Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pac Man, Kodiak's and Miracle Manicures

Thank you, Google. As anyone who's read my blog knows, I use Pac Man as my visualization for eating Mom's cancer up. Google celebrated Pac Man's 30th anniversary by having a playable Pac Man on their search page from Friday until Sunday. Love it. I'm thinking that all those games of Pac Man played were eating up more of Mom's cancer. I'll take just about anything as a good sign in the war against EC.

The Docs decided to stick with just using Irinotecan for now. I don't have any idea what that means but I can tell you that for some reason I felt upset when I heard this. Who knows what was working so well on mom's cancer...for whatever reason, we all thought it was the Cisplatin but it could have just as easily been the Irinotecan. We'll find out at the next set of CTs/MRIs (some time the week of June 14) if the Irinotecan alone is as effective. So, say your prayers, send your well wishes and imagine Pac Man eating up the cancer!

Baby Bro's brand new restaurant, Kodiak's, opened on Sunday. Place looks great and the food is totally awesome. As are the drinks. I think it's going to be a huge hit and I am so proud of all that he's done there. It's really quite amazing.

Mom discovered the miracle manicure at her nail salon a few months ago. I pooh poohed her for a month or so. I refuse to get manicures because they last about two days. I don't have that kind of time for maintenance! Mom kept insisting that this manicure lasted for three weeks - I kept saying that she had a life of leisure now and THAT was the reason why the manicure was lasting for so long. She finally convinced me to try it, which I did last month when we went for mother/daughter mani/pedis. And, she's totally right. It does last. I just went for my third one with Mom and SIL this past Saturday. I have been going every two weeks because you can see growth at the bottom of the nail after that. But, seriously? No chips and even better - no broken nails. So, if your nail salon offers a gel manicure, get thee one. You will be amazed. There aren't as many colors, but I can live with that. And, it's a little more than a regular manicure, but worth it.

Last thing, Team No De-Feet walks the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Chicago June 5th and 6th. This member is wholly unprepared but will walk for as long as I can. So, think about us next weekend when you're at the pool or beach or whatever your doing and pray for no blisters, no rain, and strong legs. Our hearts will be full.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


When it comes to follow-up CT and MRI results with a cancer diagnosis there are few words more beautiful than "stable." Decreased is one. NED, which stands for no evidence of disease, is the most beautiful. Wiktionary defines stable as "relatively unchanged." When you're looking at measurements of tumors on a scan, relatively unchanged is pretty awesome. Stable appeared in Mom's CT results from last week 12 times (yes, I counted). "No new suspicious" appeared 3 times. Decreased (only the 2nd most beautiful word as far as these things go) appeared one blessed time.

In the pre-chemo baseline CT, Mom had mets to the lung, a few lymph nodes, and the liver. And, of course, the main tumor in the esophagus. Then, there was that pesky second cancer in the kidney. Everything, except the kidney tumor, is at least half the size now as it was in the baseline. Some are still there, but not measurable. Some are gone completely. There are no new suspicious findings. So, yet another fantastic set of test results.

We enter a new stage now. After yet another allergic reaction to the cisplatin yesterday, the Doc has decided that he's going to take her off it. Mom will start a new chemotherapy combination next Monday. Her Doc is consulting with the MSK Doc in NYC to determine a new combo. We have had such luck with the cisplatin/irnitocan combo that it's hard to say goodbye to it. Even though it's the right thing. Let's hope the new combo works as well with as few side effects. Keep up all the prayers, well wishes, asteroid killing and pacman eating visualizations.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Mom goes for her follow-up CT and MRIs tomorrow. It'll be interesting because this was the course where she developed her allergy to cisplatin. So, rather than 4 doses of irinotecan and 4 of cisplatin she was only able to get a bit over 3 of the cisplatin.

She's also worried because she's had a headache for the past week. Every headache she gets brings the fear of recurrence in her brain. She doesn't think it's the same type of headache she had with the tumors...and the weather has been insane over the past week. So, it's probably nothing. Most likely sinus-related..

But...there's always that but. I can't speak for my entire family; but, I think we all live with this undercurrent of fear. Last fall was hell - first we find out she has cancer and she immediately has to have brain surgery. Then because of a lot of reasons we "waste" an additional 2 months getting the correct diagnosis. And the only thing we wanted was for her to start getting treatment.
But since then? We have been so lucky - side effects are dealable (says the person who doesn't have to deal with them) and her response to the chemo has been nothing short of stupendous. Nothing but good news since Jan 4.

The fear still remains though. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. For the bad news to start coming. Please don't let it start tomorrow. So, say a little prayer or send your good wishes out in to the universe that tomorrow's tests bring good news on Monday.