Friday, December 5, 2014

Birthday recap and health update

Thank you all so much for the birthday love and well-wishes! It was a marvelous day, and every few hours I would turn to Derek and just revel: "I am so loved. Wow."

The day started with breakfast in bed, then a trip to the doctor, a trip to the health food store (so much fun and health!), and an afternoon with Derek and Ishel, plus Indian food for dinner, and visits from grandparents and parents-in-law. The multitude of text messages, Facebook posts, emails and phone calls was overwhelmingly wonderful, and I'm so thankful and full of love!

With a gift from Ishel:

Birthday lunch crafted by Derek:

So the most unusual present that I received was some news from the doctor. But before I share that, here's my health update: I haven't started chemo yet. Following the two surgeries in my bum, I was still not healing (which means it was painful to poop always), so three weeks ago my doctor suggested we get a colonoscopy to see if there was something else causing problems further up. Unfortunately, because my bum was so cut up from all the surgeries, prepping for the colonoscopy was the least fun thing I've had to do possibly ever. I had to take a bunch of laxatives and not eat in order to clear out my whole colon, and pooping out blue liquid gatorade all night isn't exactly my idea of fun... Yeah, but the colonoscopy was great because they just knocked me out. The results (drumroll please) were that we found some ulcers and inflammation and little pus bubbles in my colon, which is why it was so hard for my bum to heal up! 

My body is fighting cancer, digestive troubles, and trying to heal up bum cuts. Whew! So I'm taking more drugs to help reduce inflammation around those ulcers in my colon (which includes taking an enema every night, which is definitely my least favorite part of the day, though I am getting used to it, bless Derek's heart). 

Now to the birthday doctor visit. We chatted with our PA for an hour about my symptoms and the results of the colonoscopy, and it is likely that I also have Crohn's disease. 

If you're not familiar with Crohn's, it is an inflammatory bowel disease that can affect your digestive system anywhere from your mouth to your bum. Right now I'm have those ulcers in my sigmoid (the last part of your colon before your rectum) and some inflammation or something around my lower esophageal sphincter (in my chest). Derek and I are still learning about everything, but I'll write more about that (like what dietary changes we are making!) in another post. 

Though this isn't the best news to get right now, one huge blessing is that my Hodgkin's lymphoma is still stage 2, and not growing incredibly fast. Because the cancer isn't spreading quickly we have the time to let my body heal from the bum surgeries and will be able to figure out how to soothe my inflamed insides before starting chemotherapy. Things are gonna be oooookay!


  1. You & Derek are such an incredible couple. I am so, so, so sorry that you have to fight all of this, but I have been amazed by your wonderful attitude. Love & prayers to you.

  2. sarah kay.
    we are sending you our love and prayers. we had a wonderful visit with your mom and mimi a month ago. you have been in our thoughts. i was so pleased to see the VA cutting board in your post, glad you are using it. :)
    much love from your NoVA cousins,