February 2009

I learned today the Tarceva is no longer working. Several new small tumors have appeared. There is good news. My abdominal tumor has not reappeared and my lymph nodes have not swollen again with cancer cells.

Needless to say, this has been a long, hard day. I am exhausted physically and emotionally. A good night’s sleep will get me up and going again. I will write more later.


The San Diego 5K Lung Cancer Walk is just a few weeks away. I hope you will consider participating along with me. The link is…


These past several weeks it’s just been the expected Tarceva side effects of dry skin and tender fingers. Fewer infections. This is good… really good! My CT scans are still scheduled at two-month intervals and I will go next week for the latest. I will also have a follow up ultrasound on the thyroid issue. I look forward to the tests with optimism about the results.

But, worry will always be with me. Sometimes it’s more pervasive than others. Maybe a bit of a hypochondriac? Comes with the territory? Just because I’m a hypochondriac doesn’t mean there is nothing wrong with me? Or in my case, more wrong with me? : ) 

Seriously, it’s common among the cancer survivors I know – always watchful for signs. Signs that treatment is effective or warnings that it’s not. Some side effects are welcomed because they are supposed to indicate the medicine is working. Then we can focus on something we can control to some extent – managing side effects. I’m sure other symptoms are unrelated or unimportant. It’s just another thing to adapt to – an increased awareness of your health. You learn to both make note of it and an ongoing effort to be less anxious. Reducing stress because you should and because life is more pleasant that way. Like with all challenges in life, it does get easier with experience.

We are taking a brief trip to Denver for a few days to see friends and visit with a recent emigre from California, our niece Stephanie. It’s been three years since I’ve been on skis. I am looking forward to it. I plan to take it slow and steer clear of the black diamonds.