Cancer Update

I thought I’d pop in and say hi! I’ve been getting lots of messages and cards. Thank you so much. Rather than update everyone individually I thought I would do one here.

I’m feeling okay. I am still itchy. My mouth is still uncomfortable…my spirits are still good. Admittedly, I occasionally get a little whiney about my mouth and itching but I’m trying to make an effort to keep remembering that this too shall pass.

The itchiness isn’t controlled by allergy meds but I do think they are helping. I take non-drowsy during the day and take Benedryll at night. With this combo I’m no waking up at night anymore which is wonderful. It’s easier to have a more cheerful attitude if I’m getting sleep.

Oddly the itchiness migrates. It started in my hands. Then went to my elbows…now my shoulders back and legs are taking the brunt. My hands don’t itch at all anymore…and my elbows just a tiny controllable bit. I don’t understand the migration.

The same thing is happening with my mouth. At first, my main issues were at the back of my throat and now the trouble has moved more to the front. This makes it all hard as what I can eat changes. At first, PB&J was just great…now, not so much. The peanut butter has an awful taste and the jelly burns my tongue. So weird. Right now the food that is best…

It’s chicken gravy over mashed potatoes from Kwik Star. I can taste it and it doesn’t hurt to eat it…so I treated myself to some today when I did errands.

Part of my errands were to get a blood draw. This should tell if the treatment was effective…UGH…the family is dreading the answer. Of course, we all have our fingers crossed for some good news but we’re also realistic. We know I can easily switch to non-treatable or my cancer can morph into a harder to treat cancer. All of these are risks with the treatment.

I didn’t tell the kids about the blood test until just an hour or so ago. I don’t like them to worry too much. I have a couple in the family that get particularly nervous about tests so I like to hold off the “testing worry” as long as I can.

The results of the bloodwork are slowly trickling in. Of course, it’s all the numbers we don’t really care as much about. So far my CBC is showing that Oral Chemo did some work and a few levels are lower that normal…it’s okay. They will jump back eventually. My blood sugar is in the controlled stage which is good considering last time it was a total mess.

So there are trickles of good in between the other.

While I was in town I scored this… It’s a 4″ Adjusto vintage metal embroidery hoop. You can see it HERE on eBay. This one seems to be worth between $15 and $20.

I have a small collection of embroidery hoops. I’m always looking for them. I’m hoping one day to find a Queen Hoop. My daughter Kayla has one and she loves it. Nowadays they sell on eBay for over $200 each. I’m not up for that…besides, I like to find my treasured pieces out and about. Buying them from eBay would ruin the hunt for me.

I got a few other things…a Lego big board, some early readers, and a puzzle for the grandkids.

Thrifting was the perfect thing to keep my mind off waiting for test results…so was writing this blog post. (thanks!!) HA!!

Next up I’m headed to the sewing room…another thing that keeps my mind off of waiting. I should be cleaning the house as the kids were thinking they would come home this weekend for an early Easter get-together but now the weather is calling for snow… Kayla is sick…and daughter Kelli’s kids were exposed to some sickness. It was enough that we called off family pictures again. Oh, it’s hard to coordinate five kids, spouses, and 10 grandkids. It’s totally worth the effort though.

I’ll keep you posted once I know the test results. The test we’re watching for is called a “tumor marker”. It indicates how active the cancer is. In a cancer free world the number would be zero. In my cancer world, anything above 2 means cancer is active. Last time I did this I got as low as 11, but six months later it was 19. A year and a half later it was 2692. I’m sure it was even higher before I was treated as it took three months for me to actually be treated.

The family all put in guesses on what the number might be. I know it sounds a little morbid but we’ve been on this journey for a while and at some point, we have to make cancer fun somehow…right??

I’ll update this post when I hear from the clinic…in the meantime, there is sewing to do. Thanks again for the well wishes, thoughts and prayers.

21 thoughts on “Cancer Update”

  1. Joy in NW Iowa

    Oh the waiting. My hubby had testicular CA 10 years ago. And his tumor marker should be 0 but it is always around 8 something but nothing ‘thankfully’ shows up anywhere, so life goes in.
    We have a grandson with RSV. It sounds like he will be home for the week next week. His cough is terrible and also painful and he is running a low grade fever.
    Yes, we are in the snow/ice/sleet/rain storm watch also! We will take any moisture in any shape! We are so in need of moisture!
    Hope you continue to slowly be less itchy! Take care

  2. Glad you found something you can enjoy eating, and also found a little treasure! It’s too bad about kids being sick, but there will come a day when they are all well. I’m sending positive vibes about your blood tests.

  3. Thanks for the update. I’m praying you are pleasantly surprised by the tumor marker number. The embroidery hoop reminded me of some my aunt used. I wonder if I have one tucked away in a box somewhere? Probably not as I think I’ve gone through all of my craft supplies and sent them to my daughter in CA as she does a ton of counted cross stitich on linen. I’d rather quilt.

  4. Cynthia from Nebraska

    Thanks for taking some of your precious time to post! You have so many people rooting for you!

  5. Mary Sabatello

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I don’t follow very many blogs but yours I have followed faithfully.
    Keep the faith. Laugh and enjoy the puppies. Hug the little ones and their parents. And remember how many lives you touch with your quilting, blogs and your rescue efforts.

  6. I’ve never heard of the queen hoop so, I looked it up online. Crazy expensive. But, there’s always a chance you will come across one at the thrift store one day.
    Praying your numbers are good and treatment successful. Take care.

  7. Thankfully, I can only imagine what you are going through. It is no fun to itch and no fun to have a sore mouth. I continue to pray for you. I hope you had a good time in your sewing room – anxious to see what you did. I like the hoop you found – beautiful in its own way. Sorry to hear that family won’t be visiting, but there is so much illnesses going around, so smart to wait until later.

  8. As always, keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
    Getting family together is quite the task isn’t it? I only have three kids and 7 grandchildren and that was quite a chore! Still is! But, the fact that we travel makes it a bit easier.
    Love and prayers

  9. Thank you for taking time to post this update. Prayers continue that all you have gone through will be effective.

  10. Nice to know that your numbers are coming in, praying that they are the best kind to get. I only have 2 adults to gather for family pictures and that gets complicated, cant imagine getting yours all rounded up. Hope you start to feel better and that food starts to taste more normal.

  11. My daughter used to have a skin condition that caused a lot of itching. They prescribe Sarna, and suggested keeping it in the fridge. The coolness helped. Maybe something similar could help you. I hope you feel better soon.

  12. Thanks for the update. I’m always interested in your cancer journey, that’s the nurse in me. But I also love all the other things in your blog – your family, your quilting and cross stitch, what you’re cooking, the puppy foster, all of it. Yours is the only blog I follow, and I’m so glad I stumbled across it. I cannot tell you how much I admire your attitude to your cancer and to life in general. I have mental health problems which I’m shortly going to a doctor to talk about. How you deal with your health issues is an inspiration to me and I hope to emulate you with my own problems. I will continue to pray for you. Thanks for being you.

  13. You’re such a trooper, Jo. I believe that is the power of prayer from all of us storming the gates of heaven on your behalf. Glad you found something good to eat that doesn’t bother you. I know that struggle from cancer treatments, too. Your chicken dish looks a lot like things I used to enjoy back in those days. What kind of a treat will you celebrate with when everything tastes right again and the itching is gone? Praying that day will come soon. Hugs, Suzanne

  14. Been doing some cleaning out at my Mom’s & came across a metal oval hoop. Not sure if it’s as vintage as you would like, but you can have it if you’re interested.

  15. Arrowhead Gramma

    Praying for you each day, Jo and that the results from the tumor marker test are good. I totally understand being nervous about the results as I have had tumor marker testing for 12 years now. Take care and I know you are Kramer Strong.

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