Monday, June 10, 2013

What kind of lymphoma?

On friday, june 7th, 2013 - I was told that the mysterious mass in my chest is in fact a lymphoma. I knew there was a chance of cancer, we had discussed it and I had gone through a biopsy. However, being told "you have cancer" is still scary. I should note that in many ways this being a lymphoma is good news, because the open chest surgery that the doctors had initially thought would be necessary (and now they believe there's a 99% chance I wont need it, yay!) is risky, and would have a tough physical/emotional recovery period (2 months without being able to pick up my daughter! How to explain that to her?)

It has been a week since my CT guided needle biopsy at UCLA, and we still don't know exactly which type (out of 70) of lymphoma I have. The doctor told us it is a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, that it seems to be internally aggressive (which is what you want for chemo treatments).

I had an echocardiogram today, because the oncologist wants to make sure my heart is healthy and can handle chemo treatment. Apparently there are some medicines that could weaken the heart, so this is important information to know now. After the test, my husband and I went back to the oncologist's office to see if there was any chance they had finally gotten the pathology report. We were told that the oncologist and pathologist had talked, but we still didn't have a final answer. As I understand it, there's about 70 different types of lymphoma, and the pathologists are working to rule out the different types, and confirm whichever type they think I have. I understand this is a scientific process that could take them some time, but I didn't expect it to be over a week!!! I want to start getting rid of this mass already! As anyone that's ever worked with me knows, I'm not exactly a patient person. Waiting around, not even knowing which questions to ask or which type of lymphoma I should be researching is rough.

Next up (on wednesday) is a PET scan, which is basically a whole body scan to see if I have lymphomas anywhere else in my body. By the time the doctors have the answers from these tests, I hope to have the pathology report finalized so that we can start fighting this mass!

My husband and I are trying to stay positive. My Mom is in town, helping with our toddler daughter, cooking and taking care of us as Moms do. I am currently on short term disability, and I am so very thankful for good health insurance. We're all waiting and hoping to get more information every day - I think it is because we feel like we don't yet truly know what we are fighting.

*** I must note that I am currently taking prednisone to help with the chest pain. This drug makes me pretty hyper, so there's a chance that my "stream of consciousness" blogging is slightly confusing. Let me know in the comments. :)

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