Monday, January 13, 2014

My first post of 2014.

My first scans of 2014.

I have been on this particular chemo cocktail of 3 for 9 rounds, once a week.  Its the longest one I have been on without side effects setting me back or more tumors rearing their nastiness.  I knew I would have to tolerate 9 rounds before I would get scanned.  I counted down every single week.

Sarah Ruiz passed away on January 1, 2014.  This amazing girl was my guidance through my journey so far.  She grabbed on to me and held my hand.  She made me feel like I had total control over this disease.  If I had a question about a side effect or a supplement or a weird vegan recipe, I would consult her first.  She would always give me the best recommendation and I would pretty much do whatever she told me.  I avoid any of the doctors prescriptions that fill my medicine cabinet as much as I can.  One night, I couldn’t sleep, I had terrible anxiety and heart palpitations from my chemo that day.  I was texting Sarah around midnight, she recommended something and I sent Scott out at 1:30 am to get some herbal remedy that she recommended and I have taken it every night since then.  If she was having a bad day making good decisions about eating healthy, she would reach out to me and we would get each other back on track.  She would scribble notes down for me and take a picture of them with her phone and text them to me.  We both shared with each other that we were glad we had someone who was in the same boat and could lean on each other emotionally and get real feedback on questions.  She would always tell me that she wished she could take my pain away and I would say the same to her.  A few days before she passed, she texted me “love you” and I knew that would be the last time I would hear from her.  Selfishly, I felt lost but I am happy that she is at peace and free of pain from this awful effin Metastatic Breast Cancer.  She was the bravest person I have ever met and I will never stop fighting for her.  Rest in Peace Sweet Sarah.

Of course, there was a concern for mets to my chest.  That scan came back clear…NO cancer in my chest.  The massive amount of tumors in my liver have shrunk in number and size.  This is amazing and my oncologist is thrilled.  As you can imagine, I am as well.  I have worked so hard to keep on track with only putting good things in my body.  The liver is the body’s filter and everything you eat ends up in the blood stream making its way through the liver.  Since mine is infested with cancer and cancer feeds off sugar, I refused to feed those tumors what they like.  I know that I cant control the cancer cells, but I can control what I feed them and I have worked my butt off to make sure I was on top of it.  It has paid off big time so far.  My bone scan came back showing the tumors that were surfaced in my spine as being “treated”.  Which means right now, the cancer cells in them are no longer “lighting up”.  The malignant tumors in my bones have been hiding and have surfaced with chemo.  My oncologist calls this “flaring”.  She also stated that there may be more hiding but the treatment I am on is doing its job and I am responding very well to the chemotherapy.  My primary breast tumor is now just DCIS.  There also were no more palpable lymph nodes today, which is also amazing.  I do still have fluid around my heart (pericardial effusion) that is a little worse that last scan but not bad enough to do anything about since I am not showing any cardiac symptoms at this time.  My doctors are thrilled and amazed that I am responding so well.  The only thing that didn’t get scanned was my brain because my insurance company refused it because I don’t have any neurological symptoms.  My oncologist was not happy about this, so today she told me in the office “you now have headaches”.  My liver functions and my tumor markers are also stable.

Soooo, the plan is to continue this weekly cocktail (every Monday), for another 8 rounds.  Ugh.  I hate the side effects but it is working, so I will take it.  I am aware of the fact that eventually these chemos may not work for me so I am lucky to be where I am at for the time being.  I am scheduled for surgery to put the port in my chest on Feb 3rd.  My veins are crapping out.  This is very emotional for me, because it makes having terminal cancer more “real” to me.  I will have the power port implanted under my skin on the left side of my chest, since my breast cancer is on the right side.  This will make it easier for me to have chemo and for tests, since all my tests require injections in my veins, my port will be accessed for everything including lab draws.  I will have the port for the rest of my life.  That makes my skin crawl.

I will have my abdomen scans, bone scans, head scans and heart ECHO in 8 weeks and then go from there.  I am hoping to stay on this track.   When I get to a “sterile” place, meaning the tumors are not lighting up as malignant or they have been destroyed, I will then go to a treatment plan every 3 weeks for “maintenance”.  I can never stop treatments, I already know this, but I could very well get to a place where I can have a good quality of life and that is what I am fighting for right now. My oncologist told me the next chemo I will be on (3 again) will be less toxic and my hair will grow back.

I know I am forgetting stuff but I am a little overwhelmed so I’m sure I will be adding to this post in the next few days.

I absolutely cannot say THANK YOU enough to every single thought and prayer that has been sent my way.  THEY HAVE WORKED!!! So, thank you from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of my children and my family…we are so blessed.

9 thoughts on “Monday, January 13, 2014

  1. Praise The Lord for good news on your scans! I was so worried about you when your friend, Sarah, passed away. I had a feeling she was very special to you.

  2. Jess…We don’t know each other but I carry you in my heart. It is beyond the scope of my imagination to grasp what you conquer on any given day. I feel so privileged to follow your journey and learn from the insights that both you and Scott share. You have so much to offer one another and the people you hold dear…not to mention those of us who just touch the outskirts of your lives. Much love to your family.

  3. Jess you are the woman. You do have this and I am so proud to know you. Prayers are positive and I say a special one for you and your family every morning. Keep up the hard work and we will keep praying for you…
    I wish I could express my aww of your strength Jess but I cant find the words…

  4. Though we don’t really know each other, we have many mutual friends. I have been following your story through others’ posts. You and your beautiful family are always in my thoughts and my prayers. Keep up that amazing fight!! You are both inspiring!!!

  5. Hi Cousin Jess, its cousin Donna ……. I have been reading your journey for awhile now since I met your friend Emily and I am at a loss for words ! You are simply amazing , I think that sums it up ! We have been praying every day since we found out you have cancer. We know you will kick this cancer ass, we have no doubt because that is just how you deal with things. You have been through so much in your life and always see the positive side of things and you have a beautiful family and that fiance of yours is a gem, I love reading his posts, they make me smile for all of you !
    We love you Jess and we will continue to pray ! We am here for you too !!! Love Donna, Dave, Ty and Jordan

  6. Hey there!! I knew this would be the news when we visited you! I had a feeling you were rocking this boat! YAHOO!! Keep up the greens – remember mushrooms, onions, and garlic. I’ve also just read that cancer cannot survive in an oxygenated system – so when you feel well enough breathe deeply! We are all praying for you. xoxoxo-Tess

  7. You deserve this great news! We are so elated for you, and promise to continue to pray for more good news! You are always in our thoughts, Jess! Love you!!! xoxo


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