Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

A Glimmer of Sunshine

The past week has been tough with some good days mixed in. What was truly a blessing is that we got our first bit of what seems to be good news from my Doctors yesterday.

I had an echo test that basically measures the strength of your heart. This test is important for me to get every 6 weeks or so since the chemo I am now on is potentially damaging to your heart. A big concern I have is that we will hear that the chemo is working but I can’t take any more if t because my heart is weakening. Well, the reassuring news is that my heart is exhibiting the same strength it did in September before I started the chemo. This is a big relief. I am the last person to welcome this chemo as it has been kicking my butt, however, if it’s working, I am not going to stop taking it!

I have a CT scan next week which will officially tell us how the numerous tumors in my abdominal area are reacting to the chemo but my Doctor is very confident it is working, I have completely lost all of the water weight that the tumor was “holding on to” (I now weigh a strapping 103 lbs!) and my belly has shrunk a few inches. I now no longer look pregnant; I look like I can’t get off the baby weight!

While this is ALL great news, I am still having a really tough time. People tend to forget that even if the chemo is working the patient has to still “handle” all of the side effects it throws your way. The biggest challenges are by far stomach aches (constant) and fatigue. I am optimistic that if the chemo is working, and continues to work, these symptoms might get easier as my body has less to fight against. And don’t let me forget the horrible night sweats I get every evening. They are the worst!

For now, at least half of my days, I don't feel well enough to leave the house.  I really don't like that at all. It can be very alientating and isolating at times so please continue to keep the emails and voicemail messages coming my way.

Today I was really hoping to go see Duke play Butler in New Jersey with my nephews. It was a special Chanukah gift that Dave and I arranged for them. Unfortunately I have had a stomach ache all day and a cold that just won’t go away. So, my dad is doing the honors. It makes me very sad to miss out on things like this but I am optimistic that perhaps in a few months, things will be better.

There are some exciting developments in the works. Cycle for Survival is doing really well and we are signing up a lot of teams. Some really promising press is in the future and I am going to be an author for the first team with a feature article in January’s issue of Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine. Details to come!

And this week's heart-warming Cycle for Survival story of the week goes to Izzy and Gracie in Chicago.  Proud children of Team MXTE they decided to create a hot chocolate sale and donate the proceeds to their team.  Thank you girls for making a difference in my life and the lives of so many!

Have a great week.