Heartfelt messages line MGH's Cancer Center hallway. Click the picture to get a closer look.
Heartfelt messages line MGH’s Cancer Center hallway. Click the picture to get a closer look.

Today is the day after my fourth chemo treatment.  I still have eight more to go before surgery, which means I’m 33.33 percent through this round.  I’d say that’s pretty impressive.

I haven’t been feeling too philosophical lately, which is an A+ in my book.  Sometimes you just need a break from all that deep contemplation, especially when it involves wondering if you’re going to die kinda soon.  In fact, I’ve been feeling pretty good… good enough that I’m going to write a POSITIVE CANCER POST!

First up is the most important news: my tumor.  The crazy raging tumor that spurred my diagnosis measured 9 cm when I was diagnosed.  It felt like a small brick deep inside my left breast and everyone who felt it always had a “whoa, that’s big” kind of reaction.

During my first appointment with my beautiful and brilliant oncologist,  she told me it would be possible I could actually feel the tumor shrink over the course of chemotherapy.  And that’s exactly what’s happened.  When I saw her last week, she said the tumor wasn’t detectable through manual exam.  Imagine that!  The crazy brick tumor has shrunk to the point where it’s undetectable without a machine.  This shows the treatment is working.

This is what I get during every chemo infusion– Herceptin and Taxol. Notice the warnings at the top. But hey, it’s working!
This is what I get during every chemo infusion– Herceptin and Taxol. Notice the warnings at the top. But hey, it’s working!

Other good news– I joined an awesome gym in Norwell, Mamas Move, run by awesome women who have attracted other awesome women to the fitness and parenting center.  A couple moms from my son’s school go there and as a huge added bonus, my cousin signed up.  And yesterday, I ran into a very cool former co-worker who is a member.  I’m looking forward to the community aspect of the gym which will help me stay motivated to work out as the weeks wear on and my energy presumably plummets.

In addition to Mamas Move, I’ve made it to a couple of yoga classes with my most fave yoga teacher ever, Joanne Flaherty, and had the honor of introducing two of my favorite friends to yoga at these classes.

Speaking of yoga, tomorrow (Jan. 12) at South Boston Yoga is very special class.  The class serves as the culmination for yoga teacher trainees who have been learning how to teach yoga under the direction of South Boston Yoga teacher extraordinaire David Vendetti.  Mary McManus is one of those soon-to-be teachers.  She so graciously reached out to me after learning of my diagnosis and has been my cheerleader and supporter in a major way.  While preparing for their debut public class, Mary and her fellow teachers in training decided to dedicate the class to me and my family.  The class is donation-based and all donations will be given to us.  Check out all the deets on the event’s Facebook page.

I’ve also been eating much better– no sugar or wheat (and other stuff) except on chemo days when the steroids they pump me up with give me hardcore munchies.

A few weeks ago, I bought a Groupon for JOOS, a local organic juice company making blends that all have twice the recommended daily amount of fruits and veggie servings in one bottle.  It’s good stuff, and has helped me stay on track with making good food decisions.  The downside is that it’s a bit pricey– $9.50 a bottle– but each bottle is made with 7 lbs of produce.  I have a juicer and know firsthand that to yield 16 oz. of juice, you need to feed a juicer a TON of produce.

My healthy eating has also been sustained by many generous friends and family members– thank you Diana, Marie, Sarah, Nicole, and Alicia for keeping us stocked with good eats over the past couple of weeks.

And finally, guess who still has hair?  This girl!  I thought FOR SURE I’d be bald by now and in all honesty, have been looking forward to rocking the funky scarf looks I’ve started planning out.  I’m still psyched that I have hair, though.

Enjoying sunshine before my chemo infusion. Notice the continued presence of my luscious locks.
Enjoying sunshine before my chemo infusion. Notice the continued presence of my luscious locks.
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