Peace and quiet and Herceptin
Today has been very quiet and peaceful. Hospitals are much more peaceful on the weekends. I asked about going outside for a while, but it is not recommended. Because there is just the slightest chance I could get some infection in my hip replacement wound from our teeming tropical air, and basically it is not worth that risk, while I await the next surgery on Wednesday to put a metal plate above my left knee. I concur. I am amazed at how effective and untraumatic the hip surgery has been. I have very little pain, even a day after there was less pain than I had had since before the first small fracture a month ago. There is no pain at the knee, but the bone itself is so narrow there that minimal weight bearing is recommended. Bed, chair, commode, and back. That’s okay. I hope never to hear that horrible noise again of the second fracture, SNAP!, from nothing more than putting my weight down on my left leg.
The thing is, I can’t start on Herceptin until the week after the next surgery. Herceptin is my current hope. While we keep putting out fires, the cancer keeps eating away at my bones. So very fast.
I am to pay the $1000 a week for Herceptin, since it has not yet been approved for salivary duct carcinoma. This is because there are insufficient numbers who have been involved in research of it. There are insufficient numbers primarily because there are insufficient numbers of people with SDC to make a single country study viable. There is a current study in the US for people with salivary gland carcinomas in general – but results so far show only SDC and a couple of other particularly rare salivary gland cancers tend to have the HER3+ protein that Herceptin works against. SDC actually has a more than double rate of HER3+ (83%) than breast cancer, for which Herceptin is currently approved. There have been a few cases of stopping the cancer growth, and one of remission. Anyway, I’m starting it first and then working out the money, and discussions with politicians. Thankfully I have some superannuation money that the super people have agreed to pay out due to the unlikelihood of my reaching proper retirement.
So the plan is, surgery, Herceptin, see how we go, and if not enough happens, my doctors are willing to consider dichloroacetate too. More surgery on the other leg a few weeks after starting the Herceptin. The trouble with all the waiting in between – which I’m sure is wise, how much can one body do at once? – is this galloping progress.
But. Today I feel very well. I’ve enjoyed the peaceful day, my daughter’s and friends’ visits. My husband, daughter and son are coming up shortly for take-away Chinese supplemented with the tuna fish salad that is my tea tonight. I watched Prizzi’s Honour on the laptop. I didn’t like the end. We tried to get the internet working here, but the phone line isn’t connected. Probably have to wait until Monday. But Mike is doing a great job of transferring what I write.
I did lots of chanting today too and felt very lightened. The chanting and meditation always do it. There is next to no pain, I can write, I can sit up, and I can see white cockatoos flying against the storm clouds and the lightning flashes in the background. I am spending lots of time with my beautiful daughter and husband and son, and seeing my friends, and talking to my family on the phone. Now I think I’ll read some of Grim Tuesday, book 2 in the Keys to the Kingdom series, that my son brought up for me yesterday. But I’ll have to ring for a nurse to pass it to me and to turn on the light. That’s okay.
My sister sent me a card with Never Give Up on it. And a quote I’d sent to her before. Today could be your day for a miracle. Who knows?
Actually, I know this. Every day is a miracle.