Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Brief check-in

Life has been space-y lately.  By that I mean that *I* am feeling space-y.  I get through my days fine, for the most part, but notice that my brain is a bit "off".  I forget little things, or don't think through them thoroughly or something.  For example, in December I ordered tickets to a concert for the girls and me, and tickets to a different concert for Jim and me, as holiday gifts.  I was excited because both shows were on Saturday nights - the perfect night for going out.  As the date of the first show approached, I happened to see an ad for it that gave the concert date as the next day.  Well that can't be, I thought, because I know I wouldn't have bought tickets to a show on a Sunday night.  I got the tickets out to confirm and yes, the show was on Sunday night... I had the date of the day before in my head.  Fortunately the show time was 6:30pm so it wasn't a late evening.

Then Jim was on the phone with his mom and she was asking about taking the girls to a play.  I looked at the calendar and realized it was the same day as our show tickets (for Jim and me).  I told Jim to ask his mom if the girls could just stay over after the play.  Exciting... a real date night with Jim, on a Saturday night!  Something told me to look at these tickets and much to my surprise, they too were for Sunday night, the day after I thought they were for.  It finally hit me that when I bought the tickets, I must have been looking at a 2010 calendar.  Wow.  This is not the way I used to operate!  I was always on top of our schedule and knew when everything was happening.

I've noticed other instances like this, but nothing that is major or that affects our life adversely.  In other ways, my brain seems to be working pretty well.  At work, I have flashes of inspiration about how to retrieve or manipulate data, that I haven't had before; that is pretty gratifying.  And my skill at some of the games I play on Facebook and on my handheld game system have improved.  Maybe these skills have pushed my organizational skills right out of my brain.

My health is good otherwise.  I had scans last week and again, there was shrinkage of all lesions.  There was one small lesion in my lower right lung which apparently shows necrotic (dead) tissue at its edges.  Very good!  The liver mets have all decreased in size as has the pelvic mass.  So I am currently cruising through cycle 5 of Sutent.  Each cycle is a little different in terms of side effects.  Last cycle gastric troubles were my main complaint; they have continued but are responding pretty well to immodium.  My tongue really swelled up in spots but that has receded too, leaving just the sensitivity to heat and spice that I have become accustomed to.  I am noticing soreness in my feet, in the spots where I have calluses, that I suspect are not sore because of any shoes I wore but because of the medication.  This is disappointing in terms of doing any real walking but I am hoping the soreness levels off.  Fatigue is still part of my days too but not keeping me from my daily activities.

However, my body is fond of throwing me curve balls, and has done so again.  A few weeks ago, I had a few days of menstrual type spotting.  I should have no spotting now that I am ovary-less, so I dutifully reported this to my Gyn and my oncology nurse.  The Gyn ordered an ultrasound, which discovered a polyp in my uterus.  Any growth is concerning when one has metastatic kidney cancer, but this could just be a benign growth; they aren't rare.  Unfortunately, to remove it, I have to have an outpatient surgical procedure, next Monday, the 28th of Feb.  When I first learned of the need for surgery, I actually cried, tears of frustration mostly.  I had so hoped that I would make it through one year without undergoing any invasive procedures, so this was a huge disappointment.  The up side is that it is outpatient, and I should only have to take off work for up to 3 days.  They will send the polyp for pathology, but even if it proves to be RCC, I will still continue with Sutent since my response has been otherwise very positive.

It's always something...