Jan 14 2010

Greetings!

Published by at 1:51 pm under Cancer Details,Opening Post

Thanks for checking in.  This site has been created to keep my family, brethren, and friends up to date on my second battle with cancer.  Some of you know may not know that in 2005 I was diagnosed with a bone cancer (osteosarcoma) in my right femur.  The tumor was discovered when I went to the ER, two days before Thanksgiving, due to pain in my right leg.  That is a long story that I may discuss in another post.  There were many prayers that went out for me.   I have been blessed to be cured of the osteosarcoma, having a wonderful family, church family, and friends that were there for me through the first battle.

I have been getting check ups with my oncologist, Dr. Ellis, and my Bone Surgeon, Dr. Goodman, about every 6 months.  This is standard practice for cancer patients.   One test that I have on a regular basis is a CT scan of my chest.  They scan my chest to see if the cancer returns, because the first place it will most likely go is to the lungs.   During a follow up  they saw something that was of concern.   I was suppose to go for the mammogram back January 2009 or, but being busy,  it fell to the wayside.  I finally got myself together and got it  scheduled this past October.  I received notification to come back for more tests.  They saw a spot and wanted to get more scans.

After the Mammogram in October, I was asked to come back for another one.  I went to my second appointment in November and it took a very long time.  The technician assured me that it was not necessarily because there was something wrong.  After mammogram, they recommend a sonogram immediately.  Then,  one of the radiologists sat down with me to show me what he saw.  The technician, who performed the sonogram, was telling me it was normal to go over results immediately.   I never had this happen that at this facility.  I was told that the tumor looked as though it had ridges around the edges, which indicates cancer.  The sonogram showed it was a solid mass, which also indicates cancer.    The radiologist informed me that this result was very concerning.

Dr. Ellis’s office referred me to a surgeon, Dr. Goldstien, and she had suggested that I have a biopsy to confirm the cancer.  On my 40th birthday, Dr. Goldstien called and confirmed the turmor was cancer.    Tests showed the tumor was about one centimeter in diameter.

After the biopsy, Dr. Goldstein wanted me to get a breast MRI.  The MRI showed that one of the lymph nodes was swollen.

On January 7th, 2010, the tumor was removed.  Dr. Goldstien suggested taking all the lymph nodes out.  Because of the swollen lymph node, it was possible the cancer had spread.  I agreed.  Before this surgery, a needle had to be inserted around the tumor to guide Dr. Goldstein to the exact location of the tumor.  This was done via the mammogram machine so photos could be taken to make sure it was placed properly.  The doctor who read October’s test results performed this procedure.

Because I do not do well with needles, and had an empty stomach, I ended up passing out.   During this process, the radiologist informed me that it was “luck” that he saw this tumor.  I would not say that it was luck but the hand of God protecting me from being in a worse situation.  The doctor almost missed the tumor because it was very hard to see.  This news  made me feel better, because thought I had waited too long to have my mammogram.   Although, if I had waited much longer, it could have been much worse.

On January 13th, Dr. Ellis said that 4 of the 21 lymph nodes that were taken out were cancerous.  It was a good thing they took them all out.  Due to the cancer spreading to the lymph nodes, I will need chemotherapy (again).  If it had not spread, I would have been able to get away with only having radiation and a pill for 5 years.

Now I have the challenge of having all three treatments and loosing my hair.  Last time I cried more about loosing my long hair than having cancer.  After growing it back the last three and a half years, now I have to start all over again, which I am not very happy about.

I have all my wigs, hats and bandannas ready to go.  I am considering taking photos of my journey, but I will have to swallow a lot of pride to be willing to post the photos.

Next week, I have to get a PET CT scan, and a port put in again.  A port is a line that goes to your main artery that receives the needles for chemo.  It is a great thing  to have because it saves your veins and does not hurt as much.   Also, next week I will be having a hearing test.  This is so Dr. Ellis can have a base line to test if the chemo is affecting my hearing.  The chemotherapy treatment for my last cancer, could have caused me to go deaf and other crazy side effects.  I did loose some hearing.  I cannot hear high pitched noises like a thermometer or beeper.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Greetings!”

  1. StaciaJoyon 15 Jan 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Hi Amy,

    Thank you for sharing your story. As always Mark and I will be keeping you in prayer daily. I have also shared your story with my family and some great Christian friends who are also praying for a complete healing! We serve a mighty God, and I know every step you have to take He will be holding you in His hands giving you the strength you need on this journey. We love you Amy.

    Love,
    Stacia

  2. albaon 15 Jan 2010 at 11:34 pm

    I was introduced to you and your story by Stacia. She is a wonderful Christian lady and I’m grateful to have met her. She’s blessed me in many ways that she’s not even aware of. Stacia, I consider you a friend of mine. Thank you for sharing Amy’s story with me and others.
    Amy,

    Have you ever opened a book and read a passage and been amazed because it was exactly what you needed to hear? And you felt like it was written and sent just to you on that day at that moment? Some may call it a coincidence, but I call it a gift from God!

    Last night I awoke in such great pain in my head, I did not sleep. Finally I took two Tylenols to help with the pain, but I never could go back to sleep.

    This morning I was absolutely exhausted! I was tired physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’m tired from no sleep. I’m tired of trying so hard to function. I’m ready to run and I can’t. I’m frustrated. I’m weak. I’m what Isaiah calls “weary.”

    This morning I opened the Bible for a healthy dose of God’s Word. I was delighted when I read the words from Isaiah. It was exactly what I needed to hear:
    “My strength will be renewed because I have hope in the Lord.”

    I have hope in the Lord because He is my Comforter. My head was hurting and my emotions were unbalanced. I didn’t feel very comfortable at the moment, but I was comforted. My Comforter supplies me with the love, peace, and hope I need to know it’s going to be okay.

    I have hope in the Lord because He is my Disciplinarian. I have to admit, this isn’t my favorite characteristic of Him. But I know without it, I’d be out of control! I need a strong hand to guide me and keep me in line because I am a stubborn one. I actually feel safe and secure because He disciplines me. I know it is through that discipline that I am strengthened. I also know He disciplines me because He loves me.

    I may be weak today, but what a great place to be. It drew me closer to the One I needed most.

    Amy,
    You can find hope in HIM!

  3. tracyjotooon 18 Jan 2010 at 3:50 am

    Amy,

    I am so sorry to hear about the cancer. I and my family will be praying for you and your family. You are such a outgoing and beautiful person that I have to believe that everything will turn out okay. Please let me know if there is ever anything I can do to help, I am only an email or phone call away.
    Tracy

  4. jyojoon 18 Jan 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Thanks Amy for your blog. It’s reminding me of the healing power of creativity through writing and other practices. I would love to see photographs of your journey as well to feel more connection. Blessings of laughter and healing.

    Peace,
    Jodi Gross

  5. kimba12345on 18 Jan 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Hi Amy,

    I am sending hugs, healing thoughts and prayers coming your way. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your courage is amazing.. If you can, please do post pictures throughout your journey – espcially if you think it will help others to understand what you are feeling and thinking and wishing.

    You beat it before you can do it again. I know others who have been in your shoes, they still stand tall and live large.

    Again thanks for sharing! I wish you peace and comfort in this journey. If I find some cool websites, I wil post for you.

    Warm reagrds,
    **Kim**

  6. albaon 20 Jan 2010 at 7:18 pm

    The book I was referring to of course, the Bible. Here’s a few verses I’ve gone to when I’m feeling…well anything that discouranges me.

    Isaiah 40

    29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

    30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

    31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

    My strength is renewed because I have HOPE in the LORD.

    Amy,

    It’s great that you’re sharing your story. It’s great to read all these comments from those that love you. Isn’t it wonderful to know that you’re loved?

    alba

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