitotic blockade & have much less side effects comparing oral Xeloda. It's always better to go for parentral administration of anticancer drugs to get max. effective theuraputic load.

    Keep up the spirits & the courage .... boost your immunity/apoptosis by positive thinking,yoga/meditation & high protein diet.

    You are continuously in my prayers & I'm sure our prayers shall be accepted by the Almighty very soon ...
    Ameen >>>>

  20. Hey Vicky! It's been really long since I last visited you. I will fervently pray to god that the new drugs you will get, help rid all the spots big and small. Don't worry about the hair. They will grow back. Get yourself some caps and scarves to cover your head. It might take a while getting used to, but you will do just fine. May God be with you and show you His presence. I hope He's listening! Love you loads

  21. I hope for something wonderful on your horizon, Vicky.

  22. The hope of something better.... oh yes. So thankful to have that hope and that you do too, because I know it comes from Him, the author of hope.

    Love you!

  23. The hope for something getter and the grace to get there.

    You have both!

    God Bless, Vicky.


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