Now that whatever lovely 8 day viral infection invaded my body is fading into the sunset, I am starting to appreciate just how sick I was. Sicker than I have yet been with this cancer, that's for sure. Highest temperature in the last two days has been 100 even, so I think it's done and on the way out. My cough isn't too bad today and my appetite has definitely picked up. I'm still as weak as a kitten, but I'm sure some of that will come back as I recover from this illness and some of it won't, given the anemia that Alimta is causing. At any rate, I feel something resembling human again and it is a huge relief.
Hannah has also been fighting what looks like the same bug. She made an abortive attempt at school yesterday, like my abortive attempt at work on Tuesday. She made it for the entire day today and hasn't had any fever, so hopefully she's on the mend as well.
A professional acquaintance of mine was recently diagnosed with yet another awful prognosis cancer and in our brief email conversations about adjusting to her new worldview I was taken back to those awful first days of uncertainty and despair. While the uncertainty persists, it's longer range than it was before and I can live with it. The despair is not an issue as I inch closer and closer to both my anniversary of diagnosis and the mean survival point of my first line chemotherapy regimen. I'm still here! I'm still living and enjoying life! That one thing that I wished for so much when I was first diagnosed I have been given - time. Time to get affairs in order. Time to tell people how much I love them. Time to attend concerts and sporting events. Time to go to Alaska.
So since things are pretty stable for me right now, please spare some of those thoughts, prayers, spells, incantations, etc. that you have so generously sent my way these past months for my colleague as she navigates these terrifying early days.
As part of my workup for this fever and cough I had a CT angiogram of my chest last week that showed most of my known metastatic disease. My last scan was December 3 and I went almost 4 weeks with no systemic treatment after that before starting the Alimta. There's been no change in the lung lesion (no visible solid tumor), the liver lesion is significantly smaller (3.6 cm down from 5.0 cm), the right adrenal lesion is slightly larger (4.1 cm up from 3.9 cm), the lymph node under the diaphragm is slightly larger (2.1 cm up from 1.9 cm) and the thoracic spine lesion is unchanged. Apparently there is some question about new small nodules in both lower lobes of my lungs. But to my read, this is stable disease and plenty of information to warrant continuing the Alimta. Radiologists at both Yale and my hospital have discs of everything and will be weighing in with their professional opinions, but I don't think it will change anything. No reason for a scan in February so it will probably be St. Patrick's Day (after my anniversary!) for the next scan. Between now and then Hannah and I will be in DC for volleyball over President's Day weekend, Lindsay and I will spend the following weekend at Canyon Ranch for rest, relaxation, pampering and some real mother-daughter bonding time, and then two more volleyball weekends - Rochester at the end of February and Schenectady mid-March. By the time I have the next scan I will only have one more volleyball tournament on the schedule!
I'm off today and working the weekend. It's supposed to warm up to 50 here on Sunday, which will be a very welcome change. Next Alimta on Tuesday, Neulasta Wednesday and on we go. I wish Phil hadn't seen his shadow, but I know spring will get here eventually. Everyone stay safe and warm and remember - pitchers and catchers report on Valentine's Day!