Monday, November 12, 2012

Great news & happy days

Well, I finally had my CT scans & chest x-ray to determine the effectiveness of Abraxane, which I have been on for 12 weeks.  It's working!  CT scan of the chest shows "Interval response to therapy with improved left pleural effusion and pleural nodularities."  That was the final impression.  The body of the report actually says "The previously seen left pleural effusion has resolved.  The bilateral pleural nodularity has improved since the prior studies.  No new pulmonary nodule or mass is seen.  The overall appearance would be suggestive of complete response to therapy."  In non-medical jargon, this means that they can no longer see fluid around my left lung, the nodules previously seen in both lungs are now smaller than before, and there are no new areas of cancer.  WOW!  I haven't seen language this positive in any of my medical reports in a long time!  Amazing!  Wonderful!  The CT scan of the abdomen is not as glowing, but still pretty good:  "Stable treated bilobar hepatic metastasis.  Resolved left para-aortic adenopathy.  Stable bony metastasis."  This means that the cancerous lesions in both lobes of my liver are unchanged.  No better, but no worse either.  The enlarged lymph node previously seen near my abdominal aortic artery is no longer enlarged.  This is good.  And, the metastatic lesions seen in multiple bony areas are unchanged.  No new cancer seen anywhere.  Yay!  Makes the hair loss and other chemo side effects all worthwhile!  I have not seen my chest x-ray results, but I have to assume that they are similarly positive in nature.

And while I'm on happy news, I want to share what my sweet Christa (my 15 year-old) did.  She's a 10th grader and is taking a Speech class.  Her teacher assigned everyone to write/present a speech on a "Real Life Hero."  She chose me!  I didn't know about it until after she presented, but she got a 100 on it!  And she must have delivered it quite effectively, because at the end, her teacher said "Wow.  I don't know how we can hear something like that and not DO something."  I was so proud, and happy, and overcome with joy that my daughter would choose me as her "real life hero"!  How awesome is that!?  What a MOM moment!

Mr. Langston, the speech teacher, discussed with Christa the possibility of the class doing some sort of fundraiser for our Fund (The Pink Ribbon Shop Fund for Breast Cancer Research at MD Anderson.)  Perhaps something that involved all four of his speech classes.  They considered purchasing a Pink Ribbon King Cake for each class to enjoy (sold through a New Orleans-based bakery in October and whose sales benefit the Fund,) but decided that it was a bit too pricey for a high school class to have shipped from N.O. to Kingwood, TX.  In the end, Mr. Langston left it up to Christa as to what to do.  Once she told me about it all, I, of course, wanted to do all I could to assist with this impromptu project.  I suggested that the classes have a competition as to who could raise the most money, with the winner getting a Pink Ribbon King Cake party, compliments of The Pink Ribbon Shop.  Christa thought that sounded great!  Mr. Langston and the other students agreed, and Christa and I set to work on working out the logistics.  The contest would run through the end of October (about 3 weeks from start date.)  We made slotted tops out of pink cardstock to replace the metal tops of four large mason jars (one for each class period to collect funds in.)  Each jar was labeled with the appropriate class period number.  I donated our Pink Ribbon Roundup bands and hot pink satin ribbon pins, one of which each student could take whenever they made a donation into the class jar.  Christa and Mr. Langston worked together in explaining the project to each class (his other speech classes had not had the opportunity to hear Christa's speech.)  In less than 3 weeks time, four high school speech classes had raised $645.43!!!  So, so proud of Christa, and amazed at the generosity of these kids (and perhaps their families!)  The Pink Ribbon King Cake was delivered to the winning class the following week, and from what I hear, everyone enjoyed it.  Love this story.  :))))))

Thanks for reading.  Much, much more to come, as October was a busy month.  Can't put it all down in just one or two blog posts!