The me of it all


September 30, 2022. The past couple of months have been stressful. With Mom’s passing, I’ve been working with my brother getting her estate in order. I’ve made 4 trips to Idaho since mid-June. This last time I drove. It’s a two-day trip, which I made with Mom’s two cats when I came back.

Then 12 days ago my great-nephew, my brother’s oldest grandchild, committed suicide. Only 26, he was the father of two. He was also a son, grandson, brother, nephew, husband, friend. He was creative and sweet and he was loved by his family. Even though I didn’t really know him very well, I have memories of him as a smiling and joyful little boy and the apple of my brother’s eye.

The personal stresses are only compounded by the catastrophic events of the world.

Grappling with it all, I struggle to write about me and my progression or lack thereof. The me of it all seems so small in the Big Picture. For now, I’m inclined to stay in the shadows, sit quietly as I try to make sense of it all and gratefully count my blessings. I try to be mindful and appreciative of all the love and support I enjoy from family, friends, acquaintances, healthcare providers, and even complete strangers. I’m not prone to depression, but I understand what dark days are like. That was especially true when I was in my 20s.

Living or dying. It’s true we all have an end date. But for some of us it looms large and is harder to ignore. For as long as it’s possible, for as long as there is true quality of life, for as long as there are viable options, I’ll stay the course. I recently turned 70. My goal is to reach 75 and still feel mostly healthy and active. When it comes to living or dying, l choose living.

About the me of it all. I’m starting a new oral treatment Bicalutamide (typically prescribed to prostate cancer patients)—common side effects: hot flashes, breast pain, constipation, diarrhea, nausea. I’ll take 150 mg once a day for 6 weeks. Then I’ll have another PET/CT to determine if anything has changed. If there’s no improvement we will likely switch to Sacituzumab given via IV once a week, 2 weeks on/1 week off. Common side effects: low blood count, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, hair loss, mouth sores, appetite change.

At my September 28 appointment Rugo was able to get me in for a CT (w/o contrast) as a baseline prior to the new meds. The CT showed that in the last 6 six weeks the growth in my lung had increased in size by 2 mm. A slight increase, but notable. Trace pericardial effusion was also detected which is the buildup of too much fluid in the double-layered, saclike structure around the heart (pericardium). My bloodwork was great. Even the tumor marker dropped a bit. At this point, it almost seems like my body is confused.

Enough about me. How are you doing? Healthy, happy and enjoying life, I hope. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Fall seven times, stand up eight. — Japanese Proverb

14 Replies to “The me of it all”

  1. Lana, you have put so much feeling into this little nutshell. I continue to be in awe of you as you navigate this arduous journey.

    It was so sweet to spend time with you and Steve this week. Being there in person was very impactful as you shared some of the details of what you’ve been experiencing these past months. It’s been an extremely tough time and yet you find a way to see goodness and at the same time allow yourself to grieve.

    Continue to send lots of love 💓

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeez. So sorry about your mom. Steve informed me. She was always friendly and kind to me….lots of “things” going on in world today. My view of you as a warrior since I met you holds true today . I have seperated from Fiona. And have been to court numerous times now. More to come. Fighting for kids.etc. living in rental. New girlfriend. Such is life. Your a great writer, live reading your stories…be they sad.happy.or the love of life and it’s struggles. Always admired and loved you.
    Possible next year I’ll get out to see you….
    Your loving nephew.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry about your personal struggles. Wish you a happy and peaceful conclusion to it all. Mom always held a special place in her heart for you. Lots of fun memories. Fingers crossed we’ll see you next year. I love you, Jason.


  3. My precious Lana – I have a hard time finding the words to express my admiration and love for you. I started your journey with the cancer through Steve’s eyes – so hard to hear him on the phone so completely devastated, and yet hopeful. Years have passed now. . your journey continues. When I heard the news of your mom, I cried out loud for you – thinking “how can this be fair?!” Life is not fair – you are beloved. And now, the news of your brother’s grandson. . inexplicable. You asked for some good news – a year ago, I joined a gym, hoping to lose “a little weight” – we chose to use the 2 free training sessions, because, why not? BEST decision of my life. Working with this darling, tiny, fit, young trainer – I’ve lost 38 lbs in this year – and have become what she calls “a gym rat”. I just turned 73, and hoping the next few years of my life are healthy, strong and happy as I cheer you on from the sidelines – continued love and prayers to you and Steve, and now your brother, k

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What can I say except that you continue to amaze me Lana. I know it’s got to be hard to be strong enough to take on all of these difficult life events and to continue on with your own fight. I’ve always admired you Lana for your “I can do this attitude.” Such a dear person you are, and Jeff and I continue holding you in our hearts. Loving you always!

    Liked by 1 person

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