Cycle #4

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Lily pads at the Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe

I started my 4th cycle of revimid/velcae/dexamethasone this morning. My doctor at Smilow would like to see me making quicker progress and would like to add a 4th drug. My doctor at Dana Farber is pleased with my progress and does not want to make any changes at this point. When I spoke to the APRN at Dana Farber late last week she actually said that sometimes with a very quick response there is also a faster relapse, that sometimes a slower, steady response is better. “Sort of like when you lose weight too fast and then gain it all back”, she said. I am happy with Dana Farber’s plan. I have virtually complete trust in them, they are the experts, this is all that they do.

My mom accompanied me to my appointment this morning (for the first time). We had a very long wait in the exam room after seeing the fellow, waiting for the doctor. I finally said to her “You know Mom, if you want to have cancer you need to be more patient than this!”

I did have the flu (influenza A) for about two weeks. So there’s another good thing about cancer, if I had the flu and did not have cancer, I probably would have never known I had the flu, I would have not gotten the rest I needed and I would have just kept pushing myself and wondering why the heck I couldn’t get over this terrible cold – so there’s that.

Now I have two weeks of treatment and then the off week leading up to my daughter’s wedding, which is perfect.  Lots to do, exciting stuff, can’t wait to see my baby girl get married and visit with family and friends from near and far.

Published by

Heather

I never thought I’d be writing a blog, and certainly not one that is all about me, and yet, here I am. For me life has always been interesting, not mundane, not always exciting per se, but hardly ever the norm. When I say “It’s always something…” I don’t hear it as my life is a mess, it;s always something. It’s more of life is challenging and evolving and messy and inspiring and wondrous, it’s always something. I grew up in suburbia, buy my grandfather was the head of the Communist Party in the U.S. I was raised keeping that a secret, so that was something. I am tall, always have been, really tall (6’1″), I was taller than every human being in my elementary school when I was in 6th grade, that is still something. My parents divorced in my teens. I got a full basketball scholarship to Duke University. I married my high school basketball coach, 18 years my senior. I raised a stepson. I had two amazing kids of my own. We had a multicultural household, secular christian (I guess that’s what I would call it, you know Santa and the Easter Bunny) and Judaism, I used to say if it was a holiday – we celebrated it! We were uber involved in our community, mostly through youth athletics, coaching, managing and spectating. Our kids grew up, I started a photography business on the side (I hope to share some photos here) and we planned to travel a bit together, went to Portugal for our 25th anniversary and then my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer, initially they gave him 5 years, but he only survived for a little over two. I was going to say lived, but really, it was more like surviving. That, indeed, was something. I became a widow at 49. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. But, then it was something in another way. I relearned who I was. You don’t realize how much of you becomes a combination of you and another person in a relationship. And not in a bad way, it is essential, and you don’t lose yourself, you just evolve. And I found myself suddenly alone, and learning about myself and who I had become over the years, what was just me, and what was part of who we were together. Which in retrospect, was probably hardest on those around me who had gotten used to the old me, or never even knew the original me. A year later I found love again. Sold my home of 31 years and moved closer to work. I became more fit, ate more healthfully and was amazed that I could be happy, truly happy, in the wake, no not wake, but the shadow of such profound grief. And that is truly something, something amazing and unexpected. And then, through some routine blood work in April 2014, and a visit to a hematologist and bone marrow biopsy in May, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. And so, yes, for me right now it’s multiple myeloma, but that is not all, there are still highs and joys, and the mundane and the rest, but something like cancer does cast a pretty long shadow.

6 thoughts on “Cycle #4”

  1. I am so glad you have the confidence in Dana Farber, that has to be a huge help to you Love you and can’t wait for the wedding

    Like

  2. You are kind of a wonder! I am so in awe of how you just do what you have to! I hope I can get to the wedding…hugs to all of you!

    Like

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