As I just sat down with popsicle in hand, I realized it’s been a while since I’ve posted an update. Nothing earth shattering to report – which is a good thing – but here’s the latest.
You may recall that in my last post I was laughing at myself for being concerned about coughing up a lot of “blood,” only to realize that it was actually the red popsicle I had eaten. Well… On Wednesday night I went into a coughing fit that had me coughing up real blood. It was only about a teaspoon or two, so I wasn’t too concerned. I went into work on Thursday and called the doctor’s office. At first they wanted me to go to the emergency room, but when I explained that I felt fine and it hadn’t happened again, they agreed to just let me go in for an X-ray after work. Everything on the X-ray looked good, so it must not have been anything too serious. I have been warned that if it happens again I need to go directly to the emergency room, which I will do. Promise.
On Saturday, I went to see an acupuncturist, Jana Kadovitz, who thinks she can help minimize side effects from the chemo. I left the treatment feeling really good, and since then my energy levels have been better and I’ve felt better overall. On Sunday, we went to church and then to the lake and didn’t get home until 10:30 that night. I was amazed and pleased to be able to do so much in one day.
When I last saw Dr. Antonucci, he was pleased with how well I’m tolerating treatment and therefore suggested that we continue with the three-week chemo cycle throughout summer, then have a PET scan to see where we stand and go from there. He said we’ll have a difficult decision to make if the PET scan shows that all the cancer is gone except for the tiny tumor on my lung. Some logic would say to go in and get that tumor, but given how horribly my last lung surgery went, none of us are too keen on going into my lungs. Then we have to think about what the chemo might be doing to the rest of my body and weigh which is the lesser of two evils. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. If you’re praying for me, please pray that we’ll make the right decision when the time comes.
I have another speaking engagement coming up. On June 7, I’m speaking to the United Methodist Women’s Group. Thank you, Lynne Oglesby, for recommending me! I find it funny that as I’m beginning to speak more and more, most of the time I barely have a voice. The hoarseness doesn’t seem to have a negative impact, though, and I believe it’s like the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Now that I think about my voice, I haven’t been nearly as hoarse lately, especially since the acupuncture. Other side effects are also lessening since we lowered the dosage of the Xeloda. Chemo brain seems to be diminishing, my vision is no longer blurred, and my feet are looking much better. They’re still tender because it’s mostly new skin on the soles of my feet, but they aren’t nearly as hideous or sore as they were even a few weeks ago. With the lower dose of Xeloda and acupuncture, I should be in good shape to enjoy summer – my favorite time of year.