It has been a month or so since I posted what I’ve done the past year to go from a breast cancer recurrence in my chest and lymph nodes and “innumerable” liver metastasis to “no evidence for disease” last month. It still seems surreal and there was a small spot near a normal ovarian cyst on the PET that lit up so I have been waiting on further testing of that area. My oncologist explained that the spot lit up so faintly that if I didn’t already have cancer, no one would think anything of it but she wanted to be thorough so she ordered a pelvic ultrasound. I am so happy to share that the ultrasound revealed there is nothing where the PET lit up and nothing at all to be concerned about!
I continue to be amazed at how God has worked in my life this past year. During this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas, I find myself counting my blessings daily. I never would have asked for cancer or chosen it but I can honestly say that it has been a blessing in a way. Cancer caused me to face my mortality, stop living for the future (next month, next year, etc) and live in the present. It has caused me to deepen my relationship with God and with those around me. It has helped me to be more empathetic towards the marginalized, to be more generous, more patient, more loving. I am grateful for the challenges and growth it has brought. I am also grateful for how it has shown me how deeply loved I am, by people and by God. We have been so greatly blessed during this journey and I am humbled to be the recipient of such blessings.
“So, what’s next?” Well, this week I had another blood biopsy drawn at my Naturopathic Oncologist’s office which will be processed by Guardant Health. This biopsy will show us the percentage of circulating tumor/stem cells in my blood stream as well as any mutations in my cancer cells (previously there was HER2+, EGFR, & Pi3K). This information will help us determine whether to continue with the meds and supplements I am on for the next few months or perhaps taper back on some. They also checked my Natural Killer (NK) cell function. The last time it was checked, about a year ago, the levels were basically nonexistent. I have consistently been taking mushroom supplements to increase these NK cells. We will see if this has worked in a few weeks but I expect that it has.
I had another infusion of Herceptin yesterday and started my…..13th? round of a low dose of Xeloda (capecitabine) today. I still feel quite well and hope this finds you blessed and well too!