New Year, More Challenges

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I feel guilty...

I have been lurking Spark, for the most part, for about a month now. I am sure that the team I co-lead has been feeling neglected. Then again, they have all been through cancer and probably understand...

I started a new chemo and it has really affected my blood counts -- both white blood cells and red blood cells. It got to the point that I had to have a blood transfusion. I was scared to death of having the transfusion, but am glad I did it. My appetite and energy level started to go up right away.

I went for the second opinion and the doctor told me that I did not qualify for his study and that he agreed with the course of treatment my current oncologist was using. My oncologist sent me for an MRI of my brain to see if I would qualify for another clinical trial. For this trial, I needed to have evidence of the cancer spreading to my brain. My MRI was clear, which is good for my brain, but it means that I don't qualify for that clinical trial either. So, my doctor is looking for another study for which I may qualify. She doesn't give up. I'm not giving up!

I guess I should back up and explain some things... I have what is called "triple negative" breast cancer. That means that the cancer is not "fed" by estrogen, progesteron, or something called HER-2 receptors. It also means that my cancer responds to chemo at first and then changes its mind. That is why we have had to postpone my surgery twice. My latest PET/CT scan shows that it is taking up residence in my liver. SCARY STUFF! The most promising medication for me is called a PARP-inhibitor. Unfortunately, the PARP-inhibitors are in clinical trials AND the FDA has put an end to what is called "compassionate use." This means that, unless I get into a clinical trial, I cannot get the medication.

I'm still not giving up!

My doctor suggested that I stop working. NO WAY! Working keeps me sane -- and I am still able to do some good for my programs. What would I do with my time if I were to stop working -- sit around and feel sorry for myself? No. Not gonna do it. I am not giving up.

My goal for right now is to maintain my weight. I lost a lot of weight over the past few months and it made my doctors worry about me. So, although my little weight tracker has a weight loss goal, I am going to try to make it stay where it is for right now. I'm hoping that, as the fatigue subsides, I can get back to exercising and build up my endurance again. Those are my fitness goals for the beginning of 2010. Hopefully, I'll be able to stick to them.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi Sweetie, I am sure everyone here is happy to hear from you. I will continue to say a prayer for you .. Stay positive, keep working, and remember all your cyber friends are here for you.

    Keep up the good fight..

    PS.. my red counts went way down. I added protein powder recommended by a nutritionist beneprotein add to smoothies, applesauce, tea etc. It is made by Nestle and you buy it on the web

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    3932 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/14/2010 7:08:26 PM
    I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, sister.... I'm very glad you are a fighter, and that you have a good attitude. Hopefully we will have a date with 5 Englishmen this year sometime. Stay strong, I know you will prevail! emoticon emoticon
    3933 days ago
  • CAROLYN0107
    I'm sure glad that you have a clear head (no cancer in the brain)! The liver part does not sound good though. I'm glad you did not listen to your doctor when she told you to quit work!!

    Don't give up and keep LOOKING UP to the Lord for HIS help.
    3933 days ago
    Never give up Damisa! You are such an inspiration. Stay strong and I'll keep you in my prayers. emoticon
    3934 days ago
    3934 days ago
    3934 days ago
    Glad to hear from you again. Things get so complicated don't they? An A to B journey would be nice but when in this lifetime has that ever happened. I applaud you for the positive attitude you have toward wrok and exercise. Since my last chemo I am either sleeping or in pain. Soon I can jump on to your bandwagon and get some positive energy back. You are an inspiration!
    3934 days ago
  • LILRED1980
    You are such a positive and inspiring person. I have really grown to admire you this past year with how much you have going on in life and yet still so positive about it all. I am not so sure that I would have the same attitude and outlook as you do in your situation. You are truly a strong person and you have really taught me to be grateful for having good health and to really start taking care of my body. I have been working out everyday that I am at work and I am really enjoying it! I hope that when you return, you will come work out with me, when we go there is hardly anyone there so we don't have to worry about who is watching and all that non-sense! You are doing such an AWESOME job at staying POSITIVE! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon !
    3934 days ago
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