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My dear friend Becky lost her mother suddenly to a heart attack this week. My heart is breaking for her. I wondered “Why not me God? Why not me?” I am so sick (so they tell me), sucking up time and energy from loads of doctors and nurses and hundreds of thousands from the insurance company every year. I’m like a vintage Italian sports car – something is always about to break.

Am I worthy because I watched fourteen episodes of Tattoo Nightmares and American Pickers this week? Or was it the blissful giant full body hug I gave my seven year old, his full body weight on me and the smell of his clean “manly” coconut shampooed hair right in my face?

Again I am reminded, it is not for me to know or decide. I could have the best medical team in the world (Ok yeah, I do) but when my time is up, it’s up.

I wonder if getting a tattoo would fall under the “take it easy” and “behave” medical directives I’m under. It looks like you just lay there which is pretty much what I’m doing anyway. But painful.

Tuesday I made it through my third dose of Merck’s Anti-PD1 trial drug without any drama or fanfare so there’s one in the WIN column. I am six weeks into the trial. Six more weeks and I will have scans to evaluate if it’s working or not. I’m starting to think I’ll make it that far.

Today I learned that 80/60 is not only bad when it’s on a speeding ticket, it’s not great when your cardiologist is announcing it. Quick checkup derailed again and a stop for fluids but all is well. Actually I’ve never had a speeding ticket. You could call me lucky.

Nurse K assigned to me by our insurance company called today. She calls about once a month and sounds like she cares but I am always suspicious. My expensive continued survival is hurting their bottom line. God love them though – they keep paying. I will drop everything to take her calls and value her opinion, no matter what. I’ve learned these exchanges go better if I throw her a few little queries so she can give me some medical advice. Today we discussed the flammable properties of oxygen and we reviewed my BMI. Funny, no one at Vanderbilt ever wants to discuss my BMI. Maybe I need to get on the treadmill.

What is this trial I’m on? What is this “Chemo” I’m taking? It’s not chemo, but immunotherapy. Cancer hides in your body and grows in its evil little ways, tricking your immune system by putting little blinders on it saying “I am not cancer, move along little friend”. Immunotherapy takes off the little blinders, so the immune system can see the cancer and say “You don’t belong here – off with your head!”. Pretty cool space age stuff. Every day I am thankful to be in this trial. Of course we pray that it works. But even if it doesn’t, I am really doing something to help further research. We are all in this together.

Peace to you all and have a wonderful weekend.

Amy

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