Well that Certainly Escalated Quickly….

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.

95 thoughts on “Well that Certainly Escalated Quickly….

  1. As I read I couldn’t help that I was speechless and not sure what to say, but even though I don’t know you I want you to know I care and you and your family are in our prayers.

  2. I am sorry for your situation. But brave knight have hope and not despair. My grandson had brain cancer at the age of two and through chemo and stem cell he saw it through. He is thirteen now and well a survivor of the disease. I blogged about it on my blog and maybe it will aid you to give it a read.

  3. I read your story and I am feeling very heavy right now but, I am going to pray for you in a different way. I see you as healed and happy and glad to be out of the hospital and celebrating the holidays with your family, it is done!

  4. As a SURVIVOR, I was brought to tears by the harsh reality of what you are facing right now. All I can do for you is pray, but know that I will.
    I often fundraise for Cancer research … thinking of myself, my Dad who passed from this horrible disease, and the countless others I have known who have also fought this fight. I will add YOU, beautiful lady to the list of reasons why I do what I do …. God bless ….

  5. Read this on freshly pressed. I want you to know I’ve read this and am thinking and praying for you. Trying to make sense of the senseless is a waste of precious energy. It’s okay to be scared — it doesn’t mean you aren’t brave. You are. Soldier on, Mary.

  6. The idea that a petty genetic twist could deprive the world of someone so insightful and full of life & passion, and brave enough to share their deepest fears with random strangers with such beauty and honesty and eloquence… How could there ever be a reason or a lesson from this? No god could ever be so cruel. I will not wish you insight or bravery, these are things you already have in abundance. I will instead wish you TIME. I wish you the longest and happiest life imaginable. I wish & hope that a god does exist who smiles on you in this moment and fills your heart with a joy so full and complete that no length of life could ever contain it.

  7. I was just checking my blog and stumbled on your post. Naturally my prayers are with you. I won’t presume to know anything about what you are going through so I can’t offer anything but the knowledge that you can add my prayers to the pile. Know that whatever you do I support you. I hope you will come out of this and I pray for your success.

  8. I only came across this post by accident… it seems so unfair that so many good people have to go through this. Thank you for sharing your experience, I imagine it brings great comfort to those going through a similar thing to know they are not alone. Best wishes, you’re in my thoughts. – Rachel UK

  9. Just keep fighting. You are allowed to be scared. Cancer is a very scary thing. Since it is so aggressive, play the system to get what you need immediately or within the shortest amount of time. Don’t let them jerk you around.

    Rock the World!

  10. Cancer is just a disease, and you are much more than that! Keep your eyes on the Lord!

    Psalm 139.
    v. 16- Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
    And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me,
    when as yet there were none of them.

    Joshua 1:9 Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

    Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

    And good ol’ John 3:16-
    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

  11. You will recover from this, no doubt. You are a fighter, and surrounded by good people who will carry you through the hard times you will encounter. My prayers are to you and those who are close to you.

  12. I know nothing I could say would help change anything your going through, you don’t even know me. But your an inspiration to share this terribly difficult journey with the world. If nothing else I will give all of my positive thoughts to you 🙂 I will send them to the universe everyday. Have a great Christmas with your family. X

  13. Oh dear this is so ironical about the post being freshly pressed. I know I cant say I know how u feel, but having had an eating disorder and having relapsed time and again I know how daunting the prospect can be. stay strong and motivated, may god bless u and may u sail through this smoothly and come out more beautiful. You might feel mentally, physically , and financially exhausted at the moment but This is the time when we need to test our faith and beyond that hope that it’s all just a bad sream. Hope I helped to lessen your pain in some way:)

  14. I didn’t want to “Like” this simply because the return of ‘it’ isn’t something to like but what I am liking is your determination, your bravery and the exposure you are providing about this disease. It’s not fair, it has no reason and I’m certain you deserve better than this. My thoughts are with you, I’m sending strength your way and as a complete stranger I am here for you if you need anything xx

  15. Move forward, cross fingers, pray, hope, dream — you have a WP team behind you rooting you on. The treatments have improved so much as I’ve watched 9 family members battle and it is getting better and better for you (and the future me). Sending positive energy and strength in your direction. Take it, it is yours.

  16. Also found you on fp. If it brings you healing and peace, please continue to write. It is amazing – like a solid punch to the gut. I am utterly floored by your post and my heart feels like it’s in a vise. Kick that cancer’s ass. Crush it.

  17. As I am reading your blog I can’t even imagine what you and your family must be going through. I found out this Christmas eve that I have a rare aggressive form of ovarian cancer, thankfully they think they have caught it through surgery but will still have to do treatment (not sure exactly what this will involve). While I was reading this blog the part about you wondering if you will ever like Christmas the same is exactly the way that I have felt the last week or so. I think you are so very brave, I am so scared to start treatment at the moment. I have no idea what to expect or if I can even handle the situation God has given me. What I have learned is to have faith and trust in him and that is the one thing that comforts me at night. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers!

  18. Your entry found its way straight into my heart, as I have succeeded in beating cancer nearly 20 years ago… I know how it feels and I feel for you. You have touched me deeply. I only want to let you know, that my prayers are with you ….. and they will be, until you succeeded in beating cancer as well.

  19. Hang in there. I finished chemo for ovarian cancer on Halloween day. I had one port removed three weeks ago (in my abdomen) and still have my chest port (just in case). Try not to beat yourself up over why it’s happening to you again. It’s not your fault (but it still sucks). Two months out from my last chemo and I feel as if I’m walking on eggshells. I guess we’ll always feel that way. Stay strong!

    • Thank you for this response. I’m so glad to hear that you’re done with treatment! You’re so right. Every time I have a gas bubble for the rest of my life, pretty sure I’m going to panic that it’s a tumor! It is the nature of the hands we were dealt I suppose. God bless you. Keep fighting girl.

  20. I do not know you but I will be praying for you! I am going in tomorrow for a suspicious brain MRI scan so I stumbled on your blog… so many prayers will be coming your way tonight!

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