I truly did not think this post would come so soon. Today, I found out that I relapsed. It’s what is called transformation to a more aggressive form of the disease.
A few days before Thanksgiving, I started having low grade fevers and night sweats. I was really tired, and had joint pain. I honestly didn’t think anything of it, since people I know and have been around have had the flu recently. I thought it was a bug. To be safe, I called my doctor. I had surgery scheduled for 12/3/13 to have my port removed from my chest. The doctors agreed that no fever within 48 hours of the surgery, go ahead and proceed as normal. And just like that, no symptoms. No fevers or anything else for 48 hrs prior to the surgery. Surgery went ahead as scheduled, and I was so excited to have my port removed.
Unfortunately, later that evening, I developed a high fever and night sweats, which continued on to that morning. The next day, yesterday, I went to the ER. There, they drew my labs and ruled out various infections: wound, ear, strep, chest, etc. My lab work came back showing that my WBC count had decreased by 50% in 4 weeks, and my neutrophil count had decreased by about 75% in 4 weeks. The ER called Dr C., and I was immediately sent to Seidman for a bone marrow biopsy. (I cried like a winey little bitch all the way through that by the by…….I was under anesthesia the last time I went through that, so I had no idea what to expect. It completely sucks.) Anyway, that all lead to a PET scan that I had today. Dr. C’s nurse got permission to call me right away–tonight–with the results from the scan, and we are very thankful that we didn’t have to sweat it out for too long. Waiting is the worst part. Any cancer patient or family member/friend of one can attest to that.
The news wasn’t good. The cancer is back and is aggressive/fast moving (transformation). It is filling my lungs/chest, spleen, liver, and literally nearly every bone in my body from what it sounds. (Note: I wouldn’t let her read me the full report, I wanted to hear it from her. The full radiologist report always seems too scary). My oncologist is currently out of town at a conference, but I will be admitted into Seidman on Monday or Tuesday of next week to start a new course of treatment. I will remain inpatient for at least one week, and then from there, I’m not really sure what this will entail. All I know is that somehow it ends in a stem cell transplant and a long term Seidman stay. Fine with me. I will do ANYTHING not to die. Anything.
Some thoughts were that the original chemo I had never really killed the cancer, only shrunk it and held it at bay until it was all out of my system, and then it bounced back with full vengeance……or that I had more than one type of lymphoma to begin with; both of which are treated differently from one another. But I mean it would have been pretty hard to biopsy ever tumor in my body, right?! and the other thought is that I may have just been lucky enough to contract a completely different kind of cancer that is very aggressive.
I have so many thoughts running through my head right now, that I don’t know where to even begin. I’m wondering if I will die, and it is my biggest fear. I’m wondering if I will EVER look at Christmas the same way again/want to celebrate it. I am wondering why this is happening to me, and yet I still can’t win the fucking lottery. I’m wondering if there was something I did wrong, or something that I could have done better with my diet/exercise etc. that could have prevented this. Finally I’m wondering how we, as a family, are going to do this again. And I don’t just mean mentally or emotionally. Financially too. I mean I could literally laugh at the amount of medical debt collectors who will be barking up our door in no time!!
Does anyone else see the guillotine-style humor in the irony that I Just had my port removed?! I do.
And so here we go again. Please please keep us in your prayers. Will post an update soon.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” –Nelson Mandela. RIP.