I’m not much for gambling. When I play blackjack or craps in Vegas I take out a set amount of money to gamble with and consider it my entertainment money for the weekend. If it runs out I don’t take out any more cash to replace it. I don’t rely on “getting lucky” or “winning big”. I keep my expectations realistic.
But perhaps my luck is changing. Two weeks ago Jon and I attended our second Scottish Ball. I was still very dizzy and nauseous, so I sat at the table, sipping water, and watched my friends hop and spin about to the bagpipes. It would have been impossible for me to join in the dancing. Although I was sad to miss out, there was also a raffle that was part of the evening. Normally, I never win anything, but Jon and I won three prizes, including a free night at a nice hotel about five blocks away from us, and also a night at a hotel in Valparaiso. Perhaps the universe knew we needed some good luck!
You see, in terms of the world of metastatic, or late stage cancer, I’ve been pretty damn lucky so far. Originally I had a 5% chance of survival and I have survived, not once, but twice. And it’s time to press that luck a third time. Just this weekend the dizziness that was determined to hold me in its clutches forever, finally let go. I am now basically dizzy-free (knock on wood). Also I told Dr. M about all my stomach issues and he said that I don’t need to take the oral chemotherapy pill this month because it is a preventative measure and is making me really sick. I also have only two more weeks of very low dosages of steroids. Once the steroids, stomach medicines, and chemotherapy poison have left my body, the stomach should sort itself out. And it already hurts a lot less, so that is good.
Although I was still pretty unsteady last week for my appointment with the doctor, he declared that he thought I was doing much better. I had to push him to give me an MRI to see how the brain is doing. This was frustrating for many reasons. For one, at the time of the meeting I didn’t feel a lot better than I did before treatment started. A lot has changed in a week. The not knowing if I’m getting better or not would have given me so much anxiety that my stomach problems would probably have become much worse. I need actual, physical proof that I am doing better. Lastly, I have been waiting four months for this information so I can better plan my life; buy plane tickets for my sister’s wedding in Costa Rica, figure out where I’m celebrating Christmas, etc. The scan doesn’t give me more radiation like the PET scan so there are no physical repercussions of the exam on my body. So yeah- I’ll take the MRI please… Unfortunately the only time this week that International Patients could schedule me for a scan was Thursday at 9:15 PM!! Super inconvenient, especially since Jon has to work the next day. All of my emails asking for an earlier time in the day, perhaps at a different location, have gone un-replied. So I guess I will be getting my MRI late Thursday night and having the results read next Tuesday. Monday is a Catholic holiday. Go figure!
And so here we are again, relying on luck to decide my future. Heads- I get to live a little longer. Tails- well…I don’t even want to think about that. And so, my friends, I’m holding out the dice again for you to blow on before I cast them on down that table. Thank you for all the support you’ve already given me. I truly believed it has improved my luck in the past. I hope it will continue to do so.