Tuesday, May 29, 2007

drum roll, please!

The diagnosis is definitely lymphoma, 99% sure it is Hodgkins. This is good (in a relative way). The doc is sending it for a second opinion, but that may not be back for a week or two. He doesn't want to wait that long to start treatment, so we're going to start on the assumption it's Hodgkins, and if it's not, we'll change course. He said the meds will work on any kind of lymphoma, but if it's some other kind, there are other meds that are better.

The treatment is outpatient (YAYE!!!), every other week, injected. Takes about an hour. They'll give me some good nausea meds ahead of time, and some others to take home. If I'm going to be sick, it's 6-8 hours after the treatment. Varying degrees of fatigue are another potential side effect.

Depending on how the tumor reacts, the treatment will go from 4 to 6 months. Once it's gone, they do some radiation to make sure it's really gone, and then I'm cured!

Simple as that.

There are lots of unlikely but possible side effects/outcomes/etc. but I'm not going to get into them because they happen to Someone Else.

He said that healthy people get through this much more effectively than unhealthy people, and since I'm fit, not overweight, don't drink and don't smoke, I fall into the healthy category :)

There is a decent chance that I will end up sterile as a result of the chemo, though he said that many women have come through it and then had families. But this is the thing: I'm going to lose my periods, and if they come back, then I can get pregnant. If not, I can't. Seems kind of win-win to me, since families can be started by other means as necessary.

My hair will fall out and will grow back. (My friend shaved my head last night, #4 all the way around, so there's less hair to fall out now anyway. And I'm kinda diggin' this look...)

I'm done school for the year, though I am hoping/planning to be able to go in for a morning or afternoon and say hello to people, and goodbye to my kids who are moving or going to other schools next year.

Other things: my breathing today is not as good as it was yesterday, which is concerning. Hopefully we can get this breathing nonsense taken care of ASAP.

There were several really painful and fruitless procedures today, which made for a very unhappy afternoon. They will be re-attempted tomorrow, under sedation :)

That's my story to date. I feel much relief and am looking forward to kickin' it and movin' on!

waiting ... waiting ... anxious

Tuesday morning, the day after Memorial Day. I am still in the hospital - no weekend retreat for me.

I am supposed to find out the exact results of the biopsy today. The pulmonologist on call yesterday said I am scheduled to start chemo today, that it's in my chart.

I don't know what to expect and I have quite a bit of anxiety about it.

Funny thing is, I mostly am dreading more punctures and pokes and needles. The bruises on my arms and hands are going away - I haven't had a blood draw in two days and my IV came out yesterday.

I've heard I'll probably get a port or a main line (can explain later, if you want), which are both things they stick in there and leave there until the treatments are done.

Are they for a good cause? Absolutely! But that doesn't really make me want one. Weird, I know, but that's where I'm at right now.

Many people came to visit yesterday which was super nice. It was really great to visit and hang out and just socialize for a little while.

That's the gist for here and now. Here's to hope: that this is as benign as possible, that it doesn't hurt too much ;), and that treatment is efficient and effective. More as I know it...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

tough two days

the surgery thursday went well though has left me sore on a good day (except when my friend percocet comes to visit). most of the time, i'm not hurting enough to need drugs. i ask when i'm going to bed and when i'm going to be eating a lot (hurts to swallow), but that's about all.

i asked about all of the blood draws, and they've significantly declined :)

i had another liter or so of fluid taken off of my right lung, to which my body didn't react well. i spent last night in the ICU. but i'm out now, and if i continue to improve, i should be able to go home tomorrow. we'll see. here's to hope!

that's all. off for a snack and some sleep!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

as of Thurs, 4:30 a.m.

Well, I have been diagnosed with cancer. They're doing a surgical biopsy today to determine what kind. Once they know that, treatment details will follow.

In the almost 24 hours I've been here, they've taken blood 4 times (most recently half an hour ago, which is why I'm awake). I don't understand why this is necessary.

As was the case last week, I'm hoping to be able to go home for the weekend. We'll see.

It also turns out that I might have not had pneumonia at all. The explanation as to why is kind of weird, so I'll leave it out. But they did say fluid is recollecting around my lungs.

Good times.

That's the story from here. Keep on sending positive vibes this way. I'm using them to kill the cancer.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

short update on nothing

Well, I'm still home, nursing some pneumonia.

I haven't had a good night's sleep yet, which is increasingly frustrating.

I have had many phone calls and visitors and got a few flowers but am not overrun with them :)

Mom was under control for a little while (after a chat with my brother over the weekend) but yesterday morning she called, and when I didn't answer (or call her back right away), she called TJ at work. (I hadn't turned on my cell phone ringer from sleeping the night before, and she never calls the house.) I called her back with 45 minutes of when she called, and she acted all like everything was normal. I told her she was being a pain in the ass, that it was ridiculous to call TJ at work just because I didn't answer the phone, there are lots of reasons I don't answer the phone (bathroom, shower, sleeping, talking on the other phone, have company, etc.). She said she didn't think she was being a pain in the ass. Well, no, of course not. She thinks she's helping...

I was supposed to start getting answers yesterday, and all I got was dead ends. It was very frustrating.

And then, TJ and I sat down last night to watch Spaceballs, and the DVD player broke :( How frustrating.

So that's what's going on here. More when I know more...