Nancy’s Story: Decisions, Decisions

It’s been the best of times; it’s been the worst of times. Lots of information coming in, lots of decisions being made.

When it came time for my checkup in early March, snow was a big concern. We were expecting another big storm, but I didn’t want to postpone my visit to the Pearlman Center. I had scans scheduled and a visit with my oncologist.

As it turned out we went to Philadelphia in spite of the bad weather and because of the bad weather other appointments were cancelled and we were taken sooner than expected.

The scans showed that many of my tumors have been reduced in size. Only the two on my pancreas remain the same size. Can’t explain why the Pazopanib is working on some of the tumors but not all of them. At least none have grown and there appear to be no new ones.

So it was decided that I would continue on the cancer drug, starting cycle five, and continue at the same dose. This cycle will be 84 days long and finish at the end of May.

Another big decision this month was to write and submit my intent to retire from my job with the school district. My letter was accepted and my retirement date is July 15th. I feel sad, but I also feel relieved since I know as long as I am on this cancer drug, I will not be able to maintain the hours and the work load I am on. I have scheduled an appointment with HR and PESERS, so more decisions to make.

My husband’s Uncle Murray died just last week. He lived in California but he and his family came east fairly often. He had cancer too and we would share our worries and talk about treatments. He was my support and he inspired me to be positive and upbeat. In the end he had no more energy to fight.

So I went to the Women Sharing Wisdom group with Dr. Ginsberg at the Gilda’s Club location. Because this group is for people with cancer and also people who have loved ones with cancer I was able to talk to them about my retirement, the death of Uncle Murray, and the results of my scans. I got perspective from both sides.

I left that night with renewed hope that I will be able to maintain a positive attitude and comforted knowing that I have a place to go when I need to express my fears.

One positive idea I have is that when the program calendar/newsletter comes in the mail, I can circle all the events I want, morning or afternoon.

I want to try the meditation room or some of the other exercise class like yoga or group exercise. I am also looking forward to when we can start walking again. We all start out together but you can turn off at the one, two or three mile mark.

Yes I am ready for spring, and so I’m sure are you.

Editor’s Note: Nancy blogs monthly about her experience living with cancer. To see her earlier posts, please click here.