Sunday, March 14, 2010

Annual update on health status

As i was revisiting and updating my blog, i realized it has been over a year now that i posted my health status.  There have been lots of changes and hurdles - high highs and low lows - but, all in all i am still surrounded by an amazing community of supportive friends and family - i feel i am so not worthy - but, i am truly - TRULY blessed and blown away everday by all of thank you!!  words cannot express the level of thanks i send out.....

So, on to the update.....we left off in january of last year....gonna try to keep this brief because i am typing one-handed (left) these days.  Continued chemo - Avastin and Abraxane - january through May. May scans showed growth in the right lung lymph node - so we decided to let the new steriotactic radiation machine - Novalis or NTX - have a go at it.  Chemo continued... but, just the abraxane.

july scans showed activity in my left third rib and a lymph node in my sternum area - so, NTX to the rescue again in August.  Stopped chemo since it had clearly run its course.

September, i found out that i had developed a staph infection in my port....luckily no hospital visits, but LOTS of blood cultures.  Finally got that puppy removed in early October.

Scans in november showed growth back in the right lung lymph node, so - Dr. Dees and i decided on Xeloda - a chemo drug in pill form - AWESOME!!

Brain scans in December showed swelling around original brain tumor that was gamma knifed in 12/08.  the tumor is necrotic (dead) but, irritates surrounding tissue in the brain and causes swelling - which hinders use of my right arm, hand, etc.  So, i started on steroids (Decadron) and, by Christmas thought i would go crazy.  i went off the steroids and back is a battle to try to find the right balance between the side effects and the benefits to the use of my right side.

Another brain MRI in January found 7 new little, we gave NTX a try on them.  The MRI in February showed those areas resolved - but, unfortunately a number of new spots.  So, onto Whole brain radiation (WBR) - 17 treatments of a low dose.  Just finished that up March 12th and will wait a month for the next MRI. Lost my hair again....from follicle damage....but, fun new wigs.

Have PET scan planned for the end of March -- so, we will see how my Xeloda is doing.   Still on the steroids for the swelling in the left brain, not loving the moonface and many other side effects - but, hoping my mobility improves and soon!!

i think that is it for the medical - but, let me tell you - the year was full of so many great times and 2010 is shaping up to be another fabulous year!!!

next post will be all about those highlights!!!

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