Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Next Steps

Yesterday, I accompanied Debra to her appointment with our Oncologist and her first round of the next phase in treatment. We arrived at the appointment with fears beyond comparison to any other. While thinking about mortality and the next steps, we talked about family vacations to take within the next few years. We really want Sofie to see South Africa. A place that touched Debra and me in ways that is close to spiritual in nature. We'll tackle that trip next year, when Sofie's a little older and able to handle the long flights. We'll plan something for this summer. Just not sure what that is at this point.

Reality started washing over us once our Oncologist (Dr. Valea) and his wonderful nurse (Teri) stepped into the examination room. Debra asks the hard questions. Bottom-line? Quality of Life? There are no set answers for those questions. However, Dr. Valea is a huge proponent of "quality of life" issues. That fact comforted me in some strange way.

What happened? Why did she have a recurrence? Well, Debra is in the 20% of the population that are "primary non-responders" to chemotherapy. So, the next step is to try to find a drug she WILL respond to! Doxil is *the* drug of choice in recurrent Ovarian Cancer. It has weird side effects, but nothing like the previous round. Fingers crossed tightly that she responds to this treatment. Unfortunately, we have to wait a few months to know that answer. This is a slow acting drug. Patience is a virtue.

What's come up for me in all of this isn't my own mortality (which most people think would be the issue for me.) I can't even think of dying! Actually the fact that I have to get and stay healthy weighs heavy on my mind. More exercise, better food, less stress and generally a positive outlook on matter what. If you're a presence in my life, please gently (or not so gently) remind me to Move more, eat less (and better.) I need all the encouragement you can muster.

For the time being, please remember our little "family" in your prayers (or whatever you do.) We accept all modes of healing thoughts.

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