Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Lymphoma Journey

Update on our Katie: Tomorrow morning she will have her second chemo treatment.  This will be the second of three so she will finish up with chemo soon.  Then we head on to 3 radiation treatments.
She's doing very well, a few days ago we had some rough days when her hair started falling out but now there is very little of it left and she's becoming accustomed to it.
We found a wonderful website that sells hats for chemo patients.  She found 2 cute pink caps and then a deep pink sleeping cap.  She does not want to go without her head covered at all.
Her sweet brothers have both shaved their heads completely in support of her.  Also her uncle Ricky (my brother) shaved his head, he adores our girl too.  I'm wearing some type of a head covering and have cut my hair as short as she will let me.
While we're not letting our life be dictated by Cancer it has been dictated by Dr. visits and lots of tests at the hospital, thankfully everything has come back just fine.
We are looking forward to 'normal', I know a lot of you live this daily and there are others that have their own form of normal with their own health issues in their homes, I will never ever complain about 'normal' again.
This has put so many things into perspective for our family.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Update on our journey with Lymphoma

Before I give you an update I want to say that living with cancer in your home seems to be a lot of waiting and holding your breath!  We had hoped initially that the tumor was not cancer, but it was, so next was having a pet and ct scan to check for more tumors, that was a week ago and today we finally received the results.  I think her daddy and I were all set to hear the worst because you just find that that's the only way you can handle it if the news is bad...but today we were given very good news, this is the email I sent to our families prayer list so I'll just post it in it's entirety:
Wow!!! Wonderful news from the oncologist today. The tumor they removed is the only one, there are no more! She will have a port put in within the next 10 days and then have 3 chemo treatments and then some radiation. She will lose her hair 2 weeks after the first chemo treatment but losing hair is so minimal to the possibility of losing your life. God is so good! Thanks for the prayers everyone! 
Her treatments will be every 3 weeks for the chemo and then we will head into the radiation part of it.  The doctor says that this plan of treatment is meant to cure her.  When the treatments are all over (approximately the beginning of November) their goal is to cure her completely.  Since they can do so much more now than they could even 10 years ago, they can gear her whole treatment plan to exactly what she will need and nothing more.  The long term effects of it are a possibility of her not being able to make saliva on the left side (which is where the tumor was) but really nothing more.  This will not at all keep her from living a long happy life!  Getting married and having lots of babies!!!!  *which is her dream*.
We are so thankful, her daddy had a dozen red roses waiting for her when we got home today.
Thanks for the prayers, this has given us a good glimpse into the life of a cancer patient and we intend to do more for the American Cancer Society because of it.  If the research had not been done in the past few decades none of these less invasive procedures would be available, yes we are very thankful.
We’ve always supported the Arthritis Foundation (moms rheumatoid arthritis) and American Diabetes Society (Dan’s mom is diabetic) so now we can add the cancer society to it.  It’s amazing to think how far all of these have come because of the support of so many folks, one day perhaps they will be able to find the cures for them all. 
This evening I cut my hair very short and then we measured her a long pony tail and cut it to appr. 13 inches, we’re sending the pony tail to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program.  They make wigs and give them to cancer patients, we were going to try ‘locks of love’ but Katie did a lot of research and ‘locks of love’ charges folks for the wigs they make and she didn’t want that, she wanted it to be a free service for those that couldn’t afford it.  Although she shed some tears I think she’s happy it’s cut and now when it starts to fall out it will just be short pieces coming out.
Love to all!
Judy and bunch
Here are the pics:            Her long hair:
                                                                   Now very short!
                                                   Sweet tear stained face.
We're very proud of her, she's being very brave about all of this.  At age 21 I'm not so sure I would have been so mature about it all.  I learn so much from this sweet young lady, She holds on tight to her Father's promises and knows her future is in His hands.