A new season

Apr 04

A new season

Today Brad and I met with Dr. Wonderful to review my results from my PET scan. We learned what we had braced ourselves for based on my worsening cough: the cancer in my lungs and lymph nodes is a little bit bigger and a little bit more active. This is progression, and it means we are moving on to a new treatment. While it’s always hard to have progression, I am ready to move on from this treatment and try something new. It has been a tough one to tolerate. As always, I’m focusing on the silver lining.

I’ll start the new drug on Monday, and it’s a two weeks on, one week off cycle. It’s another chemotherapy drug, so with that comes all of the typical chemotherapy side effects. I won’t be growing hair anytime soon, and after a long winter of having a cold head, I am ready for summer! Hopefully this one will be a little more kind to me, but there is no hiding from the reality: it’s another doozie.

We spent quite a bit of time talking about my cough. I have multiple cancer spots in my chest, and there is no clear indication for which one could be causing my cough. Therefore I am going to consult with a pulmonologist and probably get a bronchoscopy to take a look and see if we can identify what is causing the cough and if there is anything to be done about it. Between this option and switching to the new chemo drug (which will hopefully shrink the cancer spots), I am hopeful that the cough could improve. My team rocks, and my pulmonology consult is already booked for tomorrow morning.

The PET scan imaging also indicates that I have a broken rib on my right side, something I find SUPER validating. I’m not just dealing with pain from a pulled muscle: it’s a broken bone! We are confident that I broke the rib from coughing; no one thinks that it is a cancer metastasis in my bone. Finding out the bone was broken was a good thing to come out of this scan for me: I will manage my “injury” differently now that I know it is bone, not muscle, I’m dealing with. For example, instead of taking muscle relaxers (that make me zonk out for 18 hours at a time), I will take pain medication when I need it. I’ll also stop icing it (hallelujah). My sister laughed at me and said, “Jen, when your ‘good news’ is that you broke a bone, it kind of leaves the person on the other end of the line wondering in dreaded anticipation of the bad news. Your good news doesn’t seem like good news.” I understand that sentiment, but trust me, from my perspective this really is good news. Information to help me manage my side effects is really helpful. Managing my side effects is kind of my job: I spend a lot of time doing it!

We also got the good news that the cell search test came back as a zero: I have no circulating cancer cells in my blood stream. It’s my favorite test because I always get a perfect zero on it, an A+.

Also good is that there are no new organs with cancer: it has not spread to my bones, liver, or anywhere else.

I was supposed to spend five hours at the oncology office today for my planned treatment. Since we are switching treatments, the team needs time to order the new drug and have it ready, so I got a free afternoon. It was sixty-eight degrees and sunny so I went for a long, slow walk and probably sunburned my cheeks since I was only wearing a ball cap. Spring is really here when my red-headed self gets her first sunburn. My soul felt pretty great as I soaked up the sunshine and prayed for the next season of life with cancer. As ever, the focus is on the life and I love mine. It’s my people that make my life brilliant; thank you for the love.

26 comments

  1. Shannon Weiss /

    Continued love & prayers!!! XOXO

  2. Praying for you, and sending lots of warm light your way

  3. Dave /

    Praying, praying, praying.

    • Stephanie /

      Yay for an A+. Yay for a new treatment. You are amazing. I am praying for you. ❤️

  4. Julie Talford /

    ❤❤❤

  5. More prayers heading to you and your family !
    You are also on a prayer list in Blackshear, Ga.
    lots of loves coming your way.

  6. Patty Wheeler /

    Sending my love and prayers, Jen.

  7. Skip /

    Prayers lifted up for the Lord’s healing power to touch you through these treatments!

  8. Jules /

    You are the most inspirational, positive person that I know, Jen!! Keep it up! 🙂

  9. Kathi Roth /

    Soak up that warm sun❤️ Prayers continue 😊

  10. Peggy /

    Jen, you never cease to amaze me! You are one tough lady. I pray for you daily (as I have been doing for years), and like Kim, I will be sending lots of positive warm light your way.

  11. Lisa M Marker-Robbins /

    Praying for you and your tribe. <3

  12. Melanie /

    Rooting, praying for, and sending you love, dear stranger-friend! Thank you SO MUCH for posting these updates.

  13. Shari /

    Your walk sounds lovely! Continued prayers for you❤️

  14. Michelle /

    A new beginning is right. And God seems to want to emphasize this by showing us some Spring weather. Rest when you can, bask in the sunshine, and love on your family. Those things makes the world a better place!

  15. Marlayne Skeens /

    A+ Blood Stream & a Broken Rib = A Good Day❣️You are an inspiration to all & a Superb Roll Model for your girls 🤗 Continued Prayers ✝️

  16. Marion /

    You are the poster child for having amazing perspective.Thank you for that.
    Still praying for you all the time.

  17. Patricia Latessa /

    I hear every word and these words resonate. This winter Bob and I had two celebrations when I was dxd with pneumonia and pulmonary embolisms rather than advancing cancer. Please know you are not alone. We, those with tough dxs, are here walking similar paths. I love you and I loved our time in the classroom together. Out of my 30 years teaching you are one of the best students I have ever taught.

    Wheneve my nerves get the better of me and I am awake at 3am I go out and hoot with our barn owl. I am certain my neighbors think I have lost it. Here’s to hooting and walking in the warm spring sun 🌻❤️🦉🌻

  18. Kristti Bishop /

    Continued prayers sent your way Jen for you and your wonderful family. I admire your brave and uplifting spirit and outlook on life. Keep doing the amazing job that you are and know that you are well loved and thought and prayed for every day. God bless you 🙏🏻

  19. Carol hover /

    Love and prayers to you and your family always!!!!

  20. Conni Carlson /

    Hugs and love, my friend! Hope to catch up with you on Monday.

  21. Amanda Baugnet /

    So the broke bone vs torn muscle made me chuckle. My thyroid lit up on my last PET more than the previous. BC can move to the Thyroid, but not often so more likely Thyroid cancer b/c of my genetic mutation. My oncologist was not even concerned. Not to discredit thyroid cancer, but apparently it doesn’t spread too often so he said, we may not even do anything for a bit. Amazing how information affects us differently.

  22. Melody A. Smith /

    Spring = New Life; New Drug = Miracle
    That’s what I’ll be praying for you…

  23. Lindsay /

    Thank you for the update, friend. Continuing to pray and grateful for many of the things you shared. Always a silver lining. ❤️

  24. Although I’ve been absent in reading over the past week, you have been very much on my mind and in my heart. Hallelujah that the cancer hasn’t spread! 🙌🙏 Praying that this new treatment gives you quality time with yorw family and friends.
    My dad passed away unexpectedly (we thought he had another 5+ years despite health issues) and imI really cognizant of the importance of doing today well right now. Your life, your hralhe, and your family has become important to me over the years since you began blogging this journey, and I am rooting for you. (The American meaning, not the Audsie version!😂)

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