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.

7 comments:

Alisha said...

I thought about you and prayed for you today Melinda. The news is scary to be sure but as always you are showing such courage. You are an inspiration Melinda. Know that we love you and we are praying for you and your whole family. If there is anything we can do please let me know ok? Hugs to you!

Vicki said...

You know we are all praying for you, and I hope you know we would do anything for you, all you need to do is ask. With that said, may I just vent for a moment and say I HATE this??? Cancer sucks,and I am angry that you are having to go through this again. I hate it for you, for John, for the girls, for your family, etc. God knows how I feel, so I figure He can't get too mad about me just putting it right out there. Just damn... I am glad to hear that the docs think the treatment will be advantageous, but I can tell how much you are dreading it. Praying for you as always, and casting evil spells on your cancer!! :p

DJ said...

OK, I'm angry along side you! We continue to pray for immediate healing. I have so much to say. I'll email you when I stop crying. Debra

Elizabeth said...

We have been praying for you and your fmaily as well. Seems like so many are battling cancer in today's world and so young. The GREAT news is that GOD IS A HEALING GOD even if science and medicene doesnt understand that. Find strength and have FAITH that he will heal you, just ask and believe in FAITH healing. I am also saying those same prayers for you. Please let us know what we can do, prepare meals, provide groceries, take the girls to a movie or to monkey joes, what can we do to help keep your lives as "normal" as possible while you focus on healing. Just think, maybe you go through ths treatment again, and it wont be as bad, and then it will be over again and you will have a new "normal" my mom always tells me to try and be present in the moment and not to project the future cause you might be missing a blessing that is happening right now. Melinda, we love you and i am so sorry this is happening to you, yet again. But i do know that if there is anyone with determination, it is YOU and YOU and GOD can beat this!!! and WE will help - hugs kisses and lots of love headed your way - oh and tons of PRAYERS too!

Julie W. said...

You know, maybe one of the BEST parts of cancer is the ripple effect. Because of your 'drop in the water' news, so many of us are touched by the ripple--which increases you and your family's prayer circle, support network, meals on wheels, activity support, sense of humor, and anything else we can provide! We are angry with you, hopeful with you, prayerful with you, and determined with you. So, think of your ripple as positive and draw on our added strength and energy! We all love you!

Melinda said...

Thank you, Alisha, I do appreciate the prayers! Tell Benjy I said thanks for his note - he's such a sweetie! And Vicki, thank you for being mad, too! You echoed my thoughts with "just damn!" Debra, I miss seeing you every day! Thanks for sharing your prayer for me!

Melinda said...

Elizabeth, I just read Dodie Osteen's book that a wonderful lady sent me. I do believe God is capable of healing anything and I trust Him with all of this. Julie, thank you for putting the ripple effect in a new light for me. You are so sweet and generous! Thank you both so much!!