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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Riding the Rollercoaster -- Medical Update (2010, June)

Given my rising markers, the increase in pain, the brain mets, and everything else, what I am about to write should come as no surprise....

There has been progression of disease, not just in my brain.

There are new tumors in my skeleton and, once again, I have tumors in my liver.

The good news is that the tumers in my liver are small and pose no imminent threat; my liver is functioning normally.

I need to change treatments.

My oncologist is considering switching my treatment to Doxil.  We want to consult with the oncologist who we see for second opinions; she is currently in the US, participating in a major breast cancer conference. 

During our last visit with her, she mentioned that we should contact her when we are finished with the Xeloda and Tykerb (read: when those drugs stop working), because there might be some research at her hospital that is relevant for me.

Meanwhile, I need to be off everything for a week or two to "clean out" my system.

They sent me upstairs to do an "Echo," to make sure the previous chemotherapies have not damaged my heart.  Thank God, my heart is functioning well.

So, now, we just need to figure out which drugs to take next and begin our next round.

*** deep breath ***

I am OK.

This morning, this news made my head spin.

I feel OK now.

I still need a good cry, but that will come.

I do not want this, but I am strong.

We have been on this ride before.

It is scary.

We can handle it.

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


G6 said...

I'm sure you are so tired of hearing that you "are amazing" and I am very mindful not to say anything to make your journey harder than it already is, but I just want you to know, that your strength shows just by the mere fact that you are still blogging about this - potentially helping countless others, both those battling cancer as well as those battling apathy and pessimism.
If you can remain this strong, SO CAN WE.
{{{hugs and tefillos}}}

Bernie said...

Praying for you dear RivkA, so sorry the news was not good. Sending many good thoughts your way......:-) Hugs

Jeffrey R. Woolf said...

Moses said it best:
אנא רפא נא לה.
Hang in there.

adena said...

Just keep on living. That's all you can do. Thinking of you...

IMA2four7 said...

I am thinking thoughts.
While I would NEVER presume to out quote Moshe Rabbenu, I thought maybe an Eleanor Roosevelt might just add some more HIZUK. THis one has given me strength so I share it with you.

"A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.

Eleanor Roosevelt

As such an avid swimmer I thought it might also provide you and yours a wry bit f humor also.
Shabbat Shalom dear RivkA!

Robin said...

Sending much love and happy, healing thoughts your way, and hoping too that the side effects of this next treatment will be easier on you.

One day at a time, kiddo.

Anonymous said...

You are just so amazingly strong - I keep you in my thoughts and prayers.


Alison C. said...

Crap. I wish you got to write a different post today. That said, I am definitely sending you happy, healing thoughts.


Leah Goodman said...

I do hugs.
and milkshakes.
Let me know when you need your next milkshake day.

Anonymous said...

Chizki v'amtzi.

Hugs, love, and best wishes for a shabbat of shalom.

LOL. Na'amah

Baila said...

Thinking of you, RivkA always. As always you inspire...

Rahel Jaskow said...

Thinking of you, RivkA, and sending hugs.

Ranting Zelda said...

i am so sorry that you are in pain and facing more rounds of chemo. it sucks! i do want to wish you a mazel tov on your daughter's upcoming bat mitzvah! you deserve all the simcha you can get. you are an inspiration to us all. all my love and good wishes, zelda.

Ilana Elzufon said...

RivkA - thinking of you, davening for you... and hoping to be sufficiently organized to actually get together with you soon. Yes, you can handle this, and I wish you didn't need to. Shabbat Shalom.

Henya said...

I am davening for you! Sending much love.

Staying Afloat said...

I wish you so much strength! I'm glad that you have a plan, and such a complete support system around you.

I also want to thank you for sharing all of this. Among other things, it helps me to understand a casual friend of mine who is going through something similar. She too has an affected liver which is functioning normally.
Ditto what G6 said about the hugs and davening.

Anonymous said...

THinking of you and praying for you.
Shabbat shalom,

mother in israel said...

RivkA, my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

Mindy said...

I am so sorry to hear this news. Along with everyone else, I was praying and desiring to hear that the tumors were shrinking. I won't make you shoulder my grief for you, but I want you to know that I am thinking of you and praying for you.

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

Hi RivkA,

I had been meaning to call to see how the procedure went on Wednesday, and I thought to check here first.

ay ay ay.

but like you said, avarnu et paroh

love from me and Devra,

(posting as Devra)

michele said...

Hugs to you.

mikimi said...

ditto what everyone else wrote!

Linda said...

once more unto the breach, dear friend -- it must really feel like that. But to continue with Shakespeare, "I see you stand like a greyhound in the slips..." and you have a host of others running with you here on the blog. I will lift you up in prayer.

Anonymous said...

you are the strongest person i know....i believe in you and your sheer determination to beat anything that gets in your way....

Devorah said...

I am amazed by your strength. May Hashem give you even more strength now to go through this!
Keeping you in my prayers.

Chayah Nechama said...

shavua tov. have a good week :).

Rieshy said...

I know we don't really know each other in-real-life but I wanted you to know that I think of you often and am praying for you.

I hope the week off meds. is something that feels good!

RivkA with a capital A said...

Wow, too many comments to respond to everyone!

Thank you all for your support!!! I cannot describe how much your comments mean to me.

Just a few thoughts:

G6 -- Blogging helps me too. Writing helps me to clarify what I feel. It also helps me to feel connected to a community, which is especially important when I am feeling tired and isolated.

Ima2four -- I never heard that quote before. Thanks for the laugh! I apreciated it on all those fronts, just like you thought I would!

Leah -- you are so on!

Staying Afloat -- thank you! My original decision to make my blog open was based on the hope that sharing my experiences would provide support for other people dealing with cancer (either as patients or as friends/family). I still find it amazing that so many of my readers are not connected to the cancer world... I am strengthened by the knowlege that my challenges contain within them a ` universal meaning.

Linda -- I had to look up that phrase!
For anyone else interested, see:

Saul Mashbaum said...

I join the others in wishing you success in your battle. Battles can be won!

Batya said...

refuah shleimah
You need a good punching bag!

Bee said...

I so wish that you didn't have to go through the chemo again, you are a strong woman, no that should read you are the strongest woman I know and if strength, prayers and the loving thoughts of so many people help then all will be well. You have a very strong army ready to stand with you.


Adi Yotam said...

You are strong. You are taking good care of yourself and you're surrounded with love and healing thoughts.

Hugs, Adi

RivkA with a capital A said...

Saul - I'm less worried about the individual battles, and more worried about the war...

Batya - I probably could use a good punching bag! Maybe I'll try punching my pillows!

(my son actually has a small punching bag, but it would hurt my hands to punch it!)

Bee - that army keeps me going!

Adi - I hope I am really as strong as everyone seems to think....

Hugs help!

y weinstock said...

I just came across this post, after not having read your blog for quite some time.
Even though we are not often in touch, I think about you a lot. You are an inspiration to me.