September 15th 2015 Check Up

Those of you that follow my blog may remember that I go to Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, IL every 6 months for scans, blood work and to see all the members of my care team.  Additionally, every 6 months, I see my local oncologist for blood work.  This way, I am being tested every 3 months to make sure my tumor marker counts and other blood work is within normal range.

We left to head up to Zion on our 28th wedding anniversary – Sept 12th.  We decided to wait until we got back home to “officially” celebrate our anniversary with family because we had to leave in the morning in order to get to Coralville, Iowa which is our halfway point on our journey.

It is kind of weird…. but after all these years of traveling up to CTCA, we have this regular routine we follow and almost feel like if we deviate from the routine it will JINX things!  lol  So, like two rats in a maze, we make our trip, always nervous, but also always very hopeful that the scans will turn out fine.

My care team consists of my Oncologist, my Naturopathic MD, my nurse, my care manager and my nutritionist.   My scans came out fine, with the exceptions of a mild uptake in my left jaw that is probably periodontal disease – will be checking with my dentist on that one.

My Oncologist, Dr. Neelam, is so wonderful – I just have this sense of love and loyalty to her because she is so instrumental in the fact that I, being in stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, am a SURVIVOR.  She is so caring and supportive – and reassuring.  My husband and I will most likely be retiring to Montana in a few years, and I expressed to her how concerned I am because I know insurance wise I am grandfathered in to come see her because of the rules they had 8 years ago.  I told her, as tears ran down my face, that I can’t stand the thought of not being able to come for scans and checkups every 6 months.  She told me that I need to stop worrying about it – that everything would work out – and there was no reason to even be thinking about this when retirement is a few years away.  (she apparently doesn’t know what a “planner of goals” that I am!  lol)  After she examined me, and helped me up to a sitting position, she put her hand on my shoulder and said that she truly believes that one of the main reasons I am still here today is because of my positive attitude.  She said I need to hang onto that and keep being that way and stop worrying about things.  It is definitely easier said than done…. but I will do my best!!!

babette-091515-450I was so VERY thrilled to run into Babette this time!  When I first started going to CTCA, she was at the front desk at the Doctors office.  Then she moved to a different position, which I was able to track her down and say hi to… THEN she moved to another position – and I have never been able to get to see her, even though I knew where her office was.  One time I remembered leaving her a note.

Well… this time there she was!  We hugged, exchanged all our normal pleasantries on how we all are doing, showed her pictures of my 2 grand babies AND I got to take a picture with her!  I have not seen her since my Five year Celebrate Life party – which was 3 years ago!

I am always grateful to be able to have a Naturopathic MD on my team!  Khara takes such good care of me and helps me with finding supplements that will help me with certain things that “ail” me.  This time, she was able to help me with supplements that would offset the side effects of all the morphine that the local pain management doctor has me on.  She is such an INTEGRAL part of my care and I don’t know what I would do without having her to consult with!

Well – that’s about it for this visit!  All checked out fine and I am ready to get scheduled to come back to see my care team in March 2016!

Thanks to all of you who remember me and my family in your prayers!