(The update for this week would be that I'm getting stronger and stronger. I'm walking a 3.5 mile route each day...sometimes the girls join me on their bikes, and most recently I'm pushing a five year-old in a stroller. I'm doing light weights for upper body and my appetite is back, though I'm still not very adventurous with eating. My pain is minimal...its been at least two weeks since I've taken anything, even Tylenol. The visiting nurse comes three times a week, so I'm being closely watched.)
However, we found out last week that we are not yet at the end of this chapter/road/journey/season.
I've deliberately held off on sharing the pathology findings from surgery because we didn't know what it meant as far as next step.
That changed this week when we met with the Sloan oncologist (who had already been in communication with my surgeon). We talked about the findings of the report , which showed the margins of healthy tissue around the tumor were great. The disappointing news is that a number of cancerous nodes were removed.
She, along with the Tumor Board (the Tumor Board!!) believe it is prudent to do another round of chemo to deal with any other possible cancer cells before they have a chance to multiple and spread. Its possible there is currently no cancer in my body and this ends up being precautionary...there's just no way to know. Since I am young (at least relative to the cancer world) and in otherwise good health, they are being aggressive.
The oncologist (who is young and personable and highly regarded in her field) strongly believes in the FOLFOX regiment. Its the one I started with but then had a strong, adverse reaction to after the second round so I was switched to FOLFIRI (in case you speak chemo :). Dr. C., the Sloan oncologist respectfully disagrees with some of the decisions made by our local oncologist surrounding that episode. She has had experience with patients having a reaction and wants to use a different tactic in administering the drugs.
What that looks like for us is some very long chemo days in NYC. Its funny how our perspectives have changed. Back in October we thought it would be burdensome to drive to NYC once every two weeks...eight times! We were so thankful to be able to get the treatments locally at a hospital only 30 minutes away. Now, all these months later, we're thinking, what a piece of cake! We only have to drive to NYC once every two weeks...and we can come back the same day! Ha...love perspective!
So, September 2nd we'll start chemo treatment 1 of 6 / 9 of 14....six additional rounds of chemo added to the eight I've already had. The news was surprisingly undisturbing to me. Maybe its because I'm still busy recovering from surgery. Maybe its because I feel like I can do anything as long as they don't ask me to do radiation or surgery again! Those things certainly contribute, but what I know is really holding me together is God's grace.
I've gotten really good at just doing today and living in the grace He provides for the day, the moment. God's grace sustains me and carries me.
He is aware of the pathology report and my family and the difficult situation you are facing, too...He sees and He knows. It is his good pleasure to provide just what we need. He is good, all the time and his grace is enough for you and its enough for me.