We were the closest family possible. Our world was turned upside down on 05/03/09 when my best friend, the person I love most next only to our children, my sister Trina was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Her body gave out on her on 01/09/10 but she will ALWAYS be a part of our daily life and will continue to be in my posts. I started my blog to chronicle our daughter's international adoption from Guatemala and have continued to use it as a journal.

What you will find is my family trying to adapt to our new lives that were handed to us.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Shock And Awe

Yesterday was an extremely difficult day. Sissy had been feeling like shit for a while and was really down emotionally and physically. Josh stayed home with Asa and mom went with sissy to chemo, thank God. They weren't supposed to see the doctor but somehow her appointment with him didn't get cancelled (even though she called twice to confirm it was) so they saw him.

He reviewed the results of the bone scan with her, which was all very encouraging. He did note a spot on her skull but wasn't very concerned about it as it's very possible that it had been there before. The report plainly stated "marked improvement" from the last one.

Then he explained to her what we really didn't know. In November her six months of chemo will be up. We figured, based on some light conversation with her oncologist, that sissy would probably have to go longer on chemo until the cancer was gone and she went into remission. Worst case was that she'd be on chemo for a year.

Nope. In November, after her six months, she will "take a break" from chemo. The doctor calls it "living with cancer". We knew she'd be living with it for the rest of her life but to know now that he doesn't expect her to go into remission and that she'll always have cancer, well, it was a bit much to hear. Mom said that he stated things pretty clearly at their first appointment with him but that was only five days after her diagnosis, we were all in shock, they didn't know where the originating tumor was, etc.... So we figured she'd go on chemo until it was gone. Nope. He said her body needs a break and if the cancer starts to grow again then he will start her on a new set of chemo. Well if that ain't a blow to your gut. Again, thank God mom was with sissy when she heard this.

Last night was one of the worst nights since everything happened. I cried for the first time in a long time, since popular to what at least one person thinks I don't go around all morose telling my sister how dire her situation is and be an all around downer to her. I talked to sissy later in the evening and we discussed it and said how shitty it was. Her doctor has always said medicine can do so much but that the power of prayer is also very healing and instrumental in recovery. We came upon a few facts and things to ponder:

* The originating tumor in her breast is GONE. The cancer was feeding on that so in theory that should keep the cancer at bay

* New cancer drugs are being developed all the time, especially for breast cancer

* Sorry, but we have a remission vacation to attend and just because the doctor told her all signs point to no remission, that isn't an option

* All the legions of people praying for her, sending healing thoughts and well wishes

So yeah, yesterday was a downer. A pretty big, steaming pile of shit downer.

So what did we do today? Our usual. Ran some errands, got frustrated with the kids, spent some money we didn't have, had lunch and topped our day off with more ice cream than one person should consume. Oh, yeah, that last part was only me :)

Sissy also was given the choice to cut back on the one chemo drug, which was already reduced to 75%, another 10%. Given how difficult it's been even with the 25% reduction, she decided that taking 65% would be better than her not being able to even finish this round of chemo because it's too hard on her. So she choose to lower her dose, but now she's not only hopeful that she will finish her six months but that maybe she might be able to go another month or so.

We have had a mini vacation planned for when she's done with chemo and we are starting to look forward to that. We are going to go back to the beach and stay at the same place we did in April.


Alaska Family said...

Were still praying for you all, and hoping for the best. Happy to hear about the bone scan results.

P.S - I didnt know there was a limit on how much ice cream one person should consume - Oh right, because there isnt!! :)

Trina G. said...

Love you. Thank you for all you do. You are the best Sissy ever....thank you for a great day. Even thought i wanted to pass out when we got home. And I'm sure my Vali wasn't tired one bit! PINK ONE PINK ONE WHY CUZ? SO CUTE!

Valerie said...

Just wanted to let you know that even though we haven't meet I love you! Cancer sucks, there is no other way to put it! Thinking and praying about you guys every day!

nikki said...

You said it right "Cancer Sucks"

But you have an amazing family and you will all pull eachother through!!
Prayers still coming to you and Trina!!!

Sonia said...

Each and every one of you are in my prayers everyday. I love you all!

Nikki said...

Totally agree the comment that cancer sucks :( You guys are in my thoughts...


mylene said...

A mixture of news. Cling to the good, and forget the bad. Prayer works! Love you all and praying often. God bless you.