Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-16 Sheryl Jedlinski
By Sheryl Jedlinski,
When diagnosed last fall with late stage endometrial cancer that had already spread well beyond my uterus, the smart money was not on me. Yet here I am, only four months later, poised to beat the odds, and see my cancer go into remission. I attribute this success to my gifted surgeon, who spent eight hours removing every trace of cancer she could find under every flap of skin and behind every organ. Now, two-thirds of the way through my 18 scheduled chemotherapy sessions, my most recent abdominal pelvic CT scan showed significant overall reduction of cancer, complete resolution of it in some areas, and no new cancer growth at all. This is in keeping with lab results showing cancer antigens in my bloodstream are now at the low end of the “normal” range. This good response to treatment so far indicates that remission is likely. I could not have hoped for better results, but it is still too early to break out the party favors. This is just the opening battle in the war against my cancer. Many more skirmishes will be fought before we can claim victory.
The road to remission has many potholes, and is not for the feint of heart. Every morning I wake up wondering what new part of my body the chemotherapy drugs will attack. As with Parkinson’s, the journey is different for each of us. Side effects, from mild to severe, include an angry looking, itchy, painful, peeling rash that covers the top of my hands and knuckles and is now attacking my feet. This is accompanied by peripheral neuropathy, tingling or numbness of fingers and toes that may or may not resolve itself when I am done with chemotherapy. Meanwhile, I am working with an occupational therapist and hand specialist.
Even with these residual issues, I am grateful for every new day. Rather than hold on and let the storm blow over, I have learned to dance in the rain. Eventually the weather will improve and darkness will give way to light.
“We are going for the marathon, not just the sprint,” my surgeon tells me.