Monday, September 29, 2008

Hang On To Your Hats

We're going into high gear this week.

Don and I saw Dr. M (do you see a pattern here?) today. Her plan for treatment matched up with what we have been told is the best treatment for my type of cancer. We felt like this was going to be the main indicator of whether or not to proceed with her. Again, we really did not feel we had time to wait for MD Anderson to get us in (although we played phone tag with the scheduler there today).

Dr. M said it is difficult to "stage" blood cancers, but based on the size of my tumor (which is now considered "bulky" because it is greater than 10 cm in size) and the fact that it is invading surround tissue (namely, my heart), she is calling it stage 4.

SO, this is the plan:

Tomorrow (Tuesday), I go in for an echocardiogram (ultrasound of my heart). In the afternoon, I will meet with the surgeon who will put in the port for my chemo. This is basically an under-the-skin IV that should point straight at my tumor or pretty close. So when I have chemo, they don't have to start an IV every time.

Wednesday, I will have the port put in during some sort of outpatient procedure with the above mentioned surgeon.

Thursday, I get my first "round" of chemo. It should take all day. And, they will send me home with one drug on a pump for 24 hours. This particular drug is hard on your heart, so they give it really slowly to (hopefully) lessen the effect.

The long-term plan is for 6 to 8 rounds of chemo followed by radiation (not sure how many of those). Generally, in my type of cancer, the tumor is gone after 3 to 4 rounds. (It grows fast. It dies fast.)

According to the nurse today I should not feel too bad until NEXT week. We are hoping this is true because we still have some sorting and adjusting to do in our lives.

Thank you to all of you who have volunteered to help. We are working on a plan. I will get back to you on that one - hopefully in the next few days.

6 comments:

Nan Darby said...

Dear Molly,

I wanted to let you know that you are in my prayers -- God is faithful, as your life so shows. Please know that you are being lifted up in prayer in our Single Adult Ministry.

In His Love, Nan Darby

Kenn and Peggy Loch said...

Dear Molly,
You and Don have been in our prayers today as you had your echocardiogram and the meeting with the surgeon.
Your blog is amazing. God's faithfulness is evident in your life even as you go through this storm. May He continue to bless you with peace and comfort.
In Him,
Kenn & Peggy Loch

Anonymous said...

Molly,
I don't know how I got to your blog, but felt compelled to write to you. My daughter was diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphoma in May 2007, one month before her 21st birthday. She has gone through over 60 chemotherapy treatments, had her gallbladder removed, been hospitalized for various things, and had many blood transfusions since that time. However, she is cancer free and has been since the "induction" chemo. From what we have learned, these non hodgkins lymphomas are very responsive to the chemo. I'm sure they will be for you too. We have only gotten through the last 15 months by relying on God to carry us through. when there is no more strength to carry on or the worry gets too much, faith in God is all that is left. My daughter has been the strong one through it all, supporting us all with her faith, humor, and lack of worry. Keep your faith strong, trust in God, he will carry you through. by the way, she is back in school, has a new boyfriend, and life is getting back to almost "normal"
Laurie

Kay said...

Dear Molly, I am a cousin from Lincoln, going through chemo for Breast Cancer. My dear my prayer's are will you. I started my first round on the 24th.
As Nan said God if faithful in all things. I know for a fact, and that he will get both of us through this tough time.
I don't have a blog but would love to here for you if you feel like it. My email is KKay23@windstream.net.
I will keep in touch here if nothing else.
You are a very loved woman by many and you will get through this.

Much love to you,

Kay Johnson

Anonymous said...

Molly, I am so sorry to hear about your illness and so amazed to read your blog. My niece Tana Heckel has been fighting the "cancer battle" since January and she too has been blogging. She made it through a drastic amputation surgery today (cancer in the hip area) and we are just praising God for the DR. good report. We will be following your blog and praying for you continualy. Diana Stasey

Teresa Moon said...

Molly, You are being prayed for daily and lifted up to God. He is strengthening you every moment. God is with you.
Teresa Moon