The first slap

The first slap
This photo was taken the day after I was diagnosed, and it is my first bitch slap at cancer. I'm the one with the icepack symbolically placed on my boob. My teammates changed our team's uniform to pink at the last minute, and I came off the soccer field that night with one goal and a whole lot of love. Several of these women are my close friends, but they are all warriors, and they all helped me set the tone for this fight.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"Houston, we have shrinkage!"

*SLAP!* Did you hear that? *Slap, slap!* I am proud to report that there is a hell of a lot of bitch slapping going on around here, and I'm guessing that if you tilt your head just right, even those of you on the west coast, in South America, or in Europe might hear a blow or two.

Today I saw my oncologist for the first time since before Christmas (she was out of the country for the holidays), and I had my fifth infusion. I am now two infusions into the second of four three-week cycles. Upon measuring my largest tumor she noted that it has shrunk significantly: Down from 2cm at diagnosis to 1cm. On top of that, when she went to measure my second (and smaller) tumor, which is more centrally located, she couldn't find it. I told her I'd felt it just a week or two ago, and so I tried, and I couldn't feel it either! It has probably not completely dissolved away (yet), but for purposes of physically measuring it, it has all but disappeared.

Now, keep in mind that my oncologist's weekly measurements are not super precise--she basically just uses a ruler, as my tumors are/were palpable. I will get an MRI at the end of this first 12 week course of chemotherapy, which will provide more accuracy. Nevertheless, the shrinkage is significant. I had noted myself that the largest tumor was shrinking after only three infusions, but it was nice to hear it from my doctor today as well. I am also managing the side effects of chemo fairly well, exercising a about four days a week, and taking meds that keep the nausea at bay. And I still have hair! (It's thinning quite rapidly these days, though. Not sure I'll still have much after another week.)

So I can safely say that with the start of the new year, I am seriously kicking cancer's ass. And for those of you looking for a metaphorical visual of the destructive effects of a bitchslap, see the video below.

Okay, technically I don't consider this a bitchslap (see Urban 
Dictionary definition in the sidebar on the front page of my blog). 
But seeing the destructive slap-effects in slow motion is satisfying 


  1. That's awesome news, Lara! I am thrilled for you. I hope the subsequent chemo rounds continue to be manageable. And may the shrinkage proceed apace - so that much more slapping may ensue!

  2. As I told Lara on first hearing it, this news is even better than it sounds on the surface. As y'all learned in high school geometry but may not remember with vivid clarity, reducing the diameter of a sphere by half reduces its volume 8 fold. A tumor diameter dropping from 2 cm to 1 cm is nearly a 90% decline in tumor mass. Think of a typical jaw breaker and a standard marble. The marble is about half the diameter, but is obviously a whole lot smaller.

    So this is really good news!

    Dr. Dad

  3. I don't remember much of anything from high school with "vivid clarity." But there was something about: e=mc2 (that's squared), in which m = tumor mass, c = chemo, and e = some Latin word for "bitch-slap"! Keep up the good work, Lara!
    -- Mom

  4. Fantastic news! I'm so happy to hear that slapping is having great results. 2014 is off to a good start.

  5. Hooray! Way to go on the good news front!


  6. You can hear the cheering from Colorado! Pam and Scott

  7. WOO HOO! Keep the bitch slaps coming!!


  8. I love this news and the way the tumors have been completely slap slap slapped. I imagine those cells doing exactly what that guy's face does! You're inspiring me to up my workouts to more than 2 a week!


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