Ruth's musings

I have been dealing with breast cancer for a while, and have been sharing my journey with friends, family, and prayer partners. This blog brings all my updates together in one place, and leaves me free to muse on other parts of my life. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ruth Update #2

February 25, 2006

Dear Friends, relatives and prayer partners,

This was one of those weeks when I spent very little time making money, and lots of time in the world of oncology. I had a bone scan on Tuesday, had my "simulation" at radiation oncology and a meeting with my Medical Oncologist on Wednesday. I think I worked a total of three hours those two days. It was so bad, I went in to the office on President's Day to get my urgent stuff done. The sad thing is, I had just signed up for automatic deductions to my new 403B plan at the church, and it just started in the last pay period. Now, I will probably be working less than my usual 30 hours per week, just when I started on this retirement plan. Ah, well.

Anyway, the news: I found out where the cancer tumor is -- in my hip bone, the ileum, just above the socket where the femur fits in to make the joint that moves so we can walk and dance. The pain might be worsened by use,but it really isn't. It is more a constant ache, and doesn't seem to be worse when I move. I will start radiation treatment on Monday, at 4:40 PM, Eastern Time, so you can up your prayer intensity at that time. It will be M-F for two weeks.

After that, I have an appointment for a surgical consult on Monday, March 13th. This is to discuss the implanting of a medi-port, a gadget that goes under my skin, just below the collar bone, and has a catheter that leads into one of my major veins for delivery of chemotherapy. Since I only have one good vein in my left arm, we think this is the best way to administer chemo, as the drugs tend to wreck veins. I had one last time, and was glad I did. This is an outpatient surgical procedure. My oncologist would like to start the treatment the week after radiation is done, but it looks like it will be delayed by 1) the placement of the medi-port; 2) Matthew's play, Nathan the Wise, opens on March 16th and his birthday is March 17th; and 3) our friends Al and Jean Stirling, who are missionaries based in Budapest, are going to be here the following weekend, March 25th and 26th. So, it looks like chemo will probably start the first week of April.

The drug my oncologist has chosen is Abraxane. It has its very own website, of course, http://www.abraxane.com/, if you would like to look it up. The treatment should be six courses, 21 days apart. Yes, I will lose my hair during Lent, again, and the treatment will go well into the summer. She promises that I will probably be able to go the Virgin Islands with the Scout troop as scheduled. We may have to delay one of the chemo treatments, but therapy can come in many forms!

Thank you for your prayers and words of support, and the support you are offering in more tangible ways. Really, all you need to do for me is pray, but if you feel the need to do something more, you can give blood to any agency that will take it, or you can support an organization for breast cancer research. Paul and I support the Susan G. Komen foundation. They have a website, too.

Another big thing you can do for me: Get your mammograms. Do your self-exams.

Love,

Ruth

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