Friday, September 06, 2013

What Cancer Is Not...

And that is stupid. As far as mine goes anyway. Apparently the one I have is a Harvard graduate! Lucky me ;o)

Let me back up a bit so that you will be caught up in my 'life's little drama'. In my A Much Needed Rant post I had mentioned that I was going to have a CT Scan. I got my blood work done beforehand but because my creatinine levels (has to do with kidney function) were so high, they could not use the dye during the scan and therefore, the scan was not as detailed as we would have liked :o(

What the scan did reveal was that I had a mass pressing against my left ureter (the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder) :o( Sound familiar? They brought me in on Sunday, August 18 for what I expected to be a routine procedure; they were going to replace my right stint and put in a stint on my left side...again.

All was not right with the world when I woke up :o( When the doctor was attempting to put in the left stint, there was too much blood so it was aborted. The next day I went in for another procedure where they go in through your back. The stint was put in but the doctor also 'installed' a Nephrostomy Tube so that my kidney could drain properly (the mass even tightened the stint too much for my kidney to work properly). To make a long story short, I was on the table a third time to stop an arterial bleed and the doctors also put in a larger Nephrostomy tube. So after five days in the hospital, I was finally home with a pretty battered body and an annoying drainage sack in tow. Sigh!

This past Wednesday, DH and I drove into the 'big city' and met with my Oncologist, Radiologist and Urologist. I have quite the entourage now! See how special I am? ;o) We got down to the nitty gritty this time, asking some of those difficult questions, and this is where I stand as of today...

I had mentioned before that my right leg was swollen and that we were looking at the possibility of radiation; that is not going to happen because it won't fix the problem. Now my left leg is as swollen as my right and I have very limited mobility :o( I'm now carrying and extra 20 pounds of liquid around with me. Imagine attaching a ten pound weight to each leg and trying to go about your normal day. That's basically what it's like for me. The doctor explained that Chemo would be the only way I would get rid of this swelling. That's if the Chemo worked...

The cancer lesions on my chest are...horrific. I won't candy coat it. It is spreading at a fast rate and new spots have appeared on my back. It's like someone has taken a bandage and tightened it as tight as they can around my chest. Add in a third degree burn sensation and you might have a 'slight' idea of what I see, feel and deal with each day. Chemo will be the only way that this would get better. And that's if the Chemo worked...

Today I will try another new Chemo, Gemcitabine. This is my fourth or fifth Chemo and the last attempt to prolong my life. Yup, we're at the bottom of the barrel as my Oncologist says :o( If this doesn't work, I'll be taken off Chemo altogether and left to wait. I'm told that this cancer won't kill me through some major organ but that it will slowly suck the life out of me. How come I didn't get that cancer that never made it passed Grade 6? Why did I get the Harvard graduate?

The new Chemo will be one day a week for three weeks with one week off. It doesn't filter through the kidneys so we're hoping that it will give my guys a much needed rest and therefore, my creatinine levels will continue to stay low. Unfortunately right now I'm battling with my hemoglobin. I'm down to 85 and if that goes any lower I may be looking at another blood transfusion :o(

To say that I'm frustrated, tired and angry is an understatement. DH and I have been having some much needed conversations and there's plenty more to look after but I need my body to cooperate with me! I may be in bed a lot but my spirit is still high and my fight is as strong as ever. I want to kick this MOFO's ass!!!! I know my cancer will never be cured but I will fight for more time, whether it be a month, six months or a year. I don't like it when something or someone else tries to take over. This is MY LIFE and I will decide how things go, right up to the end.

I'm going to stop now because this post is getting way too long. One more thing before I go...I want to thank you so much for your comments, emails and cards. I can't explain how much they have meant to me. Just knowing that I have so many people backing me makes me feel that much stronger. Please continue your good thoughts and prayers because I do truly appreciate them :o) I've been trying to respond to each of you but there are times when I do get behind. I know you understand. I also want to welcome my new Stalkers! I'm glad you've stopped by and I hope you will continue to do so. ((((HUGS)))) to all of you!

77 comments:

Mii Stitch said...

This is so frustrating!! I feel for you so much (and no it is not pity). I so wish things will improve for you. Good luck with the chemio & truly hope you can get a bit of sanity back in your life. Thinking of you, big hugs & kisses.

Cath said...

Oh Cathey , sometimes intelligence sucks. If only there was something I could do , but know I think of you often and still sending lots of love and hugs your way . Take care honey and hug your boy .xxx

Veronica said...

I'm constantly amazed at how you can still make jokes and sound cheerful at such a trying time. You're a very strong person and an inspiration to all who know you. Stay strong and keep up the good fight. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

{{{{{Hugs}}}}}}

Veronica.

Harmien said...

I love and admire your kick-ass spirit!! Will continue to send good thoughts your way and some really really bad thoughts for you-know-what! If there's more you'ld like or need, please holler!

Tatkis said...

You are my HERO! Good (I mean GOOD) Luck with new Chemo!!

Big hugs,
Tatyana

♥ Nia said...

I'm keeping my faith!! This round of Chemo will bring you some turn over, positive changes and good news! It will work. We are so many fighting with you, putting it out there in the universe, we can only be stronger than that Harvard guy, he won't take it his way!!

Pat Matejcek said...

I am so sorry you have to go through this...I hope and pray that the new chemo works! Your courage and strength are amazing! Keep fighting!!!!

Jenn M said...

(((Hugs)))to you. Prayers too.

Jenn

Vickie said...

Oh Cathey! Dear Cathey! I will NOT stop praying for you.♥

Bonnie Brown said...

Good luck with the new round of chemo.
Stupid Harvard :(

Christina said...

I'm sorry you are having to go through so much. Keep on fighting! My continued thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

stitcheranon said...

Bugger. And lots of other naughty words. OK; well, there are some pluses...though it may not seem it. The fact they said this is a slow and gradual cancer means attitude is everything with this one. You don't go till you are ready to go...and no way are you ready yet so that is good.

I don't know what to say: I am not near enough to come and hold your hand or swear with you or shout at the universe so you can hear, but believe me I am doing this from here in Ireland.

People don't realise that unless you have a cancer diagnosis even if we are 'clear', it is there with us all the time. We make friends with it: some of whom are never clear, some who are clear and then it comes back, so you know, just as I do that sometimes some of us lose the fight. But even though I have lost several friends now (because once you are in this world, you make friends with people with the same daignosis so lets be honest, death is with us all the time) and they all went on their own terms.

Make the most of what quality you have and I will pray and pray that the chemo makes the swellings go down in your legs. Keep on truckin as my grandad would say. We are all here with you, I promise. You are not alone: your family is not alone, we include them in our prayers xxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Carolyn said...

Cathey,

YOU GO GIRL! I stand behind you 100%. This cancer needs to GO! It has picked the wrong person to mess with.

My thoughts and prayers are with you daily. I wish I were there to sit with you to laugh, cry, or sit in silence.

{{{hugs}}} for my sweet friend,
Carolyn

WendyCarole said...

Thinking of you as always.

Melissa said...

That's right! Kick the this MOFO's ass all the way to the moon! Sending you so many thoughts and prayers!!!

Anne said...

I feel so hopeless over here. I wish I could come over and help you out a bit. I know you have a great support system, but I just want to ease your pain...even though I can't. I hate that there is so many things happening to you right now and that the team of Harvard doctors can't do anything about it. My heart goes out to you and I'm praying hard for you...big time. HUGSHUGSHUGS!! But hugs in a way that they won't add to anymore constriction and pain to you!

Cole said...

Your spirit is inspiring to me Cathey! You are an incredible woman ~ keep kicking this MOFO's ass, you can do it! Hugs & prayers <3

Linda said...

Oh Cathey, I am so sorry to hear about this. I'm praying for a miracle for you.

Linda

cucki said...

(((((((Hugs)))))))

Sonda said...

Holy cow! I am so sorry Cathy! I've been out of blogland too long again. I can only hope you get some really good days here soon!

Sonda said...

Holy cow! i am so sorry Cathy! praying for some good days for you!

Shebafudge said...

Still cheering you on with thoughts and prayers. Hoping good things come of this new chemo. Good luck xxxxx

Maggee said...

Whoa... this has to be responded to offline...which I will do shortly! Praying as ever. Big Hugs!

Myra said...

The darkest moments always come just before dawn. Praying dear one.

Robin said...

Hugs and prayers.

valerie said...

Oh Cathey. I am so sorry to read your updates on your health. I am a little behind. I hope this last round of chemo works for you and you keep the good fight going. I am rallying for you and think of you often even though I haven't been able to visit as much and comment.

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

You just fight there on the front lines and all of us will be your back up fighting wherever we are. Love that little boy and your family with all your might and don't worry about us. Love and huggles.

natalyK said...

Cathy

I am sorry to hear about the latest struggles you are facing. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Positive thoughts go a long way and I hope you can feel everyone's positive energy being sent your way! Much love
Hugs
Nataly

capecodgirl565 said...

I have to say I love your kick it's ass attitude, exactly what you need! Your fortitude amazes me, and as always, I am sending prayers and good wishes your way. You have a lot to live for, so keep on living.

Greg Patterson said...

:(

Valma said...

may I say it's good to read you really don't want to abandon the fight.....
you're one of the most courageous persons I know
I think a lot of you and send you big warm hugs (being the one and only thing I can do from here I'm also frustrated & angry)
xxxxxxx

Mouse said...

well lass you don't do things by half do you ... and I am with you on the oedema bit so I can truly sympathize with you on that score ...
you are a fighter and I hope that the graduate gets a knock back with this latest treatment ((((HUGE GENTLE HUGS))) love mouse xxxx

P.J. said...

Continuing to send those positive vibes your way. I do pray that a good regimen is found for you. You continue to inspire me with your tenacity!! I shared your story with my daughter (24); the story of women is so powerful, how we effect each other, inspire each other and feel for each other; a ripple effect. Take care with much ((love)) from many.

Robin said...

Prayers and positive thoughts for you!

Robin in Virginia

Linda Oja said...

I too have breast cancer......I know your battle sister!!!!

Annie said...

Sending all the virtual hugs I can muster up. I think of you often and continue to offer positive energy!

BRD Girl said...

Thinking of you daily...keep fighting and keep being an inspiration to so many! Your strength and courage are admirable. May you find comfort, motivation, and encouragement in the love, words, and support of all those who love and care for you...we are all sending good vibes your way! xoxo

Melanie said...

Argh. I had to leave this post and come back, then leave it and come back again.............I just don't know what to say. So many feels, so little words that seem right. I'm just so sorry and my heart breaks for you. And not just for you but for your husband and your little boy (and the rest of your family, of course). It's such a shit deal and makes me so angry and.......impotent, I guess. I admire your spirit and ability to stay strong in the face of such a terrible time. I think of you all the time, I really do. I worry about you. I wonder how you are doing every day. I wish the very best for you, whatever that means for wherever you are at in that particular moment. *hugs*

Gert said...

Oh Cathy...it is always good to see a post from you. So sorry to hear this news, but want you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers! I ask our Heavenly Father to wrap his arms around you and keep you safe.

Blessings my friend,
Gert

Nancy said...

Cathey, I have sent you an email that you really need to read and consider. I am behind you 100% in your battle for life and hope you will look into the info provided. Give that little boy a hug and kiss for me please.

Teresa said...

So many prayers coming your way.

MaryO said...


I'm so very sorry to hear of this. So many people are praying for you. Hold on to hope! It ain't over till it's over! luv. MaryO San Pedro, CA

Alberta said...

Absolutely love your determination and spunk, Cathey. Praying you have the strength to enjoy
1 more sunrise
1 more sunset
1 more walk on the beach
1 more day at the playground
1 more bath time with JR
1 more 1 more

And the next day,I wish you enjoy even more 1 mores!!!

{{{ hugs }}}

Gabi said...

Oh Cathey.... first of all, good luck for the chemo!
It is so unfair. You are always on my mind and I pray for you!
Keep on fighting!!
Big hugs from Germany

Lesleyanne said...

Good luck with the chemo. You truly are an inspiration. Thinking of you Cathey. Stay strong.

Vonna Pfeiffer said...

Praying and praying, for you and your family...

Carol said...

I wish I could do something, anything, to take away your pain and worries, Cathey. But, all I can do is offer my support, love, and prayers. You are so very brave and determined that you are an inspiration to all of us.

My warmest hugs and most positive thoughts are being sent your way, my friend. Give Junior a cuddle for me...

Michelle said...

As Carol has said you are such an inspiration - continued thoughts, love and prayers are with you and your family xx

Wanda said...

Dear Cathey,
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Despite this horrific time, your positive attitude shines through. I pray for your continued strength. Hugs & prayers.

Sharon said...

This is just pure hell, I don't understand why you can't catch a break. You certainly deserve it and whole lot more. I will be praying the chemo works, and you hang in there, we are all hanging with you! {{{hugs}}}

Chiloe said...

Sending you all my love Cathey ♥

Angela P said...

Cathey, you are always in my prayers and thoughts. I'll be hopeful that this last round of Chemo will be the one to kick this cancer's butt! You are such an inspiration to anyone else battling this awful disease. Stay strong, stay fighting and enjoy each and every moment with your family :) Big hugs :)

Stitching Noni said...

Oh no... I think you are amazing. Your courage in the face of bad news is inspiring... I do hope that the next round of chemo starts to kick this bu**er out and that you start to get some good news.
Lots of hugs and prayers and positive thoughts..
Hugs x

Julie said...

Your positive attitude shines through Cathey. Hoping and praying so hard that you get some relief with the new treatment. Time this Harvard guy got found out for the cheat he is, he's copied someone else's exam paper and he's in the wrong school!
Fight my friend (love and hugs), my prayers are with you xxx

marly said...

That is an amazing drug and I'm so hoping that it is the answer. I think of you every day.

Catherine said...

I probably can't write anything that everyone else hasn't already said. Keeping you and your family in my prayers daily ~ and sending healing hugs....

Sally said...

I hope this chemo seriously kicks this b******'s ass! Life is so damned unfair but you have such an amazing spirit and you are an inspiration dear Cathey. Continuing to think of you and your family.

Lynn said...

When you've reached the bottom, there's no place to go but up so I'm holding with positive thoughts for this new chemo. You have an incredible support network and we are all rooting for you. I will pray a little harder so that my prayers continue to be heard. You are always in my thoughts.

Annette said...

Ow My your so strong.
I've never seen somebody so strong..
It's good to see you laugh, it keeps you fighting, I can imagine that is nothing to laugh about.
keep fighting, this Chemo willw oek..
My thumbs are up, and my thought are with you..
We will hope for many many more years of blogpost to read.
Take care

Stitchinowl said...

Keep fighting and keep your spirits high...Much love and prayers coming your way.
Carolyn

Kathy A. said...

Sending you love and prayers and hugs.
((((((((Hugs))))))))

TammyK said...

So wish there was something I could do to help you buddy. Sorry for my lack of leaving comments but I've been with my mom as she's battling the same battle you have. Hang in there my friend and know I'm in your corner.

rosek1870 said...

Not sure if I have any pumpkins to send but sending lots of hugs, prayers and congrats to you.

Rose

Rita said...

((((((((((((((((Cathey))))))))))))))))))

Still praying for you!!

Carolyn NC said...

I'm so very sorry, Cathey, that you're having to deal with all this! My prayers are with you!

OLD CROW FARM said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Never give up....Give it everything you've got and remember, doctors aren't God. Only He knows what is in store for you and your going to do your part to make sure that's to heal and get better. Hugs & Prayers, Sher

Glenna said...

You write so well--and your spirit is so wonderful. Many hugs and good wishes.

AnaCristina said...

I'm rooting for you!

Laura said...

I've also had a round with BC. I'm sending you lot of positive energy and gentle hugs. I found that it helps sometimes just to cry. Not for days, just for an hour or two. It is a great way to relieve stress, and I always feel a little better after.

Michele Inman said...

Your Sept 6 post has brought me to tears. I went through the cancer battle (endometrial) in 2006 with 6 months of chemo so understand a very little of what you're going through. Please don't give up. Sending good thoughts your way. {{{{{{{{{{Hugs}}}}}}}}}}

Robin Pichelmayer said...

http://robinpichelmayer.blogspot.com/2013/09/pumpkins-for-cathey.html

Hang in there Cathey. We are all praying for you!

quiltygirl1 said...

I just learned about you through samplers and Santa and daffycat. First and foremost I am going to pray to the only one who truly knows and loves you more than even family and we know family loves abundantly. I am going to pray for your doctors to have a wisdom from above. You are an amazing woman and I will now love you, too.

Dear father, heal my sister. Give her your grace.

Earlene Landis said...

So sad you have to go through this!
((((HUGS)))) I was at Samplers and Santas blog and stopped by to visit.

Sherry said...

Cathey, my thoughts and prayers are with you during this time. You sound like you are tough and ready to give this cancer a good fight! Good for you! I am betting on you.

Lianne said...

Many hugs to you and your little man.

I was so happy to read about how blessed you are to have such a loving and supportive husband and family.

I have been thinking of you since I first found and read your blog last night.

I am sending my thoughts and hopes to you from here in Ottawa.

I am in awe of your spirit, your I AM NEVER GIVING IN spirit and your dedication to your son, husband and family.

Unknown said...

Cathey I don't have a blog but wanted to wish you a Happy 7th Blog Anniversary - sending you prayers and best wishes from Texas

Brigitte said...

I'd like to do something for you. But I can only send you my hugs, my love and my thoughts.