Its one of my favorite photos. I am out at my father's family farm where he grew up. For all I know I am sitting in a stroller once used for him. And I am wearing some blues shorts and reaching for the peonies and my love of those two things hasn't changed.
I arrived early yesterday at Roger Maris, anxious to see Dr. Panwalkar.
He strode into the room, shook hands with a big smile and sat down right away. "Lets look at your CT scan from yesterday."
As he matches the one from January next to the one from yesterday, I see the changes before he mentions them.
There are what look like white "clouds" billowing around several places in the lung. He said to him if he didn't know I had radiation, it would look like pneumonia. But he felt it was scarring from the radiation instead. "How is your breathing? How do you feel?"
"Good, I smiled, I still feel good."
"There is also a pocked of fluid under your right arm that looks concerning." He is more serious when he says this. And is letting it sink in.
But my mind leaps forward quickly and says "Do you think its a seroma from my recent breast surgery on that side?" (a seroma is another term for pocket of fluid)
He thinks for a moment, and says, "yes, actually that makes sense, and I am not even worried about it now." He smiles again, and seems relieved.
So then we try to ascertain what the three areas of lung mets look like, but here is where its kind of tricky. One area is under a white cloud… so we can't tell the status. Dr. P doesn't even try to explain something that can't be seen to know.
The other one is also not appearing in any of the slices we try to go through. And the white spaces that are normal, and the ones that aren't in the lungs, look so similar to me, I can't tell them apart and have to rely on the doctors to distinguish the difference.
But finally we get to one we can see, and it almost looks slightly smaller. So we go to the slice just above and its not even there, nor the slice below it. So we can conclude that this tumor is a little smaller than it once was.
Overall, Dr. P concludes, my lung mets are stable.
Stable Mable, pops into my mind right away and feels like a complete gift to me.
I can hold off on radiating my lungs again and causing further lung damage.
I can keep staying on my Arimidex that hasn't caused me a lot of side effects.
In two months I will have a full PET scan to see how the rest of my body looks. We do have to think about my ovaries that had cancer on them, and if the cancer could have spread from there.
But for now, I am faithfully leaning into, stable.
So Dr. P asks about our summer and tells me about his trip to Alaska. He lights up when talking about it, and its refreshing to see him come so alive when he talks about travel with his family.
He examines me and is surprised when I show him my new mastectomy incision. He says its way more extensive than he thought, but looks really good.
We laugh as my heart thumps away, rather fast, but truly we know its my anxious state. My body will always be a little bit in fight or flight mode after that stage iv bombshell landed on me 3 years ago.
But when Dr. P realizes its been 3 years, he pauses and joy fills his face. "That is lovely to hear. 3 years." And he shakes his head almost in disbelief. I so get that. Me too, I think.
We conclude with my list of questions for him, that he so patiently answers for me. Its nearing infusion time and he has been with me almost an hour.
We leave the exam room and as I gather my bags and go to sit in the waiting room at the infusion center, he pats my back and smiles again. He nods his head as I say thank you, and off he goes.
I get called back to infusion right away. My nurse is Alesha whom I've had many times before. She wishes me an early happy birthday, and then quietly shares that it is her birthday this day.
We both giggle when my bag of Herceptin comes back from the pharmacy covered in Birthday stickers. And she offers to share part of her Birthday cookie with me.
But the nausea will settle in soon.
So I pack up my bags and go outside to sit in the sun and wait for Superman to come pick me up.
~All shall be well~
Happy Birthday friend! Enjoy, rest, and do all the things you want to do today!!! Congrats on your results! :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Michelle! Hope you are enjoying your summer time as much as we are! Love to you~Delete
Love that picture. Also love the news of your stable condition.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much Kass- anything that can keep the cancer in check for awhile is definitely good! Love to you friend~Delete
I love that visual of you as a little girl. It is precious and priceless, and I see Colton in there! You missed one thing that connects with Vicky of today, though. The light that is shining on you, ever so bright and beautiful. Then and now. :)ReplyDelete
Yes- Roxane- Colton looks so much like my side of the family I think :) Oh so sweet to see and think of the light- thank you for adding that friend!Delete
Great news for a very Happy Birthday! God bless!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much Michelle! God's blessings to you too!Delete
What GREAT news for your birthday!!! Love and prayers my sweet friend!!ReplyDelete
Thank you Kay- I completely agree- thankful for your love and prayers!Delete
Can't imagine a better birthday present than the good news received from your caring doctor. Happy Birthday dear Vicky.ReplyDelete
Thank you Bonnie, truly appreciate your kind words and well wishes! Hope you are well, friend!Delete
Such a wonderful gift to be given to you on your birthday! Prayers, hugs and thoughts on this your birthday. Happy Birthday, dear friend! xxooReplyDelete
Thank you Eileen, so true! Thankful for all the support and love you send always- and those prayers too!Delete
Happy Birthday!!! and what a gift! STABLE has never sounded so darn good.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much and I SO agree!Delete
Stable Mable made me laugh! Good news from the doctor is a great way to start off a birthday celebration. Happy, happy birthday!ReplyDelete
Ha- yes how can it not? Thank you - I do think it started off everything very well!Delete
I had to giggle at "Stable Mabel". Did you make that up? If so, you may have just created a new a new catch-phrase or cartoon character. Love it, and love it even more to hear the word "stable" from your recent lung scan. Truly a gift!ReplyDelete
I hope you have had a fabulous birthday filled with light and love, and those that you adore (and adore you). Sending you continued prayers, and lots of love and hugs!
P.S. The light-filled photo of you is so precious, and as Roxane said, Colton does look so much like you! <3Delete
Yes- Stable Mabel just cracks me up (although I totally blew the spelling and am glad you got it right.) I truly had a wonderful day and just feel so blessed by it all. I read your comment about Colton and I looking alike to Colton and he smiled pretty big! Love to you Steph!Delete
Actually...I didn't notice the spelling - just spelled it like my great-grandma spelled her name. Either way works!!! :)Delete
Happy Birthday Girl!!!ReplyDelete
here is something interesting esp the last one.http://www.naturalnews.com/026885_natural_zeolite_heavy_metals.html
Thank Vic- I will check out your link too :) I hope you are well and enjoying your summer!Delete
I love looking back at older photos. My eyes traveled to the stroller handle...the seat. Just loving everything I see in the photo. To know that you still love blue shorts and peonies says a lot about the DNA strands that run through us.ReplyDelete
I am so glad that your results are stable, Vicky. I don't think I realized that it has been 3 years since your Stage IV diagnosis.
I smiled at the birthday stickers on your Herceptin bag. Sweet of the ones that tend to you to share the smiles with you, and I know that you bring them much joy, too.
I pray that the nausea that you say will arrive will be so very short-lived. I pray for a wonderful birthday for you, sweet friend.
Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday to you!
Happy birthday, dear Vicky.
Happy birthday to you!! (Sung in my best blogging-from-South-Georgia voice.)
Love you so much,
So sweet Jackie! I have been pulled away twice while trying to reply to these sweetest of comments left here :) This time I will not be deterred! I had a relaxing and quiet birthday and pretty laid back due to the yuck I felt. But I felt loved and celebrated regardless. Can't tell you the last time someone sang to me!! Thank you friend- you have a way of making me feel so special :) Love you right back!Delete
Hope you've had a super good day. Glad things have stabilized.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much Susan- felt so blessed to have another birthday and stable was the gift of the day for sure :)Delete
Happy Happy B'day to YOU!!! :)ReplyDelete
Thank you so much Debbie! So sweet of you to stop by :) Blessings to you!Delete
Happy, happy birthday and many more.ReplyDelete
Thank you Francis! I'll gladly take them!Delete
Stable Mable. I've never heard those two words hooked together, but aren't they wonderful! I'm going to remember them. :)ReplyDelete
And wasn't it kind of God to let your nurse share your birthday, and even offer part of her cookie!!
All my love,
Thank you Julie- I'm not sure where they came from, but they have a catch to them, don't they? Love to you sweet one!Delete
Happy Birthday, sweet friend!ReplyDelete
I am back after twelve glorious days of vacation and I am so excited to wish you
a happy, happy birthday (and happy anniversary too). Thank you for your warm and caring message to me on my blog while I was gone, dear Vicky. I am so grateful you were born and what amazing birthday gifts you received, wrapped in a bow of gratitude:
1) STABLE- More reports of STABLE. How I LOVE that word and hearing it in connection to your medical reports. What a giant, makes-me-grin-all-over blessing...and an answer to the prayers of your multitude of prayer warriors!!
2) You seeing the wonderful Dr. P- Hearing about his trip to Alaska and celebrating the three years you have worked side-by-side and partnered in your cancer journey. He is a gift from God and I feel so reassured each time you talk with him. A trust builder and dream maker that Dr. P.
3) Three years post your Stage IV diagnosis- take that you creepy, icky cancer cells.
Our precious Vicky is still here, fighting the fight, and you will not win. She is surrounded by God's love and grace. So there!
4) Stickers on your herceptin bag. You are celebrated everywhere you go. We are all so blessed and thrilled that you are here to have another week and month and year...and forever.
So I am sending you, my precious friend, birthday blessings and love and hugs and prayers, always prayers.
Love you to the moon and back again!
Thankful for your vacation and rejuvenation. Glad you fully know how much you are missed when absent!! Thank you for your thoughtful and kind words always- for celebrating each item along with me! Love you to the moon- dear one- all the way!Delete
ah, sigh! So this is good news, yes? happy birthday greetings for this year and many more to come!ReplyDelete
Hi Norma- yes, I'd say this is still hopeful and I'll hang on to that! Thank you for the B-day wishes :)Delete
happy birthday friend!! hugs and hugs!ReplyDelete
thinking of you so often! and praying, still praying!
Sweet friend- so great to hear from you!! Hugs right back to you and love and prayers as well! xxooDelete
Oh I think this a wonderful Birthday gift..."stable". then I sit back and think..of how hard you fight..I cant even keep up with the words, infusions, scans, test, surgeries...and all those words for all the different things you have to stay on top off..and I marvel at it all...thinking WOW she is in that boxing rink and she isn't planning to go down!!!! (I have had several doctors appointments lately...) and they wear me out...so this post made me realize even on Birthdays...you don't have a day off, a break...you keep fighting and that humbled me a great deal..I hope the fatigue fades soon and I am so glad you have your superman. Much love, hugs, and prayers always prayers!!!ReplyDelete
You intuitively have hit the nail on the head- given words to something I have been hanging onto without knowing how best to describe it. Thank you for seeing that :) Much love to you!Delete
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Thank you so much AnaCristina! So kind of you! xxooDelete
I've been traveling and also hosting our younger daughter and her boyfriend for a visit - so I am very late to the party!! I wish you a sincere and belated happy birthday and a wonderful year ahead. Keep on sharing your life with us; you inspire many as you let your light shine.ReplyDelete
All shall be well
So sweet of you Susan, to come late, and be part of the party! I'm so glad to hear you got to see your daughter and her boyfriend- family time is the best! You're so kind- thank you for sharing along with me!Delete
Grateful for stable and wishing you a Happy Belated birthday. I THINK I did so on Facebook but just in case....ReplyDelete