Shall we just jump into the really big news? Post vacation Pet Scan this week; my tumors are continuing to shrink and are increasingly “less avid”. The dragon is going to sleep which puts me in the stable category!!!! Everyone wants to dance with the stable boy! This also means Doc Rachel said no chemo needed until my next Pet Scan in 12 weeks! Yippee kayay!!!!
I have been feeling great since vacation. My “great” is probably different from yours. I still have intense neuropathy in my feet and left hand (nerve damage from the Pembro), take 6-10 medications daily, sleep 12 hours a night, drink copious amounts of decaffeinated drinks and have frequent doctor appointments–a bone density scan next Monday, the cute cancer endocrinologist after that. But…..this is what is allowing my immune system to go after the cancer instead of dealing with stress or a head cold. Life is good.
With summer coming to a close, Tim Blanket and I have been spending as much time as we can in the company of friends. Reconnecting with old friends from 30 years ago, Mink, Beth, Maddy and Eric for a very fun dinner, an impromptu pool party at Stephen and Carol’s, a day at the beach with Bridget, a day at the pool with Kelsey, Jack came up for a night, and most importantly, the head coconut turned 27! I had an epiphany in which it occurred to me I should continue to travel and make memories while I can in the next 12 weeks—what good is saving money if I won’t be around to spend it later on? With that spirit in mind, I surprised Kelsey with her birthday gift—a mom/daughter trip to Aruba in October. Her reaction was priceless–wish I got that on video! Yes, there were tears. What’s better than traveling with your own personal nurse? Little coconut had a few words on that but moving on….
In other stupid news, my ladies gym (that I have belonged to for 4 years) suddenly and mysteriously locked the doors and changed the locks without warning. Yup, pretty much skipped town. Remember ladies, karma will get you! This occurred just as my PT was hoping to transition me back to the gym because I am so awesome and have continued to make progress. I’m actually walking pretty independently, driving a little, and not nearly as shaky unless I’m in an unfamiliar place. With that, Stephen helped me get connected to the Y. They are having me meet with someone to orient me next week and I will start their Live Strong program for cancer peeps in late September. Back at the PT gym, my person is developing a list of functional exercises for me to continue working on. She says my weakest area is turning and pivoting (what am I –a basketball player?) Oh well, I’ll just keep walking straight for now!
I had my nails done yesterday for fun. Again it drives me crazy that I cannot communicate with “Mary” because of the Vietnamese language barrier. She knows there is something wrong with me because she keeps asking me if I am okay, but I still have to tell her every time that I cannot have any tools used on my hands (risk of lymphedema). She does not understand and I cannot explain it to her. So frustrating! At any rate, she massaged my hands for a long time, I think out of sympathy, which felt great given the nerve pain. I just wish we could talk.
The Olympics have been great (well except for the Lochte incident). Lying never wins. Love the Pilipino divers–they totally sucked but were high fiving in the hot tub afterward. Gotta love that spirit!
I don’t know how I am going to handle not starting back to school. I feel the sadness about it creeping in but Blanket reminds me “it’s not my circus, not my monkey” and I laugh. I visited school last week to see my boss and his secretary, who I love, and the vice Principal. It was wonderful. They made me feel very supported and not so much a drop out. I will go to the opening day faculty meeting, maybe field day,and help out as much as I can from a distance. I hope to see my advisory kids too. Otherwise it would be too hard.
What will I do come September? Blanket has me working out some structure to my life besides sleeping. I will continue to go to the gym, maybe swim a little, walk downtown and visit the knitting house and the library. I have a small stack of books I want to read if my concentration allows it. My 9 million doctor appointments. Maybe a trip to Napa. Who knows? I am aware it could all change tomorrow–nothing is given. But for now I want to relish the moments I have with family and friends before it slips my grasp.
My humming bird feeder finally paid off and I have a new friend. We all miss my kitty, Bella, but Lola is now following me around like a guard dog. Going to a Brabants pool party later today, Bill and Carla are coming tonight for the fire pit, tomorrow we see our niece, Kyle, for brunch. Yup, the tender mercies are in force and surrounding us. Life is good, more than I can say in words.
Love from Barbara’s circus! 🎪💕✨