Monday, May 24, 2010

A Touchstone

I am going through a phase of disorientation. I am realizing that I am not just going to pick up where I left off. That life doesn't fit anymore. My body is different, my life is different, and most of all, my perspective is different. So I went back to this poem I wrote at the onset. I feel like I have aged 30 years since then, not 2 years. I realize I am not going to be picking up right where I left off, and I don't know I want would be like a 50 year old making decisions on their life and minds when they were 18. But the truth underlying this poem is still real.

I am not a disease.
I think of disease more as a verb, not a noun or an adjective because it is transit as all disease is. It has a beginning, middle and end.
It is just a stop along my way that will teach me and transform me.
It will fall away, and become my past and inform my choices in the future.
But all that matters is Now.
When I let fear in, I remind myself that all that matters is Now.
My fear is usually not of anything present,
but what I fear might transpire.
So I return to the moment I am in.
And the truth usually is:
Now, my heart is beating.
Now, my body is tired.
Now, it is full of energy
Now, I am in intense pain.
Now I am free of pain.
Now I rejoice in the beautiful energy of life.
When I fear what isn't there,
I lose my moment to live Now.
That is all we have.
Moment to moment.
That was true before anybody named my form of disease.
We all have our own brand.
Sometimes, someone naming a passing disease,
just brings that reality of NOW into acute awareness.
We can use that intense awareness of "all we have is now"
like a salve to heal any disease we have in our minds and spirits-
and thus return some strength to our bodies.
Pain, illness, disease are part of life,
suffering is optional.
That is true, even when I forget it.
Please remember this,
I am so much more than a disease.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

A New Chapter - Tykerb Works!

For the past month, I have been given the reprieve from chemo. One because I hit the wall and was feeling so ill I couldn't walk around my home. But also, the effectiveness of the Tykber/Herceptin mix has been I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E. In December, things were looking shaky. Abraxane really wasn't turning it around like it had before. But once Tykerb was introduce it has just been like the cancer for the most part, was turned off. 800 point drop in cancer markers in one month. I was over 1,000, last count 67 and holding. 35 is "normal".

That being said, during this month while on the chemo break, I had the PET/CT to see what was going on inside. And apparently, not much. Some tumors shrunk from 3cm to .5 and are inactive. Most of them are very quiet or inactive!

So we are holding course. No more chemo (Abraxane). We are so impressed with how well the Tykerb (a biological therapy - which targets only cancer cells and disables them), that we are going to let it do its work without the chemo. Herceptin (another biological) and Zometa (for the bones) will stay in place as well. Which means, I won't feel like a mac truck hit me!

Please keep up the prayers. It is typical for cancer at this stage to find it way around the therapies eventually. There are two more promising ones coming down the pipe. Or, that I just get my body to do the work for itself and turn off that cancer for good.

Life all around is stabilizing after a very tough year. For all the friends who didn't hear from me, you were in my thoughts. It just got that bad. I had to pull in like a turtle and let the healing happen. Within myself, my family, and our lives.

I was ready for anything yesterday. I had a peace. And that piece is still there. I am looking forward to gearing up to start working creatively again at first. Getting some writing and art going, helping my brother with his up and coming BRILLANT website for travel, and being with my daughter, and music, music, music...and a few walks on the beach..

I can't believe this year that past. But wow, what a good place it has brought us all to now.