Today is my 10th cancerversary of appendix cancer diagnosis back on February 5, 2010. Unbelievable. I remember when I didn’t think I would be around to see my daughters finish elementary school and enter middle school. Not only did I get to see those milestones but now one is in college and the other a sophomore in high school. My husband has been forever supportive and my extended family and friends have been with me all along. Thank you to all for your love and friendship!
Additionally, I have graduated from MD Anderson cancer check-ups! I always hold my breath before these visits but the tests indicated that I still have no evidence of disease. After almost 10 years of cancer scanning appointments, I am now released into the wild!
I asked my artist friend, Maria Vittoria Sesta, to create a piece of artwork that expressed my emotions and have given it as a gift to my doctor.
It’s another hot August morning in Austin. I’m waking up, sitting in my favorite chair with my dog, sipping my coffee with my feet up. And my feet hurt. Six years after chemo, I still have some pain in the balls of my feet and toes, and today’s pain is more intense.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m absolutely joyous to be alive! Neuropathy is just one of those nagging, ongoing side effects that you get used to.
What is neuropathy? And why does chemo trigger it?
Certain types of chemo, like ones that include platinum-based drugs and others, tend to damage the nerve endings in the extremities, mainly hands and feet, resulting in peripheral neuropathy. Continue reading →
When I was a kid, my mom and I would go on long walks with friends every Saturday in the Sierra Nevadas near Yosemite and often go camping. Or we would take road trips together to visit old friends in a different part of California, about 8 hours away from where we lived. We enjoyed these periods of time where we could hang out and just relax.
Fast forward to today, and it’s always a treat when my mom, who lives 1800 miles away, comes into town for a visit. These mommy-daughter visits typically include nice lunches, walks around the hike-and-bike trail with the dogs, and time spent with my kids, husband, and friends.
But 2-3 times a year over the past four years, we’ve lined up our mommy-daughter “vacations” at MD Anderson for our respective cancer checkups, scheduling our CT scans back-to-back and spending a few days in Houston. We’re both blessed to be on relatively uneventful survivorship paths. Yes, we get together for fun trips as well, but the steady drumbeat of cancer checkups seems to dominate our visits. Continue reading →
It has been confirmed that NED (no evidence of disease) is still my friend after my latest visit to MD Anderson. What a pal!
My mom’s follicular lymphoma is also stable so she does not need any treatment yet. Fantastic!
This is incredible news for both of us.
I’m wondering why I took so long to post about it (our visits were back in April). Life keeps throwing curve balls and I think blogging was low on the list of things to do.
I’ve also been a bit sensitive to shouting out good news (as crazy as that might seem) because a few friends have just been diagnosed with appendix cancer or are struggling through treatment or have relapsed. It is difficult to make sense of it all.