Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More tests

I'm so sorry I didn't get back to you sooner -- things have been crazy and I've just been getting used to all the news. Plus, my hip is hurting like crazy from my bone marrow biopsy, but more on that to follow.

Let's see....there is good news and there is "could be worse" news.

The good news is that it isn't pancreatic or any of the other scary cancers that were possible. Yay!

I guess that is also the "could be worse" news. There is a local recurrence (meaning, same place as last time), and it is treatable. Now that the dust has settled, I'm wondering why we only found it now; why, if it wasn't there before then why it grew so much in three months; and other scary things. I'm trying not to go there -- from what I've discerned, we don't know enough about cancer to know.

BUT, we do have a path forward. My week is filled with tests. Last Friday after the diagnosis, I had a bone marrow biopsy to see why my white count remains low. Not fun, but bearable.

Today (at 9 am after the holiday weekend), I had an appointment with the surgeon. She was supposed to biopsy this thing (it looks like 3 centimeters) by going in the out door (so to speak) but couldn't find it. Not the most fun way to spend my morning! The good news, though, is that the location of the tumor looks high enough in my colon that I hopefully will not need a bag after surgery.

Tomorrow, I have an appointment with my oncologist and the radiation oncologist. And on Friday, I have an MRI.

Funny story: I was supposed to have the MRI on my birthday. When I heard that, I thought, not my first choice, but okay. Then they said, "Do you need an anal probe?" and I thought, they have got to come up with a better idea for a birthday gift. Thankfully, I don't need an anal probe after all.

Back on topic: After all these tests, assuming that all is as suspected, I will! have six weeks of combined chemo and radiation. The chemo this time will be wearing the bag for five days a week, and I won't sit in the hospital for that other part of chemo. I'll go into the hospital every day for radiation. This is all to shrink the tumor.

Then I have six weeks off, for the chemo to continue to work and for my body to get strong for surgery. Then I have surgery to remove the tumor. While I am open, they will irradiate the area to basically kill every living cell in that part of my body.

I think that is it!

I'm a bit bummed about wearing that bag during the summer, I have to say, and am trying to stay focused on the fact that I can and don't need to be in the hospital to get chemo instead.

On Friday, a truck got stuck in front of our house, blocking our driveway. We couldn't get out for my doctor appointment so we borrowed my in-laws' car. After we got to the hospital, I ran into my oncologist before my appointment, and I saw in her eyes that the news wasn't great.

I supposed that, if they didn't find anything, I would still be worried, so maybe this is good!


Love, Marie

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