Thanks for your patience as many of you have been hoping for updates.
Here's the scoop:
After surgery, things were progressing very well. My first followup visit left me feeling victorious as I was surpassing healing benchmarks, and feeling inwardly proud of this. Less than a week later, I ran a fever and began to go downhill. Ended up in the hospital again with post op infections and other setbacks. In the process, I lost a good bit of strength and weight. That has been a huge challenge and discouragement, and I have had the ability to articulate this in a blog. Perhaps I simply could have written, "#$%?$&", but that might have been confusing.
The photo above is of my first Chemotherapy infusion, which occurred yesterday. I never imagined this path for myself, given my alternative bent, but here I am.
I learned a few weeks ago that I have a genetic mutation which makes my immune system confuse cancer cells with healthy ones. The cancer remains cloaked, and the immune system is not alerted to respond. I have always been told that my immune system is outstanding, but it is not able to respond to what it can't find, and it can't find this cancer.
Now for the surprising twist: Because of this mutation, this cancer's sensitivity to chemotherapy is significantly higher. The chances of me having a positive response to chemo (and after-chemo treatments) are improved because of the mutation.
I was so anxious about this step. I sat in the waiting room hoping they wouldn't call my name. I just didn't want to be there, doing this. But when I got settled in and hooked up, and when they found the best nurse to handle my veins, a peace came over me and I rested, ate and felt deeply cared for by family, praying friends and great nurses.
I know that chemo will begin to have its effects tomorrow, but for today, I feel good. Walked 3/4 of a mile, and am about to eat some homemade soup from a friend.
I thank you for your love, prayers and patience.
Don't know how to say what huge thing that means to me.
Love to you all.