This morning I went to the Cancer Center at Bergan Mercy to have my third Lupron shot. I also got my port flushed. I kinda felt like a car getting a tune up. An injection….a flush…. Anyhow, this officially starts my third month on Anastrozole, an aromatase inhibitor. I have had quite a bit of joint pain although the last three days I have felt better. I specifically have pain in my feet and it was better. So we’ll see if the Lupron shots are making the joint pain worse or not. I had this weird dream that I ran into our former parish priest, Fr. Michael Voithofer. He knew my feet were hurting and he knelt down to wash my feet, like they do on Holy Thursday’s Mass during Lent. He placed my feet in warm water and started to massage my calves and feet. If you know me well at all, I do NOT let people touch my feet. I am extremely ticklish and now with having had hand/foot syndrome for a year, my feet are very sensitive (although it is getting sooo much better now that I am off the chemo). I had been waking up and my arches were cramping and by feet were so stiff it was hard to walk until I really got moving. That morning I rotated and stretched my feet in bed before getting up, as I had been getting in the habit of doing and I didn’t have pain and my feet weren’t so stiff and tight. I was telling Lily and Rich about my dream. They thought I was a little crazy. I think it was divine intervention. I am sticking to it.
On June 1, I will have my CT scans of my chest, abd, and pelvis to see if these drugs are working. I will then teleconference with my sarcoma specialist at the Mayo Clinic on Jun 10th to see if I will continue with these AI’s or if I will have to go back on some kind of chemo. We have three trips planned in June and July, so noting having to throw in a new chemo there would be nice. I will meet with my local oncologist on June 11th to talk to him about what my specialist has recommended. Fingers crossed, I will then get another Lupron shot and move on to my next 3 months on Anastrozole. Anyhow, that is the medical itinerary I have set up for now. I did see a new optometrist on Thursday that I really liked. He was really helpful with helping me see better. We are going to try a couple of contact combinations over the next few weeks and see which one works best for me. I can already see better with the trial pair I have in now. I also have a pair of glasses on order that should fit me much better and allow me to see better than the current pair I have. Now to wait for them to be made and arrive.
I have been able to go back to Mass on the weekends as my parish is doing good physical distancing and people are still required to wear masks at most of the Masses. I have been able to see some people I hold close to my heart in person for the first time in 15 months. There have been tears and long, tight hugs that feel so absolutely wonderful. Today is the Feast of the Ascension of Jesus, a holy day of obligation here in Omaha. (some diocese celebrate this on the weekend – but we celebrate it on the day). I took Lily to school, spent an hour at the hospital for my “tune-up”, took a 90 minute walk with Rich and Tallinn at Lake Zorinsky, did some bookkeeping, went to Mass, grabbed a few groceries and spent some time doing some writing, reading and then listening to an audio book on the back porch with Tallinn in the sunshine. I am loving not being on Doxil and being able to be in the sunshine! I have been taking Tai Chi classes via zoom with a cancer support group here in Omaha for the last 6 weeks or so. Tonight was the last one. I have two black belts and nearly another in martial arts. I gave it the college try. It is just too slow for me. I can do the form that I learned though and I met a lot of neat people locally via zoom. That zoom meeting moved right into another one that had my sarcoma specialist from the Mayo Clinic as the guest speaker at a National LMS Foundation meeting. This is a great group of people living with LMS that have doctors and researchers and other various roles speak to us a couple of times a month. We are from all over the country and the zoom meetings are a chance to talk to specialists and ask questions. After the presentation is complete, the speaker leaves the meeting and we all chat about what is going on in our lives and ask each other questions. Tonight there was a gentleman in California who had questions about ports…about chemo. He is just starting on his journey with LMS. It is so nice to be able to answer some questions and support others.
About helping others with LMS….I have a couple of people I have met online that I have gotten close to. Katie up in Montana died 3 weeks short of me being able to meet her in person. I have a friend in the UK named Marie who I have bonded with. However, there is a woman in South Dakota that I have really spent a lot of time online with over the last….goodness…almost a year now. She was diagnosed several months after me. Her name is Hollie and we texted each other several times a week. Having LMS is like having a baby. You really can’t understand what it is like unless you have also been through it. Hollie and I were going through the trenches together with LMS and chemo. She could text me and ask me if Doxil made my armpits look a weird color, as if they were dirty. Well, yes, it does. We could lament about how it felt to be a mom with kids at home watching this horrible thing happen. Hollie is younger than I am and has younger kids….like not even teens yet younger. We could talk about the impact the illness we both have had on our husbands…on our marriages. I last spoke with Hollie Monday night…late. She had sent me pictures of her and her oldest daughter hugging in a hospital bed. She had some blood work issues and ended up in the hospital. She had some procedures done to correct the problem and then everything just went to hell in a handbasket. Her organs started to shut down and she decided to go home on hospice this week. She had to tell her kids on Mother’s Day that she wasn’t going to be around much longer. I spoke to her Monday night….trying to console her about her leaving her kids. I sent messages Tuesday and Wednesday and heard nothing. Not good. Her husband, Chad, sent me a message yesterday telling me that she has been unresponsive since Tuesday morning and it won’t be long now…that she was ready to go and just waiting for God to take her. It has been an emotional rollercoaster for me losing this young friend to this horrible disease that will eventually take me. I can’t imagine how hard it is for her two kids and her husband…and her mom, who has been battling cancer herself. So, my wonderful prayer warriors, if you are so inclined, please lift up Hollie in prayer that she has a peaceful passing…that her family will have the support they need to get past this very painful part of her transition to heaven. Thanks, I would really appreciate it! I am storming heaven on her behalf daily as well.