the cruelest month

Unfortunately, the news isn’t so good.

Three months ago, a notable jump in tumor markers in my blood prompted a change in strategy, including a switch to a harsher chemotherapy drug called capecitebine, in the hopes of turning the tide.

Yesterday, I was called in at the last minute for another CAT scan and bone scan, when my latest bloodwork saw those numbers double in the last month. In addition to those markers, the cancer in my bones is now spreading and the troublesome spots in my liver are growing. Add in a few more aches and pains lately and the overall trend is troubling.

We still have a few options to try, which is good, but I will also need a liver biopsy to be sure that we’re not dealing with a different problem than the one that first emerged in 2012.

Starting next week, I will be receiving another type of treatment, this one in the chemo room again.  I was hoping I’d never have to go back in there.  I still have memories of getting the “red devil” (adriamycin) and feel queasy at the sight of ice chips.  I met interesting people in the chemo room, though, and have thought about writing about them. Now we’ll be spending time together again.

I lost my job at the beginning of March, when this whole COVID-19 thing started to happen.  I won’t have a hard time getting back and forth to treatment but things are difficult without my income.  I’ll need to get another job, but I have to see how well I tolerate treatment.

It’s hard to feel optimistic on any kind of level these days.  Even my daughter’s college graduation is bittersweet.  She’s so happy to be done but sad that we can’t celebrate, at least not right now. At least our middle kid isn’t at all broken up about his postponed high school graduation.

I’m starting to think about what will happen to my family when I’m gone.  I tried so hard not to think about that before.  I thought that if I thought about it, I’d just make myself sicker.  I’m actually imagining my memorial service.

I’m frustrated now that so much time was wasted between November and January.  That’s when things started to accelerate.  As much as I loved our vacation, I wonder if I accidentally hurt myself.  I just have to make up for it now.


5 thoughts on “the cruelest month

  1. I am sending you so much love, Jen. I am not good at this, so I don’t know what else to say, other than you are in my prayers.

  2. HUGS to you Jen. You have such a wonderful gift for crafting a story, have you ever thought about writing books? I know a blog post isn’t the same as a novel, but who knows? It might bring you income and flexibility while you face this latest challenge. There are a lot of options to publish but the easiest (right now,) seems to be kindle unlimited through amazon.

  3. Jen, I’m so sorry for all you’re going thru. For your numbers being high, the job loss, for the the future looking more uncertain than ever. I’m so sorry from the bottom of my heart. I hope you can find comfort and hope in this difficult time however that may look for you. I’ll be praying for you and for your healing.

  4. Ah, Jen. With all the sad COVID19 news, your health struggles will concern everyone—family & friends—severely. Hold onto your faith and hold your loved ones firmly. Make more enduring memories Remain a fierce fighter and a tender wife & mother. Focus on every blessing and be thankful for every kindness. Love surrounds you. I am praying.

  5. Thinking of you and sending love. You’re handling an impossible situation with such grace, and my heart aches for you and your family. It’s a tough time for everyone right now, and your situation is even more poignant. I’m glad you’re able to spend time together and make the most of it.

    When everything came down, my first thought was that the past year of my life, while one of the most difficult and challenging ever, was also one of the most memorable and incredible. I figured that if it were to be my final year (for whatever reason) I’d be able to look back and say it was all worth it and I’m glad I had those experiences. I hope you feel similarly- your trip sounds like such an amazing time. And I’m crossing my fingers it will be far from the last for you!

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