13 is my lucky number!

The results are in…drum roll and my tumor marker number is normal!! Just in time to start my vaccine tomorrow.  Yipee! That chemo was so magical that it just kept on working until NOW! I am so glad that I stopped chemo and even happier that it kept working even after I finished. So, after reading the 2 page side effect warnings of the vaccine, I am convinced that I will have itchy teeth and hot toes? It has to be better than chemo. With the recent news, it seems that these vaccines are the latest and greatest idea to try for cancer treatment.

My expert 2nd opinion has proven to be somewhat helpful with many other ideas on new trials and new chemo coming in the next year around June. Gotta know what the latest and greatest cancer treatments coming soon!  Of course, this 2nd opinion benefit has had some drama with the company defending their “experts”. I still hold firm that an expert is defined by this company one way and another way is the reality. My latest “discussion” included a debate with the director of this company who argued that despite the first opinion from a gastroenterologist, he really had gynecological oncology background. The other opinion from a guy who looked about 12 was very knowledgeable, but I question how much experience or expert experience he has with patients. As I said to Jim, “how many lives has he saved?”. He is great at writing papers, but what about the treating of patients in real time?! I could not win the debate, but made my own expert cancer patient opinions loud and clear. For me, this type of customer service with anyone is unacceptable and with a cancer patient even more unacceptable. I am not waving my white flag yet as I want to prove that there is always room for improvement and an apology or even a “we’ll look into it” would have been better than the “you’re wrong and we’re right attitude”.

In all my free time, we have been making the most of every minute which included a visit to Disneyland with the cancer pass (gets you to pass the lines even though it was empty at the park), Wild Animal Park, Getty Museum, and Blue Man group. This was all in one weekend! I am still having that passing out at the end of the day, but after over 18 months of chemo, my doctor said that this is normal. My taste buds are finally back and now just in time to eat the leftover Halloween candy. I am so thankful for everyone in my life. I cannot express to each and every one of you how your laughter gives me energy, your smiles keep me going, your words inspire me daily, and just being you makes me happy and thankful!

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5 Responses to “13 is my lucky number!”

  1. Sandra Says:

    I am thankful to hear that this set of news is so positive. I am glad to hear that your action packed weekend was so enjoyable. We are sending out our love, prayers and smiles to you and the family! Grosses bises!!!

  2. amy Says:

    Wonderful news!!! So glad you guys are having so much fun. Maybe I will see you at Bagels and Brew Thursday 😉
    OX Amy

  3. Pendar Says:

    Great news! You are always in my prayers 🙂

  4. Leah Engelberg Says:

    Yay Joanie, so happy to hear about the good news! You are always in my thoughts : )
    xoxo,
    Leah

  5. Ruthie Says:

    Itchy teeth, hot toes?! Hot teeth, itchy toes?! Whatever it is I know you will approach it with the same “chutzpah” and positive attitude 🙂 Good to read about all you good times with the family! Love and hugs,
    Ruthie

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