My mom and I just got back from MD Anderson Cancer Center last night after our 4-month check-ups. Good news – my scans look clean again and my tumor markers are in normal range! My non-mucinous colonic-type appendiceal adenocarninoma is still outta here. My mom’s very slow-growing low-grade B-cell follicular lymphoma is stable with no progression so there is no need for treatment yet. Great news for both of us!
It is surreal to be part of a mother/daughter combo with different types of cancer. It hit me again how strange it all is while we were sitting in the MDACC lab getting our blood drawn at the same time. The lab techs were marveling at us as if we were some kind of miracle/tragedy. We checked-in for our CT scans scheduled 20 minutes apart. It was time to drink the dreaded two Readi-Cat barium smoothies in a row. I prefer the berry-flavored barium cocktail while my mom prefers the apple-flavored barium cocktail. We couldn’t help but laugh through the whole ordeal.
There was talk about removing my power port at the next 4-month visit if I still have no evidence of disease. My Bard power port is a little round appliance inserted in my upper chest (about 2 inches below my right clavicle) with a catheter running up under the skin to my jugular vein and then down near my heart for the better administration of IV chemo. It was put in almost two years ago at the beginning of my chemo treatment. My port hasn’t carried any chemo in almost a year but it has transported contrast dye for all my CT scans over the past two years. I imagine I will miss the port because it made painful IV lines in my arm unnecessary. But I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ll just have to see what happens at the next check-up and think about it then. But it is yet another step in the right direction.
Caution aside, I truly feel liberated this time around. The more time passes, the easier it is to relax. I’m sure I’ll have more emotional bumps in the road but that’s life. I’m grateful once again for another chance to get on with life in all its simultaneous glory and mess!