It's back. The cancer is back.
My first reaction was to cry. Then I sobbed, and cried some more. Now mostly I am okay, except for random little things like when I hear my daughter tell me out of the blue, "I never ever ever want you to go away ever again! Stay here forever!" and I have to hug her close so she doesn't see the tears falling. Or I see the 4 little Halloween pumpkins on our front porch, one for each of us, and I think that sometime soon there might only be three.
Thoughtful, kind, people are always asking how I'm feeling. How do I answer that?? I feel like crying and throwing a fit similar to the ones Evan throws when he's screaming and crying on the floor. I feel like swearing up a storm and throwing every glass dish I have out the window. I feel like grasping every moment I have with my kids and husband, making the best memories I can. I feel like taking my kids to Disneyland, Costa Rica, and Hawaii and spending a month in each place, without a care in the world.
But that's enough whining. Dr. Laura always says it's okay to whine, but only for a short while, then it's time to make a plan. So I'm working on it.
My PET scan came back poor- an enlarged lymph node under my right arm and two in the groin area, as well as "intense activity" in my already huge tonsils. I have been feeling tired lately, and had a lot of pain in my lymph system throughout my neck, chest, and jaw area ever since I came back to NJ from the summer in UT. So I was pretty sure it was back before my appointment today.
I go in for a biopsy on Friday and should get final results on the Friday after. I imagine I'll then hear the treatment plan as I'll be seeing my main doc, Dr. Goy, the world-reknowned lymphoma specialist. Amazingly enough, a new drug called Adcetris was just approved by the FDA in August specifically for Hodgkin's Lymphoma patients with failed stem cell transplants. This IS amazing by the way- there hasn't been a new drug approved for HL treatment since the seventies! (Prior to this drug I had a 30% chance of still being alive in 5 years... now, it's better, but I don't know how much better those odds are, though I plan on making it at LEAST 5 years!) I will likely receive several (up to 16) transfusions of Adcetris, one every three weeks, followed by possibly another stem cell transplant or bone marrow transplant- not quite sure about that part. At least this is my understanding as of now, it will change after talking with the doc next Friday.
It is awful to have to face this again, exactly one year to the week of having to face it last year. BUT, I have such wonderful support- husband, children, family, friends, ward, and my Savior... I can do this, again. I have to do this.
As always, and even more so now, your prayers are welcomed.