Yesterday was a milestone. I finished my 6th round of chemo. Yay! My first line of treatment is complete. It feels surreal. Its like it has taken so long to get here, yet I can’t believe I made it. Not that its all over; far from it actually. Now, I wait. In five days I go to get my follow-up scans. I’ll have a CT scan of my chest, abdomen and pelvis. I’ll also have a brain MRI. In six days I will get the results. And I’m anxious. I try not to fast-forward my life and to instead live for the present, but at scan times I can’t help but hope that time will hurry up. Thankfully, though, I have some good news to keep me positive while I wait. I just got back my bloodwork numbers and everything is still trending down! When I saw them I immediately smiled and felt a sigh of relief. My liver numbers, ALT and AST, went from went from 33 to 28 and 29 to 23 respectively. My bone number, Alk Phos, went from 87 to 85. And my tumor marker went from 11.8 to 10. All within normal ranges! I’m so grateful that my body, a body I no longer trust, is responding so well to treatment. So many are not as fortunate and it makes me so appreciative for what feels like more time.
The scan I’m most nervous about is the brain MRI. My Oncologist wanted me to have one months ago; he suggested it the same day I was getting the results from all of my initial scans that revealed I have Stage IV breast cancer. At that time I just couldn’t do it. I was telling someone recently that, back then, I was in the worst and darkest time of my life. I honestly felt like I was leaning over the side of a cliff and if a brain MRI came back with more bad news, it would have sent me over. It just wasn’t something I could handle. But now, I’m ready. I have to know. I’m the primary advocate for my own health and its up to me how I want to handle my cancer. And I feel like I can’t make the best decisions for myself if I don’t even have all the information. As scary as it is, and with the possibility that I could get bad news, at least I will be able to do what I have to do in order treat it if that’s what it comes to. I pray, of course, that’s not what it comes to. And I have my favorite bottle of champagne waiting for me to hopefully celebrate some good news.
In other news, some friends and I are working on putting together a 5k fundraiser. Now, I realize in my very first blog that I said I was not intending to start a funding account. And, I assure you, I meant it. So I feel a bit like a fraud. But, so many people have reached out to me and to my friends wanting to know how they can give and nobody knew what to tell them. So, after a LOT of pressure from my best friend, I agreed to this. I won’t lie, the bills have been piling up. And they will continue to come in since I will receive treatment and scans for the rest of my life. But I don’t want anyone to think I’m only sharing my story to get help to pay for medical bills. That truly is not where my heart is. I really do hope that I’m helping people by opening up about everything I’m going through. And my ultimate goal with this 5k is for it to be an annual event that we can grow big enough to start donating to more Stage IV breast cancer research. I’ll be sharing information about the race as we progress in planning and I appreciate any support you’re willing to give. I’m so grateful for the outpouring of love I have received. And I hope I can pay it forward.
I’ll check back in next week to give you my scan results! Thanks for keeping up with me!