My latest CT scans were encouraging. The tumor below my collarbone is unchanged. Not growing. One of the nodes in my right lung is ever so slightly smaller and the other is unchanged. Not growing. My lab work was excellent. Although the tumor marker is up to 12.2. I was hoping it would be decreasing, however I recently found a note I’d made that states levels will most likely rise during the first 30-90 days of cancer treatment for some patients. This is because as the treatment interferes with the tumor, it release antigens into the bloodstream. So I’m not too freaked out by it, rather I’m encouraged. My hope is that when I have my next CTs in mid-May, the number will be down.

My side effects are getting worse, especially the redness in my hands and feet and the numbness in my fingertips, as well as the never ending fatigue. I’m going to start taking Ritalin which they say will help. It’s been proven that daily exercise also helps lessen the side effects, so my goal is to walk 2 miles everyday. The fresh air is energizing, and I typically listen to a walking meditation for the first mile, which I really enjoy, and listen to music the last mile.

Although my hair is thinning dramatically, if you saw me you wouldn’t know. People say I look good and I wonder are they just being kind? If so, I’ll take it. I’m okay with it. You know how it is. When you have a life-threatening disease, people expect you to look like it. I’m fortunate that currently I don’t. It’s amazing what make-up and lipstick can do.

I’m doing my best to stay present. In the moment. Not get ahead of myself. Appreciate the now. Enjoy my surroundings, my husband, my friends, my pets, life. Be grateful for everything.

Being a human means being a little messy. “May I face my fears with compassion and care. May I become braver over time.” —Booker