Monday, October 13, 2008

Back to the Drawing Board

The scoop? The clinical trial is a big fail. I had a blood draw (After a rather lengthy resolution to an issue with my Hickman line. It was a panicky moment for me. Lordy, I treasure that good blood flow.) this afternoon at The Big House, and my white counts are ten miles high and climbing, meaning the drugs had no real affect on the cancer. Initially it seemed so, but now it's obvious the cocktail they were trying on me isn't the best bullet for the Kevlar coating on the leukemia cells. Oddly enough, my hemoglobin increased slightly over the weekend, and my platelets are low but not dangerously so.

Even better, I feel pretty good. I feel not sick. Saturday, I went to the Richmond Folk Music Festival, trekking after Little A for hours in the sun, followed by a great housewarming party at a friend's pad. Tonight I got to enjoy putting Little A to bed, reading him one of the favorite books of my childhood (and totally appropriate for the Halloween season), Liza Lou and the Yeller Belly Swamp. Despite the fact that my doc made me swallow EIGHT FREAKIN' HORSE PILLS tonight, I feel good. I do not feel the stupid zombie leukemia bumping and biting their way through my bloodstream.

So I cling to that happiness. Feeling good. Enjoying time with my family. Because otherwise I start looking at my treatment options as a slowly shortening list and a dark pall falls over me. Keeping the chin up and the positive attitude blaring is becoming more of a chore, especially when faced with this juggernaut of a disease. The coordinator nurse for the clinical trial told me that for as tough as I am, the cancer is merely mutated "me" cells, just as tough.

My own scant mortality is breathing heavily over my shoulder. I'm getting so damn weepy. I am not a weepy person, so this pisses me off. Tonight I was watching the little commercials towards the end of Antique Roadshow (Shut up. I like it.), and I started tearing up at an image of the bleedin' Lincoln Memorial. Because I thought of never getting to take Little A up to D.C. to see the monuments and the zoo and stuff. Farts, I am weeping about this as I type.

Dammit, I hate to cry.

I always associate crying with giving in and I don't want to give in but somehow I think maybe I don't have a choice in all of this. Maybe there is no magic bullet. Maybe this cancer can't be tamed. For all our great scientific advances, there's nothing in the medical arsenal to make it lay down and die.

So there you go. I visit my oncologist tomorrow to discuss what new cocktail of poison they are going to shoot in my veins and then sit back an observe this Freak of Nature Girl. I'm going to ask him if maybe there's the chemo equivalent of the big ass gun Vasquez carries in Aliens for the Zombie Warrior. You know something like this:

I'll more than likely be admitted to start chemo round 847 on Wednesday or Thursday. Now I am off to swallow a few more pills and try to get some sleep.

Keep on the sunny side. Always on the sunny side. Keep on the sunny side of life...


Zombie Warrior weapons check.


Rusty said...

I feel the same way about crying. From one warrior woman to another, you're entitled to express your emotions in any way necessary.

And if you do get around to bringing Little A to DC sometime this fall, I'm in Maryland for the moment and would be honored to buy y'all lunch or overpriced stuffed congressmen, whatever kitsch stuff they sell in the district these days.

Helly said...

No words, Manda, just my thoughts and very best wishes from the other side of the Pacific...

Ev said...

So Trey Drake called me a couple weeks ago to get the words to a song he'd been teaching the kids at church. Since then, it has been stuck in my head and this seems like the perfect post to put it after...

In the storm, In the storm, In the storm; I am safe in the hands of the Lord.
In the storm, In the storm, In the storm; I am safe in the hands of the Lord.
I am weak, but he is strong.
I'm not scared when He's along....
In the storm, In the storm, In the storm; I am safe inthe hands of the Lord.

You're in a bigger storm than any right now. I know He's got you in His hands and will be your strength when you need it. He can help you conquer your fears and bring you into His marvelous light.

Sorry the trial didn't work. It really sucks. Love you.

Megan said...

Don't know what to say but will be thinking of you all day.

Karen said...

I hate to hear that the trial didn't work. We're having a blood drive at school today and I couldn't not give, especially after hearing that news. Woozy though I may be, you're way tougher.

Anonymous said...

Well shit. There you go, being all supportive of me and my stupid problems, and here you are, dealing with SHIT.

I'm glad you are feeling good today. I'm glad that you are tucking little A in, and being all those things to him that you are.

Hell, I'm glad you still have options, even if the list is shortening.

Back to chemo, and prayers, and love, and enjoying all the things that your life encompasses. And we are here with you, Manda. 100% heart and soul.

Love and Hugs.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say but I know that you can somehow get around this. Sending karma your way.


JamieSmitten said...

Stupid AssHat Leukemia. I was mad before, but now I'm really pissed off.

But here is the thing: there are no wrong emotions for you to have. So cry, laugh, dance, scream, question. I know there is a way over this mountain and I know you are the person to find it.

Lots of Love

Kelly said...

You've been on my mind alot, though we've never met. I'm about 6 months out from my BMT and feel amazingly fortunate to be doing well so far. I'm sorry to hear you've had so many disappointments of late. You sound like such an amazing person - I hope you get a break soon.

Dawn said...

Maybe you're right. Maybe these bastard cells can't be beaten.

But if they can, you're the warrior to do it.

So tonight, enjoy and experience everything you can.

Tomorrow, lock and load.

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