My journey - battling lymphoma

Recently I celebrated my 46th birthday. I love celebrating birthdays! Then I participated as a co-captain for our local "Quabog" Relay For Life and the Pack 57 Rocks! Cub Scout Team. This was the time frame that I had discovered an uneasiness in my stomach and growth in my spleen and stomach. After weeks of monitoring, my husband Steve took me to the doctor who felt the lumps and ordered a CT scan. The CT scan showed a massive area, my spleen enlarged to twice its size and an additional growth lower in my stomach. Next was the localized CT guided biopsy and subsequent PET scan. The biopsy showed positive for lymphoma and most likely Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma.

This is my online journal sharing my experience through battling this cancer that has abruptly entered my life for no apparent reason. The story is documented here if you want to start from the beginning, you can check the archives on the side bar.

As a top competitive master athlete this year winning my age group at the Marine Corps Marathon and placing 3rd in the New England Trail Running Championship I have been truly excited with my results of late and am a truly driven athlete. Driven by goals.... my goal right now.... to beat this "thing"!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Beginning - update to key friends and colleagues

Sending the below update so I don't have to worry about missing anyone in a separate email.  
Crazy times.  
I love you both so much for being there for me.  This is tough --- I cry often -- not as strong as I would hope to be at times, but I am ok.  :)

Recuperating right now from this mornings biopsy.  Thank you for the calls, emails and text.  :)  You all have been so supportive.  :)  

It is killing me not to run on the 4th.  I was going to run Loon Mountain.  Doc doesn't think its a good idea and my stomach wasn't feeling so hot this morning running.  I just have to keep running - it is keeping me sane.  Steve made sure that Dr. Hartnell advised me not to run for at least a day (LOL - supposed to be a week) - after all during pre op he got the quick Nancy running fame history.  No waterskiing, no wine  -- nothing "fun" says the nurse.. :(  for 24 hours.  I think I can make it.

Dr. H said that no wonder Doctor Marvelli didn't want to do the biopsy in the office because I had more muscle than your average person.  :) We laughed in the biopsy room talking about our children.  The techs have been so nice too.  

I have a itty bitty glimmer of hope that this may still not be cancer, but all the "looks" I get - it probably is....  but it will be ok, treatment and get rid of this thing.  It just really really sucks.

Biopsy was today (feeling crappy, sleepy & not motivated).   Oncology appointment is on Weds.  As you know I had an appointment with one of the best lymphoma docs in the country Hochberg at Mass Gen, but insurance dictates that I try local treatment first.  I will go there for a second opinion.  In the meantime everyone has been really nice.  Doc Hartnell was so funny - and Dr. Martinelli has really been caring too even though I didn't need surgery.  Hoping Dr. Smith is great too.

I am strong - I will get through this.  Steve is so supportive there every second and step of the way and so are all my friends - including all of you. 

Dr. Len from the ACS has been amazing sharing his time to consult and talk to both of us as we begin this "journey" (ugh - I hate saying that) - but giving us knowledge and advice on what course to take.  Lynne Grazianno from LLS (a great friend - past ACS) has opened up her contacts in helping get the appointment with Dr. Hochberg at MA Gen) and really a great person to talk to as she has gone through this so many   times herself. We got a disc of my cat scan - shared it with a ski client/friend, one of the best radiologists in the DC area.  He has been helpful and confirmed all that we have seen and been routed so far.  

I am truly blessed to have the best support system one could dream of. I am playing my ACS cards and feeling good about the support and knowledge.  

Thank you all for your love & support. 

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