I’m a No Maintenance Gal!

I’ve been wondering how I’m going to journey down the road when my chemo infusions are finished late June.  My initial understanding was that I’d progress through 3 stages of treatment:

  1. Induction – 1 month in hospital with initial chemo treatments to work towards remission.
  2. Consolidation – 8 months out patient chemo infusions at cancer center to kill hidden cancer cells that may still be lurking.
  3. Maintenance – 2 years oral medications to help keep from relapsing.

I’ve been living in limbo because of questions I’ve had regarding the final two year maintenance phase.

“Can I travel in my trailer during this time or do I need to stay in town?”

“How often will I need to see my doctor?”

“What sort of tests will they need and at what frequency?”

“Will the maintenance drugs make me ill making it harder to handle the demands of solo travel?”

Then…

At my doctor’s appointment last week, I was given the best news.  I’m considered low risk for relapse and therefore I won’t need to complete the two year maintenance treatment!

Great news, right?  I’ll need to see my doctor once every three months for two years to make sure I’m still in molecular remission, but this can be done with a simple blood test.  The PCR blood test (polymerase chain reaction) can detect if the leukemia returns, similar to having a bone marrow biopsy, but a whole lot easier!

Other than returning to Tucson every three months, my doctor has cleared me for travel come July.

I’ll see you all on the road soon!

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42 thoughts on “I’m a No Maintenance Gal!

  1. Harvey Stanbrough

    So very happy for you, Sarah. Fingers crossed, prayers, parading in a circle under the full moon around the Great Book of YaYa and anything else I can think of to bless this outcome. 🙂

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  2. Linda Artley

    The best news we have ever heard!!! I know we are a step closer to being able to meet someday! Congratulations on the great news. I can only imagine what that kind of news must have felt like. Hugs and love xxx Denny and Linda PS. I’m wondering if you could have the blood test done somewhere along your travels and sent to your physician to look over. Just a thought! ❤ I will consider this my birthday present and I love it so much! YEA!

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    1. Happy birthday!!! Your birthday hug will be a bit late, but we WILL meet up someday. Thanks for all the cheer leading and love you’ve given me through this whole experience. You both are the best humanity has to offer – truly loving and kind friends.

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  3. Margaret Ann Adams

    What great news!!!!!!!!!!!!! I bet you are so excited, and are looking over your little traveling home with new eyes, making sure you have everything you need. I will be eager to see your itinerary with the loops back home every 3 moths.
    Love, Margaret Ann

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  4. Kathy

    Not having to take those meds for two years is wonderful news! I’m just now starting into year three of having to take an oral med similar to Tamoxifen to prevent the return of my breast cancer. Getting really tired of it! I’m supposed to take this for five years, but my risk of recurrence is pretty low already so I’m weighing the option of stopping it at the end of this year. I bet you’re eager to hit the road!

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    1. Wow, 5 years of meds? That sounds awful. I’m glad to hear your risk of recurrence is low. It would be great if you could stop the meds a little early. Are you tolerating them well? I’m someone that doesn’t even like to take Tylenol, so the medications are a daily reminder of the cancer along with not liking the side effects they cause. But, on the flip side, I’m so thankful that I have meds to take that will kick this cancer to the curb.

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  5. Diane Schlieder

    That is absolutely fabulous news, Sara! Returning to Tucson every three months just means you’ll be seeing all those great friends you have there! You’ll be hittin’ the road before you know it! Come see me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly what I was thinking. I don’t mind coming back because my parent’s are here and I can touch base with friends. And 3 months on the road is a nice time frame, between visits here. I’ll definitely want to come see you. You’ve been wonderful through all of this! Your cards, book marks, lovely little gifts, and words of encouragement will never be forgotten.

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  6. Peg Brown

    Another survivor chiming in here. Congrats! Just keep moving forward with your plans. Things have a way of working out for the best. Positive attitude is the fuel!

    I’m just now preparing for my first extended trip – 6 weeks in a new 13′ Scamp. Westward ho! Positive thoughts and feet always moving forward.

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      1. Peg Brown

        Boston (area) to Myrtle Beach for some sand and sand, then to the Scamp factory in early May. From there – west to Glacier National Park, south to Yellowstone, and east to Massachusetts via the Badlands, filling in between national parks with RoadsideAmerica.com and Atlas Obscura landmarks. Every day a new adventure! I’m blogging at “Scampering Across America”.

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  7. Michael Hills

    This really is excellent news Sara. I am so pleased for you and your family. I am really looking forward to viewing your journals as you travel the country and maybe the chance to sit with you over a garden bench in a country pub and have that drink (or two). See, I told you that all those positive vibes would pay benefits. Lots of love coming your way 🙂 ❤ x

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  8. Jaydeen

    I’m am so happy for you. It’s amazing the impact you have on me and others through your words and experience. Only knowing you through your blog. You are one CLASS ACT !
    Jaydeen

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  9. Gabi + Wolf

    That is wonderful news . That ” big C” stuff has a way of taking over ones life , travelling , getting away and maybe climbing a big hill ( or a mountain – even by gondola ) has away of putting things back in perspective ….making it little again . Enjoy ……many happy trails to you .
    Gabi and Wolf

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  10. Congrats! I also got the news that I don’t need ATRA maintenance a few weeks ago. I had such severe head pain from those pills though, I’m not sure what we would’ve done if I had needed to continue it! I’m actually finding it a little nerve wracking to go from having my blood tested almost daily (and have that reassurance that my counts are normal), to only having it tested every three months. Anyway, it’s nice to meet another APL/m3 person!

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