Trials and Tribulations

Avastin and I broke up. We had a good ride but our ideas on a long-term relationship differed. Cancer was the bitch that got between us.

I’ve had nausea and dizziness for the past few weeks so I saw my general doc, my eye doc and had a brain scan. Brain is good and it’s not vertigo so let’s do a full PET scan! Low and behold, there are three masses, all about 1.5 to 2.0 cm and one pushing against my pancreas and bowel, giving me that lovely ‘morning sickness’ feeling and other unpleasantries.

There we were again talking about new options with my oncology team. I am very thankful for options but this sucks! My oncologist and radiologist were both very excited about a clinical trial for Nivolumab. She sounds pretty badass… a human programmed death receptor-1 blocking antibody. Nivolumab and I are going to get close, every two weeks close for 46 doses. I’ll get scans every eight weeks and if improvement isn’t seen, then I’ll jump on some targeted radiation. 22 of us will be in the study and since this is a second tiered trial, we all get the drug for free in the name of science. The side effects are very similar to Avastin, minus the chance of heart failure – so I got that going for me, which is nice.

And because life continues to move forward, we made two *huge* changes: we bought our dream home and sold a well-loved home. Selling a home is stressful but it actually became comical in our household. Picture two grown ups running around before an open house, hiding cat boxes, ‘staging’ rooms with the ‘good rugs’, shoving FOUR CATS into individual carriers (don’t forget the DOG!) and either driving around or drinking wine on our friend’s patio while the dogs circle the caged cats. I never want to sell a house again. I’m staying in this one forever… good thing I love it.

Life seems to be a series of good and bad. I keep thinking about a secondhand saying another cancer fighter said, “cancer may take my life, but it will not take my day”. Most days, cancer doesn’t exist in my world and other days the only thing that gets me through is my hatred for cancer. I love my sunny days, even the days I scream obscenities at the universe. Hope is still a household word that I find a great deal of comfort in. Each day I am hopeful, grateful, thankful and just full.

On the topic of feeling full (of love), as an American Cancer Society Hero of Hope, I had the great honor of sharing my story at several Relay For Life’s throughout the Bay Area this summer. Here’s me at the Relay For Life of Marnia — they were such a welcoming group. I tear-up with admiration every time I speak to Relayers, fighters. We all hate cancer and collectively we become a force for good.

12 thoughts on “Trials and Tribulations

  1. Carolann, I don’t even know what to say sometimes, your constant strength, positive attitude while fighting this ghastly beast never ceases to amaze me. I know you will win this battle as you have the previous ones, you must! When I remember those long days and the unending sacrifice you made for me when I was caring for my family for all those months, my heart is so full of love and gratitude to you. Onward and upward my friend, carry my love with you always – XOXO

  2. I too feel the hatred you feel for this ugly intruder. I will pray for you (as do my warriors) and stand beside you and cheer you on through your fight. Your smile lights up the world and warms hearts like no other. Keep those fists up Avenger!

    Love always, Cory

  3. Carol your humor, positivity, courage and optimism are an inspiration to all who know and love you. Keep spreading the word of hope. Sending you love and hugs. The Bitches days are numbered!!! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

  4. Your spirit truly embodies grabbing life by the horns! Pete was in our life before he met you… But life didn’t begin for all of us until we met you. Xoxoxo

  5. Carol you are in my Prayer’s.!!.You are a true inspiration to so so a Cancer Survivor myself you have touched my Heart.!!…Love You

  6. My dear friend and fellow cancer survivor. You have been on my mind since I had heard you were having symptoms of nausea and dizziness. I was elated to hear the brain scans were normal but there was that little voice inside me that wondered, “why is she not feeling normal”? Well, so now we know.

    To all of us that have experienced cancer the word “option or options” are music to our souls. I know that you will not take this recent diagnosis lying down and do whatever it takes to eradicate every last cancer cell in your body!

    You are and continue to be such an inspiration to all that have had the pleasure of being in your presence.

    Carol, I am honored and blessed to know you and call you my friend!

    Give em hell and FUCK CANCER!!!


  7. You’ve managed to make me cry and laugh with one post! The visual of you two running around capturing all of the animals before each showing is hilarious. I’m so sorry to read the latest news but I know your strength and positivity, along with the new drug trial, will help you beat this. Love you and thinking of you and sending hugs. Congratulations on the new dream house, we cannot wait to see it!

  8. Oh my sweet Carolann,
    You have been constantly in my prayers and will continue to be. You are putting up an awesome fight. May God bless you and heal you!
    Love Aunt Patty

  9. “Hope is still a household word that I find a great deal of comfort in. Each day I am hopeful, grateful, thankful and just full.” Carol, you are a true inspiration. Stay strong, and on days when strength isn’t on your plate, you have support and love from the universe of people who you touch indirectly. Lots of love sent from me. xoxoxox

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