Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Answers... well we asked for them.

Less than a week ago, my husband and I walked away, frustrated, from my oncologist's office. We had more questions than answers. Today, we received some answers... but we certainly didn't walk away from the appointment happy or relieved. Honestly, I'm overwhelmed. My wonderful husband is... quiet and contemplative and supportive and... surviving too...

I attended my first 'CanSurvive' meeting today (cancer support group) that included a lunch with many friendly strangers who were catching up after months apart and then going to a lecture with a counselor who talked about how to manage negative thoughts and how to reshape and redirect them. Appreciated the lecture and was frustrated to have to leave early for my oncologist appointment... Think part of the frustration was that I knew answers were coming from my oncologist.
Here's the YouTube video I took note of when I had to leave - shared by the counselor from the Well Cast Channel: interesting approach to reshaping thoughts... think I'll watch more videos from this channel, a little disappointed that it isn't quite appropriate for primary school since I like some of the topics...

I'm mentally working through the chemotherapy plans... new more aggressive plans because unfortunately my prediction was right, my oncologist assessed the lab results and confirmed that the cancer I have now is metastatic cervical cancer in my lungs. He has a much more aggressive plan for chemotherapy than he had when it was the lung cancer diagnosis. Now I have to go for chemo weekly with a rotation of different medicine each week on a four week cycle. I will lose my hair, no doubting that now, scarves are my new focus instead of hats, shall see. This protocol can have many side effects. The costs of all the chemotherapy is overwhelming. I'm checking in with insurance to see what will be covered.
I considered going to the local hospitals in Hong Kong now that I finally have an official diagnosis and a referral letter from my doctor as of today. Unfortunately, getting an appointment could take 2-3 weeks and getting treatment could take 1-3 weeks later... which isn't very promising. I'll still look into the local treatment, even just for radiation treatment, shall see.
My oncologist wasn't very encouraging about the government/local hospitals proceeding with the protocol he has created for me. He thought they'd prefer to do radiation first which he did not recommend. This means a lot to me because...
1. I want to survive, recover, and be in remission.
2. I can't imagine putting off treatment for another month when my oncologist wants to begin next week (I just hit my 2 week mark after having surgery, can't believe it will be just 3 weeks and then chemo treatment begins but as a friend said to me, those Hong Kong doctors do not mess around!)
3. I trust my oncologist. I do not believe he would exaggerate or dissuade me because he wants my business. I believe he wants the best for me.

So, will talk and sort out finances and begin chemotherapy sometime next week.
Looking forward.
Staying strong.
Overwhelmed but dealing with emotions as they roll... and they will... and that's ok...

Thinking that I would like to focus on humor a little more. Find funny videos that make me laugh, comic strips, comedians... anyone have a favorite? I adore comic strips, subscribe to many online... almost as obsessed with them as I am with graphic novels.

Appreciated one cancer survivor's story in the book Radical Remission which included her and her daughter making time at the beginning and end of the day to find ways to laugh. I love to laugh. My son does too... perhaps that's something we can do together for a new routine. He already thinks I find the most awesome videos to share with him... The librarian in me is already mentally figuring out how to organize this...

I am looking into comedians on YouTube, here's the first one I'll be watching: - Humorous guy, I like his slightly twisted approach... for adults though.

Also, I like the idea of creating one of these: vs. making a get-well-soon card for classes, nice idea... productive, positive idea... :)

Grateful my mom suggested I reread that chapter in Radical Remission... inspiring. Good for redirecting my mind to the positive and thinking about humor.

Thanks all for keeping up with my journey. Getting through...


  1. What can one say? Your posts are so honest, so heart-felt. The links you provided were great. The first funny video I thought of was "Mrs. Doubtfire" I 've seen it 7 or 8 times and I laugh throughout. God bless Debbie, my prayers and thoughts are with you.

    1. I love Mrs. Doubtfire, thanks for the reminder, cued up now. :) Appreciate the thoughts and prayers!

  2. Recommeded: A funny inspirational singer and cancer survivor Steven Walters:
    A daily dose of Laughter Yoga with Dylan
    Rick Hanson for positive and joyful living;
    George Carlin, for gut busting laughter if you can handle his swearing. Seven Words You Can Never Say on the Air is a classic. So many funny episodes.

  3. and I loved the joke book idea. Have all of your friends make one and send them to you! Flood your mailbox with them. So fun! Love you everyday. Wear your blue bead wrap bracelet everyday. Little globes that remind you are far and close at the same time. Feels like a putting tefillin on with my own prayer mantra: "...she is passionate, she is joyous, she is intelligent, she is vulnerable, honest, giving. She is life going onward and forward..."

    1. Love that you like the bracelet... appreciate the mantra especially... Hugs your way...