lymphoma update

Sickie Update: Came home from the hospital after the PET/CT scan mentally and physically exhausted today. Even with a sleeping aid (Ambien) I was only able to get 5 or 6 hours sleep last night. Hubby has the same problem, but he doesn’t have a sleeping pill to help. Consequently, I’ve been snoring on the couch for a few hours, had a snicker bar, an apple, and an energy drink and now I’m beginning to zone in on today. I’ll probably be fully awake by bedtime.

Things are moving along pretty fast now. Yesterday we spent most of the day at the hospital I met and talked with my new oncologist for the first time. She’s a young woman who explains things pointedly and organized and leaves lots of time for questions. While the doctor visits I’m familiar with over the years are five minutes or so, this one was unhurried and I never felt I was being pushed along to get to the next patient. None of my internal organs were swollen or over sized, the blood work overall was good, and she seemed optimistic that we may have caught this cancer at the beginning. I’m not assuming anything at this point, though, and the best I can muster up is “cautiously” optimistic.

Even if my PET/CT whole body scan and the bone marrow samples from tomorrow turn out negative, I must still undergo a full treatment of a special cocktail chemo they call R-Chop. Even reading the list of “possible” side effects is ominous and there are great statistics of what they’re calling “cure” from this treatment. Everything rides on what today’s scan and yesterday’s biopsy reveal, which could alter the treatment somewhat. I still have one more test to do before the chemo Friday morning, an echo-cardiogram to make certain my heart is up to this great cocktail. So if all goes well, treatment Friday morning, not sure what to expect at this point but know there’s a build up effect so it may be later that I begin to feel the fatigue and nausea. Also, I can expect my hair to fall out possibly within 2 or 3 weeks. Often, it grows back in a different color (darker) and texture, sometimes even thicker. I’m putting my order in for silver and coarse enough to have body without permanents or color treatment and thicker would most certainly be good.

Many of you have sent me emails and I wanted to answer each personally, but haven’t been inspired to do very efficiently. I will over time catch up. Dr. Gilbert, the oncologist, says in a week or so I’ll be in the swing of things and things will begin to feel much more normal. I hope my postings are more interesting at that point but for now my wish is to inform rather than entertain. I wish you all good health–nothing like it!

Just a thought: It’s taken some doing to begin to get used to people saying “your cancer.” Even Hubby referred to it like that a couple times. I want to scream, “not my cancer…I didn’t ask for it…I didn’t want it…take it out!

Best thing I ate all day: The Snicker bar. I thought of Betty White with every bite.

13 thoughts on “lymphoma update

  1. Oh for heaven’s sake – we’ll stop sending emails if you think you have to reply!

    Hang in there.


    Ummm, what if it’s red and curly??!! Just kidding…

  2. I’m glad things are looking good so far — every positive test reduces the threat of the bad stuff. I will continue to pray for more positive results for you.

  3. I was so happy to see that you updated your loyal readers. Now that you have, rest easy. And eat a Snickers for me! rbs

  4. You look after ‘You’ right now, we do not need replies to good wishes.

    As to ‘your cancer’ remember that you are not living with cancer, it is living with you… so just tell it to behave!

    Big Hugs,


  5. I agree with Colleen’s sentiment. You have many people who care – don’t stress yourself out about trying to respond, just accept what’s given and do what helps *you*.

    Thinking of you, hoping for more good news.

  6. No emails? LOL Seriously, you focus on you, you read our words when you have time, and know we are there with you. Please don’t answer our notes or emails.

    My friend Marion B, one of the most succinct poets I know, has reduced her blog to succinctness too.

    She has lung cancer, and as her oncologist said, her treatment is palitive. They say her cancer is now gone, but she sleeps a lot. Many naps, and that sometimes is all that gets posted in her blog. We are just glad to know she is still alive.

    You too. We dare to be more than cautiously optimistic in your case. Hugs.

  7. You don’t have to eat a Snlckers bar for me. I’ll eat a couple for you right now. And a couple with you next year.

  8. Hi there,

    Thank you for posting the update. I am cautiously optimistic with you. Here’s hoping for great hair! That would be an incredible outcome.


  9. I am so sorry, Alice. With Lynn’s surgery I haven’t been keeping up and I just read the last three blogs and feel so sorry you have to go through this. Those of us who haven’t had this particular giant looking over our shoulders can’t imagine how it feels to get this diagnosis but thank you for sharing letting us know. There is a lot of thought energy and prayer on your behalf, I am sure. I will be checking in regularly for updates. Love you friend!

  10. Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us here, Alice. My God…..what a three months it’s been for you! You really should consider turning this into a memoir and attempting to get it published. Excellent writing! Not to mention the true emotions, good and bad, that you project to the reader.

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