This week is flying.
I can’t believe it’s already Thursday night and I’m almost heading into another weekend. I guess when you have a day at the Mayo clinic Tuesday, followed by a great field trip with my 5th graders on Wednesday, a week can move pretty fast.
So, as the title sings – 3.5 years down and 1.5 years to go.
My scan was clear – no sign of disease; but I got to say, hearing that never gets old. As scary as it was after my first couple scans, it’s just as scary now, three and a half years later. The wait for the doctor to enter the room always takes an eternity. My hands become sweaty & my breath is short. My mom tries to cut the anxiousness with silly jokes & tid bits of random information. I always tell Tony to stop being so quiet. We all deal with the wait differently.
This time around was a little different.
Instead of waiting, waiting, waiting, Dr. Robinson stopped in my room early. He apologized that he was running late due to a busy day of patient consults, and wanted to make sure we didn’t wait a second longer for my scan results: ALL CLEAR.
It’s one of the many reasons I like seeing my doctor; the guy who was there from my first visit. A guy who not only knows his stuff when it comes to my cancer, but who also has the most amazing bed-side manner and compassion for his patients. The past two scans I’ve met with the sarcoma team’s nurse practitioner; a good sign, really. I don’t have major issues with my chemo & I’ve been getting positive results, so I can see why they save the big guy for the patients who may need to see him more often.
But still. It makes my heart happy when I get to meet with Dr. Robinson. He puts a lot of my fears at ease, delivers the information I have to hear, but always remembers I am a person & not a number. He remembers I’m a woman who has goals, [to start a family] and he does his absolute best to make sure I’ll be healthiest I can be when that time arrives.
A time that could actually be in a year and a half.
We had to talk some logistics: my absolute neutrophils are approaching a dangerously low number. I’ve always hovered on the lower end, [a terrific side effect of my chemo pill], but my recently blood work showed another dip. The reason this is kind of a big deal is your neutrophils are a part of your white blood cell count, and their job is to fight off infection. So, in other words, if I get some sort of bug I would have a tough time fighting it off; I could get really sick.
Dr. Robinson said over and over how safe and smart I have to be moving forward: go to bed early, stay home if I’m feeling even just the slightest cold approaching, etc… Being a teacher, in the beginning of the school year, this should be really easy to stay healthy [insert eye roll emoji] ..
But I was presented with a couple different options moving forward concerning how much longer I would take my chemo pill & when Tony and I could start thinking about children.
Since I have been on my chemo pill for over three years, [the latest study/research has been done through three years of taking my chemo], I could get stop taking my pill now & be monitored over the next year and a half. My GIST cancer is known to reoccur in the first 15 months of being off of chemo after three years, so I couldn’t jump into babies, but I could be off of chemo & feel a little bit more like Kaylee for the next year and a half.
Once a year and a half has gone by, pending scan results, Tony and I would be able to start trying for children.
Instead of getting off, I stay on my chemo pill for the next year and a half, finishing off the original five year proposal, and in Dr. Robinson’s words, “squeeze as much juice from the orange, without damaging the orange.” Again, pending results, I wouldn’t have to wait the additional 15 months after getting off chemo to start trying for babies, instead, just a couple months.
It’s amazing to have two plans presented. I told him, as I’ve told all of you – a plan is all I’ve ever wanted.
I know there is still a road in front of me. I know I’m not done with this journey yet, but for the first time in a long time, I can see the light again. I can see a small, glowing candle at the end of the darkened tunnel.
I can see hope.
In the meantime, I’m back on the green juice wagon; I need to get my neutrophils up before my next blood draw, and I’ll be in bed earlier than my usual early bedtime. But I’ll do it all with a pep in my step 🙂
Off I go to hit the pillow. I have fresh sheets to put on the bed & great breeze through my window.
xo my pumpkins