To be or not to be, that is the Cancer….

My drive to Scripps was much more delightful than driving to UCLA with a beautiful view of the ocean. My fastpass almost worked even with a few boxes of See’s candy, I had to wait longer than I wanted. I had to sit without wifi longer than I wanted. I also was wondering if they forgot to send me the memo about pajama day. Looking around, it was standing room only with many wearing pajamas and slippers! I thought my elastic waist pants were goin’ casual, but who knew. The package finally arrived, so the process could start. When the nurse who took my blood took the needle out without gloves on and my blood dripped on her hand, she asked me if I had any contagious diseases. I joked and said all was fine with me except a giant pustule on my buttocks or was it my leg? Seriously, what up with the no gloves? Of course, she was wearing a mask since she said she was feeling like she was GETTING SICK??? Are you kidding me? Then, there was this check the checklist routine. “Where is the paper card, there is the paper card. Where is the log, there is the log. Where is the other log, there is the other log. What is the temperature of the vaccines, here is the temperature of the vaccines.” “Oops, I flicked dry ice on myself”, said the assistant of the assistant nurse.  Jim had to look down and I couldn’t even look at him except to comment like I was doing some kind of sightseeing, “there it is, there it is, over there.” This whole routine continued until the thawing of the vaccines. Uh oh, then while the nurse has one of my precious vaccines in the hand, I have a flash to an episode of Dexter. I was thinking to myself while the nurse was juggling my vaccine and reaching for the sharps container, “oops, the nurse injects my vaccine into the other nurse.”. It was all a bit frightening to watch. When the observation phase was over, we got in the car and went home.

I felt okay except for some pain like a big workout at the gym. I decided to do a few important things like gather the books from school we wanted to send out to make some soldiers Christmas wishes come true. Around lunch time, I was down for the count. More aches, more pain, so I decided to gather all the holiday gifts that were to be delivered for school from Alex yesterday. Alex asked his teacher if it was okay to enter the classroom after school and he loved pushing the cart around delivering everything. I came home to the bed and never left it. Last night, the pain was worse and today, much of the same. It is hard to explain. Almost like flu, but not a flu…almost like all your muscles ache, but not quite.

I wanted the results of my blood tests since my last week’s cut on my hand was still not healing and bleeding off and on. I tried to get them to give me my results. Usually, it comes as a quick email. The hours went by and I asked Jim to call. I convinced myself that they were having a holiday party or were too busy, but somehow I thought something was up. The doctor called. And so it is…my tumor marker is quadruple my normal number. She told me it could be the vaccine or it could be the cancer. I hear my other doctor’s voice telling me that I just have to get past December as this would be the month of recurrence based on my history. The nurse called and said 50/50.  I am in shock, disbelief, and angry. Of course, this was at the same time when Alex walked into my bedroom to tell me he felt sick. Then, I realized he was supposed to go to the Temple to do his selling of his cards he made to support his favorite charities, Sea Shepherd and Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. He  is devastated.  I am devastated. I called the Rabbi and started to explain why we all will not be going to the Temple and I started to cry. I remind myself that I will do whatever it is…it is what it is. One day at a time.



8 Responses to “To be or not to be, that is the Cancer….”

  1. Lisa Schuman Nyhus Says:

    Joanie, you mean it’s a 50% chance the cancer is back? When will you know for sure? I’m.praying for it to be gone.

    • Joanie Says:

      Hey Lisa, yes it is a 50% chance the cancer is back according to them. I am never much for statistics, so I will most likely wait until my doctors from UCLA weigh in, re-take the blood test, and do a PET scan if the number is still quadruple…thanks for your words and your prayers. xoxo

  2. Pendar Says:

    When do you think you will go to UCLA? I am sending you big hugs and you are always in my prayers.

  3. Gail Rosiak Says:

    Joannie–You and your family are in my prayers daily. My love is always with you and whatever I can ever do to help I am there for you. We all need to think Positive thoughts!

  4. amy Says:

    Thinking of you. Just got your beautiful card :). Keep me posted on news from UCLA. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. OX Amy

  5. Leah Engelberg Says:

    Thinking of you Joanie and sending you hugs and positive thoughts!

  6. margie Says:

    Just read this…let’s hope that the vaccine is affecting your numbers. From experience, it can, just like the chemo…I’m here for you! Will give you a call! Thinking positive thoughts for you!


  7. Sandra Says:

    Hi Joanie,

    We are sending you our prayers and ultra-positive thoughts. I wish I could give you a big hug and make you smile-but just imagine the love we have for you is wrapped around you with strength and courage. We miss you!! Gros bisous!!!!!!!!!!!!

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