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 8, 2010

Talking to Schuyler...

You ask - have we told Schuyler?  Yes - we told him yesterday.  We made the decision to cancel our planned ski camp trip to Mt. Hood (Dave Gregory's Peak Performance Ski Camp).  As we were working on arrangements for Schuyler to spend time with friends we connected with the Feliciano's, from Stamford CT and Aidan is one of Schuyler's best friends (he ski's with Aidan as a J5) we really needed to break the news and help him start the coping process along with us.

After soccer camp we picked him up at UMASS and on the way home Steve encourages me....  you need to tell Schuyler.  SO it went sort of like this (Not sure I can get this word for word, but it is worth repeating so I will try)
ME: "Schuyler - Mommy's stomach hasn't been feeling very well lately" 
SCHUYLER:  "Are you ok Mommy?"
ME:  Yes - I am ok, but do you know what cancer is Schuyler?"
SCHUYLER: "YES! (he exclaims) - you work HARD to fight it!"  with a smile jabbing his fist in the air...  "I know that and told the people at the Relay and got extra cupcakes because you fight so hard!"  :) 
ME:  (smiling) - "Yes Schuyler - that's right I fight cancer every day at my work.....  well now the doctors say I have cancer in my stomach.  It's called Lymphoma.  
SCHUYLER:  "Oh mommy - are you ok?   Am I sick too?" 
ME:  "No - you are fine Schuyler - the body is made up of good cells and you have all good cells.  Cancer is when your body for some reason makes bad cells - that is what is happening to me.  But I will be ok - the doctors say that this cancer is curable.  We are very lucky."  
SCHUYLER:  (Sigh of relief) Oh good.  I just want us all to be healthy and happy

Then as per usual he was back at his DS and asking for ice cream (jokingly).  :)

I remember when I first heard I had cancer, not knowing the success rate of treatment or any details and the sadness I felt inside thinking there was this possibility I wouldn't be able to watch my son grow up.  I celebrate him every day - love every moment with him - and the joy of life - celebration of the day - I truly thank the Lord for my blessings and the chance to fight this "thing".  I know we will have many more conversations while I am going through chemo, losing my hair, and the craziness of the treatments, but we have such great faith and love in our family.....   we can and will get through this together.

Schuyler and I at the year end Pack 57 picnic early June 2010

1 comment:

shelley said...

I love that he got more cupcakes because you fight so hard. Way to work it, Schuyler!

And what a sweet way to bring him into the journey. He is an awesome kid.