Sunday, January 29, 2012

Good News and Not so Good News

Good news:  The breast biopsy was benign and I smoked the treadmill test!  My cardiologist and his assistant were amazed at how well I did.  I scored 30% higher than active people and 50% higher than inactive people.

My data review conference  with my doctor at  Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) went well and I am in pretty good shape after tons of tests  He started by saying that the goal was to get me into long-term remission and I liked hearing that. The only news that wasn’t so good was the bone marrow biopsy showed 20% plasma cells which is higher than they like for beginning a transplant.  This is partly due to not having chemo for the last few weeks.  My doctor said they will give me very strong chemotherapy, which will involve a combination of drugs, to beat the plasma cells back down.  I enter the University of Washington Medical Center on Monday morning to begin four days (96 hours) of round the clock chemotherapy.   I am NOT looking forward to that.

We have our apartment at Pete Gross House, which is housing for SCCA, and will be moving in today.  We are on the top floor with a stunning panoramic view of Lake Union.  The apartment is small but cozy. I have always dreamed of living in downtown Seattle, but living there for this reason was never part of the dream!  This morning while drinking coffee and reading the paper in our family room, I felt quite sad and tearful to think I would be leaving home today and not be back for about three months except to visit for a day or two.  I am just sick about leaving my beautiful cat and loyal nurse, Lily.

Although there is no certainty about what lies ahead, people live with the hope that all will go well for them. It is impossible to fulfill our life when we are utterly discouraged. But if we manage to keep our hopes in the future alive, we will be able to overcome all sorts of difficulties and go on living.
 – Dalai Lama       

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