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today, we met with the transplant oncologist at george washington university hospital cancer center in dc.  the plan is for me to start chemo (eshap) on monday at loudoun hospital with my original oncologist and then go to george washington for the stem cell harvest & transplant.

unlike my last chemo (abvd), this one is administered in-patient over the course of 5 days.  hopefully 2-4 cycles will put me in remission. each cycle will take 4 weeks.

once i’m in remission i’ll go back to dc for the stem cell harvest and transplant.  i will spend 2-3 weeks in-patient at george washington.  this will likely not happen until after my sister’s wedding in november.

my standup2cancer team has already raised $2,730.  we’re even listed in the “top 50” teams now!  this fundraising effort is so very important to me in a time when i feel most helpless.  please continue to help my family and me as we once again fight this horrible disease.

nugget is in no mood for me to be blogging, so away i go.  goodnight, friends.

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brad at cancerisboring.comi need a new blog project!  in my head it seemed original, but come to find out it isn’t.  no, not one bit.

on facebook you can find a bunch of bloggers telling su2c what they stand for.  shown here is brad from cancer is boring.  (brad, i very much agree.)

nevertheless, i’d like you to send me your pictures – here’s the twist – of you in your standup2cancer t-shirts telling me for what, whom or why you’re standing up.  i’ll add your photos to the help me make a stand page, much like the locks of  love page, and pimp your blog, store, cd release… you name it.

so, go on, get busy!  go to the su2c shop at cafepress and order your shirt.  then send me your photos of you in said shirt with your sign and whatever info you’d like published alongside your photo.

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and remember, cafepress fulfills su2c orders at a 25% discount, enabling su2c to direct the discounted monies towards cancer research!

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one of the greatest things about organic gardening + toddlers is that some nights you find a d’avignon radish in nuggetdaddy’s bathroom drawer.

tomorrow, nuggetdaddy and i are heading up to northern virginia to see my original oncologist.

we love him.

okay, i know, i know two posts in one day is unusual for me.  but, here’s the deal.  someone called and spoke to nuggetdaddy, informing him that friday’s biopsy would no longer be done endoscopically.  now they plan to just do an aspiration straight through my chest wall.  no explanation as to why.  he sprung this news on me at 5pm, so of course there was no one, anywhere, available to answer my questions about what in the hell they’re thinking.

um, no.  local oncologist = fired.  no chance in hell will i be showing up to some random doctor with no prior explanation of the procedure, knowledge of who he is and a complete understanding of exactly why it’s being done that way.  stabbing me in the chest with needle is not something i’m quick to agree to.

my oncologist from northern virginia, the one who treated me the first time, called me at home twice tonight.  i’m so upset that i was at my mom’s and missed both calls!  i’ll be calling him back first thing in the morning and begging to see him or his nurse practitioner on friday.

tomorrow, i’ll still go for my ct scan, and i will sit there until they hand me a cd of my scan.  hopefully that’s the last time i’ll be stepping foot in that hospital, regardless of who in my family works there.

 

smooth_2tomorrow, i’m having a ct scan with contrast, which means (lucky me!) i get to chug two nasty bottles of “banana smoothie” readi-cat barium.  barf.

friday, i’m having a biopsy; more specifically, an endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration of mediastinal adenopathy.  what a treat.

sunday, we’ll celebrate father’s day with my parents and grandparents with a barbecue at our house.  that night my friend arrives from georgia.

monday, i’ll make a quick and early jaunt to the hospital for another pulmonary function test and muga scan.  these are just pre-chemo baselines.  then more friends should arrive.  at least there are some bright spots to this weekend.

right now, i’m waiting for lots of doctors to call me back.  i don’t like the oncologist we met with yesterday.  i’d rather use my oncologist in northern virginia.  i love him and his staff.

i still need to be sent to a national cancer center for evaluation.  yesterday’s oncologist seemed rather ho-hum about that idea and looked at us as if we were asking for a first class trip to china.

thankfully my mother has been here daily, keeping things in line, cleaning, cooking and reminding me when nugget’s ready for a nap.  that would be now, and so am i.

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today is the day i start my journey on the road to battle, my second battle, against hodgkin’s lymphoma.  i’m asking you, my friends, my family, my neighbors, my husband’s co-workers, my best friend’s school, my stylist’s salon, my doctors and nurses, my blogosphere cohorts, my readers, to join me.  walk alongside me, hold my hand and help my family as we once again stand up to cancer.

in my previous post, i mentioned the su2c.org team i started.  have you joined yet?  have you donated?  did you help spread the word?

i’m asking for your blog posts, your tweets, your plurks, your stumbles and diggs.  email everyone you know.  i need you to.  you.  i need your help.

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tomorrow, we visit with the local oncologist and discuss what national cancer center my case will go to for review.  i am terrified.  i do not want tomorrow.  i do not want to be any closer to the hell that is going to rain down on my family for yet a second time.

the past few days i’ve spent with my head in the sand, as far as it will go, coming up for air only when someone insists on asking about tomorrow.

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i’ve also invested a good bit of time in starting my own standup2cancer team.  you can join it here.  our first goal will be to raise $1500 by my 36th birthday on august 15th.  this will be my second birthday spent fighting this disease.

now, i’m asking you, dear reader, to do whatever you can.  joindonate.  buy an awesome t-shirtinvite everyone you know.

i saw my gp today. he is working with my nova oncologist and setting me up with a local one, whom i will likely meet with tomorrow. together we will all pow-wow over what national cancer center my case will go to for review.

i also had an extremely helpful conversation this afternoon with a family friend who is an oncology hematologist. he was able to clearly explain what we’ll need to evaluate, how, where and why.

i am no longer part of the 80% club, the 80% of hodgkin’s patients who are cured with just one treatment. we are still expecting a cure at this point, but the seriousness and urgencey is markedly increased now that i am a repeat offender.

i don’t really have much else to add for today. so, goodnight friends.

i had a PET scan monday afternoon. this evening i got the results from my uncle, since he’s the chief of radiology at the hospital i go to now in richmond. the initial report concludes that the disease is back.

i called my oncologist’s answering service and he called me right away. he’ll be reviewing the scan with his radiologist first thing tomorrow and then we’ll have another call by 11am.

i coincidentally have an appointment with my gp tomorrow for what we thought was a lingering sinus infection. nope, that’s just the cancer giving me the fever.

my uncle is setting me up with an oncologist down here. assuming this is the real deal, i’ll have to start chemo asap. they’re also talking stem cell harvest.

i’m posting this update via crackberry from bed with nugget happily draped across me, asleep, nursing and clutching the other boob in her little fist.

i asked her if she remembered having to stop nursing before. i sobbed and tried my best to reassure her that we will try so very hard to make it back to where we are now.

this is beyond horrifying. i can’t believe we have to go through this again. i can’t believe i have to force my baby girl to stop nursing again. the chemo, that’s nothing.

fuck you, cancer. fuck you very, very much.

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