An interesting thing happened today.  A person in the lab next to me came up to me and told me he had heard that my mom was sick.  I explained that she was diagnosed with stage 3C ovarian cancer last year, underwent almost a year of chemo therapy and will start a PARP-inhibitor in September.  He smiled and said she made it through a whole year. His smile was encouraging.  He can speak from experience because he has underwent his own ongoing battle and offered an ear if I ever wanted to vent.

This interaction sent me into reflection mode.  Lately when people ask about my mom it takes me a second to respond.  We don’t really talk about cancer like we used to.  We talk about how fast Julian is growing up and the weather and housewives.  So when someone asks how she is I have to remind myself oh right, she has cancer that’s why they’re asking.  That is such a gift and one I will never forget.  In January I never thought we would get to this point.  A point where we are not constantly in fear.  We have been given a true break, she has been given a break.  It has been about a month since she had her last chemo.  She still has to go in for blood draws just to make sure her healthy cells are still recovering but other than that she has been hospital free.  In September she will begin a new treatment and we will learn as we go but for now we are just soaking in a beautiful summer.

Full Circle

Before I get into any details I would like to say this is a positive blog. We had a scare Saturday night into Sunday morning that turned out to be a full circle positive moment. 

Saturday mom wasn’t feeling her best. As evening approached she began to experience abdominal pain and cramping. There were talks of going to the ER but she wasn’t quite there yet. At around 11:30pm it was decided she would head to the ER. When they got there she flashed her cancer card (she literally has a cancer card) and they put her in a room secluded from other patients because of the whole compromised immune system thing. 

They were there quite a while and they ran some tests. And then it happened. In walked the doctor…the very doctor that had told her of her ovarian cancer on that miserable day in June. A little over a year ago this woman told mom she had ovarian cancer and it did NOT look good and Sunday she was looking at moms most recent CT scan and said it looked good. The very person that had the job of delivering awful news last year, also go to be the one to deliver the good news of this scan and told her that her CA125 is at 21. Which is amazing because a year ago it was over 8,000. If that’s not full circle I don’t know what is. The cause of her abdominal pain is thought to be from the stuff they gave her for her CT scan Wednesday working its way out of her body. Her and Dad headed home around 5:30am. She was tired but the abdominal pain had subsided. 

That brings us to today. Going into this appointment we felt cautiously optimistic. We knew her CT scan looked good but you never know what the oncologist is going to say. He told us the scan looked good. There are some nodules they will keep an eye on (could be scarring or lymph nodes). And then he delivered the best news of all…a 10 week break. A blood test they did revealed her platelets were pretty low still from chemo. They are going to do monthly blood draws to ensure the platelets are rebounding. They want all blood levels to be stable before they start her on the PARP inhibitor. PARP inhibitors have side effects similar to chemo and damage the good stuff like your platelets, WBC and hemoglobin. They want you to have a solid foundation before you start them. The PARP inhibitor gives a person roughly 18 months before their ovarian cancer will come back. Could be less, could be more. Everyone is an individual so only time will tell. 

I know it’s only July but it feels almost like the start of a new year and a fresh start. It’s the start of a new chapter. New lessons to be learned and a new treatment plan to understand. 

As always, thank you all for your love, support and prayers. It has meant more to us than we could possibly say!