It's 2:30 in the morning and I should be sleeping, but instead I sit here in front of my computer, my brain buzzing with thoughts. I once again dropped the ball on blogging, but nothing majorly significant has happened health-wise since I last wrote in, what was it, June? In July my CEA numbers hit the lowest they had been since I began this journey, getting to 5.8. It was an exciting time quite honestly.
And then, stuff started happening. That same month my Grandmother, the one in England (if I haven't told that story, please do remind me), fell outside her home and was admitted to the hospital. They found copious amounts of cancer and told her what her timeline looked like. After that she deteriorated VERY quickly. I wasn't able to see her before she passed, but I'm told I was the last person whom she spoke to. I imagine that is supposed to give me some sort of comfort, but I just wanted to be there with her.
Because in the UK everyone is on holiday during the summer months, my father decided to wait until September to plan her memorials/celebrations of life. While he planned those I worked on details of getting myself over there to honor her memory.
August came and my CEA numbers jumped from 5.8 to 7.3. My CT scan was scheduled for October so more concrete answers of what was going on inside my body would be coming soon. I put off a treatment by a week to spend time in Northern Wisconsin at Mike's sister's & brother's cabin with our two boys and their two girls. It was absolutely lovely, except for the spiders. The spiders were horrid. The family time on the other hand, that was very much needed.
September came and my CEA number crept up from 7.3 to 7.6. I would be going to England and Ireland near the end of the month. I pushed off two treatments for my travel as I would be gone for 10 days total. Traveling was rough for me (I was solo) but I managed it with lots of rests. Upon arriving in London at my hotel, I slept for an entire day. It was needed. I stayed in Blackheath, not far from my Grandmother's area of London in the hotel where the service was to be held. I walked slowly around Blackheath to a little used bookshop, and a crepe cafe, a conservatory and more. I made it to Greenwich and saw things I have photos of me seeing as a baby when I lived there, and things I had not. Things my Gramps saw when he came to visit my mum and I from Maine. I somehow made in to central London a tiny bit one day and saw some off the beaten path things that were delightful. My body both loved the walking and hated it at the same time.
The service was absolutely beautiful. Though we communicated through the phone (because as you can tell I'm terrible at keeping up a regular schedule of writing), I learned so much more about my Grandmother that I didn't know. And I was able to tell stories about my relationship with her, that while long distance, was beautiful and loving in it's own unique way.
I met family of my Grandfathers who were absolute delights and whom I've been communicating with since I left. My great aunt who I just, oh my goodness she's just the most lovely human and am so grateful I had the opportunity to meet her and her son.
After the service in London, we traveled to Ireland and, wow. I stepped off the plane and immediately felt at home in the Irish countryside. In spite of all the heavy rain and cold, it felt right in my heart. I don't know why I felt such a strong connection to somewhere I'd never been and wasn't born, but it was powerful and beautiful. Our time was spent bringing Grandma back to places she belonged, like with Grandpa, with her parents, and back at her family home. I met an abundance of amazing family friends young and old and the love for my grandmother in her home country was strong. I flew home on September 28th feeling somber but also emotionally healed in a way I didn't expect.
The very next day I had a CT. Yeah, I know. No rest for the wicked. That scan showed no change. On October 18th I had my CEA numbers drawn again and they had gone up from 7.6 to 8.4. Somewhere in that time period I went to the ER for stomach pain. Don't worry, I was, and am okay, however they did a precautionary CT given my medical....issues. That CT which was -maybe- two weeks after the one I got after coming home from the UK showed growth in the left lobe of my liver from 1.1 (I honestly can't think of the unit of measure at the moment) to 1.2, but the tumor in my uterus shrunk from 1.5 to 1.2.
I talked to my care team and at the moment unless they see a really dramatic spike in my CEA numbers, they're chalking it up to different interpretation of CT readings.
This week is a chemo week, beginning on Wednesday and ending on Friday. They'll be drawing my CEA levels so we'll see if there's a big change. I am back to eating much healthier, though my coffee habit is baaaaad.
I do promise to not just update about my health more, but write more in general. It truly is cathartic.
Now if I could just fall asleep!
Baaaaa, 1. Baaaaaaa, 2. Yeah that doesn't work. Any suggestions? This is becoming a regular thing.