Friday, February 21, 2014

Off to See the Wizard

Next week I'm headed to the University of Colorado Cancer Center, one of the research hubs for my cancer's ROS1 mutation. Many thanks to the amazing Bonnie J. Addario and her lung cancer foundation who helped to coordinate this for me. Although things are going quite well for me right now on Xalkori, I know this won't last forever. The median time before progression, meaning when the cancer becomes resistant and starts growing again, is eight months (there's that pesky eight months again). While I definitely hope to be on the far right side of the graph, I want to get Plan B in place for when I need it.

I am really excited and nervous to discuss possible options, trials and so forth. I am also nervous about weird stuff, like the fact that I will be flying while carrying my ridiculously expensive and life-saving meds on my person. What if TSA finds some reason to confiscate them? Jason assured me that it would be completely illegal for them to take my prescription meds, but still, it's a little nerve-wracking.

Then, when I get back, Zander will be having surgery to get ear tubes, a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. I know it is a very routine procedure and I think it will help him a great deal in the long run, but, I'm a mom, so I worry.It made my stomach drop when Zander referred to his ear appointment at the Cancer Center, and that he will be having surgery at the Cancer Center. I tried to calmly clarify that while the children's hospital is in the same complex, his experience will be very different than when Mommy goes to the Cancer Center. And there will be lots of ice cream.

I renewed my driver's license today. Whenever I do something like that there is this tiny part of my mind that wonders if this will be that last one I have. I remember signing my 2-year cellphone contract this summer and chuckling darkly to myself about the chance of me actually fulfilling my side of the agreement.

You know, this may not be the best blog post title, since the wizard in the story turned out to be an overrated fraud. Of course, the heroine of the story also realized that she had the power to save herself all along....

May my yellow brick road lead to safe flights, fruitful meetings, incident-free procedures, and paths to healing.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Pedi-Cure for Lung Cancer

Okay, so nail polish is not the cure for cancer, BUT if you donate $25 to the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, they will send you a bottle of purple polish as part of their super cool "Purple Toes" campaign.

What better opportunity to introduce my girls to nail polish (I asked Zander if he would like to join in the fun, but he declined). The girls were intrigued but a little confused and hesitant, so I painted my toes first. I am not a particularly glamorous person, and I realized my kids have never seen me do my nails, or put on makeup, or use hair products, or any of those sorts of things, so this was quite an adventure.

Honestly, I can't recall ever painting my toe nails before. 

Zander helped out with the drying.

Here we go! Painting squirmy two-year-old toes is very challenging.

Autumn was still skeptical about all this.

Eventually, she decided to join in the fun.

30 purple toes for a great cause.

Remember to take a picture and send it to the Bonnie J. Addario foundation so they can add it to their Purple Toes mural. Join in the fun, and spread the word!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014


There are few times in your life when it is nice to be called "unremarkable." At scan time, it is quite nice.

My liver is now "unremarkable." It looks just like any normal liver, meaning no mets. The bone mets are sclerotic, essentially like scabs or scar tissue. My primary tumor in my lung is 16mm, which is slightly smaller than a dime.

Unremarkable feels pretty remarkable to me.