Sunday, November 07, 2010

Home Stretch

I love it when my blog title has a double meaning.

I am home, stretching my muscles right now after Saturday's Brain Tumor Walk. It was a great event, raising over $1 Million for the National Brain Tumor Society, which puts a lot of money directly into research.

Our "High Five" team ended up with only three official members, because our daughter was too young to register. However, we still had many generous donors, and I appreciate each one!

We had a great time. Many volunteers donated food, drinks, and bounce houses to make it a fun event. The kids had a great time, and even had a chance to meet other children affected by brain cancer. Some of the children were feisty survivors themselves, and some had parents who were survivors. One of the highest fundraising teams had just lost their captain to a brain tumor the week before, and there were poignant "We Miss You, Mom" signs being carried by her children. One of the other teams donated part of their money to her team. It was a day filled with courage and support and lots of positive things being done about an otherwise awful situation. I always believe that God is so good, He can make good out of anything, and this was one example of how that happens -- especially when people are willing to help.

Five years ago I was training for a 5K run when I started having seizures. This year I thought I would train to run this 5K event when I ended up with a spine tumor. I decided to stop telling myself to train for 5K events...and I stopped preparing to run this one. I thought I would just sneak up on myself and see how much of it I could run. I ended up learning that I need to re-learn how to run! I think with everything that had been going on with my back and my legs and the foot drop thing...and the lack of running for so long...I just need to retrain some of my muscles. It just felt kind of weird to run, like I needed to remember how. I was stable enough -- didn't fall into the Trinity River that ran along the course -- but I did take it in walking and running intervals just to be safe. I would pick a landmark, like a tree or a pole and focus on running toward that. And then I would walk to the next item and try again. It worked out well, and I was happy with my time -- and the fact that I was doing this when last month I had foot drop and couldn't walk on my toes!

We are approaching the home stretch of the treatment game. Six more radiation sessions. Five more weekly Topotecan injections through the "oh my -- a reservoir." A few more rounds of Avastin. About a week left of nightly Temodar. Things are still very tolerable. So far bone marrow has been holding strong, which has kept me in the game. So far, CSF remains clear, with protein levels decreasing (a hopeful sign). Pain is also decreasing, which is another hopeful sign.
For some reason I have managed to lose some weight and spend a lot of time happily pulling clothes out of storage that have been mocking me for the past five years! (That's been my favorite side effect so far!) I still have my moments when I need a serious nap during the day -- and I remember from my first radiation adventure that the fatigue wall really starts to hit toward the end -- but still, there really isn't anything to complain about, all things considered. We'll get through this home stretch, and then we have a pause before we know the actual score. The Mets didn't have a great season on the field, and I'm praying that they will continue to lose here!

1 comment:

Josh and Kristen said...

Thank you for your constant and steady positive attitude, it sets such a good example for me! I am anxious to hear about results from your treatments. It sounds positive, since you are feeling less pain, right?