The Stacey Report

March 27, 2007: Remember those wallets, people?

Posted in 3-Day by dbancroft on March 27, 2007

Well… I’ve done a thing.

It may have been a crazy thing.

But it’s done and now there’s no going back…

I have registered to walk in the Susan B. Komen 3-day.

“Well, what’s wrong with that?” you ask, “Sounds like a lovely thing to do.”

“Yeah, easy for YOU to say,” I say!  Because actually I’m a little terrified. The Komen 3-day walk is just that: three days of walking, for 60 miles.  S-I-X-T-Y.

There have been times in my life when I have been quite fit indeed. The year in college that I signed up for weight lifting and yoga on alternate days, that was good.  The year after college when I couldn’t afford to join a gym so I bit the bullet and started running (without even being chased) also a fine time, and maybe sixty miles then wouldn’t have seemed like such of a much.

But this… is not one of those times.  In fact, I’m not sure I have ever been such a lumpy noodle as now, and certainly any kind of cardio fitness is out of the question: yesterday I got winded carrying a basket of laundry up the stairs.  It was a really big basket. But still.

Furthermore, as some of you know, I have recently had my second and final bunion de-buniofied (by TF Dr. James Stewart of Drs. Smith and Stewart Podiatry, thumbs up!) leaving me with a still-swole foot that isn’t ready for prime time — it’s definitely not helping my tremors to be unable to start training.

Because that’s what the next few months will be: training time.  This was hammered into all of us at a focus meeting recently: training will make the difference between enjoying the event and just surviving it.

With your kind permission (and, come to think of it, even without) I’ll be writing a bit about the training process, with continuing updates about Stacey’s treatment which, to everyone’s  great joy and satisfaction, continues dull as dirt.

But before I begin the scintillating tales of finally leash training the dogs and selecting sneakers and measuring walking routes and such, I must ask for your help.

I really MUST, because to even participate in the walk, I need to raise $2300.00 in donations to breast cancer research.  At first, that seemed like a really lot of money because I was picturing having to ask 23 people for $100.00 each.  Now, some of us can find that kind of change between the couch cushions, but I sure can’t and I know what I would say if someone asked me for $100.00.  “It’s good to have a dream,” I would say.

Then, as you’ve probably guessed by now, I realized that I could ask 230 people for $10 each… and that’s what I’m asking of you, dear readers.  Here’s the link to my donation site where you can give online via credit card; feel free to e-mail me for information about donating by cash or check. 

I’m also asking a favor: if you know anyone else who might want to support my walk and breast cancer research, please feel free to pass the link on.  The minimum donation amount is $2300.00, but of course i’d like to raise as much money as possible. 

Thanks very much!


March 19, 2007: New IBC drug approved

Posted in Uncategorized by dbancroft on March 19, 2007

Just as a note on the rapid progress of cancer research, a new drug called Tykerb (lapatinib) has been approved for women with “a rare, agressive form of breast cancer”.  Pretty much whenever you see that, you can assume they’re talking about IBC. 

The cool thing about Tykerb is that it’s having great success for women whose HER+ tumors have stopped responding to Herceptin, the fake-out hormone that Stacey is taking right now.  This is not to say that Stacey will need to move on to Tykerb, but it’s pretty cool to know that medical research is keeping up the pace.   (I’m trying to remember which protocol Stacey was using that was only approved a month before she was diagnosed… Stacey? Buelher?)

March 8, 2007: Something Actually Happened!

Posted in Uncategorized by dbancroft on March 10, 2007

After some time of boringly normal treatment and no new tests, Stacey reports…

(and no, I should not be all jazzed about this because it is actually a big drag)

some swelling and soreness in her left arm.  It’s on her inner arm, just below the surgical site.  Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, that’s probably lymphedema!” Right?

Well… right.  TFDB wanted to check it out to be sure it wasn’t a blood clot which feels exactly the same, apparently (which seems like a really terrible system, if you ask me.) So Stacey won a free trip to Newton Wellesley for a Doppler Ultrasound of her entire arm (neck to elbow) and everything looked AOK. 

So what do you do about lymphedema?  Well, if it’s severe, treatment involves all kinds of pumps and Manual Lymphatic Removal or some such upsetting thing.  But Stacey just has some slight swelling, and the definition of Mild Edema is that the difference in circumference between the affected limb and the healthy limb is less than 4 cm.  I would hazard a guess that Stacey’s arms are still a pretty good match.  So what she needs to do is go have some physical therapy, learn some exercises (which might be done with compression) to keep the swelling down.

Yet againm we dance a Jig O’ Joy that this is relatively unexciting. 

In other news, Stacey’s Sister prepares another golden opportunity for you to whip out those wallets!  Here’s a hint: it’s sort of like last year’s Relay For Life.  Except way, waaaay crazier.