mission remission

July 30, 2011

That’s right, it’s gone!!!! My PET scan was negative (aka no cancer cells). It’s amazing what only two months of chemo can do…and not to mention, the hundreds of prayers that you all have been saying! I know how blessed I am to have been healed so quickly. I apologize for not posting sooner, but I have been busy visiting my sister and her family in Virginia.

Before we got the results, I had been picturing the two scenarios in my head of getting good news or getting bad news. When I thought about the doctor telling me that the cancer was still there, it just didn’t seem right. But I figured, it didn’t seem right the first time in May either so it is a possibility. But when I pictured the doctor telling me my scan was clear, I couldn’t wait to feel that relief and excitement as if I knew it were in my future.

The big day, the morning of my PET scan was actually one of the most terrible mornings I’ve had in a long time. I got to the hospital at 7am, dreading getting the IV for my scan a little bit, but nonetheless ready to get it over with. Apparently I was only mentally prepared for one needle stick, because I kinda lost it after the second nurse came in and failed to successfully insert the IV on the second stick. A few tears and a couple of sticks later, a third nurse finally got the IV in on the fourth try. I knew it wasn’t the nurses’ faults. My veins are just getting more and more difficult to work with. As I was getting poked over and over, I began to realize that I’m not even half way through my chemo, and each time I get an IV, the number of attempts to place it goes up. So not only the pain and anxiety of needles piercing my skin was wearing on me that morning, but the realization that I’m going to have to get a port or PICC lines in my veins to be able finish my 8 more treatments of chemo. After my scans, I had to get some bloodwork done…more needles. At least it only took two more tries. So leaving the hospital with four different-colored bandages to cover the six places I had been stuck that morning on top of trying to push the thoughts about the results of the scan to the back of my mind, I was emotionally spent. So I went home and slept.

The doctor was supposed to call us that afternoon, but to be honest I’m glad he didn’t. I just could handle anything else that day whether it was bad or good. So the next day on my way to Virginia, my mom talked to the doctor in the car and we got the results we had hoped for! In the moment, there wasn’t as much as excitement as there was relief. Relief that the cancer cells were gone of course, but more than that the relief of simply knowing.

It’s funny how from the beginning of this, even though I’ve had my doubts, I’ve still always known at the end of the day that I was going to be cured. I guess there is no such thing as expecting too much from God. I could not have gotten here without all of the prayers and support that you all have provided. Thank you x 1000.

Though my lymphoma is technically gone already and I am in remission, I still have a long road of chemo ahead of me. Assuming everything goes according as scheduled, I should be done with my last treatment on November 9th. I figured that knowing I was healed would make me feel better about finishing out my chemo, but it kinda makes it more difficult because I feel like the only thing the chemo is doing now is frying my veins and taking away the rest of my hair. But I know it’s for good reason…I definitley don’t ever want to have to do this (chemo) again. The doctors told me if I was cured in two months, a cool statistic says I have a 90% chance that it won’t ever come back. I like that one!

Well, chemo again this Wednesday. I’ll continue to keep praying, believing, and conquering from one treatment to the next. Your prayers and encouragement have been so awesome. Did I say thank you yet? 😉

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” -Matthew 19:26

IN A NUTSHELL

  • I’M IN REMISSION!!!!! THE CANCER IS GONE!!
  • Though my lymphoma is gone, I am still conquering. I have 8 more treatments of chemo until November
  • Wow. I am in awe of how great the Lord has been to me. And I cannot express to you how thankful I am for your daily encouragement and prayers…they have gotten me this far and are keeping me going

 

pray the way

July 18, 2011

My fourth round of chemo is this Wednesday. I’m getting the rhythm down now. Getting chemo is an all day event every other Wednesday from about 10am-6pm. Getting the actual chemo itself takes about 3 hours, but what takes the most time is waiting at each appointment that day to get bloodwork, to see my doctor for a check-up, and then waiting for my infusion. After infusion I take my nausea medicine for 3 or 4 days, and then I get to feel good again until my next round.

My last infusion wasn’t pleasant because they had to stick me four times before they got a good place for my IV. I’ve also had sinus the past week, and I had to go to Vanderbilt for a chest x-ray because I have been having these weird burning chest pains. The good news is my chest pains have subsided and my x-ray looked fine and even showed that my mass had shrunk. In addition, I can feel that the golf ball that used to be in my neck is now a small bean.

My big day— the day we’ve all be waiting for, the day in which we hope to God that they say “You’re in remission”— is on July 27. As the day draws nearer, I can’t help but get a little nervous about it. The “what if’s” are starting to come out. The one in particular being “What if it’s not gone?”. I have no doubt in my mind that God is going to heal me. I just really don’t want to do it the hard way…as in get on the more intense chemo. I also want to be able to go back to school in January, so I’m only one semester behind. If I am in remission, then I will continue the same chemo I’ve been on and should be done in November.

It is so out of my control though. God already knows what my PET scan is going to reveal and what my status will be this winter. It scares me a little when I get too optimistic because I feel like I need to prepare for the alternative, so I won’t be shocked or devastated if the results aren’t what I though they would be. I just know that receiving the remaining chemotherapy, and being bald and physically uncomfortable in the coming months will be so much easier if I knew that I had already destroyed all of the cancer by the end of July.  However, I will not take for granted that I am blessed to deal with the matter of how I will be healed and not if I will be healed.

10And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” -1 Peter 5: 10

IN A NUTSHELL

  • My fourth round of chemo is on Wednesday
  • After some sinus and chest pain this week, I am feeling fine now
  • Pray. Pray. Pray. My PET scan to see if I’m in remission is July 27

 

summer breeze

July 6, 2011

The second round of chemo has been a breeze. I can’t believe my neutrophils (white blood cells) went down 80% and I feel great! After 3 days of some mild nausea, I have felt back to normal and been going nonstop: driving to North Carolina to help my fiance move into his new apartment, and then all of my stuff out of my apartment in Boone with the help of my Boone family (aka bible study leader and Elevation boys) and back to Tennessee this past week. I’ve had tons of energy, no sore mouth, and been eating like a champ. What cancer?! I have officially completed my first cycle of chemo; that is, 1 cycle = 2 treatments. So I have 1 cycle (2 treatments) left until I have another scan to see if the beast is gone and 5 more cycles (10 treatments) total to go.

My hair dresser sister, Britta, gave me a new short haircut. I was a little apprehensive because I’ve been kind of attached to my long hair for the past 6 years, but I was excited for a change, too. Nonetheless, she did a great job, and I am happy with it. Mark wanted to go shorter too to support me so he let me buzz his hair! Unfortunately, cutting my hair shorter doesn’t keep it from falling out. I’ve definitely lost a substantial amount this week. I like having hair just as much as the next girl, but it’s not the end of the world for me to lose it. I’m just happy that the chemo is shrinking my lumps!

I am leaving in just a few minutes to get my third treatment today. I am a little nervous about the vein situation because they have to use a different one this time to give my good one a break.

Thanks be to God for my treatments going so much better than I imagined up to this point. Thanks for all the prayers lifted up to impact my healing process.

IN A NUTSHELL

  • Feeling GREAT! I had no side effects (other than hair loss) the past week and moved all of my stuff home from Boone
  • My third treatment is today
  • After today, I will have one more treatment before I get another scan to see if my cancer is gone
  • Praise God for blessing me beyond measure!