Update #1 1/29/14

[Originally posted to a Lotsa Helping Hands site on 1/29/14]

Hi Everyone,

First I’d like to say, thank you. The groundswell of support from all corners has really touched me deeply. I decided to be fairly public about my diagnosis because I thought I could use the support of a village, and boy did I get my wish. Whatever your religion or beliefs, I appreciate your positive thoughts/prayers/vibes/whateveryouwantcalllit more than you know.

Second, where to start? This diagnosis has, of course, turned my world upside down. Some days are better than others as my family and I try to adjust to this new reality. The once casual and easy to answer greeting “How are you doing?” has become difficult to answer. I’m a little all over the place, from hopeful to tearful. But, generally, I’m doing ok, considering.

After a week in the hospital, I’ve been back home now for almost two. The first chemo infusion seems to have helped reduce the constant coughing I had been dealing with, and my O2 hook-up helps ease breathing. My MD is hopeful that with more infusions I can get off the O2, and I am looking forward to that very much. I am also looking forward to building back some strength. My appetite returned after a rough week of nausea with the first infusion, and I’ve been doing my best to pack back in the calories (how’s that for a change in perspective? bring on the nuts and avocados!). While I won’t be able to enter the gym environment for a while, I do have big plans for strolling the ‘hood, and busting out my neglected yoga DVDs. (First I will have to get out of my damn pajamas … I’m working on that…)

One piece of good news I learned recently is that I tested positive for a very rare gene mutation amongst lung cancer patients called ROS1. As I type that I realize that doesn’t sound much like what most people would label “good news” — “yay! I have a rare gene mutation” isn’t something I’ve ever heard shouted in the streets. But, what it means is that I may qualify for clinical trials and/or have available to me some additional treatments beyond chemo at some point. For now, though, I am on the chemo train. If you want to see me with hair, stop by real soon.

If all goes according to plan, I will have another infusion next week. I have great hopes for this medication and thank you again for your support as I travel this new path.