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"!

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's not over until the Fat Lady Sings.....

NOW we just need to find a Fat Lady radiologist!  HA!
All jokes aside, I have been very lax on updating this blog for a few reasons.
One is that Blogger says I have used up all my photo space and can't post images anymore - BOO!  I need to imbed pics and that is just too much extra work for me right now.
Two is that I have been overwhelmed.  Work and life in general has not been so easy to juggle since chemo and I had to give myself a break.  HR has been great at work as well as my supervisor and all the great people I work with at the Society.  I have such high expectations of myself, it is so hard not to work at 100%.
Three is that I really don't know what is next.  And I guess I am in that denial stage of not knowing and just staying positive that this will be just another blip on the screen and life will continue to get back to normal.

They found something on the final PET scan and Dr. Mullally pushed because of my symptoms to do another quick PET so we could be sure it was all gone.  Well, lo and behold it wasn't gone.  Just a little piece, but it did show an increase and after consulting with Dr. Barnes the next course of action is to remove my spleen.  We had a quick visit to Dr. Barnes where my blood levels were just about normal (not quite) and he made the recommendation to remove the spleen, biopsy it and then take the next steps once we get those results.  It could be more cancer, or we could rectify the situation with removing the spleen.

 We then met with Dr. Yoon in preps to get my spleen removed 3 weeks from that day.  Dr. Yoon was to the point and shared with us the procedure and the need for immune shots so I could have that 3 week prep in my body before surgery.  He gave us a low down on the recovery and knowing what a committed runner I am (obsessed? crazy?) he realized it would take a lot to hold me back and recommended 2-3 weeks (with others he recommends 3-4 weeks) and realizes that he would have to put my legs in a cast to stop me from running.  He pegged me quickly don't you think?  I smiled and felt strong.... all I could think about was the Boston marathon, Snowbird and Mt Hood.   ALL still on the calendar, all systems go --- just need to get this behind us.

Bottom line - surgery is this next Monday at the Wang Building at Mass General at 7:30.  They are removing my spleen and say I will be in recovery at the hospital for 2-3 days.   Steve is going to be with me the entire time and I am truly thankful for our neighbors, Mike, Fabiola, Christian, Marissa & Evan who are going to take care of Schuyler and keep him in school.

Thank you all for your prayers and support, flowers, Itunes giftcards & CHOCOLATE!    I will post more when I know more.  In the meantime, the Dream Team is running Boston because we have to KICK this beast of a disease!   You can now LIKE us on Facebook!  I am only 1/2 way to my goal so all of your donations are appreciated.  I have put in some major miles the past 2 weeks getting ready for this FORCED taper.....

2 quick photos to show you my hair is coming back!  Now let's just pray I don't have more chemo in the stars!