Sunday, March 18, 2018

scan day + results day for me/for lisa/for jennifer and michael/for beth/for the patterson clan

"the wounds have changed me.
i am so soft with scars 
my skin 
breathes and beats stars.
(nayyirah waheed)

friday was scan day.

we checked in at 7am and i was in the machine a little bit after 8.

this picture was taken by the technician right before i started to vomit from the contrast they injected into my iv for the scan. i held it as long as i could (which was like 5 seconds but felt like forever) but i didn't make it far enough out of the machine so we had to retake the scan. ugh. it was a miserable morning.

but then i soldiered on to a day full of work and decisions since i will be out all day tomorrow (monday) for results.

we will go in at 7am for bloodwork and we meet with the doctor at 7:45 to get the results. i am not going to lie. i am scared shitless of what he is going to tell us. if the tumors shrink, i stay in the trial. if the tumors grow slightly, they may let me stay in the trial if the tumors  have not grown larger than the trial allows. if they have grown larger, they may make a decision to let me stay in for one more round to say if i have latent effects and the drugs are taking their own sweet time to make the tumors shrink. it is like waiting and not knowing what you life is going to look like after tomorrow morning, until someone else tells you what it will look like. one word: excruciating. make that two words: fucking excruciating.

i can't explain in words how nerve wracking it is. but those last two words above probably give you a fair idea.

by the time some of you read this tomorrow, we will already know the results. i will post an update on here tomorrow as soon as i am able to.

so, send me everything you have for tomorrow morning because i am going to need it. prayers, mojo, good vibes, special dances - whatever it is you do, do it big time tomorrow morning. we need it.

but there are also others that need everything you can give them.

my friend lisa that we are currently doing the happy mail campaign for her has her last day of radiation tomorrow. yes to that! but, the side effects have been brutal and so we need to send her all we have for the healing to start and the pain to end. so send her what you've got as she faces the road of recovery (which i know she will kick ass at).

my friend jennifer (who we have also done happy mail campaigns for) has to start cancer treatments again at the end of april. so let's start sending her and her husband michael (one of my best friends and favorite men on this planet  - actually, all planets) all the mojo we have so that it starts to works its magic in this month before she starts treatments.

my friend beth (who we have also done happy mail campaigns for - anyone noticing a trend here?;) goes in for her scans this week and gets results on friday. so as it has been for us before, it is a big week for both of us. i will let beth tell you how she is feeling in her own words, it is her own story after all:

"Sorry this journal entry will be a bit garbled as I sit on plane.

I feel like these days I am always on the verge of crying if I am not already crying.  The stress and emotions of everything going on in my life are weighing heavily on me.
My scans are a little over a week away.  And I feel the pressure of wondering if my life craziness over the past few months will negatively effect the results. I know it is not a healthy thought but it is one I can't seem to shake.   But I also know at this point there is nothing I can do to alter the results.   But my feelings around my scans are never logical.  How can they be with the weight of the results and what it could mean for my future.
   The move and renovations of the new condo are exhausting as well and are contributing to my highly emotional state these days.   But the end is near.   We are in the final week of renovations and I will move in this Saturday.  While I am really excited to move into the new place I spent the weekend packing up my life from my current condo.  I have been living there almost 15 years and it I feel like I grew up there in my adulthood.  Most of my Seattle life has been there.That condo saw a lot over the time I lived there, including my diagnosis and treatment.   
  I do look forward to starting a new chapter in a new home.
    My mom flies in on Tuesday for the scans.  She will also help me set up the new place.  I always appreciate her help.   Lars will be joining us for the scan results for his first time, which is a big deal to both of us.  We have talked about it but I do often wonder how it is to meet me now after such a life changing event that still very much hangs over me.  And my brother may be able to join as well.  I am lucky to have so many so many wonderful people in my life.
  A couple weeks ago I was at my monthly volunteering at SCCA house and I found out that a few of the other volunteers are there for the same reason I am, they were treated for cancer.  We all showed off our port scars and started talking a bit about our stories.  I was definitely the youngest, but I was glad to share with them our commonality.   And volunteering there still means as much to me as the first day.
   I got to see Alli for a little bit last week.  She is having a tough go of it.  Her scans are this Friday with results next Monday.   I want more than anything for her to hear the news of not only no growth but the spots are shrinking.  She has started to have to think and plan for things no one at our age should have to do.  The weight of cancer on us is hard to describe.
  So I thank you for your love, support and prayers for both me and Alli.  I hope to be sharing good news for both of us next week!"

so please also send her everything you have got, i know that those scans are going to show her tumors have stayed the same or shrunk and she will get another 6 months before scans. but as always, i like having your good vibes as extra insurance too.

one of my very best and oldest (i have loved that guy for more than half my life, lucky me)friends josh - who might be one of the humans on this planet that i have shared the most laughs with - lost his grandma last week and they laid her to rest on saturday. so please send a lot of love to him and his family in wisconsin and his mom and stepdad in hawaii as they can now carry her only in their hearts and no longer in their hands.

as is evident from the above, cancer and grieving continue to be rampant for those i love. so i do the best i can in sending them love, and all of the extra mojo you send is so special to me as well. it is a great feeling to know that so many that read these words also send their love to those i love. i haven't yet been able to find a way to wrap them all up in bubble wrap and have them continue on with their daily lives, so your thoughts and love are probably even better than the bubble wrap even if i could figure it out.

so thanks for all you do to spread the love.

tomorrow is a really big day.

but i will carry you all with me.

anywhere i fight, you fight.

and tomorrow we find out early on what kind of fight we are still in for.

here we go.

as my big brother always says to me...

gloves up.