Bucket Lists

The latest decision about Avastin is disappointing. When I first started treatment, this drug was being talked about at a possible way to prolong life in Her2+ breast cancer patients by 5-6 months. But it looks like those initial results have been discounted by more recent, larger studies.

It’s been almost two months since I stopped chemo, so Monday will be another PET/CT scan to see how things are going. I’ve been feeling pretty good lately and have a lot more energy than I did on chemo, so I hope that the Femara is working well enough that I can stay on it for awhile longer. Tomorrow I get my zoladex shot, it should be the last one as I’m getting my ovaries removed on August 11. Such summer fun!

Over the past few months, different people have mentioned “bucket lists.” I can’t say that I have one of these or am even interested in making one. It seems like a lot of pressure to put on yourself, to list all these things that you want to do before you die. I want to feel okay about bumming around in my pajamas and watching bad TV if that’s what I want. I don’t need to make myself feel bad because I’m never going to go on an African safari or run a marathon or whatever.

But there are things I dream about doing, even if they are a bit unrealistic. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I know exactly what I would do. First, I would figure out how to get my old college roommate, Anna, here to Seattle from wherever she is (Africa or Sweden). Then, I’d buy a new car that was powerful enough to pull a new airstream trailer. Just a small one, HA! And when Anna got here we would take off on a cross-country road trip. There are old friends all over this country I would love to visit and all kinds of sights I would love to see. It would be quite an adventure! But alas, I do not even buy lottery tickets. So that makes it pretty hard to win!

I would also send my parents to Italy, because I know my mother would just love it. And then I would love to take some friends to Maui. Stay at a resort where we could get massages by the ocean and drink mai tais by the pool and snorkel and have all kinds of fun. The recent trip to Kona was great and I do really hope that I get another chance to see Hawaii.

Back here in reality, I’m very happy with what I’ll be doing in the near future. I’ll be spending more time at Whidbey, which is my favorite place in the world. Hopefully, we’ll get to visit Sun Valley this September. The dogs will have the best time there! And we’ll also get to MN to see my Aunt and Uncle’s house on the lake. Sue and I will beat the guys at cribbage until they cry. After that, I think I’ll need to get a little more structure into my days. I could volunteer at an animal shelter, I could write articles or even work on a book, I could teach classes or run a research group at UW. There are tons of possibilities, it will depend on how I’m feeling and what sounds good.

I definitely have the sense, though, that time is going by fast. That we’re coming up on a year since the mets were discovered. That I need to be doing fun things now, while I feel good, because I never know how long the feeling good is going to last. Three more women on the message boards I visit have passed away this month, two of those didn’t make it two years past their diagnosis. I hope to do better than they did, but it’s still scary.

Next on the agenda is a party for my 36th birthday. Mai Tais for everyone!

4 thoughts on “Bucket Lists”

  1. Karen,
    I hope everyone of your wishes come true! I love the visual of you and Anna
    hauling the airstream all over the USA. I hate the fact that Avastin did not
    work as well as you hoped. Couldn’t they be wrong about what is does for each
    Sounds like you are planning lots of fun things to do before you settle in for fall.
    I am counting on making the guys cry when we skunk them at cribbage.

    Love, Aunt Sue

  2. You have no idea just how much I want to come be with you! Drag that airstream trailer…. be in Arizona and at Monterey Bay….. I LOVE YOU Karen….. we HAVE to make this happen!!!!! I am thinking Christmas?????

    1. Yes, Anna!!! I am totally serious– we can just get in the car and go. Bring my dogs and a tent and just explore, at the very least the west coast and Yellowstone. We can totally do this and have a blast. I’m going to send you an email and we can do some planning!

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