If you’ve seen me the past several months you probably noticed, and said, that I look and must feel good. You’re right about the looking good, that never changes. The past couple weeks I have been feeling good because I have been off treatment since July. However, I am back on inpatient chemo.
Back in July I had my usual CT scan and it revealed that my tumors were growing enough that we needed to change it up. My doctor asked if I would be willing to do a needle biopsy of one of the tumors, just to see what came back and if there were any trials available. At first I was hesitant because I would be leaving for vacation the following weekend and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do some of the activities we had planned. However, once they explained the procedure to me I said, “oh that’s it, yea I’ll do it.”
By Friday of that week I was back in the hospital getting ready for my needle biopsy. I was in interventional radiology with the usual suspects. The techs that do my CT came over and said hello and asked why I was back so soon. I responded with “yea thanks for the heads up on my CT results, you know why I’m here.” We both laughed and I knew I would see him again later during the biopsy. They use a CT scan to help show which tumor they will take a sample from. Plus I would prefer not to be stabbed randomly until they strike gold with my tumor.
I don’t remember a lot from the biopsy other then the beginning when they placed a graph on my skin while I was in the machine to pinpoint where my tumor exactly was to take samples. My nurses were super nice and held my hand when they numbed the area for the needle. I just remember sleeping and then next thing I knew I was back in recovery with my mom. After waking up they sent me home. Unfortunately on the way home I started feeling sick. Thanks to the road closure by my house we had to go the long way home. By the time we reached my driveway I couldn’t wait any longer and next thing I knew I was out of the car in the field on my driveway puking. I strategically picked an area I knew the dogs didn’t go to. I then yelled to my mom, “looks like thirsty Thursday got the best of me.”
I recovered at home over the weekend and then by Tuesday I was back riding Joe. Later that week I left on my trip out west with my mom, sister, and her husband. When I got back from the trip I met with my oncologist to talk about my biopsy results and see what would be next for treatment. He asked if I would be willing to go to Boston for another opinion and as you can imagine I practically blurted yes. I had a horse show coming up the next week and knew to schedule it after we got back. While in Boston I had a good appointment and was told about different options and left with a new chemo road map of what to do next. We went over to Newport for the night and saw my friends.
When I got home we determined that I would do two rounds of inpatient chemo that would last 3-5 days and then get scanned to see what it does. I have already done this type of chemo. Last time I had this specific chemo was in the Fall of 2013. I will be loosing my hair again so don’t be surprised if one day you see me with hair and the next I look like Natalie Portman in “V for Vendetta”.
In the meantime I’ve been spending the majority of time with Joe and organizing my house. Some kids do back to school shopping, I did back to inpatient chemo shopping with my sister. We went to one of my favorite athletic wear stores and I got some comfy clothes to add to my wardrobe to wear in the hospital or at home. I was waiting for the sales people to ask me what sport I was playing but thank God they didn’t. I would’ve said “I’m training for chemotherapy to kill the tumors in my lungs”. I reorganized a bunch of stuff at my house and generally just straightened up stuff I couldn’t stand anymore. In other words I kept myself busy.
I recently took Joe on a ride up in the fields near my barn and he was super excited. He practically trotted up the one field just to get to the grass he wanted. I mean I would run too if there was food at the top of a hill. It was such a beautiful day and I was happy to trail ride with Joe. He loves getting outside as much as I do. It is a good way to recharge the soul and put everything into perspective. It gets you away from reality for a little. There’s nothing I love more that the sound of thundering hooves on the ground.
Going back into inpatient chemo sucks. I have to be in the hospital for a couple days and will have to worry about my counts again. However, I still have options out there and there is a prospect of a trial back in Boston. Hopefully after a couple recovery days I will be able to ride Joe and get back into our regular routine. For right now we are just riding the wave and seeing where it takes us. Hair or no hair, I will be the same person with the same sarcastic comments trying to make you laugh. Just remember that life isn’t always easy but it is how we handle these situations that makes us into the person we were meant to be. Or when all else fails eat a pint of ice cream to feel better.