The Big C

A journey through Stage Four Cancer

Great Update

I went to my oncologist on Halloween , to tell me the results of my latest CAT scan.  I call it the CAT scan from hell because I’ve developed an allergy to the contrast fluid and had diarrhea from shortly before the scan until about a week afterward. Not fun!

The good news is that my tumors have not increased in size or number.  I am scheduled for another CAT scan after all the holidays are over, sometime in January.  The bad news is that the Dr told me that more chemo is in my future.  With all the good news, I asked how needing chemo fit in?  I was surprised, and a bit take back.  The short answer is that the kind of tumors that I have won’t stay dormant, at some point they will start to grow again and I will need chemo to knock them down again.

I wanted to yell “No!”, but this is his profession, he’s seen this beast many times. He knows.  But I’m not laying down with a lily on my chest.  I am going to continue to start every day asking the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be my Patroness, to ask her son to please grant me either a remission or a cure.  I’m going to continue to take my vitamin D and my yucky mushroom supplements.  I’m going to try to keep a cheerful mood .  I am going to continue to refrain from alcohol because that is what the Dr’s have told me to do.

I am going to continue to take it day to day, and be grateful for the day that God has granted me.

The bills continue to be, spectacular.  Today I don’t feel guilty for living.  My family is grateful to have me.  I am continuing to write my book “The Development”, although inspiration hasn’t been as strong as it was previously, but maybe that is because I am now writing hoping for commercial success instead of just telling a good story.

I’ve also taken pictures of my daughters cats with pumpkins, Jack O’Lanterns and Christmas garland and then submitted them to SnapFish Stock Photos and had them accepted.  I’ve been told not to expect to make my fortune selling photos, but anything I do make will help pay the bills.

I still have the pain in my leg, the mystery pain because it isn’t from the tumors.  I’ve been trying to find a wheel chair from Craigslist, thrift shops, even pawn shops, to no avail.  Maybe people are selling wheel chairs instead of donating them in this economy?  My knight in shining armour has come through again, and ordered me a new one.  It should be here before Christmas, so soon I won’t be home bound anymore.  Even walking in my yard is too much for me now.

So, there is my mostly great, update!


My stalker

It’s back.

I’ll be starting chemo soon.

Please pray for me, but especially, my family.


Monday at too early o’clock was my CAT scan.  It’s been about 3 months since my last scan and something has changed in CAT scan in that short time.  The awful, chalky, glug-gy, retch inducing fluid has been changed.  Now the fluid is clear, like water, and tastes like fake, flavored water.  It was a lot easier to drink and one of the dreads of getting a CAT scan is gone.

You still have to drink 32 ounces of it in an hour, which is not easy for me, but in the world of medical procedures, is really a non-issue.

And the person who started my IV reminded me of my daughter-in-law-to-be; full of life, considerate, kind and caring.  The insertion had a minimum of the ouch factor.

It was such an easy scan, it’s hard to remember that it’s done for a serious reason.

I can almost forget that I have to continue looking over my shoulder for the shadow of the stalker.

God is good.  Merry Christmas!

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The CAT Scan

Next week is my CAT scan, and I’m nervous.

I’m not nervous because CAT scans are painful, because they really are not.  CAT scans are mostly a nuisance.

First, you have to drink a quantity of liquid, yucky liquid.  It comes in cute little, chilled bottles with yummy names like “Fudgey Chocolate” or “Orange Creme.”  They even smell yummy.  The taste however, ieeew, that’s a different story.  Having had more CAT scans than I can remember, I have worked out a strategy of how to consume the thick liquid without throwing up.

The most important thing is to have the liquid shaken up very, very well.  I can’t do it, so I have my husband do it, or one of my sons.  This gets the thick stuff on the bottom up, and mixed in smoothly.  That prevents a chunk coming up your straw and making you gag.

The second most important thing to do is start sucking on the liquid, while paying attention to something else – a television, a magazine, even a conversation that is none of your business.  Anything.  Don’t come up for air because you will get the yucky taste and gag.

Follow the directions the hospital staff give you for how much to drink at their set intervals.  Don’t try to slurp it all at once.

Do not drink the remains at the very bottom or you will probably throw up all that you have already drank of it.

Even the IV that they put into my arm to contrast for my scan is no more than a bit of an ouch! as they look for a willing vein.

Following the directions of Breathe! Hold your breath! Breathe! is sort of like playing a CAT scan version of Simon Says.

What has me nervous is wondering if my stalker has returned.  The only way to know is with the CAT scan throwing a light into all the hidden corners.

And that is what has me nervous.

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