Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Something funny . . .

So today I am getting ready to go for my radiation treatment when I get a call from the nurse. The machine is down and they are waiting for someone to come fix it. If I don't hear back from her, then I'm supposed to skip today. Okay, sure! An hour later, she calls back. He's working on it and should have it done in a few minutes. I should come on in. When I get there I didn't have to wait long before they called me back. As I was walking past the DANGER! RADIATION signs, I asked the nurse if I was the first one to use it after the fix. She said as a matter of fact I was. I stopped for a minute and began to think of how it feels when the rollercoasters at Six Flags go down. You know how once they're back up and running, you do not want to be on that first ride! That test ride!! She smiled at me knowing what I was thinking, then reassured me it was all safe. Sure, Nurse Ratched, why don't you just hop up there yourself then!!

The machine worked normally and, as far as I know, it was safe after all. Of course I'll be a little alarmed if I start glowing when I turn the lights out tonight!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Yes, you're in the right place!

Just playing around with the blogger design templates and now I can't go back the original. This one's kinda pretty, I think I'll keep it for a while!

Chemo is evil

Well, it's Tuesday and I'm JUST NOW feeling better. The nausea is still lingering, but it's not so bad that I want to shoot myself anymore! I cannot believe how bad it was with this lighter chemo dose. Weekly chemo is supposed to be much easier than the every 3 weeks regimen, but so far I'm not impressed! And I have to go back in 2 days for more! AHHHH!!!! The "chemo spa" is losing its spa qualities pretty fast. There is a smell/taste that enters my mouth with the initial IV stick. It's horrible! I've been told it's the alcohol from the cleansing swab that enters my bloodstream a little. Usually, I get over it pretty quick, but with this nausea I can taste it even now and the thought of going back in a couple of days is freaking me out! This time I will take the anti-nausea medicine religiously BEFORE I start feeling sick. I hope and pray it's not as bad.

The plan is on Friday to have my radiation at 2pm, then drive up to spend the holiday weekend with John. They have a fantastic 4th of July celebration in Highlands and so far we haven't missed it. I figure if we leave on Friday afternoon before the "yuckies" set in, then I can just lay around up there instead of here at home. Mom is going with us like she normally does - thanks, Mom!

I sure have missed John and the girls these past few days and I'm so glad they'll be home tonight. But then they're off again tomorrow. I'll admit, it has been a help not to have to worry about them while I've been so miserable, but I still miss them! Cisco and Chloe have been pretty good company (that's our 5-month old rat terrier mix and my 18-year old cat). Chloe has loved having a nap partner! Penny, Cisco's little sister, went up with John and the girls. But she'll be back tonight and stay with me while Cisco goes back with them. We try to make it fair for both dogs! Actually, they are much easier to manage when they're apart, the little stinkers!

I want to say how much I appreciate everyone's offers to help. Jan has been overwhelmed with your responses! I feel so lucky to have you all, I just hope you know how grateful I am. You have truly made this whole mess a lot easier to deal with for me! God has blessed me well!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

2nd day post-chemo, not good!

So it's Saturday, chemo was 2 days ago. The "yuckies" have hit full force. It started with a headache last night, then the nausea came this morning. I've been lying around all day, sleeping on and off. The plan was to go up to NC with John this weekend. The girls are going to kids camp at his club starting on Monday. He left early this morning and we were going to drive up later. Ain't happening!

The girls have been great today and thankfully, my sister came over to feed them lunch and check in. After several medications, I started feeling a little better this afternoon. John suggested meeting in Gainesville to hand over the girls. Jan was going to drive them, but I was feeling better and wanted to see them off. The kids camp is something we do every year and this year they are adding more activities - whitewater rafting, horseback riding. I was really looking forward to going up and spending the week like I normally do. But with my radiation treatments every day, I'm stuck here at home. Cancer stinks!

So anyway, I just got back home and I'm exhausted! Going to take another nap, I think. I will say this, we met John at the McDonald's in Oakwood and while we were waiting on him, I got the girls something to eat. I remember last time I had chemo, the only thing that tasted really good and offset the nausea was french fries, so I ordered some - mmmmmm, they're still good! I know I've been trying to eat healthier since reading all this research on cancer and diet. But sometimes, if junk food can make things better for just a little while, I'm all for it!

I sure do hope tomorrow is better!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Healthcare in the US

I just had to share this . . . I opened the mail today and it was a bill from the hospital for my PET scan. It had not yet been turned into insurance. Guess what the total was . . . . . $16,722.00!!! Can you believe that?!?! It makes me wonder if the test is really that expensive to give or is it the "system" that makes it cost that much? It's really sad how expensive it is to be sick these days. I know one chemo session is $6000 and one CT scan is $3000. I'm not sure how I feel about the whole health insurance reform going on right now with the government. But I do know something needs to be done and soon! It truly is a crisis!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

1 chemo down, 17 to go!

I went in at 9:30 for my chemo and got done at 3:15. I went immediately after that to radiation. After almost falling asleep in the waiting chair, I got called back and was finally done with everything and home by 4:30. A looooong day of toxic exposure!

The chemo went really well. About 2 hours were spent getting everything set up, paperwork, explanations, etc. A normal treatment should last 4 hours tops - 10 minutes inserting IV line + 40 minutes pre-meds (anti-histamine, anti-nausea, pepcid, and steroid) + 10 minutes of wash/rinse (flush out the line) + 1 hour Taxol + 10 minutes wash/rinse + 1 hour Carboplatin + 10 minutes wash/rinse + 20 minutes of fluids.

She thought I had a central line/port-a-cath, but I've managed to avoid that so far. She said we'd wait and see if I needed to get one down the road. Chemo hardens your veins making it difficult to get an IV in. Now this is just me, but I would rather have a few minutes of digging in my arm with the needle once a week than wearing a device under my skin permanently. Everyone has their gross out meters, mine is port-a-caths.

I really, REALLY like the infusion center at this hospital. I had my own cubicle with a curtain if I wanted privacy. No one sitting arm's length away. No "Nosey Rosey's" asking questions constantly. No annoying overhead music. And no "sterile, medical" feel. I had my own TV (I can't remember the last time I had a TV all to myself!), and the ambiance was so cozy. Granite counters, fancy light fixtures, natural lighting from large windows, and everyone was so friendly. It's truly going to be my spa time, in a twisted way. Because except for the poisonous and highly toxic chemicals being pumped into my body, it was very relaxing. I think from now on, I'll just pretend the HazMat suit the nurse puts on before administering the chemo is just her strange choice of style!

The radiology oncologist, Dr. Levitt, finally met me today. He was on vacation at my first appointment. He thinks an additional five days will benefit me. So instead of 10 radiation treatments, now I'll be getting a minimum of 15. We'll see from there if I need more. We are hoping the tumor will shrink enough to alleviate the pain in my neck and shoulder and make that nerve go back to normal. It's really weird not sweating on the left side of my head. When I'm outside working in the yard, my hairline will get wet only on the right side, like I've been swimming the side stroke on one side only! Kinda freaky!

Well, we'll see when, no IF, the side effects will begin. I'm definitely not going to give in to them, if I can help it! This cancer is not going to take one minute away from me that it doesn't have to!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Chemo Spa

So I went in today for my pre-chemo bloodwork. It was the first time I had the chance to see the new infusion center at Northside Forsyth. All I can say is, ooh la la! Before, I had my chemo in a large open, very sterile room with recliners in a circle, nothing fancy, just a few crackers and drinks in the corner. This place I'll be going to now has a private cubicle for each patient, each with its own window giving a great view from the 3rd floor, and a TV! Not sure about wi-fi, but I wouldn't doubt it! Now, I just need to get a Latin hottie named Pedro to bring me margaritas and give foot rubs . . . si senor!!

I've been reading about lifestyle changes that can help prevent/cure cancer. I've read Dodie Osteen's Healed of Cancer that a dear lady loaned me. It was a wonderful inspiration about faith healing. Right now I am reading The China Study, it's telling how animal proteins have been linked to cancer. One book my dr recommended is Anti-Cancer, New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber. Another is The Anti-Estrogenic Diet by Ori Hofmekler. I'm checking into the local libraries and bookstores to find these two. If anyone has a copy I could borrow, I would really appreciate it!

At any rate, I'm going to try to make some changes that can't hurt me and might just make this cancer thing go away for good!

In the meantime, this t-shirt sums it up for me
. . .
Isn't it great! And so true - girls rock, especially fighters!

They're taking away my hormones!!!

I called my dr this morning with a concern about the hormone replacement I've been taking since my hysterectomy. I take biodentical natural estrogen and progesterone. At the time of my original diagnosis, I asked if it was okay to take these hormones since HRT was linked to cancer. I was assured that estrogen along with progesterone was safe, and that at my age (37 at the time) the risks of not having hormones - osteoporosis, etc. - was greater than having them.

Well, the call back this morning confirmed my fear - I have to stop taking them. I feel like a sitting duck waiting on the menopause symptoms to begin. Before I found the right HRT, I had horrible hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, the works! Ugh! I know menopause symptoms are better than cancer, but geez, how much can one person take . . .

Strike that! I know I can handle it, I can handle anything. There is a Bible verse about doing your own part to overcome something, and then God will do the rest. Anybody know the specific verse? I could use it!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

First Chemo this Thursday

I just got the call from the chemo nurses (paperwork went faster than I thought!). My first treatment will be this Thursday morning at the infusion center at Northside Forsyth. I've been told it might take 3 to 4 hours. I should be done in time for radiation at 2:00 (my rad time got switched). It will be a long day, but I've been there done that, and it's doable.

The nurse asked if I would like to have some nausea medicine called in. I told her my first round I tolerated the chemo pretty well and she replied, "Oh well, this should be a breeze then!" Since it's a third of the dose I took before, I'm anticipating very minimal side effects. We'll see . . .

I know a lot of you have responded to my mom's recruitment of volunteers - Thank You So Much! I am realizing how this cancer is becoming a blessing in lots of ways, especially how overwhelmed I am with the love and support of everyone. Julie, you got it right when you said the ripple can be a good thing! I love you all, too!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Not much news. Had my second radiation treatment this morning. I go every morning at 9:15 and get finished about 9:45. The first visit was Friday and it took a long time because they had to get all the measurements just right. They had me lie on the table and hold a bar above my head so that my arms were out of the way. I had to be completely still while they took x-rays and made adjustments. I looked like a frozen swimmer doing the backstroke! It was killing my shoulder where the tumor was and toward the end my hands went completely numb! I kept asking why I had to keep my arms stretched up when the spot was in my neck and I'm still not quite sure of the reason they gave me. They marked all over me with sharpies and finally got finished after about 30 minutes. I hate to be a whiner during these kinds of things, but dang, that nerve in my neck hurt!

Before it was over, I had to get tattoos of the target spots. Yes, they are REAL tattoos! I asked if I could choose my design, maybe a lightning bolt! But they said no, all they did was dots. And not even different colors, just standard dark blue. So I thought maybe later I could add to the dots and get a cancer ribbon tattoo or the girls' initials, something meaningful. Then the first prick happened, and OWOWEEEE!! I think I'll reconsider.

Today's treatment was much quicker, I guess the tattoos were worth it!

I'm still waiting to be scheduled for chemo. The paperwork process is very slow - this person has to approve this form so the insurance company can pre-certify these drugs yadayadayada. I was told today that it would likely be next week before I can actually start treatments. I'm ready to get started. The sooner I start, the sooner I can finish. But I guess this does give me one extra week with hair!!

Will keep you all posted.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Second verse, same as the first . . .

Okay, feeling better today. I think I'm past the anger stage. This morning I went to the radiation dr and got measurements/scans done to get set up for the treatments to my neck lymph node. He mentioned doing daily treatments for 2 to 3 weeks starting tomorrow. Hopefully, this tumor will shrink and the pain in my shoulder will ease up and maybe even my eye will go back to normal (not that I haven't enjoyed the "Popeye" look!). In addition to this large node in my neck there is also a large-ish node above my diaphragm. But Dr. S wants to wait and see if the chemo will shrink it before we do radiation there. If we start with too large of an area, it could be bad for my lungs. And I'd kinda like to keep those healthy for now! There are several other nodes involved but they have not enlarged too much, so we're hoping chemo alone will improve them.

I also met with Dr. S this afternoon to discuss everything. John and my mom went along. We all had the opportunity to ask questions and get clarification on things that we didn't understand. Like, for example, I wanted to know if the Taxol/Carbo didn't work the first time, why was it recommended to do it again? Dr. S explained that based on research and experiences of other patients, it's standard protocol to repeat the original treatment if the recurrence happens after 12 months. He said Taxol/Carboplatin are the best first line drugs and he felt confident it was the right choice. He made me feel better when he said that even if it hadn't gotten rid of the cancer permanently, if I had not had any chemo before, the cancer would've likely recurred much sooner, like within 6 months. So although I would like to have something super strong that would obliterate it entirely now, I feel safer following the common treatment plan based on years of cancer research. Because really, I'm no scientist or doctor, and I'm only looking at things as black and white. Dr. S explained that when cancer returns like this, it has mutated and may not act the same. So the Taxol/Carbo might, in fact, be able to obliterate it once and for all. Or, it might not work at all. We'll have to monitor the progress through scans and blood tests. If it's not working, then we'll stop and regroup and come up with another plan of attack. He admitted that my cancer was acting very "weird" the way it had come back in my neck/chest area. Most of the time, ovarian cancer returns in the abdomen/pelvis. But he felt we weren't "behind the 8 ball" just yet. He gave me some scenarios of cases worse than mine and that made me feel better - "Oh good! There are others who are suffering more than me!" Seriously, it gave me perspective to realize I'm not without hope. He made me feel hopeful, which is what I've been lacking. I love Dr. Salmieri.

So now I get the option of having treatments weekly or tri-weekly, the first being a smaller dose. All in all, it's going to be 18 weeks total. And I know from previous experience that it will probably drag out an extra 3 or 4 weeks with delays for low blood counts. At least I will be able to have treatments at Northside Forsyth's cancer center. We live just around the corner from the hospital and that's going to be a huge plus since last time I had to drive to Lawrenceville! And my radiation is going to be even closer, just behind the CVS!

I will lose my hair again and that's a tough one to swallow. I remember the first time and how loooonnnnnggg it took to grow back. It was 7 months total that I was bald. That's a lot of head wraps and scarves. I do still have my wigs, but I didn't like them much and probably won't wear them this time. Heck, I may just sport the natural look and come up with a crazy, bizarro story to go along with it! "This is what happened from swimming in the oil spill! BP owes me millions!!" Now that's a good one!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Treatment recommendation

I had the PET/CT scan yesterday afternoon. Then today, Dr. S presented my case at the tumor conference. This afternoon, Beth (nurse practitioner) called to tell me what they recommended. First of all, the scan showed that the cancer is now located in a line of lymph nodes from my neck to my abdomen. This lymph chain runs along my aorta, but it has not invaded my aorta. It is just in the nodes. There is also a suspicious spot in my lower right lung, but they think it's just inflammation. I have a feeling it is cancer, too, can't tell why, just a feeling. She said the recommendation from the board is to have radiation and chemo. I have an appointment on Thursday to meet with the radiation doctor. I have never had radiation before, but mom has. She's been sort of paving the way, so a lot of this isn't new to me. Thanks, Mom! I'm actually glad to be getting the radiation because it is supposed to help with the pain. And my neck and shoulder have really been bothering me. I almost want to wear my arm in a sling to help relieve the pressure the tumor is causing.

As for the chemo, the recommendation is to repeat the Taxol/Carboplatin that I had originally. Since my recurrence happened more than 12 months ago, the original treatment is considered "successful" and is expected to "work again". The problem is, my definition of "successful" and "work" are apparently not the same as theirs. Right now I am feeling like those 6 rounds of chemo I had in 2007 were a total waste. All those toxins and poisons I had injected into my body, all those days spent in misery on my couch, all those months lost, my hair, my eyebrows, and all the things I can't even remember, I don't want to remember . . . I got through it all because it was supposed to be my guarantee that I'd never have to do it again. Now, I have to do it again.

Dr. S would like me to start my treatments as soon as possible. But after my appt with the radiation dr on Thursday, I made an appt to meet with Dr. S and discuss other options. He is a very open and understanding dr and he gets that I need to be on board with whatever treatment I get. He would even suggest other drs if I decide to get a second opinion. Right now I feel like I can talk with him about my options and he will give me the best choices. And if it turns out to be Taxol/Carbo again, so be it. I'll do whatever I have to do, of course. I just want to be around long enough to see my girls grow up. If that means a long, drawn-out cancer battle, I'll do it and I'll try my best not to let it affect my family. That's the worst part of cancer, it's got a ripple effect.

So, more news will be coming on Thursday. I'll write again as soon as something is decided.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Scan will be Monday

My PET/CT scan will be on Monday at 3:00. We'll find out then how much cancer there is. Dr. S will call me on Tuesday with the results and with his recommendation on treatment protocol. He mentioned repeating the original chemo which was the combination Taxol/Carboplatin. This time, though, instead of having one mega dose every three weeks, I could have a smaller dose every week for 3 weeks. He did say it would take about 12 weeks, then he would do another scan to see if it was working.

My thinking is this - my original cancer was essentially removed with surgery since there was no evidence of disease after my total hysterectomy, appendectomy, omenectomy, etc. The Taxol/Carbo chemo treatments were only given as insurance that any microscopic cells possibly lurking undetected would be caught and killed. So, fast-forward 3 years and cancer is back which leads me to believe that there were, in fact, microscopic cells lurking undetected back then and the Taxol/Carbo DID NOT KILL THEM! Why, then, should I believe another 6 rounds of it will kill it now???

I know that cancer treatment is mostly a guessing game, a series of trial-and-error attempts. Dr. S talked about how they have an arsenal of weapons against cancer, but they don't want to exhaust every means too soon and have nothing left if it keeps getting worse. But again, my thinking is this - if you have an ant pile with a few ants, you can start by spraying it with weak bug spray. But if it doesn't work, then the pile just gets bigger. So you try a stronger spray. Still doesn't work and the pile keeps getting bigger. By the time you finally break out the Amdro, you've got half your yard infested with ants and all your grass ruined by their piles. Do I want to risk putting my body (and family and friends) through that? Am I ready for a long cancer battle?

I'm only 40 years old. Caroline is only 8 and Rachel Rose is only 5. It just makes me mad that there is not a quick fix to this! I mean, it's 2010, they should have a cure by now!

Did I mention I'm at the anger stage right now?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Biopsy results

"Right supraclavicular mass . . . metastatic adenocarcinoma . . . the specimen is compared with patient's previous right ovarian cyst that demonstrated endometrioid adenocarcinoma . . . they have similar histology."

So basically, all that is saying is my original cancer has come back in my neck lymph node. I will go for a PET/CT scan to determine the extent of its spread.

After the surgeon told me the results and gave me a copy of the report, John and I went next door to Dr. Salmieri's office, my oncologist. They had already received the report. The nurse let me back in to see him in his office, even though I didn't have an appointment. He explained that there is a 10% chance of stage 1 cancer recurring. Even though I took every precaution - surgery to remove all susceptible organs and 6 rounds of chemo (some doctors only recommend 3 rounds for stage 1 and some don't recommend any chemo at all!) - it came back anyway. He explained that there are 3 time periods they look at with recurrence. If it comes back within 6 months of initial treatment, they try another chemo. If it comes back 12 months later, they can re-treat with the same chemo or try another. And if it comes back 2 years later (like mine), they usually re-treat with the same chemo. They rationalize that it worked for 2 years, maybe it will work for another two.

He also said radiation was an option depending on the extent of metastases (spread). He mentioned using radiation or chemo to shrink the mass in my neck, then using the cyberknife to eliminate it. But, of coure, all this depends on how much cancer there is. The PET/CT scan will show all the places in my body that have cancer. I'm waiting right now for a call back from the scheduling office to see how soon I can get it done.

Dr. Salmieri will present my case to the tumor board where several doctors will weigh in with their recommendations. He's going to call me on Tuesday with the next step.

It's been a bad day, I'll write more later. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Biopsy done, results tomorrow, anxiety overflow!

The biopsy went well, but when the dr came back he said he saw some abnormal cells. Instead of calling me with the results, he wants me to come in to the office on Thursday at 12:40. That can't be good. I'll post with news as soon as I can.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Waiting is hard

I keep reading on the internet . . . nothing is positive. I almost wish my connection would go down so I couldn't get online, but then that might be worse. I'm a believer that information is good, it prepares you for all the possibilities, good and bad. But there's a fine line between making yourself prepared and making yourself panicked!

Here's what I'm worrying about -

1. Supraclavicular lymph node enlargement has a 90% chance of malignancy.

2. Hard, unmoveable lumps that are matted together like mine are signs of malignancy.

3. The left node receives lymph flow from the abdomen and is a common site for ovarian cancer metastasis.

4. CA 125 usually becomes elevated as an early indication of recurrence before a tumor is discovered.

5. When ovarian cancer spreads to distant sites it is stage IV, and when it recurs it's treated with more CHEMO!!!

6. The average duration of survival after recurrence of ovarian cancer is 12 to 18 months. Fewer than one in ten patients survive beyond five years!

I remember when I was 9 weeks pregnant with Caroline, I began bleeding one morning. I knew that the main cause of first trimester bleeding was miscarriage. On the way to the dr, I prayed to God asking Him to find another reason for this bleed, anything but the obvious reason. I was asking for a loophole. When we arrived and the dr did an ultrasound, we saw a tiny, tiny baby and she was fine! Her heart was beating and she was perfect. I asked what caused the bleed and I was told that since we put back 2 embryos and only one of them developed, the bleeding was caused when the other embryo passed. It had not grown, but had probably partially implanted. It was considered a "vanishing twin" and was technically a miscarriage, but it was the second embryo, the one that we thought we'd lost from the beginning. We still had our baby, Caroline was okay. My reaction was, "Thank you, God!" He had found another reason for the bleed, a loophole. The obvious reason, the logical outcome, was avoided. I wasn't miscarrying Caroline. She was fine and went on to be a perfectly healthy baby and an amazing little girl (now big girl, but still perfect!).

So I know God can do anything. I just hate to ask Him again, I mean, how many near misses can I get! I'm hoping for one more.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Biopsy scheduled

My biopsy is scheduled for Tuesday. Dr. Martin will be doing it at Gwinnett Medical (gawd, I dread going back to that place!!!). He will have to take out a piece of the mass, not just a needle biopsy like I was hoping, but it will be outpatient, at least. I should know the results by Friday next week. Will keep you all posted.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Not happy to be back

I have to say, I haven’t missed writing in this blog . . . and I’m not real happy to be back here. Hopefully, it will be a short stay. But here goes . . .

Since last fall my CA 125 (ovarian cancer test) has been going up – from 7 to 14 to 52 to 100 – under 30 is considered normal. I had a CT scan on March 30 and nothing serious showed up, just some tiny nodules in my lungs and an occlusion in my right subclavian vein. I had the vein thing checked out and it was fine. Then in April I noticed my left eye was acting weird – droopy eyelid and pupil much smaller than my right. I went to an ophthalmologist who diagnosed Horner’s syndrome. He said it’s not much of a problem itself, but it is indicative of a bigger problem. Apparently, the nerve that controls pupil dilation begins in the brain then travels down into the chest and back up the neck into the eye. Horner’s syndrome can be a symptom of a lung tumor called Pancoast tumor. With my history of cancer, he wanted to inform my oncologist and get a scan of my lungs. Of course, I freaked out a little bit remembering those tiny nodules that showed up on my last scan. He also wanted me to see a neuro-ophthalmologist to determine where along the nerve pathway was the problem. In the meantime, I noticed a lump on the left side of my neck just above my collarbone. I assumed it was my thyroid and since I take Synthroid for low thyroid I was hoping the problem was just thyroid-related.

So yesterday, I went to see Dr. Spector, a neuro-opthalmologist at Northside. He did a test with eye drops and determined the problem was in my neck or chest, not in my eye. I showed him the lump in my neck and he wanted me to get an MRI and CT scan that afternoon. After multiple mishaps (change of location, MRI machine broke down, went home only to be called back in), I finally got the scans done. I had never had an MRI before and I was shocked when he said it would take 2 hours! So after going into the machine at 5:00, I got to go home at 7:30! I just kept hoping it would be all worth it when they realized it was just my thyroid.

This morning, John and I go back to Dr. Spector for the test results. It’s not my thyroid, it’s a lymph node. It’s highly likely that it’s the cancer metastasized. I have to have a biopsy done on the lump. I go tomorrow to meet with the surgeon and get it all set up.

From what I’ve been reading (I know I shouldn’t), the left lymph node is called Virchow’s node and it receives lymph flow from the abdomen and can be an early indication of ovarian cancer spread. Don’t ask me why it wouldn’t have shown up closer to the original site first! But all my scans have been clean, just my CA 125 has been suspicious . . . and now this!

I have had some narrow escapes in my life and I’m praying for one more! I know God can create loopholes when there seems to be no other way and He can make this lump benign even though all signs are pointing toward the worst. I've never liked to pray for specific outcomes, I have always trusted His will and just prayed for peace and acceptance. But this time, I’m asking for one thing – a loophole! I appreciate all the prayers you can give – thanks!