Thursday, May 13, 2010

Raining CTs and Dogs

I've been busy and quite fucking lazy. Dana and Baby III have been staying with Wally and me since Saturday. I even baby-sat one night—she's eight months old, so there was lots of baby food, dog toys and goo-goo, ga-ga noises involved. It's been a whirlwind couple of chemo months. Only 10 weeks in this cycle, can you believe? I've been tired, mostly. White blood counts were borderline this week, so Tuesday was an interminable day at the hospital, starting with a CT scan (to gauge whether the chemo worked or not, no biggie, right?) and a Nuprogen shot to boost me enough for today's FINAL chemo. Of this cycle anyway.

So, yesterday, waiting on the results, I was quite the bundle of hay-wired nerves. To the point where every little thing grated on me. As I was on my way to Chad for some needle-and-massage relief, "Mammo" popped up on the Caller ID, and I knew this was the Results Show. Bigger than American Idol, natch.

"Well!" Joanne the nurse says without introduction or preamble, "The CAT scan was great!"

I started crying with relief, not realizing just HOW stressed I was in the waiting. "They're even better than he [Dr. Schwartz] was expecting."

"Oh, thank GAWD."

"Yes, so there is significant improvement in all the areas. He's very, very pleased."

"Oh god, thank fucking god. So what does that mean exactly; I mean, I don't really know how CTs work. You don't need to read me the report, but like, what does it say basically?"

"Well, it says (I'm summarizing), 'patient shows significant shrinkage [save the Seinfeld jokes] in all the metastatic sites'."

So, all the Cancerous sites have shrunk significantly; even moreso than Schwartz had expected. (Chad had predicted this, as my last 15-3 had dipped from a 191 to an 81 level. Normal blood work in a healthy woman would have a number between 5 and 40. Halfway there!)

I was crying from sheer relief and for the ability to exhale. I even let a car go in front of me whereas before the call I flagged off a pedestrian on a bike—with a kid no less—for crossing the street and causing me to lose a yellow light.

During Chad's session I even passed out a couple times. Unheard of for Stephanie Green. (Okay, so I'd popped a Marinol prior to session.)

Though not fully remissed, I think this is more than what my doctahs were hoping for. I have chemo in an hour+, so I will get the full report and the 'what's next' talk. I will need another 10-week cycle of this chemo, the theory being if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Schwartz will consult with Norton; I fly up to NYC Monday and see Norton Tuesday. I return Wednesday night, then fly out to LA the following Thursday for my post-Chemo, The Sequel vacay. Five days at the Loews in Santa Monica, chilling on the Pacific with my friends.

So all is well, and I will report back with Schwartz's opinions later, I swear.

Meantime, below is moi, in my last Carboplatin-treatment-retail-therapy-sa-weeet-Manolos, drinking the Barium solution the night before the CT. Woohoo, I'm on the mend. And my hair still looks fab, no? I had a trim at Oribe a couple weeks ago. Thanks for hanging in for the long haul folks.
Your favorite Cancer Patient