Right when I feel like I’m settling into the current circumstances, things change. In fact, it’s been the pattern. With every doctors appointment I attend, I leave cradling worse news. I was not looking forward to my appointment with my oncologist yesterday. My husband and parents were trying to encourage me to continue seeing the positive side, but I just felt I wouldn’t come home with good news.
My feeling was right.
Like I’ve mentioned before, I appreciate my oncologist’s personality. She is straight and to the point, but not harsh. She is compassionate, but not overly emotional. My husband and mom accompanied me into her office, and we all sat down. My doctor began by saying they have further identified the actual type of cancer cells I have. Below I will list the straight facts of what I’ve learned. I’m extremely exhausted today, so I won’t be able to put as much emotion into my writing, like I typically do. Maybe, once I’m up and energized, I will add my response. Point is, this is crappy news. It changes the whole ball game. It’s like going onto the baseball field expecting to play the Astros (no offense) and finding out you’ll be playing the Yankees. It’s still a game, but you practiced and were prepared for playing against one specific team. Suddenly, a new team shows up and you’re left thinking… Dammit, this truly is going to be a battle. The difference is, God is still by my side and will fight hard on my front line. I am more and more thankful for Him everyday.
Here are the facts:
- The results of the biopsies came back and show that the other lymph nodes have not yet been affected by the cancer. This is good news. This means that the doctor removed the cancerous cervix and lymph node, and no other area is showing positive for cancer. Praise God.
- Because of the biopsies, they were further able to identify my specific type of cancer cells. Originally I was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer. There are 2 very common cancer types, one being squamous cell carcinoma, and the other being adenocarcinoma. Typically those are the most common cancers seen. However, there are a bunch of other little random and very rare types. Neuroendocrine cancer is an extremely rare type. That’s what I’ve been re-diagnosed with.
- Neuroendocrine cancer is an SOB cancer. This monstrous cancer is far worse and meaner than the 2 most common types. My doctor informed me that neuroendocrine cancer is very difficult to cure, and is extremely resistant to treatment.
Because my cancer is hard to cure and resists treatment, we have to get the treatment ball rolling a LOT quicker than we had planned. I start chemo next Wednesday (2/22). My port is being surgically placed under my skin this Friday (2/17). This first round of chemo will be for 3 straight days. Wednesday I will receive 5-6 hours of chemo, and both Thursday and Friday I will receive 3-4 hours of treatment.
After my 3 days of chemo, I will get a 2 week break to rest. Then my radiation/chemo program begins. It’s the same as I stated before. For 5 1/2 weeks, I’ll go in 5 days a week (M-F) to receive radiation. Once a week during that time, I will receive a shot of chemo.
Once the radiation/chemo program is complete, I will have another 2 weeks off from treatment. Then I will begin my next set of chemo rounds. 3 days in a row. Similar to the first time. After this sandwich effect of treatment is complete, they will reassess me, and see what we need to do from then on.
Here are some personal thoughts that I dwell on. I will definitely lose all of my hair within a month. I’m actually not too frightened by this. I’m thankful for a pretty face, and nice skin. And even more thankful that I’m a makeup artist and can make even a bald woman look hot. My husband’s an artist and we’ve already talked about some artwork he could draw on my head… Ya know, like a baseball, football helmet, or field of flowers. Just comedic ideas, friends. I also know that I’m going to be very sick and weak pretty soon. I won’t be able to do much of anything. That’s a bummer. Being as independent as I am, this will be a huge adjustment. I am going to have to completely rely on my husband and family for any needs I might have. But it’s a good thing I’ve got a stellar husband and incredible family to help me with this!
Like I said before, today is a day full of exhaustion. I really need to rest. My incision pain is bad and my intestines have remembered how to work, so I’ve got a little stomach ache. My apologies for not being as fun as I typically am in my entires. But I’ll be back to posting soon. Just need to lay down and catch up on my ZZZ’s. Thank you all for your understanding, support, prayers, and encouragement. You all rock.
2 Chronicles 20:15-17 (Message Version)
“He said, ‘Attention everyone- all of you from out of town, all you from Jerusalem, and you King Jehosaphat-God’s word: Don’t be afraid; don’t pay any mind to this vandal horde. This is God’s war, not yours. Tomorrow you’ll go after them; see, they’re already on their way up the slopes of Ziz; you’ll meet them at the end of the ravine near the wilderness of Jeruel. You won’t have to lift a hand in this battle; just stand firm, Judah and Jerusalem, and watch God’s saving work for you take shape. Don’t be afraid, don’t waver. March out boldly tomorrow-God is with you.'”