Sunday, September 21, 2014

Up and coming

So here's the update:

On Wednesday, Derek and I met with our hematologist (similar to an oncologist) to walk through what's next. 

All of the tests up to this point were just to help us figure out if I actually have cancer. I have cancer. Check that little box... Now what? This next week we are going to be staging my cancer, which means we're gonna figure out how far the cancer has spread through my body. There are four stages: 

STAGE 1: Hodgkin's disease is found in one group or lymph nodes.
STAGE 2: two or more groups of lymph nodes are found either grouped all above or below the diaphragm
STAGE 3: disease has spread to lymph nodes both above and below the diaphragm, and possibly caught a single internal organ too (like the spleen). 
STAGE 4: all of the above, plus disease is found in other organs/regions that aren't close to your lymphatic system (like in your lungs, bone marrow, etc)

So next week I'm scheduled for a bone marrow biopsy (large needle to the back of my hip), an echocardiogram (ultrasound for the heart), and a PET scan, I think, which is similar to a CT scan. After all that jazz we'll meet with our hematologist again, and then knowing which stage it is, we can accurately decide what to do for treatment. Stages 1 and 2 usually get 4–6 months of chemotherapy, plus a little radiation therapy zinger at the end, while stages 3 and 4 are 6+ months of chemo.

That's the technical part of it all. The hard part is trying to swallow everything, I guess. Realizing that I have probably have 4–6 months of chemo ahead is hard. Just plain ol' hard hard. Chemotherapy is not fun, and the longer you do it, the weaker your body gets. Meh. I'm already feeling weak and tired all the time. I don't really want to amplify that. But I also really, really don't want to be sick like this for a long time. Perspective: if I live to be 100, six months is 0.5% of my whole life. That's not very long. 

It really feels like there's a light at the end of the tunnel. After all this sickness and crap, there's life. I'll be strong enough to run again. Healthy enough to grow my own hair and nails. My clothes will fit me. I'll have energy to cook, to clean, to study, to learn, and to do things.
So it's gonna be worth it. I just hope that time flies really fast for this next little bit. 

No comments:

Post a Comment