Thursday, January 21, 2010

Take That Cancer!

Yesterday I had an appointment with my oncologist which means you either see her or one of her two assistants. This week I requested to speak directly to her because one of her assistants said something last time that has been bothering me. I asked the assistant if there was a chance that I could go into remission? Would I ever get to stop chemo? The assistant told me that I could maybe stop chemo for a couple of weeks for a holiday or something but that was about it. Since then I've been worried that for the rest of my life I'd have one good week and one bad week.

So, yesterday while waiting for the doctor I was complaining to my friend. I was concerned that I would never be able to go into remission and overall anxious to talk to the doctor. I then opened up my daily prayer book and this is what it said:

"Father, I love you, and I lay my life before you. Take me and use me for your glory and your purposes. Forgive me when I complain and do not see all the wonderful things you do for me, things I take for granted like being able to wake up today and see the beginning of another day. Give me strength to worship you, encourage your people, and speak your name to a lost world.Amen."

A few days ago I told you about my prayer book and how it always relates to my life. Again, the book baffled me and put me in my place. I immediately stopped complaining!

My conversation with the doctor went great! She said a few things...
1. It is a fact that my lymph nodes and tumor have shrunk in half. She plans on shrinking them to where you can't visually see them in a scan. Once this happens I'd be in remission. She said it could be months or even years (hopefully never) before the tumor returned.
2. My blood work is good. On one hand my blood work is great because I can continue chemo. Most of the time people who have received the amount of chemo that I have must take a break. Their blood work shows poor nutrition levels and overall their body is worn out. At the same time, my blood work has never shown that I have cancer. Blood work is not an absolute way to test for cancer. Sometimes the cancer does not show up. So, they can't do a blood test to see if my cancer is returning. They'll have to do a body scan.
3. I've gained weight and she's happy that I've kept my nutrition levels up. Both chemo and cancer stifle your appetite. If I'm able to eat that means my body is tolerating the chemo and the cancer is loosing the battle. Having an appetite is a great sign.
4. On February 3rd they are going to put a power port in my chest. The port lays under the skin and can stay in for years. When anyone needs to access the port they just stick a needle through the skin. This means I get to take my PICC out! Unlike the PICC, the port doesn't need cleaned and I can return to a more active life style. With the PICC I wasn't allowed to sweat, it needed weekly cleanings, I couldn't get it wet, I couldn't work out or work. With the power port I'll be able to begin working out again and hopefully return to work soon there after. The reason they didn't put the port in my chest to begin with is she wanted to see if the chemo was going to work. She didn't want to put me through a minor surgery if it wasn't necessary.

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