Monday, April 30, 2012

All the news that's fit to print...

Well, I finally heard from Dr. Shah at MD Anderson.  He said that I technically have what he would call Smoldering Myeloma.  It is a slow-growing type of myeloma  He said that 30% of my plasma cells show signs of myeloma, yet I don’t have any symptoms at this point (lytic lesions {thinning spots in bones}, elevated calcium in the blood, & kidney problems).  He said I will have to have blood work done every three months to check calcium levels & kidney function.  Plus I will need x-rays done every 6 months to check for lytic lesions. However, he said at this time we will not be doing treatments.

In a way, that doesn’t make sense to me.  That almost sounds like waiting until you have 3rd degree sunburn to put on sunscreen.  However, as a couple of friends pointed out, that may mean that it is currently at remission type levels.  Or as my friend Lorie said (in line with my analogy), it would be like putting sun block on when you aren’t planning on going outside.

The other thing Dr. Shah talked about was possibly giving me intravenous IgG (a component of the immune system) to help me deal with my recurrent fevers & infections.  I’m not really sure what all that involves, but Dr. Shah was planning on calling Dr. Cole, my wonderful doctor here in Tulsa, to consult about that.

My plan right now is to go over all of this with Dr. Cole when I see him this Friday.  He does an amazing job of “dumbing down” all that medical jargon to help me understand it better.

That’s all I know at this point.  I will update again this weekend after I talk to Dr. Cole on Friday.  In the meantime, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Home again, home again, jiggety jig...

We made it home today.  We were a little worried that the wild weather we're having in Oklahoma would delay us, but we slipped in between storm systems.  I'm thankful for that.

For some reason I'm considerably more tired than I expected to be. I'm sure it's a combination of the emotions & stress of the last few days along with travelling today.  I just feel really wiped.  I'm also kind of achy in the 2 spots where they did the bone marrow biopsies.

I'm so happy to be home & be back with my kiddo. I got a huge hug from him at the airport today.  It was pretty cool to have a 16 yr old boy give you a long bear hug in public & not care who saw him.  I am also thankful for my Mama & her wrangling him while we were gone.  She's the BEST!

Even though it's a little blurry, I have to share a picture of some of my favorite people in the world:

Brian's "little" brother & his wife & girls live an hour & a half outside of Houston.  They came & went to dinner with us our last night in Houston.  It was such a blessing to see them.  It's been too long.

Also want to share something God reminded me of recently.  When I learned I was going on this cancer journey, I was going to get some lunch & I saw a bumper sticker that reminded me of one of my favorite songs.  I hadn't heard it in years.  The first verse & chorus go like this:

God sent his son,
They called Him Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon;
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives
I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives
All fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future;
And life is worth the living
Just because He Lives.
It also reminded me of a cross stitch my sweet friend Milly did a special charting for & was willing to share with me:

I am so thankful that because my Savior lives I can face tomorrow with no fear.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Did you notice the subtle difference in this post's title compared to yesterday's? Yeah, today was SERIOUSLY not fun.

Between 6:30 & 11:00 am I had 4 tests run.  I started off with 2 CT scans.  The iodine contrast in the IV was interesting to say the least.

The worst was the bone marrow aspirate & bone biopsies.  Yes I said biopsies...they did 2 of those, 1 from each hip.  I understood they would at least give me at least an anti-anxiety med, but they gave me nothing.  Even during the first one I had in Tulsa that caused me so much pain they had given me an anti-anxiety med, and that one caused so much pain they had to stop. I had a massive meltdown & started bawling. I was so scared.  The ladies who did the procedure were so sweet & understanding.  They took extra steps to use extra lidocaine to try to make it as comfortable as they could.

After that the fine needle aspirate they did was a breeze, but I was really emotionally exhausted.

The good news is that at this point all my testing is done!  Hallelujah!!!!!  In spite of my meltdown, I know God has walked before me through this week & helped me through.  Also, my sweet Brian has been my rock.  This would have been so much harder without him by my side.  I couldn't ask for anything more!

When you get right down to it, in spite of this thing called cancer, I am one blessed lady.  I am married to my best friend.  I have an amazing, tenderhearted & caring son who makes me laugh every day. My Mama, in-laws & entire family support me unconditionally.  I also have awesome friends who I know are lifting me up in prayer every day.  How can it get much better than that?

Monday, April 9, 2012

We made it to Houston...

Well, we made it to Houston.  We had quite the adventure getting here.  Our flight was 20 minutes late leaving Tulsa.  Then, when we were about 20 minutes outside of Houston, a lady on our flight had a seizure.  So we had to wait for paramedics to come in & take her off the plane before we could get off the plane.  She seemed to be doing better as they took her off.  Praying she's doing better now.

We are in a very comfortable hotel room 4 blocks from MD Anderson.  We were able to get a room with a small kitchen, so we found a grocery store & bought breakfast, lunch & snack foods.  Hopefully that saves us a little money while we're here.

We're taking it easy this evening.  We have to be at MD Anderson at Noon tomorrow.  I know we'll see 2 nurses  & then my doctor.  Beyond that I have no idea.  But God knows & that's all that matters.  I know He'll take care of all that is to come.

Thank you for your continued prayers, friends.  We feel every one of them!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

South bound and down, loaded up and flyin'...

That's not exactly how the song goes, but it applies to us next week.

I received a call from MD Anderson this afternoon & I am scheduled to meet with Dr. Shah at the hospital a week from today, Tuesday, April 10th.  Brian is going with me  I was told to plan on us staying there through Friday.

I feel excited & a bit nervous all at the same time.  I'm excited to get moving on this & figure out what treatments will be.  However, I'm a little nervous about how I will handle the treatments.  The comfort in the midst of the storm is knowing that my precious Lord already knows what my treatments will be and He will care for me no matter what.  Plus, with my guys & my friends & family by my side, I couldn't be in a better place.

My prayer at this point is that we can get all the travel arrangements made as quickly as possible & get everything lined up to take care of both of our jobs while we are gone.

Thank you for all your love, support & prayers, dear ones.  We love you so much!