Monday, April 13, 2009

One Year Survivor

Yes, it has been a while, but for good reason. There is this thing called "life" which seems to be getting in the way of all my efforts to update this blog. Sure, our fight with breast cancer is never far from thought, but of late, it hasn't been center stage. I feel like I need to apologize for not writing sooner, but I'm sure you'll understand why I don't feel so bad.

Triple Negative Breast Cancer has a different recurrence profile than more typical hormone positive cancers. With TNBC, we are at a higher risk of recurrence within the first 3 years. From 3 to 5 years, TNBC has about the same odds as a hormone positive cancer, and then after 5 years, the odds drop off considerably and are statistically insignificant. In a nutshell, if it is going to come back at all, it will be in the first 3 years. With that understanding, you can appreciate how glad we were when Linda's oncologist pronounced her a "One Year" survivor. We weren't quite sure when that milestone was, considering she went through 2 regimens of chemotherapy and radiation from Jan 2008 to Nov 2008. Dr H. put it at the end of Linda's first round, in April of '08. That was a pleasant surprise.

While Linda was cleaning up the other day, she came across a list she had made in April of 08 titled "Things To Do: Summer 2008". Her and the kids had made a list of summer activities in anticipation of her being done chemo. Well, if you've been following this blog, you know that Linda had to endure another 12 doses of chemo throughout the summer and the majority of the list went unfulfilled (Seaworld, Six Flags, Schiltterbahn). It really was an awful summer for our family. That same list is now on our fridge! So, when presented with a choice of dates for her next bone and CT scans, Linda purposefully scheduled them after our upcoming vacation to South Padre Island. Her words to Dr. H..."You're not ruining this summer!".

Keeping a healthy immune system is probably the most important thing you can do to keep cancer away, or even showing up in the first place. That means eating right and exercising.

Linda is taking the following supplements:
and for exercise, Linda joined a gym and does the following (in some combination) every week:

  • Zumba / Total Body (2hrs)
  • Walk/Run (1 hr)
  • Body Pump / Step Interval (2 hrs)
  • Pilates (1 hr)
  • Step / Body Pump (2hrs)
  • RPM (spinning) (1 hr)
  • Yoga (1 hr)

I think the thing she likes most about the exercise is that they are group activities. She has some great instructors and has friends that participate as well. Mentally and physically, she is doing all the right things. She is a tough old broad...strike that...she is my tough old broad!

I'm not sure when I'll update the blog next, but I am not gone, just living. If you have any questions or comments, please write. Maybe I can convince Linda to write a guest blog post :)



Renee said...

John and Linda,

Congratulations on the one year!!!

I am so happy to see that your family can take back the lost summer by having an extraordinary one this year. While it won't make up totally for the summer from hell, somehow I imagine this year will be with much thankfulness.

I'm envious of the exercise routine! Linda, looks like you are doing all you can do physically and mentally to beat a recurrence. My hat is off to you!

Thanks so much for sharing the supplement list with us. There are a few there that I'm going to research for myself.

Take care!


Jude said...

Congratulations to you both!! Linda will continue to remain in my prayers and good thoughts, John. I hope your summer is FABULOUS! And we wouldn't mind if you shared some pics of your summer fun with us either. *wink*

Update when you can, and don't worry about us we'll still be here. God bless!