Friday, January 25, 2013


Did you hear the news? It takes me a little longer to post in this space than it does to update my status on Facebook (see my earlier post on sleep-deprivation), so just in case you hadn't seen it yet... MY PET SCAN WAS CLEAN!!! Chris and I got the news Tuesday afternoon and immediately headed out for a champagne toast. It didn't hit me until much later that I probably should have checked in with my office before going out for champagne at 3 pm on a Tuesday. Hindsight.

And the response from all of you has been tremendous. Obviously, we're elated, but it means the world to us that we've gotten such loud cheers from all of you as well. We got flowers yesterday from some dear friends with the best note attached. It said: We are happy to hear about your loss... Good riddance! And a friend from high school posted this in response to the news on Facebook: Jen. Wow. I feel like I just heard the world exhale with the peace of your news. Amazing, right? I am humbled and so fortunate to have such good people in my life. You guys have rendered me just about speechless.

So what does this mean going forward? For starters, the end of chemo. I'll get an infusion of maintenance drugs every three weeks until they come up with something better, but the side effects of those are minimal. My hair will grow back. A woman at Quinn's daycare asked me if the end of chemo means baby number two will follow, but neither of the maintenance drugs is compatible with pregnancy, so a second child is probably not in our cards. I'm not sure we'd have the energy for more kids, anyway. Did I mention I have a toddler who doesn't like sleep?

I'll still have scans every three months to make sure the cancer doesn't return (or if it ever does, we catch it early). I'll keep hoping for advances in treatment and possibly even a cure. 

And I don't think I'll forget this experience anytime soon, but as a reminder I thought I'd share my list of what I won't miss about chemo (which is pretty much everything). Sorry in advance if this is way too much information.

In no particular order: 
  • Bloody, crusty nasal passages. Gross, right? I'll be so happy not to have to shove Vaseline up my nose every night. 
  • Related: the metallic taste of blood at the back of my throat
  • Also related: being unable to taste my food and consequently over-salting everything
  • Neuropathy (tingling/numbness) in my fingers and toes
  • Nails that are lifting out of their beds and/or ridged beyond recognition
  • Stomach "issues". These last couple of rounds have been brutal for me, toilet-wise, and I won't miss it one bit.
  • Dry, itchy skin. Like get me a porcupine to rub against my legs now, please. 
  • Radiation recall. I wasn't even aware phenomena like this could happen, but when it did it felt like a fire ant colony had set up residence in my chest. Thank god for aloe. 
Chemo is no picnic, but the truth is, it saved my life. Twice. So kudos to modern medicine and especially the people over at Genentech (makers of my maintenance drugs). Also, as miserable as the side effects are, this guy made it bearable...

And this guy didn't hurt...
And we can't thank all of you enough for boosting our spirits, babysitting, providing meals, and everything else you've done to get us through the last eighteen months. We are so lucky.


  1. So happy for you with the great report! You've been a fighter---enjoy this new life! We had same sleep problem with Keith--just kept returning him to his new twin bed--stopped the crib climb! Wasn't easy--took a while!!! I love the pictures of your "boys". Take care.K.K.