Mimi’s Cancer Update and Plans
I Apologize for the long interruption of Mimi’s Adventures – due to health reasons.
I can’t fully express how much I appreciate the prayers and other forms of positive energy sent into the Universe on my behalf. I know your help has contributed to my healing.
My stage 4 colorectal cancer showed up in 11 months and it’s pretty much gone away in the next 11 months.
The Good News is that my last PET Scan showed the lesions in the liver and the original mass are both almost undetectable. I will have a colonoscopy in the fall to know for sure it is all gone. I have been off chemo for about a month, and I will stay off indefinitely. (Never really cured, only in remission.)
I will continue to have blood-work and have my port flushed on a monthly basis, and do another PET Scan in 3 months.
All my side effects are gone except for 2. This is the wonderful good news for me and my family.
The Not Quite So Bad News is that my year-old chemo brain should clear up in a few months. My family is very happy about that as it is driving them crazy.
The Bad News is that the Neurologist tells me that the Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CINP) is permanent. I refuse to settle for that and hope for improvement over time – physical and occupational therapy and massage of hands and feet. I need to get over this now so I can drive again and get back to my first love, teaching.
The Neurologist is primarily concerned with alleviating the pain rather than improving on the function. Eventually, he wrote me a script for the same type of therapy that is used for Diabetes caused Peripheral Neuropathy. The therapist says I will be driving again in a year. (Actually, two therapists, one for hands and arms, and one for legs and feet.) They’ve put me on an exercise program that’s designed to open up new channels for nerve growth – the places that have died have to be bypassed, they won’t come back.
There is no pill, and I would be afraid of it if there was a pill – there’s a problem with side-effects on every damn drug.
Because of the serious neuropathy, handwriting and typing is painful and almost unreadable. The chemo-brain causes me to forget words, have a very short attention span, and very poor short-term memory.
I had to stop working on the DVD on Doll Hair for Dollmaker’s Journey because I simply cannot think clearly or use my hands effectively. I hope to continue this project later this year. Mary Ann at Dollmaker’s Journey has promised to do one if I did not. I hope she does this as there is a need for a good hair book. If I am able to complete it, it will be different anyway. Always room for one more.
Jim is going to concentrate on getting Earth Angels and Mannequins finished. Mannequins will be re-oriented to comparative anatomy in doll patterns with a very short section on costume fitting and only 3 discs.
Jim is working on getting me to storyboard and then voice over instead of talking when I’m on camera. (I write out the script steps and voice over, then we shoot the video clip and record the sound separately.) Jim assembles the clips and voice over tracks. This avoids the problem of having to work and talk at the same time on the camera. I’m hoping to do about three small projects (simple dolls) this year including one with my great grandkid.
Anyway, we need some help.
Jim can’t keep up with the Diary of a Mad Dollmaker. I tend to wander and tell stories (which is part of the idea) and he cleans the diary up so that it doesn’t have the interruptions.
The problem is that Jim is the only driver in the house (since I can’t anymore due to the CIPN) and Cassie and I have doctor or other appointments almost every day. His day gets chopped up to the point where he can’t do his own work.
It would work something like this: 1) Call me up once or week for about an hour and 2) interview me on a subject. Then 3) write up and post the blog article. (Jim would probably edit the first one or two.) If you’re interested, email me at Mimi@Mimidolls.Com.
Also, we are looking for anybody who has a set of issues of Let’s Talk About Dollmaking (a letter from Mimi). We’d like to reprint them in the Diary of a Mad Dollmaker, but we’ve misplaced our copies when we moved. Again, email me at Mimi@Mimidolls.Com.
One other piece of good news. My youngest daughter arrived from New York City for several days to help celebrate both the remission of the cancer and my 80th birthday. We plan to do it again on my 90th. Actually, she’ll be here in the fall with my granddaughter and newest great. Christopher John is now 16 months old.