It’s amazing sometimes how fast time can fly by, even when the days seem to go by so slowly. For those worried about me, I apologize for not updating more. I appreciate the support and care so much. The bottom line is that while I don’t have a ton of new information, I do at least understand the direction we are headed in.
I had another treatment this past Wednesday, and I was able to have a great conversation with my doctor. I guess not all of it great, but when I get the optimism in my doctor’s voice and encouragement over all treatment related things, it does help me. The only negative we have come up against is really just a hope that didn’t quite work out the way we had hoped. We knew it had spread to at least stage 3 and was close to stage 4, and unfortunately the cancer cells in the blood around my heart likely confirms it is metastatic and indeed stage 4.
So, what does that mean for me? We stay on treatment, given it’s working so well, but we are going to keep an eye on the side effects. Once those start to ramp up, we’ll cut out the chemo and stay the course with the immunotherapy treatment. So, it’s official that I find myself in a very similar position as what is 6 years ago now, but luckily for me so far is that my response has been just as good, if not arguably better than the first round last time around.
I’ve also been getting stronger and stronger, and found myself on the pool deck for a week and a half straight (in the adjusted form we need to run at now at least). I have some more physical strength to build for sure, but everything else, including my heart, seems to be recovering nicely. So that’s really the health update. From here I think I am going to use this as some therapy for me as well.
It’s been a strange time for sure. I can’t say that I have been down or really struggling, but there’s a reason time has slipped by so much. I mention a lot that I am an introvert I guess because I feel that due to the roles I assume that I wouldn’t be, be in leading the TEAM, doing speaking engagements, or anything else. But that introverted tendency also tends to find myself pulling inward when things get to be a lot. It is not that I am not reaching out for help when I need it. That’s a lesson I have learned and I know I need my mindset for this battle. That said, this has been a battle like none I have experienced.
The diagnosis alone would be a lot to handle, and that’s not to mention to condition I got to in order to find out what was going on. The side effects and heart issue that occurred, resulting in my first ever ambulance ride and more fear than I ever want to give Kristine. That’s all not to mention the idea of doing that yet again. Being told for a second time that you had this mountain to climb. And just for an added little twist, let’s do it all during a pandemic and social unrest like I have never seen in my lifetime at least. Then add in trying to lead my TEAM to learn and grow during this time, whatever we need to do to make it happen.
It’s been a tiring time. I’ve managed to keep my hope and drive to do what is needed alive, but between that and doing my job, it’s seems that’s about what I can handle. So, I’ve allowed myself to take care of myself, and unfortunately sometimes that means withdrawing a bit and just focus on me. (Which is when you see big breaks in blogs.)
I am finding that strength to get up once again. Strength, which I have decided is my word for the year because of the new definition for which I understand it, is all about getting up again. Strength is about the willingness to be vulnerable, to ask for help when needed, and understanding that we are never strongest alone. So, I summon the strength that I have and strive to become stronger through the journeys I must take in life.
Thank you all once again for everything. Things are obviously tough, I wouldn’t lie about that, but things are also great. Things are moving in the right direction, I am feeling better and better (outside of treatment recovery time), and we have a plan moving forward for now. No doubt there is much more to handle ahead, but for now I breathe, enjoy life for what we have, and take care of myself today so I am ready for whatever tomorrow brings.
All the best!