Friday, November 30, 2012

My Brain Gets Lit Up

This has been a busy week!  I had more tests, a couple of MRI's, a visit with the doctor, and a whole bunch of naps. 

I am anxious to share some really good news:  the MRI of my brain showed no cancer.  I have my own theory about this:  I believe the cancer cannot get into my brain because it is jam packed full of so many other things - some very or semi important, and most very ridiculous, mundane, and entirely useless.  But, I like the ridiculous, mundane, and useless a lot so I'm glad it is still there and seemingly intact.  Don't get me wrong, I want to keep the very and semi important stuff up there in brainland, too.  I hope brainland stays that way.

There was the blood work and the EKG and then the doctor decided on another MRI, this time of my cervical area.  So by now I've had a CT scan with contrast, a PET Scan and a couple of MRI's with lots of that radiation stuff.  I swear, by Christmas all I'll need to do is stand in the doorway and the house will light up just from the glow of what all has been put into my body to light it up.

But I am certainly thankful for the clean bill of health on my brain.  I feel like my brain has been documented as looking very normal, and I'd like to think this documentation means I can throw that bit of information around at any time and insert it into conversations, "My brain has been documented as normal.  Has yours?"  I don't know a lot of people who can claim a normal looking brain and prove it with documentation.

My chemotherapy treatments are now scheduled to begin on Wednesday, December 5.  They are not sure yet whether I'll be in the 4 drug or the 3 drug clinical trial.  Treatments will last anywhere from 6 to 8 hours and one of the trials would also include an extra treatment with one additional drug every week.  I hope you remember that my medical degree is from WEB MD and that I am reading this information from my poorly written notes.  My brain may be good, but my hand writing has slipped a bit, so reading my notes is a challenge.  Also, this is all very scientific and I was not so good at science.  Let's just say I was quite social during biology, chemistry and all math and science classes and leave it at that.

Yesterday, Hillman Cancer Center sent me a link to a 25 minute video about chemotherapy covering what it is, how it will be delivered, what to expect, side effects, and all the things that I'll need to be aware of.  Scott and I plan to watch it this Sunday when we have time to really pay attention and have it fresh in our heads for the first round of treatments.

My doctor has been honest with me and also has given me hope.  Scott and I had been feeling that there was none, but Dr. Petro told me that my disease is not curable but it is treatable.  He hopes it will get to a point where it will be managed sort of like high blood pressure or diabetes.  I think that's a stretch - let's face it, cancer and those conditions are vastly different, but at least he gave us a window of hope.  And that is what was desperately needed to move forward with the battle.

Last week I ordered a wig.  I am sure to go bald, probably within the first few days.  I'd go for the bald look if I had some idea that my head was perfectly shaped and that the look of baldness was a good one for me.  But, not being sure, we visited the wig salon at Hillman and there right on the counter was a wig very similar to the style I now wear my hair, and they ordered one for me that is close to my hair color.  Which of course is as fake as the wig.  I think it's also possible that I will no longer need to tweeze or wax my eyebrows.  And that dream of mine to join the circus as the Two Haired Bearded Lady seems unlikely now, too.  You can read about my high hopes, now unfortunately dashed, for that job by clicking here:  Getting a Job in a Tough Economy

In any case, we are very pleased that I am at Hillman Cancer Center.  Our family feels this is where my best chance is.  Everyone there is kind, helpful, and as pleasant as they can be under such sad  circumstances.  From the parking valet, to the radiation and lab personnel, to the nurses and office personnel, and especially my doctor, we are convinced that this is where I will have the best chance to get this under control. 

Of course, as always, your prayers lift our spirits and I ask that you please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.  Please pray especially for my beloved Scott and our children as they watch and suffer too as I go through this challenge.  I am certain we could not make it without the love and prayers being sent our way and we are so very grateful.

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  1. That is wonderful news Lin! both about your brain being cancer free and it being documented as normal! :) As always, your humor and perspective on life and struggles puts things into perspective for those of us who love you. You are in my thoughts and prayers along with the family of course. Stay strong- i'm here if you need me.

    Janet Lawson

  2. I am happy for you and hope all continues to go well for I said before that my hubby is going through certainly is not a walk in the park for either hubby or myself...we have been married for 30 years..and we are both trying to stay positive. At good support system is the best...hang in there!! my thoughts are with you.


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