Wednesday, February 6, 2008

R & R & R (Rest & Relaxation in Reno)

Woke up to another day of sunny blue skies. Today was probably the nicest of all of the days since I arrived. I hear it's been cold and rainy back home in Portland, Oregon. Big suprise there. It hasn't rained a single day here in Reno since I arrived. That sunshine, despite the cold, makes all the difference in the world. Need my vitamin D.

Paris and I worked out and headed into the clinic early for my exit appointment with Dr. Forsythe. My German tests aren't back yet so he's going to need to call me with those. My stool samples were back and they were negative. They thought I might have a parasite or something that could have compromisesd my immune system to begin with. He found no lumps or bumps anywhere, but no one ever has since my surgery. My lungs are clear. Vitals are great. But they always are. He said that had I walked in as a new patient and he didn't know my history, he'd never ever guess I had stage IV cancer. But no one ever does. He's very optimistic though. His best guess for my diagnosis is a rare ovarian cancer rather than a possible GI/colon cancer. They drew my blood today to check my CA125, the only cancer marker that seems to give us any indication of anything at all. It was 96 at my 1 year mark, which prompted my oncologist to start a second battery of chemo with the carbotaxol. After my first round of carbo taxol, it went down to 74. I did a second round of carbo taxol and then came to Reno on the day I was supposed to do my 3rd round. So I missed my last CA125 test (I went awol!). I'm interested in seeing the results. He seemed to think it might be down far enough so I won't have to do chemo when I get home. Normal CA125 is 30 or below. Mine was 22 after my surgery and slowly creeping up over the last year. He wants me to continue my supplements, plus the polyMVA and oral salicinium after I leave. Both are very expensive. He also said I have a lot of mercury in my mouth (old fillings that could be toxic). It would be good to get those replaced. Not sure Kaiser would do it. If we could prove they are poisoning me, they might. He said he wants to see me back in 6 months.
They are going to copy my files so I can take them back to my oncologist at home (who is retiring in March! eeeeek). He said he'd be happy to talk with him anytime. Maybe between the two of them we can come up with a plan that will be kinder to me than that nasty carbotaxol. Hate that crap. With a passion.

I can't believe we're going home Saturday. I'm not ready to go! I've enjoyed my refuge from my crazy cancer filled life of late. Even though I go to the clinic every day to infuse, the cancer isn't consuming my every thought. I'm just a woman in Reno on vacation. I feel normal. At peace. Happy and at ease. Relaxed. I've got a new routine going, focused on only me and I'm digging that. No distractions. No stress. It's been so good for me. I'm going to be sad to see it end.



Paris said...

Can't tell you how wonderful it is to see you so relaxed and happy. I don't want it to end either... we need to brainstorm ways to keep it like this at home... well at least kind of like this at home ;) I'm hoping to take the healthy eating and exercising home with me and make some new habits for sure. Love you, p

Laura Nicholas said...

I am so glad that you are getting the much needed and deserved rest and relaxation. Like Paris said - how can that continue at home? When you figure it out, can you share it with me? I certainly know I can use some tips.

That would be great if the doc there can work with your doc here.

My dentist has said the same thing about the fillings. Not sure how insurance works with that though - worth asking.

we miss you!

Anonymous said...


I had my fillings replaced with the polymer blend (or whatever it is... the white fillings) several years ago. My insurance covered most of it (they never cover the full amount of the non-silver kind). I believe the dentist coded it as the fillings needed to be replaced due to age and degredation.

Jenn aka SIL

JO said...

Hi Shauna: Enjoy your last couple of days in Reno. When you get home, just remember to take time for yourself. You now know how much better you feel when you do things for youself, so I hope you will continue doing that. Looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday. Love, JO

My name is Shanna and I am said...

I want to come back!!!!!!! Oh, I so enjoyed the peaceful and relaxed days that we spent together. I am delighted to read how much you have benefitted from them. You deserved it and you and Paris both needed this retreat together. Come home restored and ready to keep the momentum that you have gained.

Love you both!