Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy Holidays 2012!

I hope that you all made some great memories over the holidays as I did.  Here is a pic of the kiddos with their new blankets compliments of their Grandma...such talent!  We had a wonderful Christmas and got to spend lots of time with great family and friends.  

It has been a little bit since my last update and I apologize for that.  It has been a rocky road lately but nothing we can't get through.  I will try and give you a rundown of what has gone on since this past summer.

I completed my Folfox treatments in August of 2012 and was scanned in September.  I had a nice break from treatment and during that time was able to take a trip down to see Dr. Alexander at the University of Maryland.  We went to check into a procedure called Cytoreduction and Hyperthermic Interperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC), a mouthful, I know.  It is truly as complicated as it sounds and you can actually watch one being performed on their website  which is pretty cool.

Our decision to look into this procedure was because there were 3 small spots found on the scan as well as a rise in my cea  levels which pretty much tells us that there is still something going on in there and that my journey to NED land is not yet done. I had originally planned on doing radiation but after further research decided that surgery is my best option.  I learned that radiation can cause a lot of scar tissue and there have been cases before where the radiation did not kill the cancer, it just buried it in scar tissue taking surgery off the table as an option at all.

My new course of action is 3 months of a new line of chemo treatment called Folfiri of which I have 4 of the 6 treatments done so far.  After this, I will scan to see where we are at and then hopefully have surgery in early-mid February.  The recovery will be lengthy but I can do it...I will simply throw on my superwoman cape and keep on keepin on!  After surgery he wants me to finish up with 3 more months of the same chemo as “clean up”.

One of the bumps in my path recently was concerning my left ureter.  I went to the ER on the Friday before Thanksgiving because I woke up with a fever and was throwing up.  During this visit I had a CT scan where the doctor determined that I had “no visible signs of cancer” but I did have “a 4 mm kidney stone”.  I was sent on my way with a script for Flo Max and directions to drink pool fulls of water.  That following Monday I woke up with a high fever again and was told to go back to the ER.  After a gazillion more tests they sent me home with a 103.7 fever with “unknown cause”.  I was to go home and rest as being in the hospital was more dangerous than being at home.  I had the fever on and off for a few days and then it cleared.

I was off to my next round of chemo treatment that Tuesday, however with the  kidney stone and fever my doctor said he wouldn't treat me.  He found a urologist that was willing to meet me at Ellis to go up and get the stone out with a claw like tool.  This is all I could envision: make a very long, boring and frustrating story short....after 2 scans, 5 procedures and multiple doctors appointments we discovered that I never had a kidney stone and we actually don't know what is causing the blockage in my ureter.  I have a stent in there currently and it will be addressed during my surgery.  It is very frustrating to have 13 doctors and not be able to figure out what is wrong with me.  I have decided to have this t-shirt made up to wear to all of my future doctors appointments, what do you think?  

Despite this mess, I have had way more great times than bad:

I had a great visit with my sister on Halloween, oh how I miss them!

I also just recently went down to Florida with the hubby to visit family and friends.  This was the first vacation for just Mark and I since the kids were born and it was very much needed.  We got sleep in every day, go fishing, go out on the boat, meet some great new friends and visit with Moe, Bob, Luke and their newest little bundle of joy, Meara.  She loves me by the way and was very sad to see her Auntie Shell go, I miss her already!

And, of course, the holidays were terrific.  I even had a surprise visit from my peeps at work whom showed up at my door caroling complete with Santa hats and beautiful smiles...I love you guys!!!

So all is well in Michelle World and I intend on keeping it that way.  I promise to update more often!  Love you all and hope all is well with you and yours!