Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Taking it one day at a time...

Today I had a lung function test which are supposed to measure how much air you can take in or blow out from our lungs and how fast you do it, how well lungs deliver oxygen to blood, and strength of breathing muscles.  Apparently even with my asthmatic lungs I passed the tests. :)

On to the interesting news of the day... My oncologist called, for which I was very grateful because we were getting antsy to hear official biopsy results (since it has been over a week since I got a CT guided needle biopsy).  The doctor explained that after different pathologists, including a hemato-pathologist, reviewed my biopsy sample, they had decided that they would be unable to determine the type of lymphoma I have from those samples.  However, the good news we got today is that they found that my lymphoma was positive for CD20, which could imply that it is a B-cell lymphoma.  The doctor also mentioned that it might point to this being a primary mediastinal lymphoma.  If so, that would mean the cancer is ONLY in the spot where we've already found it.

Now on to the bad news.  I can't start chemo (to kill this cancer!) until we know what kind of lymphoma I have.  We won't know what kind of lymphoma I have from the current biopsy specimens, SO that means I will need another biopsy.  Here are the 2 options as explained by my oncologist. Option 1: if the PET scan that I have scheduled for tomorrow finds another lymphoma anywhere else in my body, the doctors might be able to more easily biopsy the new location.  Option 2: if the PET scan shows there's no other cancer cells in my body (which I hope is the case), then we need to have a more invasive biopsy - where they would cut in between my ribs, and grab a chunk of the mass.

So, how do I feel about all this?  The biopsy was tender for longer than I had initially expected, and it even hurt to try to open a medicine bottle.  I also couldn't gather enough strength to actually open said medicine bottle.  So yes, I'm NOT excited about having a more invasive procedure in the chest area.  However, a couple of weeks ago I was considering having my chest opened up with a saw, so I guess this is way easier.  I think my biggest frustration is that at this point I just want to FIGHT this thing.  I want to start chemo so we can start getting rid of this lymphoma.  I am frustrated at having to wait more, at being in pain and still trying to find the right medicine amount to deal with the pain.  I mostly just want to feel like I'm doing something to prevent the lymphoma from getting bigger, attacking other organs, etc.  In essence, I am having a tough time staying patient.  However, we keep getting good news, and I am infinitely thankful for that.  I will continue to stay strong, and take each day at a time.  If you call/email/text and I don't immediately answer or respond - it is because I'm trying to stay busy and enjoy time with my family.

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31 year old navigating life with husband and almost-2-years-old daughter :)