Saturday, October 9, 2010

Confusingly Clear

Dr. V called me today with the results of my MRI.  Honestly, I'm not really clear on what the results were because she said it was good news, so I think there were things they were wondering about that turned out to not be an issue on the MRI.  But she also said that the are some cancer cells at the base of my skull on the right side.  And there was also some enlarged lymph nodes on the left side that could be causing the pain I was explaining to her.
  Here's sort of the gist of what's going on:

1.Low grade Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (which I have) would not typically spread to the bone.  Although it's not impossible for it to do that.  In this case I do have some cancer that has spread to the bone in my shoulder.
2. Low grade Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can transform to an aggressive form of cancer at any time.  If it did transform there would be specific symptoms of that, ie: fever, night sweats, loss of appetite.  I have none of those symptoms, in fact I feel pretty good aside from the pains I've had in my neck / shoulder. 
3. In any type of cancer your LDH level in your blood is elevated.  LDH is a protein that normally appears in the body in small amounts.  When you have an aggressive cancer the LDH level is quite high.  My LDH level is in a normal range. 

So, (that was probably super confusing - but I'm journaling this for myself as well) Dr. V thinks that even though the cancer has spread to some bone, she thinks I still have a low grade lymphoma.  But just to be sure  there has been no change / transformation she is having a surgery schedule to remove part of one of my lymph nodes so that pathology can confirm that.  When we get the results back from that surgery she will know exactly what kind of chemotherapy will best treat the cancer.

This is what I have coming up this week: 

Monday I will have a spinal tap where fluid will be removed to check for cancer cells.  Then some type of chemo med's will be put back into my spine to kill any cancer cells.  She said this was more of a precautionary thing.  

And then I will call to schedule the lymph node surgery for one day next week.  

I may possibly start chemotherapy next week as well. Dr. V said she will add some radiation for the cancer that has spread to my bone.  

Even though I'm sure all that sounds kind of bad, I am so thankful if it was in the cards for me to get cancer, that I got the kind of cancer I have.  There are so many cancers and other diseases that could be much, much worse.  I am planning on getting through the next few months with treatment so I can have a 
"HAPPY NEW YEAR".  A fresh start to a new year.  If going through treatments gets rid of the cancer I have, it may just buy me enough years and someone will come up with a cure.  

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