Scan Results

Infusion three happened on Sept. 4. This round my sister, Denise, is with me. Those of you following closely have read the post about the CAR-T study, and I do have an update!

My PET scan following infusion two indicated that my body has made this decision for me. I do not qualify for the CAR-T study, because the chemo is giving this cancer the boot! So this girl is staying on the boat with hopes to be in remission at the end of this... it’s looking good!

If this cancer rears its ugly head again in the future, I’ll still have CAR-T to fall back on—which is comforting.

Alleluia!!

I have had a number of people curious about my side effects. I wasn't planning to talk about this and even said, “I won’t post about my side effects, it’s not what I want to share with the world.” However, I'm now in the middle weeks of my whole treatment and realize my loved ones are just trying to understand. So, here's my reality after two rounds… not sure what three will bring…yet.

I look just fine and have energy for more days than I have extreme fatigue. I had bad chemo brain during round one— I couldn’t even handle watching TV. It was like the sound and visual were too much for my brain to process. It was a wild experience. It was also the day I asked for podcast recommendations. For round two the chemo brain gave me a break, and I didn’t even get the fogginess! However, it peeked in again for round 3. My sister had to help me process some paperwork yesterday. I couldn't do it alone, it was definitely one of the moments I talked about in my post Experience of Foot Washing.

The neuropathy also peeked its ugly head at me round one, though briefly. Sadly, it really started setting in during week three after my second infusion. I still have numb finger tips (all the time) and tingling feet (on and off). I am fearful that'll keep getting worse.

I have a horrible Prednisone crash every round. I go from 100mg to 0 every 6 days post-infusion. During the fatigue and chemo brain, emotions win every time for a few days.

Round two I was introduced to bone pain. Fun, fun. It even made me say, “I hope I can walk tomorrow.”

The sleepless nights due to steroids and minor skin discoloration have amused me way more than hair loss, headaches, or abdominal cramps.

Plus, there are plenty of other stupid side effects. But so far, I'm managing them. Doctor defines me as tolerating chemo as "fair."  I am trying to be as "normal" as I can be. I don't want to give that stuff anymore of headspace than it deserves, but I am ok naming it and recognizing it is happening.

The snail mail, flowers, texts, memes, fun videos... are immensely appreciated and get me through the not-so-fun days. All your sunshine has been wonderful to get my mind back to, "Fill my cup and let it overflow."

12 responses to “Scan Results”

  1. Penny Avatar
    Penny

    I love your posts and pictures. Your doctor might say you are doing “fair” but I think you are doing Fabulous! I think about you daily and you are in my thoughts and prayers! I miss you at church and during meetings but I know it won’t be long and you will be back in the thick of things. The song “One Pair Of Hands” runs thru my mind often.

  2. Shirley, Avatar
    Shirley,

    Dana, your posts are always a pleasure to read & I find myself looking for each new update. Sending Hugs & Prayers to you. You are such a Blessing to so many
    people, including myself! Shirley

  3. Dorothy Fetting Avatar

    Dana,
    Your attitude is amazing!
    Keep up the good work. We trust that our prayers are helping.
    Love, Dorothy

  4. Nila Frei Avatar
    Nila Frei

    You are a trooper, Dana! Through all of this, I still can sense a “can do” attitude. Thank you for sharing your ups and downs of your journey. Many hugs and love to you.

  5. Amy Kocias Avatar
    Amy Kocias

    Thinking of you & praying for you often each day, grateful for you sharing your journey with us, Dana. Sending you positive energy & lots of smiles!

  6. Megan Avatar
    Megan

    Alleluia indeed! So glad for some good news, my friend. Continuing to hold space for you and send love your way. You have had to endure so much pain in this messy middle – can’t wait to celebrate your rise!

  7. Terrie Zitzelsberger Avatar
    Terrie Zitzelsberger

    I have to disagree with your doctor, your body may be tolerating chemo”fair” but your spirit is tolerating it fabulously! Your posts are inspiring to read, and so clear and articulate! Thanks for keeping all of us who love you in the know. Half way through! We are all so happy you get to stay in the boat!!!

  8. debby Avatar
    debby

    what chemo brain?? i think i am happy about waiting on the alternative treatment because as u say its a back up. My body also said no to a research treatment on my eyes- I had cancer so was opted out of the study!! Hmm- an interesting conundrum- think i’ll have a harp:) I am reading John in the Bible now- I may have a question for later…..

    1. Dana Hendershot Avatar
      Dana Hendershot

      Please do have a Harp for me!! Always good to hear from you.

  9. Margaret Vredeveld Avatar
    Margaret Vredeveld

    I certainly appreciate your candor about side effects! It helps me empathize with my loved ones who have endured chemo. And I’m glad you’ve got all this in writing! May be a book in it someday!
    🙏🏼💞🙏🏼

  10. Susan Shock Avatar
    Susan Shock

    Dana, you’re almost half through the process. I hope you can keep your spirits up.

  11. Linda Wicander Avatar
    Linda Wicander

    Dana: I am very happy (thrilled! ecstatic!) that the chemo is fighting your cancer. I think of you and pray for you daily. Your spirit is strong and uplifting. Thank you for keeping us informed about your progress and even the side effects! So glad you’re half way through this process. Love you! Linda

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