Round 11 and More
I feel like there is so much to talk about that I really don’t know where to start.
I guess I will start with the results of the Pet/CT. Dr. Woliver sent me the following email after reviewing the results:
“Bottom line, it looks great. They aren’t seeing anything clearly in the liver at all. The node (by the left common iliac artery) is much less active. I think the surgeon will be impressed.” I also heard back from the doc at USC who told me to make the appointment with the surgeon. So yesterday I called to make the appointment with the surgeon and what do you know it just isn’t that easy to make an appointment anymore. I called the office as told and asked for Veronica as instructed. I was put on hold and then asked if I was a new patient. I said yes Dr. Lenz told me to call and make an appointment. I told her my Pet/Ct has been uploaded by radiology for the doctor’s review and Dr. Lenz has all my records. Her response, well, did you fax us all your medical records? Ummm, no, I wasn’t told to fax you all my records and you already have access to them. Her response, we need you to fax them to us as well and you can’t talk to Veronica until we have all your records. I could see my appointment would not be made as quickly as I had hoped. However, I’m certainly not waiting for Veronica to call me as soon as I know my doctor’s office has faxed the records to the surgeon’s office I will be right back on the phone calling for that appointment. So this morning I’m told my doctor’s office can’t fax the records directly to the surgeon. I am directed to make a request at Sansum’s Records Department (Cancer Center and Sansum Merged a while back). After treatment this morning Jon Z. and I headed to the records department to make the request. Of course it can’t be done today because they don’t have my file. In addition, they will only fax 10 pages of records so if there is more to fax then the patient has to pick the rest up and fax it themselves. Oh, well that makes perfect sense, NOT! Me: well what do I need to do to get this done as fast as possible? Pause by the receptionist, I’ll have to talk to a supervisor. When can you have the records ready just for me to pick up? Ill have to talk to someone else. Me: Okay, great well I have cancer and I’d like to get an appointment with the surgeon as soon as possible and I can’t do that without you faxing the records. Receptionist returns: Earliest records will be ready is Monday. Craziness. There has to be a better more streamlined way for doctors to work and communicate. It just seems crazy. Yes, I am learning a lot of patience and as Lucy says PERSERVERANCE! But there might just be a silver lining to this because it seems the records may get there today. Someone is definitely working in my favor!
This morning I had an appointment with Amanda, Dr. Woliver’s PA, and got a much more detailed review of the scan report. Although I was grateful for Dr. Woliver’s quick analysis if you know me, you know that just isn’t enough. I want to know more than the bottom line. I want to know what the bottom line opinion is based on and what else we can improve on. Jon Ziskind took me to the appointment this morning so I knew no question would be left unanswered. Right now it appears we are right on track. Things keep looking better and better so I just need to stay the course and keep moving toward the day I can pop that bottle of Dom I received this morning at treatment!
Although, I don’t know yet what the surgeon will say I’m feeling very positive and so lucky that positive progress is being made toward complete cancer eradication.
ROUND 11 – GIVE IT UP FOR TARA
Saturday morning I started back on xeloda, 3000mg a day and will continue that for two weeks before I get a week off. This morning I went in for an infusion of avastin and got the good news that we would continue to hold off on the oxaliplatin since things have continued to progress in a positive manner. Yeah for that!! My awesome cheerleaders came up with the theme Give It Up for Tara. Ive been receiving texts and emails and facebook messages since early this morning about all the things my team is giving up in support of my cancer journey. Some are giving things up for a day, others a week, a month, till my birthday and more. So far things that are out the window: alcohol, sugar, chocolate, being obnoxious (Jon Z., LOL), carbs, fatty fried foods, coffee, meat and more. All this support gives me even more inspiration and incentive to keep on juicing, steaming and blending!! Thank you! Oh and I can’t forget the bottle of Dom that was dropped off at the Cancer Center this morning! I can’t wait to open it when I am cancer free and share it with all of you or maybe Ill just drink the bottle myself!
FRIENDSHIP PADDLE AND PEDAL
The dates are in so start your paddling or pedaling and get ready for an amazing ride. The friendship paddle will be taking place on October 18th and 19th. We will be leaving on Friday and heading out to the islands where we will hang out, bond, probably shed some tears and enjoy our beautiful life. Then Saturday morning I think earlier than I really want to know we start the paddle. Yes, I’m planning on doing the paddle. I did my first paddle in a very long time with Heidi on Saturday and it was great even in the wind swell. The Pedal will take place on the 19th. Both will be ending down at the harbor with a celebration to follow. If you would like to be a part of this incredible weekend let me know and I will put you in touch with the powers that be. The paddle is a relay and you can do stand up or prone sorry but no kayaks. You can form a group and someone will help you find a boat or if you need a group then someone will help with that as well. If you have a boat and want to host a group of paddlers that would be awesome as well. You can learn more about the Friendship Paddle and the amazing families they have helped at http://www.friendshippaddle.org. Please check out this video called The Friendship Paddle is Born. This is one amazing amazing group of guys. Doug’s Paddle: The Friendship Paddle is Born I can’t quite put into words how honored I am to be this years recipient.
If you haven’t heard the Keiki Paddle benefiting Samuel Helfand and the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation is coming up on July 20th. Check it out! http://www.keikipaddle.org. Jon, the kids and I will be down at the finish.
RUNNING OF THE GUARD
If paddling and pedaling aren’t your thing or even if they are and you also like to run and swim then you should check out another great event benefitting our family.
Who: Anyone who loves to run and swim!! Or is just up for a fun challenge!
What: Run, Swim, Run, Swim, Run, Swim???????? East Beach to Carpinteria
When: Sunday July 28, 2013
Where: East Beach Bath House 11:00 am Start
How Much: $30 Who For: Me
Amtrak: 769 Pacific Surfliner Departs Carpinteria at 2:41 pm Arrives Santa Barbara at 3:00 pm Cost $8
RSVP: Contact Rick or Rich with Questions.
About a week ago I was laying in bed with Madi chatting before she went to sleep. She got really quiet and started to cry. She started asking me about money and whether or not we had enough money to pay for my medicine. She told me she knows how much it costs and wanted to know when it would all be done because she was worried we wouldn’t have enough money and we would have to sell Buster, our dog, and Abel, our cat. Broke my heart listening to her talk and knowing that she has been carrying around this worry for a while. I tried to reassure her that we had enough money for my medicine and that we would never get rid of our animals. We talked about all the support we have not only from our families but also our friends and the community. She went on to ask more about the kind of cancer I have and how it develops and what would happen if I had surgery. If you know Madison you know that she is quite the thinker and will ask the tough questions until she figures it all out in her mind. I could tell there was more she wanted to talk about but just wasn’t ready so hopefully I left her knowing that anytime she needs to talk I am here for her, open and ready to answer the tough questions.
I finally committed to getting back in shape. With potential surgery and the friendship paddle in October it’s time to get primed. I got this great deal for new clients at Pulse Fitness on the Mesa. 10 classes for $69. I started yesterday with the support of Heidi Ziskind. It was a good class but the music needed to be way louder to drown out the thoughts of when will these damn lunges be over. Woke up this morning and yep I’m feeling it, such a good feeling to have don’t you think! It is tough to start from scratch when you know where you have been but hey if you don’t start you can never get it back. My plan of course is to get it back plus some. There are so many cool classes all around town that I thought I would try them all and then figure out what gets me pumped up and motivated the most. I’ll be keeping you updated on my taster of classes as I begin my journey to tip top shape! What are your favorites? Let me know and I will try them out.
I want to take a moment and acknowledge the loss that many of you in my community are facing with the passing of your friend Joshua Canning. From everything I have read and the pictures I have seen he sounds like the type of guy we all would have wanted to hang out with and call our friend. I am truly sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
You never know what truly is going to happen in your life. You can do all the planning in the world then bam out of blue something unexpected happens and changes the course of everything you had so neatly planned out. Life is messy but you know what messy is good and fun and full of adventures. Enjoy the moment, your friends, your family, your colleagues and be present, don’t let your mind wander off somewhere else. Don’t put off that visit with a friend or family member because you just cant find the time. Make the time I promise you won’t regret it.
I want to leave you with this quote by Mother Theresa:
Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
Hugs and Kisses,