October 27, 2000|
A lot has happened in a short period of time here in the hospital since I last wrote. It hasn’t been easy and I am thankful that my dad has been staying here, keeping me company and straightening out everything with the doctors, nurses and treatments.
The biopsy was all day Thursday. It was rough, as the anesthesia was much more powerful than my last biopsy. The biopsy was cool though and all I have is few scars to show and a sore stomach (which is feeling better everyday).
Friday was the day of uncertainty- the call from biopsy didn’t come till almost 5pm. My dad wouldn’t leave the room till we heard the results. He wouldn’t even leave to eat. He ended up eating the scraps from my new roommate, Boris and me. Boris is a 60something Russian Jewish immigrant, from Brooklyn, owning his own construction consulting company, and had his lymphoma come back too. He is incredibly well educated about our situations (as we are doing the same treatments), and also super positive. Him and my dad talk a lot about the cancer and about everything. I don’t think my dad has met someone like Boris (a character straight out of a Brooklyn novel, basically) and Boris, who has never met your totally average American (which I totally consider my dad to be- white, Midwestern, middle class, conservative, etc).
As for me, I have been under the influence of a lot of morphine, which I just learned how to control the flow of this morning. The morphine drips into my IV every 15 minutes, and if the pain really flares up, I push a button and I get an extra dose of morphine. My back hasn’t felt better in months, but the morphine really zonks me out. Therefore we reducing the morphine and trying to see if the chemo did its job and is reducing the size of the nodes, thereby reducing the pain. I think that is happening.
Once we got the call about the pathology, the doctors here (who work in teams instead of individually) started chemo instantly. My first dose came last night, and I received my second and third today. The third is a 24 hour drip, and then the fourth will happen tomorrow and will take an hour drip. After that, I will have nothing for 2-3 weeks. Then I will have one more chemo treatment and 2-3 weeks of rest. After that we will have an extra 10 radiation treatments on my back (which I am assured and assure you will not be nearly as close to painful as last time, especially not being close to my throat or stomach) just to make sure my back nodes are done for.
After that radiation, the last step is the stem cell transplant. I don’t have all the details on it, but it appears if that will happen in January and will require 14-21 days in the hospital. The rest of the next few months will be a lot of tests, making sure everything is clear. If these work, well then, remission is declared and life is back to normal. If they don’t work, well, then I am battling this to death. It is a scary thing, amazingly scary thing, but this is where clinging to the hope and promises that were made to me come in. And clinging to you all and your prayers too. We (not I) will beat this thing.