Delays and more delays… the news in the last week is that my mom still has not completely responded to chemo. There was shrinkage of her lymph nodes, but several still demonstrate signs of active cancer. Rather than to proceed directly to bone marrow transplant, her doctor is choosing to treat her with some other, yet-to-be-decided chemotherapy. But first she has to mobilize stem cells, so her doctors can harvest them prior to whatever comes next, so if her bone marrow gets too depleted down the road, we still have the transplant option. And her bone marrow is already tired, so the mobilization has also been delayed, to allow her some time to recover.
It felt good, to believe we were at a point on the timeline, trudging steadily towards a remission and a return to Arizona. Turns out, we weren’t as close as we thought.
I’m scared and I’m tired, but I’m glad my moms lymphoma is still showing some degree of chemosensitivity.
I’m glad she isn’t feeling sick.
I’m glad her uretral stent is working, and she doesn’t need an external nephrostomy tube.
I’m glad her oncologist is so compassionate.
I’m glad her insurance is paying for treatment at MD Anderson.
I’m glad for a multitude of things, but when I’m experiencing fear its difficult to keep focused in the present. And let’s be honest- the present is scary and full of the unknown. She’s had nine chemo drugs– still no true remission. Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma is a great kind of lymphoma to have if it responds to treatment. And if it doesn’t,you are in for a long and arduous struggle.
My dad visited me last week. We had a wonderful time together, and it was very therapeutic. I lost myself through exploring the mind of another (watching Dexter, Season II). I felt peace and calm in the embrace of the Earth (while visiting a cave). I lit a candle for my mom, in a hall filled with centuries of prayers and miracles (at a Spanish Mission from the 1700’s). Now that he has left, I’m trying to take better care of myself. Let go, breathe deeply. Enjoy the garden, monsoons, my dog. I achieve this with varying degrees of success, but I am trying!