Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Retreat of the Dust Bunny

Warning: The following entry includes lots of big medical terminology so proceed at your own risk (just kidding!)

I feel good. My bad days have turned into "half a bad day" and came early this week (on Monday). So I have been enjoying semi-good days since.

I had an interesting experience in the tumor department yesterday. Let me see if I can put it into words.

Visualize a B level horror movie: Attack of the Blob. A big blob attacking a city and moving around things as it comes across them.

OK. Now visualize the inside of my chest. My tumor (aka: dust bunny) is the blob and it has grown from a little golf ball to a big grapefruit and in the process it has crammed itself across my chest, between my sternum (breast bone) and esophagus and on top of my heart, pushing it down. (See the picture below from one of my CT scans (9/10/08). The greyish blob (top center) is the tumor, the white blob underneath it is my heart and the black is my lungs.)

Now visualize the tumor shrinking, but being stuck in this crammed in position. Sort of being pulled like a rubber band or silly putty, but being stuck at the same time.

My chest (tumor) was hurting today and I started coughing. I was a little concerned because I haven't done that in a while and I was starting to think the tumor might be growing again. I was very irritable. I was trying to explain to Don how I felt, but there weren't really words to describe it. I felt "stressed in my chest".

But other than the tumor pain, I was feeling good today. So I was . . . organizing my kitchen cabinets. I was carrying 15 telephone books out to the car to recycle along with other stuff that needed to go to the garage.

I was standing behind my van and I felt "the retreat of the blob". Visualize the blob crammed into my chest pulling back across to the right from whence it came, back under the sternum and to the other side. In my mind, it was like the B movie in reverse. The blob "rewinding", literally, in a matter of seconds.

A little while later, I had a snack, and it felt different to eat it. The food went down much easier. I didn't even know it could be so easy to swallow, it has been so long.

I think I had been coughing because the tumor (shrinking, but stuck) was pulling my right lung (where the tumor originates) to the left, until it shrunk back to the right, then I stopped coughing.

My heart has been beating really hard this afternoon. At first, this worried me a little, too, thinking the tumor was pressing on it again. But I think it is the opposite. It has been "freed" in my chest and it doesn't know quite what to do with all the room. It is "readjusting".

Now, this is all just my theory, but I think this is what happened. I can't believe that the tumor could have still been so big that it was all the way across my chest, but I guess it was.

The tumor pain (on the right side) is much less now.

Please pray that it will continue to shrink and that in two weeks (when I have my next scan) that it will be COMPLETELY GONE. That would mean only two more rounds of chemo.


Steve said...


The feeling of the tumor subsiding is such a great one. I fully understand it. I am praying that it is real, that your theory is right and that the dust bunny is being "vacuumed up" by the chemo. Keep the visulization going. It is a great tool in your adventure. I'm rooting for you!

Steve in MD

Heather @ boy, girl, and a pug said...

I am praying sweetie! Do you mind if I do a post about you on my blog sometime this week?

If you are like me you want and need all the prayers you can get!

Here's to kicking cancer's a$$. We can do it!

Anonymous said...

I love that it is round; the circle, the never ending circle. So many things about a circle - the wedding ring, coming full circle. YOU have picked the PERFECT table for your family.
Your friend always