Thursday, June 4, 2015

I Can't Believe I'm Writing This...(Again)

Recently, A LOT of things have changed. And not in a good way. When I was diagnosed I was breathing easy because everyone told me this was this "easy" or "good" kind of Cancer. But this just in their is not any type of Cancer that is "easy" or "good." First off, Hodgkins Lymphoma as curable as it is, is very rare. There are only 7 to 8000 cases a year. So mine already being rare has gotten even rarer. I am now a part of the unlucky minority that has Primary Refractory Hodgkins. What is that? Basically, my cancer is resistant to the ABVD chemo treatment that I'm on, and not going away like it should be. It should be gone by now. But unfortunately its not. 

Let me back track a bit. This past Tuesday we went down to Salt Lake City to visit the Huntsman Cancer Institute and see a Lymphoma Specialist. This lady was awesome and I feel very lucky that she is on my team now. However, she delivered the very bad news. I was a bawling mess and luckily my husband was there to ask all the right questions. So what happens now? I still have to get my biopsy done (tomorrow), and then meet with my doctor next Wednesday to go over results. But no matter what the results I have a new much longer journey ahead of me. 

Here's whats going to happen:
Monday, June 15th: I will start a harder chemotherapy called ICE. For this you have to be admitted into the hospital and it takes three days to complete. I am going to have to find some good books and shows on Net Flix to get through these. (My awesome neighbor let me borrow the book "Unbroken" and I'm pumped to start that!) I will have 3 to 4 of these treatments and they are every two weeks.

-After 2 rounds of ICE I will get another PET Scan to see how its working. Then keep trucking along with the chemo. If I have four cycles I will have the last one July 27th. 

-After 3 ICE treatments my Stem Cells will be harvested from my bone marrow and frozen for transplant. I'm not sure of the process of this but I meet with the transplant team in Salt Lake on June 22nd to learn more and start the process.

-Wait what??? Did she just say transplant? Yes, I'll be getting a Stem Cell Transplant. This is what I'm most scared for. Scared shitless actually. Basically what will happen is I will be admitted to the hospital (Huntsman) and started on the hardest course of Chemotherapy anyone could imagine. It is going to kill every last cell inside of me. This last 6 days and I'm in the hospital the whole time. Then comes "Day 0" transplant day AKA my "RE BIRTH" day. I will get those harvested stem cells put back in and have a whole new immune system starting to develop inside of me. For the next 3 weeks I will remain in the hospital because my immunue system wont be able to handle the outside world. Its going to be hard and I won't be back to normal for months or even a year but it will all be worth it.It also usually causes infertility, but I am at peace with that and will look to God for guidance. It will be a whole new chance at this BEAUTIFUL life. I'm thankful that God and modern science have given me this "opportunity" or a whole new chance at a wonderful CANCER FREE life afterwards.

-A few months after that I will still go through radiation and then on day +100 from my transplant I will get a PET Scan which WILL be clean and Cancer free. That should be around New Years and I should be a whole new Woman by then!

Honestly, this all really sucks. And I was so mad/sad/frustrated/pissed at first. But I CAN do this. This will be (hopefully) the hardest thing I have to face in life. All I know is that my two boys and my wonderful hubby are going to have their healthy Mommy back and I can't freakin wait.