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"!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

RCHOP Round 2 Treatment Day 1: The Patient that would never leave...

Marathon day at the doctor's office for Treatment Round 2 of the RCHOP regime.  We knew it would be --- getting all the meds in one day takes a long time.  We showed up at 9:30 and prepped waiting in the office, not to linger too long Doc Mullally got us in the treatment room to hook up the meds and caught up with us later.  Glad he did or we would have been there until 6!

We had our computers in hand and I caught up on some work emails, farmed my crops on Farmville and blogged a little sharing some of my latest photography.  I really need to read up on the book and take a class (planning an online class in Sept) --- I think that to know my camera would get me to a level of even better photography!  My friend Shelley is now designing a new cool watermark for me to use on my photos and I can't wait to see what she comes up with!  My new photo blogging friends have been so supportive of my work and have even ventured here to check up on me and my "journey" of cancer treatment.

I forgot my Nano so I connected to Pandora on my Ipad and fell asleep for almost 2 hours in the treatment room after everything got a little fuzzy on the computer.  Love the new function to harvest crops on my Ipad (very cool for all you farmers out there!) -- Yes YOU too need an IPad, they are very cool and SO fast.  :) Pandora radio is so cool too - you venture off into artists that are like the artists you like and select.  Off into sleep world I went and I needed it.  We have been so busy with our British visitors and Schuyler soccer camp #3 this week.  My life hasn't slowed down much at all!

Wore my "new blonde hair" today --- and all the office staff just loved it --- I showed them the cute slide show and voting arena on Twitpoll that I have set up.  SO fun.  Thinking again I may just have to highlight it when it comes back after all the great comments.  :)

MY inspirational shirt for this treatment was the Vermont City Marathon shirt from 2009.  This was my first marathon to run as a REAL elite with all the treatment.  More on that story here.  I ran a great race - not as fast I would have hoped, but still pretty great!  Raised $1100 for ACS and met a lot of amazing people!  It was my third VCM and hope to do it again as it is in my home town area and a lot of people I know run it every year as a full marathon or in a relay.  Great race --- the water, the kettle drums on the hill and a great expo and post race celebration!  Great memories there.

I am going to fill out my story for the Chicago Marathon media team and hope to be selected to be highlighted.  Chicago is only 61 days away! Also pitch a story to Coping Magazine (link on side bar) -- that was a great find -- if you haven't seen it check it out.  My friend Keith sent me an article about a woman blogger sharing her story and noted that I could have written that story.  Her blog is great too --- it is also on the side bar.  And most important to me I have shared my story with all my ACS colleagues, past and present, Relay, Employer, New England and more...  It has been so incredibly supporting to have such a "family" of support where I "work" and have so much passion for what we do as a Society.  I sent a note to our Corporate Communications and hope to be selected at some point to share my story on stage.  If it is this December I hope my friend Cara will join me as we can be up there as Wonder Woman & Bat Girl!  How fun would that be?  I will keep you posted and also share more on what we have in store for running Chicago IN COSTUME!  :)

As you can see we were there the entire day and had the place all to ourselves at the end of the day.  I was remembering the days as a waitress when you had that table in the corner that would NEVER leave...  so I made jokes that we were going to stay the night...  and when we finally left, I said "OK - you can all go home now".
What a LONG day!  We were all exhausted and stiff when finally getting up and out of that chair!

Thanks for stopping by --- here are some pics of me in treatment with the wonderful nurses in the back.  We love this office and are so blessed to have found these great doctors and nurses for some incredible support.

Please leave a note if you stop by!


Ashley Sisk said...

Well didn't you just set up shop! Next time you'll have to bring your camera. I think You Capture's theme this week is everyday can include the clinic perspective. :)

Love Letters To China said...

So glad to hear you are doing well. I can only imagine those long treatments must be exhausting. I must say you look amazing... the wig is definitely working!

BTW, I have a cousin that lives in VT close to Dartmouth. I've never been to visit. She just adores living there. I would love to visit during the fall season. I'm sure it's breathtaking.

Kind regards,

Shelley said...

Seriously still lovin' the wig! I'm waiting for you to be up there at the podium at an all-staff briefing soon. It's just a matter of time =)

Kirsten said...

I just started following this blog! Love your positive attitude! You can totally kick butt! My gosh your training is going so well while you are having your treatments. Whata strong woman. My sister is doing her first tri in a week and a half to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. Prayers to you and your family for a speedy and full recovery!

Nancy E said...

I pitched my story to Greg Donaldson at National to speak at the All Staff briefing --- maybe in consideration for December in Atlanta - who knows - but it should be fun --- hoping Cara will join me on stage in costume! :) Not sure if it would be considered professional attire but if it is dressdown Friday I could get away with it? : )

LuckyDogsMom said...

Great smile and I love the wig.
Stay strong-I know you will!
Bill had 6 rounds of RCHOP for NHL Large B and is clean after 1.5 years. Celebrated by riding the 75 miles of Bicycles Battling!
Not sure if you are in to prayer but you are on the list!

Cara said...

I love all the shoutouts and if you get honored on stage in December, you know I will be there in my Bat Girl costume. I am so excited and I am so glad you liked me card...oh, and I am confirmed in Corral B!! XO