Quite a Change from Last Summer

Summer Pics of the Family

Hi to all!  I know…long time no blog.  Thank you so much to my faithful readers that have continued to check in and and have asked about a blog update.  I really do have the intent to keep this blog going!  While the “active” treatment is behind me, I am finding that there is always something to talk about!  It’s just never ending!  What have I/we been up to lately?  Well, it’s been a really, really busy summer with our 5 yr old daughter.  I have been trying to keep up with her social schedule – camps, play dates, pool…you name it we’ve done it!  I recently told a friend that the summer has been so much crazier than the school year.  It seemed odd to me for some reason.  Then I remembered that last summer I was actively in chemotherapy and was not experiencing a normal, fun, active summer like the rest of the world.  So this year, was my turn!  While it was busy, it was fun and we have enjoyed it!  Ed, Gracie and I were also fortunate to spend the month of July in Pensacola, FL.  We enjoyed the beach, the parks, the zoo, the pool, and visitors throughout the month.  While Ed worked, he did get to join us on his days off.  It was just nice to have a change of scenery, a slower pace, and no big agenda.  We are back in Atlanta, back into a routine, and getting ready for school to start.  Gracie will be in Kindergarten this year!  So hard to believe!  She starts on Tuesday, August 14th.

Today I had my 3 month follow-up with my oncologist.  I was on my own for this appointment which I was completely fine with.  I wasn’t really expecting anything monumental.  I met with the doctor first.  She did a physical exam (which was fine),  asked some questions about how I was feeling (fine), and how I was handling the Tamoxifen i.e. any side effects (also fine).  Then it was my turn to ask questions.  I had a short list which we worked through.  “What’s next?” was a big one.  So, in October she has scheduled another CT scan to look again at the small nodule on my lung.  It will have been 6 months since my last CT scan.  If nothing has changed, I would expect her to tell me we will move to a once a year on that screening.  She seems pretty optimistic.  Let’s hope she’s right.  Also, in November, I will meet with her again (3 month check-in) and that same day will have another echo cardiogram.  Even though I have completed Herceptin and been off of it for a while, she recommends we continue to monitor my heart every 6 months for at least a year (maybe two).  So, that’s what I have coming up in the next few months related to doctor’s appointments.

After meeting with the doctor, I went to the lab to do blood work.  I didn’t wait for results and should get that call tomorrow.  I am not expecting anything but “your labs look normal.”  If I hear anything different, I will let you know.

With all that said, I have to say it was a little weird for me to be back in that office.  As I walked up, I watched a woman being wheeled out by her husband.  She had a scarf on her head and was clearly going through chemo.  Uugghh.  It sucks.  As I entered the office, I immediately made eye contact with my favorite Lab Tech.  We waved and said hello – she recognized me immediately.  That put me at ease.  Then as I sat in the waiting room, I observed all of the people waiting around me.  Like many times before, I was the youngest in the group.  But looking around also reminded me that cancer does not discriminate.  There were people of all ages, races, sex, etc.  It’s just awful.

So how am I doing? Well, if you ask, I will say “fine” or “great” – and generally I am.  But the reality is each day is different.  Some days are good and I don’t think about cancer at all.  Then, there are other days that I do.  The biggest thing to me at this point is getting my arms, my head, my thoughts around recurrence.  Will it come back?  If it does, where will it be?  Will we catch it in time?  Is it a matter of when vs. if?  Am I doing enough?  Can I even control it?

I don’t have all the answers unfortunately, but I do know that prevention is key.  So, ladies (and men with ladies in their lives) have you or your significant other scheduled a mammogram?

Comments

  1. Mary Johnson says:

    You continue to amaze me with your positive attitude and strength! We pray every day for you, and that the “c” word will be a thing of the past for you! I love that you have had a “normal” (although crazy busy) Summer! And that all of you had a well-deserved month in Pensacola!!! So happy that all went well yesterday at the oncologist, and am believing with you that all lab work is going to be normal!!!!

    Love,
    M. (and C and A)

  2. Mary Johnson says:

    PS, LOVE the pics!!!! I think the black and white of you hugging Gracie may very well be my all-time fave!!!!

    • Mary – I couldn’t make it through all of this without your consistent support and prayers! So, thank you! MKG

  3. Dear Meredith,
    I came across your blog a few months back by way of your husband Ed, who is my Facebook/Twitter friend. We bonded over our shared love (or maybe it is shame?) of the Redskins. I have been pulling for you and am so glad things seem more like normal now. Normal is good 🙂
    I wish you continued healing and good health and all of the very best!

    • Allison – Thank you for your comment! It’s been a rough year and a half but I am so happy to be somewhat “normal” now! Looking ahead and staying positive! Go Skins! Meredith

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