I was surprised to see how long it had been since I last journaled here, in many ways so much has happened and in other ways, not so much.
I feel fantastic and for the most part have but only a few anomalies with my health, and overall I have been having a robust remission. (One of my doctors said that, I liked the phrase so I borrowed it.)
The flip side to that coin is that I am finally addressing my cervical issue. I had a repeat pap smear in January and the results went from atypical cells in May of last year to high-grade lesion. I had a colposcopy (a specialized biopsy) a couple weeks ago and then a LEEP procedure last week (where the bad cells were removed). Unfortunately, the margins are still not clear after the LEEP and there are still some rogue cells. My oncologist would like me to have a full hysterectomy so that HE has one thing less to worry about with me; love that guy, the way he phrases things makes me smile.
Jody and I are heading to Holland for a couple weeks to see his family the end of April, I would assume after we come back I will address this hysterectomy issue.
I also took a shot at asking Dr. Arteta (oncologist) if I could stop my maintenance Rituxin infusions; in a word, No. He explained that Mantle Cell is just too difficult to control and that if I am doing well on Rituxin, which, other than a constant runny nose, some coughing and an occasional dip in my blood pressure, I am, then I should continue. It's a beast I am reminded, this Mantle Cell Lymphoma.
Dr. Arteta did tell me that since I had the equivalent of a nuclear bomb in my body with the type of chemotherapy I endured, he would give me a two month break and restart Rituxin in June; I asked him if it was more of a mental break for me, he just smiled; I take that as a yes.
Travel is on the agenda for me during this dormant cancer time and, as I mentioned previously, we will be going to Holland in a couple weeks, then Juneau in June (with my mom) to visit my eldest son and then perhaps a girls' get away in August to Vegas! I am hoping to get a group of us together for a fun friends folly; Vegas will never be the same.
Life is amazing, my health is superb and I truly feel better than I have in years; makes me wonder how long I was sick prior to my diagnosis... I am working full time, starting to volunteer again (at St. Alphonsus on their cancer floor), dancing occasionally (because I am otherwise busy going up to our new cabin on the weekends), eating anything I want, because I finally can (Doritos are my new nemesis) and enjoying spending time with family and friends just being in their company.
I have learned so many lessons, many about life, most about me. I have learned the true meaning of "Relish each day," and have come to understand that there really isn't anything anyone can do to take away my happiness, unless I allow it. Simple little cliche's but huge truths. Life is great, it is truly fabulous and with good health, there is nothing better.
This journey is, unfortunately, not over, but it has taken a nice hiatus for a while. I just wanted to check in, let everyone know I am still alive and kicking and having a blast! I am thankful for all of you, for your continued support and prayers and most of all for your friendship.
Please remember to continue to donate blood and platelets, they will be necessary for patients like me for the rest of our live. I love hearing from those of you that do this, you make me smile and you warm my heart with your selfless act.
I love you all!