Saturday, May 27, 2017

Two Months More to Live!

'Sweetheart' peeking into my bedroom window
Pet 'Violet' sneaking a peek
With stage 4 low-grade ovarian cancer, as probably with most cancers, we can't help but sneak a peek at our life expectancy:
Google "Estimated life expectancy."  
Find the recent research on low-grade ovarian cancer. Double-check it, cross-reference it, find friends in the field.. .
For me, my life expectancy is STILL July 2017. 

 It's May 2017 now. Almost June. Eeek!  Two months to go! (if that).

From the outside view, I seem pretty bouncy.  I'm certainly Not Dead Yet.

After a few weeks with my new kidney stent, I'm back to out-walking my peers again.. . I pause while they catch up at the various hospital check-in desks, I slow down to accommodate their pace. 
CB is easy to be with. . .
And then half a day into it all they are pleased to be as helpful as they had hoped to be, and fulfill their goals of truly helping a friend who wants nothing more than to SLEEP after her clinical-trial Nivolumab infusion. And they drive me 6 hours to get me home again.  
Love them!
I drive most of them nuts. .

I LOVE my friends.  And I can't believe how many truly great friends I have.  
Somewhere I missed how that happened.  

Often it was just TIME that happened.  Our friendships were forged gradually, without our really being aware of it.
Our kids are no longer friends!
With some friends, we got on well while our kids were best friends, who then decided not to be, or just went other ways.  Mommies maintaining friendships despite kids' fickle and temporary alliances

Our kids went to preschool together
But I have other friends that came well before my mommy years and are still as steadfast. And how, in my frenzied youth, did I luck into the fabulous friends I have known since then?
And my Newer friends--Wow!   
Prisky and I at Yogaville

I forgot how to REALLY laugh until K came back (from 1982?).

When I go for my clinical trial infusion out-of-state and 6 hours away, I go with a different friend every time.   A friend that's close enough to want to do the trip. A friend that's generous enough to work with my colostomy issues. And who is ready and able to meet any unexpected medical emergency.  And who can share a bed. And who is really fun for a long drive, dinner out, and a jammie party as we tuck into the hotel. FUN STUFF!!

I am truly honored by how many friends I have that help me and know me intimately.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg!  I have lots of friends who ask and try to help but I never take them up on it.  But they WOULD help, and want to, so it's just as helpful, really!  

And my family puts early 1970's TV families to shame. In a NICE way.
Me and Dad

My on-flight sister caregiver
To deal with cancer we need to live and let love. . or die and let live? Or love and live let? or live love or. . . and let love and life . .? Hah!      2 months to live

Does the wording of a prayer or a blessing count more than the thought of the blessing or the love that goes with it?
Please bless me, however it works for you, it's all appreciated.  

Hubby in my chemo chair?
We've decided to drop the current clinical trial (Nivolumab).  Didn't work for us, although it is a lifesaver for Many.
Too much tumor growth. Time to quit.

One more cancer treatment bites the dust. Worth a shot, though!!
No regrets whatsoever on trying that one.

Next is hormone therapy (tamoxifen) and if THAT doesn't work, we go for the new stuff: Cancer virus vaccine.  They take the smallpox vaccine, modify it genetically, then send it off to your cancer cells.  Which somehow theoretically will all die off while leaving all healthy cells intact.  
Hmm. . .My low-grade ovarian cancer cells are frighteningly similar to normal cells. Which is why I'm only dying slowly. Which makes them hard-to-get.  Which also means that any cancer-killer that gets THEM I suspect could also kill my regular, normal cells.

So please Bless Me twice.

Upper colon has been shutting down all week, every day has been a gamble of whether I'll check in to UVA cancer ward that evening or not.
A tumor is munching into my lower colon like a Pac-Man, and it looks as if my gall bladder will soon be a cancer-cell appetizer.  To help ready the cancer masses for the Big Entrees (Lungs, Liver, etc). Munch munch munch.

And yet, I'm STILL feeling pretty good. . .  GREAT, actually, (when I'm not feeling bad).
Kids are doing great, health is well enough so hubby can get back to work without too much worry, I think I need to get my bike out.  
Got my veggie garden started. . .Hoed, raked, planted. . .

Veggie Garden!  Wow.    I see the Shadow of Me sliding into it.  Kind of Creepy, huh? 
Let's see what the next 2 months brings.  . . Me and my shadow are right at the edge. . . 
Oh no, not really 2 months. . .it's only 5 weeks until July 2017.


  1. Sweetie, I didn't comment a long time ago because, what is there to say?
    Well, I don't accept this. And if I'm wrong, I'll still don't accept it willingly, because you are one of the wonderful things that makes the world a better place. When I think of you, I smile because you make me happy. Love and hugs and hope.

  2. montymiff! Without comments, I had no way of knowing that you were even still reading! See those tomato cages in the photo? After 2 years of blight, I'm going on your advice to stop blight.
    You don't need to "accept" that I'll keel over, nor will I, until it happens. . . but if I survive July, I REALLY need help ensuring that my tomato crop comes in.
    Some people die and they give scholarships and libraries and Foundations. I'll be happy to bring a few tomatoes and eggs to neighbors to whom they make a difference. But, selfishly, I REALLY want to slurp hot tomatoes straight from the vine as I work my garden.
    My gardening pro, montymiff, will help that to happen. . .

  3. Great pics - especially you and your Dad! I hope you enjoy hot tomatoes this year. xxx

  4. Jenny, your photo should have been up there too.
    Beautiful friend who snuggled into bed with me in the chilly British house in April. And we flipped through the photos on your phone and sent selfies to friends whom we had when we were 10 and who are still friends now. And who sent selfies back! Yay!
    You make life beautiful. It's just your way.
    We might forget what exactly Karl Marx was trying to say,
    You gotta kind of wonder if maybe an entire social idealism was destined for one result. Little is left of Marxism. Most people these days couldn't even actually tell you what Marxism IS. And in 2017 probably few people are talking about Karl Marx on any level. I'm biased, I just see a beautiful quote that lives on.. .
    Marx once said, "Art is not as beautiful as Jenny."
    And I think, when you look at what remains after social ideologies come, fail, revive, fail. . .In essence, we all gear back to the people in our lives, and their stories invariably last longer than time and politics.

    You have enough beautiful in you to cut through time. I am honored to be your friend.

  5. Leslie, you are too kind!! Not sure if I deserve such comments, but it's gratifying to hear them nonetheless! Thank you. You have a big heart, able to overflow with giving out to others, despite all you're going through. It was lovely to reconnect with you in your father's Surrey home and share tales of old times... I'm honoured to have you as a friend too!! xxx

  6. i love the snacking reference. Leslie as a buffet table. Do you remember the Seinfeld episode with the soup Nazi. You should be like him and tell cancer NO LESLIE FOR YOU. thank you cancer for your interest but we really are going to have to ask you to leave. Jennifer and Boris are sleeping. now i have the song "That's what friends are for" in my head. loads of love from Vermont

    1. Thank you for being a fantastic friend too, Maura!

  7. Leslie,

    Thank you.
    You helped me to understand.
    I am powerless.
    And this, is not my cross to bear.
    I am powerless.
    And the burden is lifted.
    No, cancer doesn’t clear.
    And addiction does not float away.
    But I do what I can.
    I take steps to make a difference.
    I do the footwork.
    I have faith.
    I will be alright.
    I will be alright, whatever happens.
    I will be alright.
    Thank you for reminding me what matters.
    The love we share.
    The love we share even when we are not there to share it with each other.
    I know this prayer:
    Now I lay me down to sleep.
    I pray the lord my soul to keep.
    And if I die before I wake
    I pray the lord my soul to take.
    I make this addition for you.
    Now I lay me down to sleep
    I pray the lord my soul to keep
    And if I wake before I die
    I pray the lord my soul to fly.
    Thank you, for