Why Me? Part Two.

Hiking along the Harpreth River Narrows, TN

The name of my blog is a reminder….to not give all my energy over to something that can’t be controlled with worry, something that can happen to anyone at anytime for no reason. Why me? why not?

This past fall I changed Oncologists. I mentioned an area of concern that one of surgeons had noticed in a scan two years ago. My previous oncologist decided to “wait and watch” and that never sat well with Bobby and I. My new oncologist moved fast and immediately started to investigate. She ordered scans and referred me to a Thoracic Surgical Oncologist. He ordered detailed scans followed by two surgical biopsies.

First off we needed to rule out breast cancer. The second big concern was pancreatic cancer as detailed scans revealed not only a cluster of enlarged lymph nodes, but a messenteric mass was surrounding the celiac artery.

This leads us to March and once again, we “wait” …appointments, blood tests and consults.

My diagnosis, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Blood cancer.

Speed bump.

For two weeks we sat and setted with the idea of a surgically implanted port and R-CHOP chemo treatments. The thought of having to put my life on pause so that I may live made me angry and I was in disbelief. My body and mind have been through so much the past 2.5 years; breast cancer, pandemic, 6 surgeries, my brother’s death…even my big boy leaving home for college 2 states away….

Despite the past two years, I honestly have never felt as strong as I do now, physically and mentally.

My anger and disbelief softens.

So I began preparing for this pause in my life…so I can further life. Prioritizing things I wanted to continue for the short future and putting other things on hold. I knew I wanting to continue practicing and teaching yoga, so I decided no garden this year. A family vacation would unlikely happen over the summer so we planned a last-minute trip to Nashville the week before my treatments began. I researched diet and hacks for dealing with chemotherapy.

I cut off my hair.

Less than a week ago I added another Oncologist to my Anti-cancer army, her specialty; Hematology.

She describes my new cancer as a weed in the garden: we treat it, watch and when it grows back we treat again. Incurable, but treatable. She is the head of the department and a research Dr. So, a rock star in hematology oncology. She gave me some options for treatment. The top option was targeted therapy. Weekly infusions of monoclonal antibodies, a good place to start.

I’m ALL in.

Wham-bam we start Friday! For the next four Fridays I’ll be at the cancer center for 5.5-8 hours for treatments. After week 4 I take a break. Scans will tell if there is a response. If there is a reduction of more than 50% than we have a sign its working. If not, Dr has more options in her cancer arsenal.

So this means we are starting with a treatment plan that won’t be so hard on my entire body! Side effects aren’t as grueling. I can garden, likely vacation, I’m embracing this short hair, and of course, continue with yoga. I can still do it all, sure I’ll have to slow down a bit. But all my energies are going toward this treatment working….Why me? Why Not?

If you’d like to join me in this direct line please send a bit of your thoughts, love, energy and good vibes my way.

5K is My New Marathon!

Saturday morning I put on my running kicks ready for the Crush Cancer 5K. I’m a runner. I just like to run. I’ve run countless miles. Two weeks after surgery, I knew I couldn’t walk, let alone run most the distance but I was gonna do it anyway! With special permission to “cheat” I “ran” most of the 5K on an electric bike.

I looked like a Shriner Clown in the parade but I didn’t care because I was determined to be a part of this community and the cause we were all there for! Cancer has impacted everyone in every way.

I “ran“ with my family, my friends, my neighbors. I did walk the last part of the 5K with my big boy, Justin and Pink Petals and sure I was the last to cross that line, but next year I plan to place!

Once over I was exhausted but had a great time. The rest of the day had me. cozied up in front of NetFlix.