Raindrops and Sunbeams

Down but not out…

Posted on: January 16, 2010

I should have known….bad idea to take a bunch (or a few) hints and build a whole scenario out of them. But I did it anyway. Today was the second ‘results’ day – this time with the hematologist/oncologist. I had taken her few hints and decided that she would a) confirm the diagnosis I got on Wednesday, b) schedule taking out the spleen, and c) take a few shots, and that would be it….done…fini. Silly me.

So I was totally unprepared for what I actually heard from my oncologist (gonna have to dispense with the first word – she is now my oncologist – and I am so happy she is kind and compassionate, but willing to tell me all, and not ‘pretty’ it up.) She did do a) – confirmed that I do indeed have B-cell Lymphoma….but the tests did not tell her exactly which kind. She even brought me the book to show me the list of ‘kinds’ – each of which has its own characteristics.What I have is very slow-growing – she said it had been there at least a year…maybe more…before it got to where it interfered with my life.

Out of that – two things. One…..removing the spleen would NOT solve the problem – because she had no confirmation that it was ‘that’ kind of B-cell Lymphoma….and Two….the bone marrow biopsy showed that the Lymphoma was in there. A lot of it in there. So…there went my idea of “take it out and the problem is solved”. Ok…I’m still with her…..so now what do we do.

We do the Rituxin (the immunological drug that ‘tags’ the B-cells, and lets your body’s immune system take them out) – but it will not be given to me by itself. By itself it just won’t do the job. So…and oh, how I hated to hear this – I would have to have chemo.  Instant visions of being bald and sick as a dog. This is my ‘image’ of chemo. I would also need a medi-port so they wouldn’t have to keep sticking me. First, though, she wanted to back up just a bit.

The type of Lymphoma is very slow-growing (this is a good thing) – the chemo I will be getting is not the really agressive kind, but a milder version. This type of Lymphoma responds extremely well to this chemo, and she was ‘certain’ that it would go into complete remission – based on her experience with others in my situation.

She then took me on a little tour of her office – she has her own ‘chemo room’ – which was kinda cool – not to be in an inpersonal atmosphere. I met the nurse who gives the chemo – and she told the doctor she was reluctant to start any chemo unless I had a medi-port. She sat me down, brought out a lot of information for me to read – but advised me to take that in small doses – to not overwhelm myself. All this takes some (no…a LOT) of getting used to. I cried…held on to my dear husband’s hand so tight I’m sure it hurt….and tried to breathe deep.

The doctor left to go call the surgeon and see when he could put in the medi-port. It is small – and goes entirely under the skin. Not at all like the ones I had seen in years past. So…I’m ok with that. Then the nurse got my entire attention, and let me know I am in the right place….’cause she said, you need to be in touch with God – to lean on Him, and keep your outlook positive. I was astounded that she actually used the “G” word – having gotten used to this being ‘out of bounds’ in our politically correct world – but when she did – I knew that here I would be in good hands. The doctor returned and said that the surgeon’s office phones were out (I think they just shut them off at lunch hour), but that they would call me with a time.

Time to go…and on the way home….another chocolate frosty…it has become the ‘treat’ of ‘doctor days’. And I enjoyed every bite. Turned in all the prescriptions at Sams (really…..3 prescriptions for nausea? THREE?? Ugh. Also one for prednisone – flashback to 1960 when I was prescribed that….and it was an experimental drug at the time…and others….that I’ll read when we get them. Lord knows what the co-pay will be for all this – up to now I only took one drug…now I have a collection)

After a bit of time at home, and a lot of hugs….and prayer, I have recovered my equilibrium. This may get me down, but as long as God is there with me, and my dear husband is holding me up….I will get through it, and come out on the other side.

What started as a really bit ‘raindrop’ day ended up being full of sunbeams…

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4 Responses to "Down but not out…"

Hi Trish…gosh it’s hard for me to call you that…I still think of you as “Pat”.

Mom and Dad send their best wishes, and if it’s ok with you, I’m going to print out your blog for them to read. They were very concerned when I shared your FB post with them that you were having tests, and wanted me to keep them posted. Mom just asked again yesterday if I knew anything more. So I’ll take your blog printouts to them to read.

If you would like Mom and Dad’s phone number, send me a message on FB and I’ll send it to you. I’m sure they’d love to hear from you personally when you have time.

Praying for you, and knowing that you’ll come through this in grand style…

Trish, as I said in my e-mail, I am astounded at your attitude and fortitude as you begin this process. You are such an exemplary example of how someone should face a crisis. I know God will be with you, and it certainly sounds like He was in the mix, by putting you in the hands of a Godly nurse. I just know he is going to use your thoughts, through this blog, as a fantastic testimony. All my love and prayers.

Cathy

You are in the right place!! You know it! Mom had her port put in 10 years ago now and has not had any problems. I am sure the new ones are even better!

Refreshed:

I passed a fragrant orchard
where picture perfect petals prance
in cool and misty mornings breeze
they bloom of hope and second chance.

I lingered near that orchard
just to save a glance
and store within my fragile soul
the fragrant petals dance.

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  • None
  • Diane: Hello, Trish, yes, we thank God for your recovery! I am having another lymph node biopsy Dec. 7 and if NHL has turned more aggressive, I am consider
  • Larry A. Thompson: If I were a red balloon, I’d fly so free; Above every housetop, Above every tree; Beyond every dark cloud, Without one care; Never to r
  • Jenny: You heading to Raleigh for Thanksgiving? Come by the shop if you can to say Hi! If not Happy Thanksgiving!

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