These last two days were pretty big ones! We finally took some big steps in killing this nasty cancer and everything has gone really well!
I went in for surgery early Tuesday morning to get my port placed. This is a small device they place under your skin that gives them easy access to my veins. This way, I won't have to get stuck with IV every time I go in for chemo. They will simply access my port. Much easier!
The surgery went very well. I was a little nervous, but they only used the minimum amount of anesthesia and I woke up from it very quickly. I slept some that afternoon, but didn't get sick. Other than the fact that is was VERY sore, I did fine with it. Praise the Lord!
Yesterday we had an appointment with my oncologist and then started chemo afterwards.
The appointment went very well. We got a lot of questions answered and felt confident moving into treatment.
This is what we know so far.
1. I have Hodgkins Lymphoma
2. It is stage III but just barely. (The only thing that bumped it up to 3 instead of 2 is that I have 1 infected lymph node below my diaphragm.)
3. I will be taking the ABVD drugs for chemo as our primary treatment plan.
4. I will get treatment every other Wednesday for about 6 months. That is a total of 12 treatments.
5. He didn't see any tumors that he would consider bulky or big enough to treat with radiation. However, he will send us to a radiologist for a second opinion. (We are praying for NO radiation if possible because it has such high risks of causing other cancers)
6. He doesn't think it has spread to my bone marrow, but we will most likely do a bone marrow test once treatments are complete to be 100% sure.
7. After the 12th treatment, I wait 5 weeks and then get another PET scan and pray that it is CLEAN!!!
As for the chemo itself, there are quite a few possible side effects.
~I will probably lose my hair after about 2 weeks.
~I may experieince nausea, but they have given me quite a few drugs to prevent it.
~My nails may change texture and color...fun times. :-)
~ There is a change the drugs can negatively affect my heart and lungs, but the chances are low.
~There is a very low chance they can affect my fertility and cause other cancers such as leukemia.
The whole experience was actually not that bad. I literally sat in a chair and they pumped me full of medicine for about 2 1/2 hours. I was surrounded by other cancer patients going through the same thing and there were snacks and drinks that people donate that we could munch on. My mom and David were with me and we had a great time just talking and laughing and cracking cancer jokes. It was great! I did get very sleepy towards the end because they gave me benadryl to prevent an allergic reaction to one of the medicines.
Now we just wait and see what happens. I feel good today and hopefully that will continue!
I am so thankful that God has provided a way to treat this thing and given me such a wonderful support system to lean on. What a blessing!
It feels good to finally be doing something to get this disease out of me! The fight has begun and I WILL press on even when it gets hard!
1 treatment down and 11 more to go! I WILL beat this thing!