Friday, November 6, 2009

Good News!

I received a call from the Oncologist today. It is a B-cell marginal zone lymphoma. But there's really good news! The bone marrow biopsy and the ct scan came back normal. Whewhoo! So, it looks like we're going to biopsy more of the spots and then do radiation therapy. But, NO CHEMO! Whewhoo!

Thank you all for your prayers! I know that God heard and has answered our prayers. I have felt the strength. There's a scripture that I love:

"And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions."
~Mosiah 24:15

This is a promise that the Lord gave to his children when they were being persecuted by other people. It is recorded in the Book of Mormon, which like the Bible is a record of God's dealings with men.

I have felt my burdens made lighter, thanks to your prayers and to God's blessings. I will stand as a witness that there is a God and He loves us! I know my Heavenly Father loves me and watches over me and my family. I know that He heard many, many petitions for my health and that He heard and answered our prayers. I am so thankful to Him and to each of you! May God bless you that your burdens too may be light. I am so thankful!

All is well!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

One of my amazing friends gave me this beautiful necklace. The necklace was originally designed for an inspiring woman, Stephanie Nielsen. Stephanie is a survivor of a tragic plane crash. She really is a remarkable example of enduring well.

The following accompanied this beautiful gift:

There is in every true woman's heart
a spark of heavenly fire,
which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity;
but which kindles up and
beams and blazes
in the dark hour of adversity.
-Washington Irving

Read it again. It's more beautiful each time you read it.

Thank you, my friend! I love you!

Another Update

I hope to get more pictures and posts added sometime this weekend. However, Ryan and I both seem to have some sort of cold/flu bug. So, for now I'll just give you a quick update on our week.

I received the blood work results from the oncologist and the rheumatologist. Both look good. There were a few things that were off, but nothing alarming. I haven't talked to either doctor about them; however, I suspect that I will not have to have the muscle biopsy or the conductive nerve exam. Yeah!

My back side is still a little sore from the bone marrow biopsy, but no where near as sore as it was Monday and Tuesday. I think I'll be able to start working out again as soon as this cold/flu bug has passed.

On Wednesday I took Ryan in for his well-child care check up. He looks good. His pediatrician was pleased with the progress Ryan has made in holding his head up and in increasing his core muscle strength. Ryan weighed in at 18 pounds 10 ounces, which means he has gained 6 ounces in the past 3 months. He is still not on the growth charts, but his curve is shadowing the bottom of the curve. We are back to talking about the possibility of tubing Ryan. He has cut his intake down to less than 20 ounces of formula each day and still isn't doing "solids." Therefore, we're concerned that he's simply not getting the energy required to sustain growth. I've done a lot of research on g-tubes and although I'm not thrilled about the idea of needing one, I am not opposed to it if it will help Ryan to grow and develop better.

Later on Wednesday I went to see my old Gynecologist. I had changed when I was pregnant with Ryan. You probably remember that I just felt that I needed to deliver closer to home. Well, my old Gynecologist has now moved her practice to this side of town and I'm so glad. It was great to see her again. Dr. Murdock is a technically good doctor and she has a good "bed side manner." She is just so busy that she rushes in and out of the appointment. I always felt like she had more important things to do. With Dr. Shows I always feel like I am her most important patient, an especially comforting feeling when trying to solve health problems.

We had a good conversation and she did my annual exam. I should get the results back in about 2 weeks I think. She also ordered a mammogram, which I did yesterday. That was an interesting experience ... but no where near as bad as some women describe it. I have a follow up appointment in about 10 days.

Also on Wednesday, I went to see an Internal Medicine doctor at the request of my Rheumatologist. He felt that we had done enough tests for now and just needed to get all the results back. After we have all the results back in then he may want to order some new tests but for now we're just going to watch and wait. I'm relieved. I've had enough tests for a while.

So, we are still waiting for:
* Dr. Seals to follow up on Ryan's MRI. He is trying to get together with the Radiologist who read them and then he will call me back.
* The NIH pathologists report for the immunotyping and characterization of the Lymphoma, the CT scan report, and the bone marrow biopsy report.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ryan's 15 month Check Up

Today we went to see Dr. Rhame. Ryan received his immunizations and a thorough check up from the pediatrician for his 15 month well-child care check up. Considering Ryan's health issues, Ryan is doing well. We discussed his need to eat more than he is currently eating. Dr. Rhame suggested that we may need to revisit the idea of doing a feeding tube for Ryan. I said I would follow up with his GI Specialist and with a Speech Therapist who specializes in feeding issues.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Jessica made a pie tonight at Young Women's.
Didn't she do a great job?
I'm so proud of her.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bone Marrow Biopsy Done - Whew!

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers today. I was SOOOO nervous, but I survived. Thank heavens for sedation ... even conscious sedation.

The IV didn't go super well (but not as badly as Ryan's). I warned her that my veins have a tendency to roll. She stuck me in the left hand, dug for the vein for a while, and then confirmed that I was right: my veins do indeed roll. That hurt. Then she got a baby needle and stuck it into a different place on the left hand and was able to hit the vein. She wasn't able to thread it all the way, but enough that the saline was going into the vein and not my hand. So she called it good.

Then they took me back to a CT room and placed me tummy side down on the table. They hooked me up to monitors and oxygen and marked the location for the biopsy. Then gave me some medicine through the IV. I felt the medicine move through my body, just a mild relaxation. Then she added 3 more doses before they started the actual biospy. When the doctor came in, he gave me a local numbing shot. That shot HURT! He had warned me that it would, and he was right. It did. They did the aspiration and biopsy in the iliac crest on my left side, which is essentially the top of the pelvic bone.

I don't remember many more details except that I remember hearing him hammering and feeling pressure. I asked if he was hammering into the bone. He hesitated to answer, and I don't remember what he finally said. Then I remember asking if I could see the samples. Someone told me no, but then the doctor showed them to me. I remember thinking they were really tiny. Not surprising cause look at the entry point:

That's it. We got home at about 3, I think and I slept until about 7 pm. We had a mellow family home evening with constant reminders to the little ones that they need to be gentle with Mommy. I'm actually feeling okay. I have a dull ache on my left back side, and I'm looking forward to going back to sleep tonight.

The next appointment is a gynecological exam and Mammogram. Fun, right? I suppose it's a good idea to check me from head to toe.

The blood work from my Rheumatology appointment should be back on Wednesday. Then we'll be able to determine if I need a muscle biospy and a conductive nerve exam.

Dreading Tomorrow

Well, I guess it's actually today that I'm dreading since it's now 12.03 am. The bone marrow test is tomorrow. Did I mention that they're doing conscious sedation? Really? Conscious? I really want to be UNconscious for it.

Ugh. This is going to hurt.