Today we received the much anticipted results of Jessica’s MRI after radiation, chemotherapy, and clinical trial drug infusions. No change would be good news. The MRI shows her tumors are actually much smaller than before treatment. This is much better news. Dr. Taylor, who’s typically quite measured, smiled and said it’s “great” and “amazing,” so it’s a really promising drug. It was not an easy decision, but we’re so happy for the opportunity to be part of this clinical trial at UCSF. So we had a unicorn party to celebrate before tonight’s first round of more intense chemotherapy. It’s nice to move forward with very good news and renewed spirits. More updates to follow, but for now, we’re just taking it all in and having a moment of gratitude.
We. Are. Home.
And it is great. And even through it is great, getting home and being hit by the cumulative effects of radiation, chemo, and my lingering cold / flu was horrible. The day we packed up and traveled home was long, and I did too much (as I do). So, when the side effects hit me, they came in hard and swift, and I was unprepared to feel so bad. I’d venture to bet that most of you will agree, any day that starts with vomiting in front of your primary care provider should probably just stop right then and there. Stubbornly, I did not stop. I spent the day alternating between making bad TV choices, shuffling around the house trying to “help” Yani put things away, pissing and moaning about how sick, nauseous, and dizzy I felt, and how bad my saliva tastes. Eventually, my physical discomfort and fatigue twisted themselves together and broke my emotional stability. That’s when I finally decided that the day should end and I went to bed – but not before a lot of crying and feeling miserable.
One week later and I can say that while I’m still learning to cede to my limits, I’m feeling better and lately the good days are outnumbering the bad. What I’m really learning is that each day is an opportunity to reset, and I don’t have to bring the previous day’s bad experiences into a new day. So, I take each day as it comes and continue to manage my remaining side effects as best I possibly can. I go outside for tiny walks when I can and if I need to I take naps.
Our next major appointment at UCSF will be in early March. I’ll have my first MRI of 2018, and we’ll get an update on the status of the tumors that we learned about in December. After that appointment, I’ll start five continuous days of a higher dose of chemo, and unless something causes us to change course, that will be my routine for the next 6 months – MRI every two months and chemo for five days every month.
Finally, thank you all for the meaning that each of you give to my life. Thank you for staying connected and continuing to support us.
“Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.”
– Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
Hi Team Unicorn,
We’ve all been thinking about Jessica and Yani a lot. I wanted to remind you that they’ve been thinking of all of us too, with gratitude.
Today Jessica sent a special delivery to the office, and I am sharing the photos and sentiment with all of you as she addressed it to the team. There are just a few cookies remaining in the office kitchen, but Jessica’s words will surely warm your heart wherever you are today.
“A little bit of sweetness and a whole lot of love! Happy Valentine’s Day. You all make my heart so very full! Thank you for being on my team.