The Cancer Journey: The Good the Bad and the Plan
Reposted from denisetam.webs.com December 23, 2009 Tuesday, December 22 We went in for a follow up with Prof Liang. I guess I wasn't really prepared for receiving any news (thinking results wouldn't be in until Friday) because what we were told really shook me up. Here it is. The Good: 1. Since lymph nodes are really responsive Prof Liang believes the chemo can kill off most of the cancer cells within the first three months of chemo. 2. Mine is a slow growing one so I can wait until after the holidays to start anything. 3. I'm young and considered generally healthy so I'll withstand the chemo and its side effects quite well. The Bad: 1. The cancer has spread to my bones. We haven't got the actual test results back from the bone sample but the results from the blood from the bone shows the cancer is there. Prof Liang says we don't need to wait for the results from the bone sample to see if it's in the bones. Thus, the cancer is now at stage 4. 2. follicular lymphoma is easy to bring into remission but also fairly easy to have it reoccur after remission. The average for a relapse is 50%. Since Im young Prof Liang finds this the most worrisome. 3. If it comes back, it is also likely to come back in a more aggressive form. The Plan: I will be starting chemo on either Jan 4 or 5 (depending on when the hospital can book the bed). That day I will be required to stay overnight so the hospital can monitor my reaction to the drugs. There are three types of drugs used for chemo (2 oral and 1 through IV); an antibody injection (Rituximab) will be given alongside the chemo drugs. I will be given the doses once every four weeks if there are no delays due to a low white blood cell count. After three months, I will have to go for another PET scan and have another bone marrow test (!cringe!) to see if the drugs are working. If they aren't, Prof Liang will switch to another type of drugs. If they are we will continue for another three months, making it a total of six months! After the six months, there have been talks of continuing with the antibody injection for a period of two years to help prevent the cancer from returning. IF it does, a bone marrow transplant may have to take place and more chemo. We're not thinking that far ahead though. My Prayers: are that I will remain joyful through the chemo, that I will continue to have faith and trust in God to lead me every step of the way that my body and immune system will stay strong throughout I've always been a very positive and happy person and I always think it's important to look on the bright side. There are ALWAYS things to be thankful for. So I'm going to end on that note. Here's my list: *friends (people who i've met and haven't gotten the chance to meet yet) and family (immediate and extended): for their continuous support and their cheerful heart that gives me so much encouragement *being in HK where I have access to so many different kinds of doctors and health supplelements *having very little discomfort so far *the thousands of prayers that are said for me each and every day from around the world *a slow growing cancer *a doctor that's not only highly reputable, but is also caring, supportive and understanding *that i am eating again (hehe) Thank you to all for your love, care and support.