Usually that phrase means I’m about to launch myself into another adventure. This time, it means that my CT scan says this complicated multi-component trial that I’m in seems to be working. Dr Thomas says he and the radiologist agree that most of the disease is stable and that some jaggedy edges in my lung lining that looked like small tumors are smoothing out. Dr Rajan says there’s stability and 5-25% shrinkage in some areas. The wide margin is from variations in the direction the tumors are measured. In any case, it looks like my fast trek to Gold Status on Delta continues, at least for the next six weeks.
But cancer life is never that easy for me. My nurses had a hard time getting a blood return from my port. They could get saline in there to flush the line, but blood wouldn’t return. That meant a huge delay in getting my CT scan on Tuesday. It also meant I had to get my saline, Dexamethasone, Dextrose, chemo, and blood transfusion through an IV in my arm. That’s never a good thing for me, as my veins raised the white flag years ago; they’re tired and scarred and rolly. But my nurse, Damita, did a great job finding a vein that would still work. Some people might think a port is creepy. I think an IV is creepy. I can see the needle in my arm, which makes me think it’s going to get pulled out accidentally and spurt blood all over my computer. At least I can’t see my port when it’s accessed.
Anyway, the CT scan also showed that I have a blood clot or blood clots in my port line, and that’s why there’s no blood return. For the time being, I am now taking a blood thinner twice a day, also creepy. First of all, the needle seems HUGE and the shots hurt (not for long, but intensely). Second, hello, I’m a diabetic, which means I test my glucose and give myself shots of insulin several times a day. THAT means now there’s skinny blood dripping all over the place. Not cool. But at least I won’t get more clots. That would be the apex of irony, if it’s a blood clot that gets me after all of this. Not funny. Dr Thomas talked about a procedure that’s a master-blaster of TPA to bust up the clot and reopen the port floodgate. I’m definitely going to investigate that in ten days when I’m back in Bethesda.
I also hit the wall with the “hairstyle” I’ve been wearing all winter. I thought it was kind of cute poking out of the bottom of my ski helmet or cap, but lately, it’s reminded me more of Golllum in “Lord of the Rings.” It’s growing, even though I’m still on the drugs, which is weird but oh, so welcome. So today, I went in to Jessie, and she chopped off a few inches of the sparse locks that remained. It’s still too cold for me to go hatless, but between a bit of color and a bit of texturizing spray, my hair actually looks kind of cute for the first time this year. Come on, normal!
I know I said I was going to wait to make definitive travel plans until after I got my CT scan results, but I didn’t. In June, Alan and Sheryl and I are going to Oslo, then Spitsbergen Island to ogle polar bears. Right after we booked the trip, I read that the Arctic summer may have no ice by the year 2050. I take that as a sign that it’s time to go north now. That’s June.
But before that, I’m headed to Maui for my first ever yoga retreat. There are so many fantastic components to this trip already that I can’t wait to get there. I have some of my best girls going with me, and my friend, Anna, is one of the instructors. Plus, it’s MAUI. I cased the venue last summer: Took a yoga class, made Pally, her brother and sister in law eat lunch there, petted the yoga cats. It’s going to be an amazing week. With any luck at all, it’s going to be a good six weeks, as these cancer-fighting drugs keep doing what they do. In the meantime, as you can see, I’m hardly going to sit around and wait. There’s a big, big world out there, and I’m soon off to Downward Dog and Polar Bear. Polar Bear. THAT would be a fun yoga pose. #Defy #Believe #LiveBig #Namastey’all