Thursday, January 22, 2015

Step 2: Finding My New Normal ({Day 24})

In my eyes things are chaotic. 
To others it probably doesn't look that way.
 I'm really good at holding things in, which is not a good thing in itself. That is why I love writing. I feel like I can clear my mind without speaking. If that even makes sense. I do know that I need to accept that things aren't going to be how they were for a while. I need to learn things will be different BUT they will be okay. Things WILL be HARD but I know I will fight it.

Last week all of my staging tests were pretty really ****** tiring. Friday's bone marrow test was the roughest. I took a double dose of anxiety pills before that one so I wouldn't scream throughout the whole thing. Tuesday January 20th I had a PET scan which basically scans an almost 3d image of my body so we could see where the Lymphoma has spread. It blows. The day before you can't have any carbs at all and the day of you have to fast. My test wasn't until 12:45 and it took two hours to perform the scan. After we went to Panda Express and I scarfed down. Then we met up with my Oncologist who had all of my results. I was so anxious...

The Good News:
  • The cancer is only in places above my diaphragm so I am Stage 2A (early stage yay!)
  •  It is NOT in my bone marrow (based off of early test results. There is slight possibility they could still find something when the other centers test it but probably not).

The Not So Good News:
Besides the swollen lymph nodes in my armpit (that are full of cancer cells) I have lymph nodes in my neck that have it. Its also in my lung tissue. And lastly I have a bigger than 10 cm mass around my heart. Since the mass in my chest is bigger than 10 cm it is considered 2A Bulky. That means a longer treatment than normal. I was REALLY upset about this. But when I think logically about this I know that it is very common in Hodgkin's lymphoma (or any type) for it to be all over like this. Yeah its more chemo treatment and now most likely radiation but if that's what I have to do I will do it!

When I met with the surgeon today (consultation about my power port for chemo) he said that my type of Cancer is so rare he has only seen half a dozen cases in the past 10 years but it is still the Cancer of choice (I hear that all the time now). He said my case was presented at their board meeting and that I have a lot of doctors and other medical staff on my side all people with tons of experience with this. They are the best around and I am so glad I chose the hospital I did.

I also had ANOTHER scan today. This time a Cat scan. I've never had one of these either and it was weird. I felt like I was in a movie or something. I still can't believe this is my life now. The man that did my scan was a little crazy. I was closing my eyes through the whole thing and I when I opened them he was literally right over me and said "how'd ya do?" in a creepy voice. hahahah I literally laughed out loud and almost peed my pants. Then he said he was "sorry I'm having all these troubles it just doesn't seem right for someone so young." I said "Life's not fair but I'll get through it." What else do you say to that? I have no idea,  and it is hard having to find responses for things people say lately. Sometimes online I don't respond because its just hard. I'm planning on it and I hope I don't come across as a brat. I just can't sometimes. I have a million and one different feelings every single day. I'm happy then I'm crying then I'm mad then I'm happy again. I'm happiest with my boys. It's been so hard being away from them for all these appointments. The good news is my most common feeling is still happy. I know it will all be OK.

Upcoming schedule:

Wednesday January 28: Same day surgery to get my Power Port put in. It is a port that will be placed under my skin in my chest area so that they don't have to stab me with IV's for chemo every time. It will come out 6 to 12 months after I'm done with treatment. It will look like a bump on my chest but no big deal.

Friday January 30th: First round of ABVD chemo. I will get more into this in a later post. I am so so excited to start as weird as that sounds. I'm ready to feel better. My treatments will be every 2 weeks for 4 months. Then we will do another scan and see. After that I may need 2 more months of chemo and then a few weeks of radiation. But right now I'm just going to focus on getting through the next four months! So I will be counting down my next 8 chemo sessions like crazy!

Lots of love! xoxo-Annie


  1. Not what I expected to hear about your results. Dang, I'm so mad about it!!! Isn't it funny how much those little guys help us through tough times just by being their normal, every day selves? Thank goodness for children!

    Wow, one week til you have your first chemo treatment. I'm glad you are starting soon so you can kick this monster's butt! Much love and strength to you, friend!

  2. My mom was diagnosed with leukemia on 1/2 of this year and has been at Shands in Gainesville, FL since, everyday is a struggle and hard to believe this is our normal now. God bless you in the next few months.

  3. Hey Annie, just wanted to let you know that I have been thinking a lot about you and I have been following you on your crazy journey. I obviously have no idea what it feels like to be you, but may I speak from a child's point of view who is watching a parent face this monster: Your sweet little boys (if they don't understand it now, someday they will) have watched you get knocked on your butt and some how get back up, over and over again. What an important lesson to teach a child. You are so brave and classy and optimistic. Your in my prayers.

    1. Also, I wanted to add. Anyone who leaves you a comment is just doing it to support you, not because they want to get something out of it. Don't feel guilty for even a second if you don't reply back to them. :)

  4. Hey Annie! I just came upon your Facebook page and your blog. I am so sorry to hear about this! You are so optimistic and such a strong woman, hang in there!! I am so sorry we fell away from each other after I had my baby. Life got busy!! I will pray for you!