Thursday, August 8, 2013

It's official - a win for the home team!

The loveliest word in the English language, in my humble opinion, is "remission."  I am now officially in remission as my PET scan last week showed absolutely no trance of any cancer from skull to thigh.  The results of the blood work came back this week and show that I'm well on my way back to normal (well, whatever constituted normal for me, some would argue I never hit that state) and probably will be back up to speed in another four weeks.  Thanks to all the prayer warriors who kept me in their prayers these last six months!

My doctor congratulated me, then warned me that the next year will be all about vigilance.  The war against lymphoma tends to be waged in innings, and while I've won the first inning hands down, we have to be careful that it doesn't come back for another inning or that we catch it quickly if it does.  I'll do a PET scan every three months, and I'm keeping the port in for a year to be ready to go at a moment's notice.  The extra chemical I took as part of the clinical trial is thought to prolong or prevent reoccurrence, so I am hoping that we've seen the last of this unwelcome visitor.

In the meantime, I'm working on getting rid of the last side effects.  I now have two types of medicine to combat the pain in my feet and legs as it still keeps me from sleeping at night:  my first line of defense is a pill, and the other is a new-fangled experimental cream with pain receptor blockers and a pricetag which would curl my hair if it were long enough to curl. 

But my hair is starting to come back!  Recovery is wonderful.  I would never have thought I would be happy to see myself in the mirror first thing in the morning, with no makeup, bleary eyes and cheeks creased from sleep - but seeing fuzz on a formerly bald head will put the smile on your face every time, no matter how early the hour.  If you don't believe me, ask your father.  Or any gentleman over 70.  Believe me, they'll be jealous.

As it's still really really hot here, I'm reading in the afternoons while I wonder just how many days the temperature can stay above 100 degrees without frying our brains as well as all vegetation. Thanks to those who recommended books, here's what I managed to read over the last week:
- Unbroken by Laura Hillebrand:  I've had the book for two years but kept getting bogged down.  If you've bogged down, slog it out until Hitler's Olympic games and it's pretty much a page turner after that.  Inspiring and really puts any kind of problems into perspective.
- Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain:  also a book on my shelf for awhile, it wasn't until I read it that I realized he was the chef at Les Halles in New York when I ate there almost every week during a bank merger I was working on.  Les Halles was between our office building and the hotel, and if I'd read it then, I'm not sure I would have ordered the mussels...
- Others which were decent reads:  Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, Heaven is for Real, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and The Alchemist.

I've also been working on my gardening website, and thanks to two weeks of weather above 100 degrees, now have a lot of examples of what does NOT survive in a Texas summer.  When the heat hit, many of my plants folded as fast as Grandma after a bottle of gin.  Even my drought-tolerant plants are beginning to gasp for water now.  We are all longing for September when the temperature drops into the cool 90s.

In the meantime, it's celebration time!  I'm healthy and happy and it's all due to all the prayers and support over the last six months, plus a little chemo to help along the way.  Thanks to all - you're the best!


  1. Hi Martha - so, so glad to hear your wonderful news of remission! Just can't imagine how you must feel.

    Your blog is so well written and entertaining, I've decided YOU should write a book. One that I'm reading now - and highly recommend - is Orange is the New Black. It's also a series on Netflix but I'm working my way through the book first.

    Once this horrible heat subsides and you're ready to venture out, please stop by. The entire group would love to see you. Mr. Steinhart is still hiding out in Aspen but will hopefully be back after Labor Day.

    All the best to you!


  2. The big "R" a welcomed friend.....:) Keep that positive attitude and there will be no room for re-entry as far as I'm concerned. You kicked cancers but and you will continue to do so my friend. So I was laughing as I went through all your books you whiz through and must admit it took me about 6 years to read the one I just finished - Pillars of the Earth. I recieved it when it was on Oprah's list one year and can't tell you how many times I started and stopped it. Was never a travel book because of it's side (you could do harm to someone. I also had to do some re-reading as I would forget what happened during some of my long breaks. But happy to report I finally finished it last night. Enjoyed it but couldn't say it was Epic in anyway.

    Hope you are getting to enjoy yourself more and more each day. And still waiting for that pottery creation to surface - xoxo