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Getting clarity May 15, 2018

Posted by Judy in Musings.

Last Wednesday, I had a PET scan, and the results were mixed.  After visiting with my oncologist today, I’ve decided that there is more good news than bad news, it’s really a matter of how you look at it.

The bad

  • I have progression in my lung area.  The pleura, which is the lining around your lung, has thickened.  Looking at the picture on the scan, I saw way more things lit up than I wanted to see.  Basically, this means that if it continues to thicken, it could restrict my lung from expanding and cause more breathing issues.  We don’t want that.
  • My tumor markers went up from 700 to 1083.

The good

  • Now I know why I was getting these weird pokey pain under my sternum, the pleural thickening.
  • Even though I’ll be starting a new medication that has lots of potential side effects (hairloss, mouth sores, constipation, nausea, tiredness, aches and pains), I’ll be starting this AFTER my responsibilities at the University are over, and as things are winding down at work.  What great timing!
  • I don’t have to wait around for insurance approval.  I’ll be getting a port placed on Wednesday morning, and hope to start chemo on Thursday.
  • It’s only four cycles, and then I’ll never have to do this very toxic combination again.
  • The oncologist thinks that this med has a better chance of working than the Xeloda.  (This is actually what he said before I started Xeloda, but I opted to try Xeloda first because I wanted to delay IV chemo as long as possible.)
  • I’ve been having stomach discomfort and nausea for like 2 months now, so it’ll be old hat once I start the chemo! =)
  • I’m feeling pretty good.  On a scale of 1 to 10, generally I feel like a 7.5 or 8.  That means that this is the ideal time to try this really toxic combo so that my body has the best chance of dealing with the toxicity.  (See how the timing is working out so beautifully?)
  • The cancer in my spine has decreased.  (Yes, please do a happy dance!)
  • The cancer in my femurs, humeri, and pelvis seems to be decreased as well. (More dancing!)
  • The bone metastases seem to be under control. (Alright, it’s a straight up dance party up in here!)

See, so there is way more good news than bad news.  Yes, it sucks that I have to go the IV chemo route as that chemo tends to just blast everything in site, whereas the oral chemo is more targeted, meaning fewer side effects.  But we’ve seen that the oral chemo isn’t cutting the butter, so IV chemo it is.  And no, I’m not thrilled about having a port again.  I’m actually pretty ambivalent about losing my hair.  I kinda rocked the bald head the last time, so, bring it, I guess!

I’m ready to get this new plan started and see how well it works.  If you are the praying type, I’m asking specifically that I won’t suffer the dramatic effects of the chemo, and that it will help to kick this disease into remission.  Thank you to all of you for your constant and continued support!  Words can’t express how much that support has been helping me this past year! ♥♥♥



1. Jen - May 15, 2018

I’m praising God right now for such good news! And I will continue praying for your specific request.

2. Mary Slayton - May 15, 2018

Oh, Little Miss Perlita, how good much of this does sound! We will keep praying for sure, for strength on your part and less misery than you anticipate as well as a full remission (never to have that ugly cancer raise its ugly head again in you or anyone you love). You are to be admired for your strength, your persistence, and your willingness to keep us informed. Many will be blessed by your journey. I know I have been and I share about it to anyone who will listen. Love you so much!

3. rlape85 - May 15, 2018

Sweetie I am so happy and yes I did my dance around for all the good news. We will pray you don’t have the ugly effects of the chemo. Have a restful night. ❤ you lots! see you soon.

4. Kandice Dickinson - May 15, 2018

Thank you for the update, dearest-heart – – – courage, mon cher – xoxox Kandice

5. Jessica - May 18, 2018

I join with you and praying for more miracles (BIG and small). You have so many people standing with you and praying you on. I love getting updates and I pray that total peace and comfort will embrace you.

6. Phyllis Johnston - May 23, 2018

Oh Perla, I am SOOOOO sorry to hear you’re “at it” again. I pray for you daily. I WILL not only continue but keep praying against those unwanted effects. Pray for your family too. Wondering about your husband, since he’s never mentioned.

I’m up to my waist in preparing for assisted living move. Packing w/ & w/o sorting; selling furniture, dishes & silver; giving much away; looking for a buyer for my 1931 Steinway L size, etc etc. Obviously way behind on FB & SO much more.

Keep up the good work!! Keep hanging on to God & He will keep carrying you.

Oh & btw, what are you still doing for dear U of I? Get it over with!!
Much love & prayer comes.

7. Phyllis Johnston - May 23, 2018

PS Never mind husband question. Just saw pictures. Do wonder how he’s coping though.

I forgot to say what an amazing attitude you have!! To see things so positively. God is making you into a woman who is not only a breath-taking example, but also one who has the heart strength of ten men.

Thank you for what you’re giving to others.

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