"Hi everyone, so I'm back at the hospital at NIH today for treatment. I've had a busy morning already."
On Monday, Vicky Phelan took to Instagram to update her followers on a number of good developments as she continues her place on the medical trial of a drug she calls Pembro 2.0.
Phelan went on to explain that she had been up early to get an MRI scan so that her treatment team can get to the bottom of some pain she has been experiencing.
"I've had a bit more of a problem with back pain over the last couple of weeks, which is kind of gotten a little bit worse," she explained. "Of course, in my head, I jump to cancer and assume that tumours are growing or that I have a new tumour.
"I rarely allow for the possibility that it may be something totally unrelated to my cancer or that the immunotherapy drugs may be causing a bit of inflammation which is causing me pain! The last scenario appears to be the most likely one so I am going to increase the pain meds and see if that helps for the moment and keep an eye on it and report back to my team in two weeks."
Her delight was clear. "I'm very relieved I can tell you, that it's not any tumour-related activity."
The other big question Phelan wanted to ask her oncologist, was whether or not she would be able to go home this summer. "I was so nervous, and I was afraid he would say 'well maybe at the end of the summer.' That would really have floored me because I don't think I could last that long without seeing my kids."
She explained that her initial idea of getting husband Jim and her children over to America looked like it was going to be an extremely difficult scenario, so she was hoping that her oncologist would give her the green light for a trip home.
"I am missing the kids so much and missing home. You know, I think the smallest thing would literally drive me over the edge. So, even today now when I was talking to my oncologist, the minute I started talking about wanting to go home to my kids, I started crying."
Thankfully, the news was good.
"He told me that he will definitely get me home for at least a month in the summer to see my kids. I really, really needed to hear that today. I have been struggling over the past 2-3 weeks because I could not see an end in sight or countdown to a specific date in the future when I would see my kids again. At least now I know that I will be heading home sometime in July which is only nine weeks away. I can DO that."
The last three months have taken an emotional toll on Phelan, and the hope of seeing her children for at least a month will get her through the next nine weeks. "I think I'm just a little bit more fragile because I'm really missing the kids. We are going to wait for a scan I've got coming up in May, and we'll be able to plan then."
Thankfully, when Vicky comes home she won't have to endure hotel quarantine as a fully vaccinated person. "I don't think I could have done it, honestly. I couldn't be in the country and not see my kids for another two weeks."
A Vicky Phelan update is not a Vicky Phelan update unless it contains some non-Vicky-related news. In this instance, Phelan took the opportunity to plug The Dressing Room in Gorey, who had sent her some clothes to wear in America, "Hazel hasn't answered my messages about sending her money for the clothes, so thank you so much, Hazel, and if any of you out there are looking for some nice bits, you should check them out."