"Take your victories, whatever they may be, cherish them, use them, but don't settle for them" -- Mia Hamm
"I'm very grateful to God for what he gives me. Victories, remarkable victories, but you have to go through the defeats. That is why I praise God for everything" -- Fedor Emelianenko
Despite having to deal with two stubborn melanoma tumors for nearly two years, it seems that they’ve reached a plateau in their metabolic activity. As a result, their current activity, or lack thereof, has led my oncologist to give me a respite from chemo/immunotherapy treatment for about three months. After the 3-month break, I will undergo another PET/CT scan to determine the state of the tumors or other potential metastases.
Although the tumors have incessantly held on tight within my pelvic lymph nodes, I am eternally grateful that both haven’t metastasized throughout my body, via the lymphatic system. This is a victory in my books! Especially since “Metastatic melanoma was once almost a death sentence, with a median survival of less than a year” back about 10 years ago, according to a Medscape article, ‘Truly Amazing’: Huge Change in Melanoma Prognosis.
Also, if you remember, I had another small tumor located in the left inguinal lymph nodes below the pelvis. The oncology team stopped measuring this one back in February 2019, because not only was there no evidence of abnormal inflammation, but there was also no indication of metabolic activity left in this third tumor. Again, another small victory in this war against cancer!
I’m not done yet with the small victories. My oncologist also reviewed the “increased uptake within the right lobe of my liver” from the PET/CT scan on October 23. He is not worried about this uptake. So, we’ll continue to monitor and determine any changes after my PET/CT scan in January 2020.
And yet, hold on! There’s another small victory. I started steroid treatment today to treat the immune deficiency disease in my lacrimal glands above my eyes. I’m hopeful that this systemic treatment will reverse the negative effects of chemo treatment. And with hope and prayer, I will have normal use of my left eyelid again after the post-surgical healing process. The surgeon had to use an invasive surgical procedure to biopsy muscle above the left orbital area. If, by any chance, I do not have normal use again in my left eyelid, with a grateful heart I’ve got the use of my right eye. On the bright side, I am waiting on a new bad-@$$ looking leather eye patch for my left eye. If bullies thought I looked tough before, wait until they face the ‘one-eye Marine’!
So, what do I do for the next three months?
First, I need to readjust my attitude. A beautiful friend, Linda, sent me a link to a blog titled, Change of Attitude Starts with a Change of Perspective. If she only realized how much God used her by sending me this link! I won’t go into details, but I’ve been dealing with a tired, negative attitude. I know that some would say, “it’s okay to be tired and angry.” Yes, it is okay to be tired and angry. But I was reminded that going through my tribulation can be a blessing for others. More so, I can’t be a blessing if I’m being discourteous to others continuously.
Second, I plan to take some personal-therapeutic actions of my own. So, more to come!
Last, I need to be more accepting of prayers of healing. And with that in mind, I need to let my prayer brigade take over and believe in God’s power of prayer.
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