Ok, so I walked the last tenth...

And now I have a bit of a respite.

We saw Dr. Cavalcant today - he asked how I was doing. I like to tell him that all is well, and today, for the most part, I felt good. But I told him that I felt like I was fighting harder. I couldn't help but to tear up. My white counts were down, for the first time since I started this back on August 1. Not way down, mind you (2.7) but down enough that he was still going to give me chemo, then have me come in for three days of Neupogen shots to boost the white blood cells. He said I'd been tolerating this so well - that this will just be a precaution, and that he'd lower the dosage a bit. The dosage has been at 65 mg/week. I've read that normal dosage is 60-100 mg/every 3 weeks. I think I was hoping he'd say that since my counts were down and since I hadn't skipped a week since the beginning, even though the original protoccol was 3 weeks on, one week off, that I could skip this week and it would be ok. I knew in my heart the one treatment wouldn't be the difference between whether or not the cancer would disappear, but as usual, I nodded, and smiled and said ok. Until he walked out of the room. Then the tears came, in disappointment, because I knew in my heart I was ready for a break, and already a couple of treatments ahead. I was torn, not knowing if I was giving up if I took the chemo, or giving up if I didn't. I didn't know if skipping the one, and letting my body heal, without having to mess with the Neupogen was best.

We went into the waiting room again, waiting to be called to the chemo suite. I went to the desk and told the receptionist that I had a question for Dr. C before I was given the infusion. And sat back down to wait.

We were called back, and as I wrestled with my choices, knowing he'd always told me that it's unusual for someone to not take a break, I knew I needed one. And that this last treatment wasn't going to make the difference in my wellness. And that maybe, just maybe, the healing of my mind would help towards the healing of my body. Debbie, the chemo nurse came over with the heating pad and I told her I had a question for Dr. C - I started to explain, and the tears came. Sue was there too - sweet Sue who gave me the first infusion of this all. They've never seen me cry back there. Never seen me break. Today, I broke a little. Sue said, "You've been such a trooper the whole time. You've never taken a week off. It's ok." Dalene, wonderful Dalene came over and said, "You need to let your mind heal, too, or your body won't be able to." Debbie, after making sure that they could use the Taxotere for someone else, talked to Dr. C who said it was ok. I cried, again, and asked Greg if I did the right thing. With tears in his eyes, he told me it was the best decision I had made in the past 21 weeks. That I took care of myself instead of pushing and pushing and pushing. And that the one treatment was not going to make a difference. So, it took two sticks. And I took the Benadryl. And I took the Herceptin. And I went on my way. For the next four weeks.

I don't know what's going to happen after that. I think it will all depend upon what they find in there at the time of surgery. I get the impression I'll need some type of extra treatments afterwards, although Dr. C has said that he wants to see the results of the surgery before recommending further protoccol. Maybe just maintenance. Maybe more chemo. Maybe simply Herceptin every three weeks. That is the great unknown at this point.

Right now, I know that I don't have to go back there until after the first of the year. And that the next few weeks will probably do me some good. I know that maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to hike a little in the canyon. And maybe my veins will get a rest. Maybe my eyes will start to go back to normal. Maybe the weight will start to slowly come off. Maybe I'll laugh a little more again.

So, I walked. But I crossed the first finish line. I have so much work to do, but for now, it's ok.
On Sunday we head up to the Grand Canyon, and I'll wake up on Christmas morning feeling better and stronger than if I had taken the infusion today.

I'm still a little tired, but I've still got this. One way or another.

5 comments:

    On December 19, 2007 at 7:53 PM alyson said...

    my friend, there is no shame in walking the last tenth.... there is only shame in giving up. AND THAT you did not do and never will. Enjoy your respite and your time at the Canyon. I love you

    I echo Alyson's comment 100%...You have to finish at your own pace, and don't second guess your decision...Have a great time, and enjoy your time at the Canyon...xoxo...

    I think it's GREAT that YOU took charge and decided what was best for you at this time.
    Way back when, in the time of VixenFests, when I went to the one in Oregon either right after or right before a trip to the mountains of North Carolina for a
    friend's weddingI took off two weeks plus my off week, much to the dimay of my Dr...but I knew I had to have that time to rest and re-group and re-vitalize myself.
    Don't second guess....you did what felt right. Now go and enjoy the canyon and get some rest my dear sweet friend.
    Merry Christmas & I love you!

    Enjoy the break, enjoy the canyon, and just let yourself heal inside and out.

    Your Christmas plans sound wonderful voo. Wonderful and beautiful and full of xxx's and ooo's.

    : )