“Fighting cancer is like a giant game of “Mother May I.” It sometimes seems as if we take one step forward only to take two steps back. Setbacks are a definite part of the battle. Just remember, it is not the speed of the game that counts. Treat all setbacks as temporary, rebound as quickly as possible, learn whatever you can from the experience, and then move forward again.” Vickie Girard

I am definitely feeling much better than the last 2 times that I had my treatment. Slow is the ticket for less side effects for me. I didn’t even have to take the anti-nausea drugs. Two less pills is a big advantage with the pile of pills I take daily! Remember that my last treatment they forgot to take one of the blood tests that should be taken each time? It is a marker to see if anything is “brewing”. Well, they did take it this time and my numbers went up a bit, but not a giant amount like when I was first diagnosed. There is no definite answer of why the number went up. I got the message on Friday from my doctor.  After my initial shock, frustration, and anger, I realized that the next step is the step I would be taking in a couple weeks anyway. Plus, can I do anything about the past on what wasn’t done? I guess unless I had some time machine, I am out of luck for that idea. (You know I will do everything I can next time to ensure not only that my drip is slow, but that EVERY blood test is done.) So, on Friday I will have my PET Scan done a few weeks early as the doctor says, “we need to be aggressive”.  I cannot help but to be nervous just a little bit.  I know I am strong and can do what needs to be done whatever it may be or not be. At the Triestman household, we tend to think proactively about such challenges. For me, it is booking concerts, events, and planning fun things to do. It is even finding receipts for my tax preparation. It does not include major cleaning, but does include a lot of throwing away of papers. It includes using every bit of strength on Saturday to be with Alex during his piano competition even though I would have rather been in bed. It involves playing games with Alex, reading books with him, and sitting in his bed until he is almost asleep. It involves attempting to stay up late to talk with Jim instead of my usual passing out at 8pm. Last April, I could not take any steps forward as I was paralyzed with fear. Now, I just go on my merry way trying to think of how am I going to eat low carbs on Thursday!  I even took time to read my O Magazine (Oprah’s magazine) sitting next to my bed. Coincidently, an article about ovarian cancer and tumor profiling from a foundation called the Clearity Foundation in San Diego caught my eye. I immediately gave the article to Jim who read it and went to the website. Once I saw all the foreign language of pathology, I became blurry eyed. My own pathology report is almost 14 pages long and it might as well be in another language with codes and positive/negative indicators. While the rain falls, Jim is working on an online training while simultaneously reading information about tumor profiling. We are believers in knowing as much as we can…this method applies to purchasing a new fridge or reading about upcoming treatments or testing. We have a bit of family analysis paralysis, but it comes in handy for not leaving any stone unturned. It keeps us busy and helps us to not focus on the “what if’s”. It may seem completely contrary to some people, but it is what keeps my mind busy. You must take an active role in your own healthcare as we have seen that no one has “the answer” .  As I said before with my doctors, unless blood is coming from my eyes and my head is spinning around counter clockwise, we just take the next step, one step at a time.  I will take one day at a time and make the most of today.  In the meantime, I ask all of you to send your positivity towards me and send me those virtual hugs. Next week, I may not be out and about like I usually am, but it is only to avoid the response of the “I’m fine” because I am trying so hard to be fine and be strong for myself and for my family. In my heart, I feel as if it will be “fine”, but I do have my moments. So, instead of having my moments in public, I will have them at home.

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One Response to ““Fighting cancer is like a giant game of “Mother May I.” It sometimes seems as if we take one step forward only to take two steps back. Setbacks are a definite part of the battle. Just remember, it is not the speed of the game that counts. Treat all setbacks as temporary, rebound as quickly as possible, learn whatever you can from the experience, and then move forward again.” Vickie Girard”

  1. Leah Says:

    Sending you virtual hugs and positive thoughts! Thinking of you, Jim and Alex : )
    Thank you for your inspiration!!
    miss you tons…

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