First off, you should know that I am not hiding anything from anybody. However, I am a pretty private person that is dealing with some of the hardest emotions I have ever had, and to be honest I have personally been trying to figure out how to process these emotions. Michael and I do value and need your support, and especially your prayers. Our families also need your support and prayers. We have leaned on you, and the encouragement you have given us to make it through the past few weeks.
Here is a summary of the past few weeks:
On Friday (1/23/09), I went to the doctor because I have just not been feeling well. I went in the Tuesday before to have some blood work. On Friday, I had an ultrasound and began to realize by the U/S tech and the Doctors that came in, that something was not right. After just a few minutes, the Dr moved me to her office and asked me to call Michael to come meet me.
Over the next hour, we were told that I had cancer. They found a peach size tumor in my uterus. They sent us immediately to the hospital so I could have a MRI. Michael's sister came and sat with us at the hospital and immediately began calming our nerves. It was good to have some one who understood medical jargon with us, especially since Michael was calling my cancer "cardiocarcinoma." (AND NO I DO NOT HAVE HEART CANCER) Cathy straightened him out. The MRI was a not a good experience for me....I do not go to tanning beds because I get claustrophobic, so those of you who have had an MRI can only imagine the type of panic I had when they sent me into what I have dubbed "the Hole." The lady thought by placing a washcloth over my face, that would help. NO, it made it worse. After the MRI we were sent home to wait for the results. They called shortly thereafter to confirm that I did have cancer. They set us up with the Oncologist on Monday morning.
That was the longest weekend of my life. My mom did come and do ALL of our laundry and cleaned our whole house. It was amazing and we did not even ask. She said she had to keep busy. My dad came and about ate Wintzell's out of oysters in a 24 hour period. That is how they dealt with the stress. Michael and I sat and starred at each other all weekend wondering what this meant. I can tell you that I was scared to death. Monday (1/26) we went with "a clan" to meet with the oncologist. HE IS GREAT. He came in confident and with a plan, and this was a tremendous relief to us. He spent a great deal of time with Michael and me, and then met with our group of family and friends that were with us. He laid out a plan of treatment and told us that my specific cancer is one of the most aggressive, but this also means that is very responsive to chemo. It has a cure rate of 99+%.
I began having chemo shots that day. I will receive chemo shots every Monday until the cancer is gone. I never dreamed that at my age I would see the inside of the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute and the chemo room, but I guess there are always firsts. It is such a nice facility, by the way, and I am so thankful it is in Mobile. There are only 3 Oncologists in our region that treat this type of cancer and two are in Mobile. This is a blessing.
So where are we today?
We got great news Monday that my CT scans came back negative which means the cancer has not spread! What a relief. Then on Tuesday, the nurse called and told me that "my numbers" (this is the number that determines where we stand in the process of ridding the cancer) had dropped 30,000! This is huge because it indicates that my body has already begun to respond to the chemo. YEAH! Still a LONG way to go, but we are on the road to remission! Although we are still scared to death, I can tell you that I slept better last night than the past 10 days. When the nurse called to tell me this, I screamed REALLY loud. If I could have jumped through that phone, I would have. She already thinks I am crazy, so I thought I should just confirm it for her. Then the Doctor called to talk, and I just told him that Jesus was going to heal me. You can only imagine his response. So, I will continue to have chemo every Monday, and we will update you on how it is going.
And for the ?'s we have been asked the most:
Am I contagious?
No I am not contagious. Fortunately you can't catch what I got!
Am I going to lose my hair?
As of now, no. If my body responds to the drug I am on I should not.
What about the specific names?
I can only spell about 2.1% of what they say, and we have decided that every word with cancer has 17 letters involved, so I am going to give you the shortened version.
Do I have brain cancer?
We have laughed out loud at this one. NO! I do not have brain cancer, I have Uterine Cancer.
Will I be able to have kids?
This is our prayer, and we are praying that the Lord will bless us with that responsibility one day.
So, yes I have cancer. Yes, I have started Chemo. Yes, you can call me (please do not avoid me). Yes, we are still scared. And Yes, we believe that the Lord is going to heal me.
If you have questions, I will be glad to try to answer them if you email me-- firstname.lastname@example.org.