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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Not the post I hoped to write...

The post I hoped to write was that I kicked cancer's ass finally, that I can finally say I am in complete remission, with no evidence of disease. Yet, those of you who have been reading my blog from the beginning have seen me on this emotional roller coaster, experienced my highs and lows and know that everything is not that simple.

Today was one of those lows. After a great scan in October that showed I was in partial remission, the scan I took yesterday showed that there was a small increase in the lymph node cells. Part of me is shocked, but the other part is not because I've been down this road before. Something works, and then it doesn't. It's like I keep putting in the same movie, hoping for a different ending this time. Or one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books where I keep picking the wrong ending. I'm exhausted, defeated and really, really sad. This drug was supposed to be my silver bullet, the one that changed my life and ended this nightmare. But to the surprise of my team of doctors and nurses, it wasn't. Research showed that if a patient initially responded to the drug well, they should continue to respond and I did have really high hopes. Again, I've learned I'm part of the small percentage that it doesn't continue to work for. I hate writing these posts after trying to be positive, but it's the truth in my story.

So what are the next steps you ask? Well, one thing I love about my doctor is that he always has a plan. He doesn't like to stick with any regimen that shows it may not be working anymore...he's always on to the next one. So the new plan is for me to take an oral pill that is technically not chemo, but as been known to shrink lymphoma. The good thing? No trips to the doc for IV drips, I get to take it at home and it doesn't have too many side effects. That's as much as I know now, my brain was a little fuzzy to all the details. Thank goodness Ross was there as my 2nd set of ears and to comfort me...actually 2 doctors and 1 nurse comforted me as well...it was all very surreal, I felt like it was happening to someone else.

But in the next moment I realized it was happening to me. I looked in the mirror at my red, puffy eyes and noticed I desperately needed to get my eyebrows done. So after several long tearful conversations with some of the staff and a few blood tests for the new medication, I went to get my eyebrows threaded and threw in a manicure just because I was feeling sorry for myself. As I walked to the nail salon, I was simultaneously crying and laughing at the absurdity of the situation. But that seems to be my life these days...cancer treatment and eyebrows (believe me they were out of control). I'm not saying that this is easy, I just had an all out marathon crying session with Ross and I'm incredibly upset about this situation, but some moments help me remember I haven't completely lost myself in this disease. And as my hubby and I settle in to watch "The Office" (the only show we watch together) and I hear myself laugh at loud on such an awful day, I realize that I will get through this somehow, someway.

3 comments:

  1. Morgan,

    You are honestly 1 of the strongest women that I have the pleasure of knowing. Believe it or not I often look to you and your situation as encouragement and motivation to keep pushing. When I start to feel low about what I'm going thru I think to myself that if Morgan can have the strength and faith to push forward than I know that I can too. I continue to pray for you daily

    Love

    Cassi

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  2. I happen to come across your blog a few weeks ago and your story is quite incredible. I am a 25 y/o female cancer patient (relapse acute promyelocytic leukemia) and I am being treated at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, NJ. I've been told that the lymphoma specialist there, Dr. Andre Goy, is one of the top lymphoma specialists in the world (http://www.jtcancercenter.org/physicians/find_a_specialist/division_chiefs1/andre_goy_m.d._m.s1/). I understand you are in NYC, so since Hackensack is close, maybe it would be beneficial to meet with him. I received a second consultation from the leukemia specialist at HUMC and it changed my life and course of treatment.

    I see that you underwent an auto transplant. I know they like to wait a year before another transplant, but I wonder if you would be a candidate for an allogeneic transplant. Unlike the auto, the allo transplant has the added benefit of graft v. tumor effect. One of the nation's top transplant doctors (my doctor) Dr. Rowley, is also at Hackensack.

    I just want to add, you are such a strong beautiful woman and you're not letting this disease get the best of you. You can beat this! I just felt compelled to send you this information in case it can be of any help! Even though we've never met, I feel for you and I wish you all the best!

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  3. Thanks Cassi, I so appreciate it!!

    To Anonymous, I would love to chat with you! You can email me at my yahoo account: morgan_gabrielle@yahoo.com.

    While I love my current doctor and he has really been very positive in the course of my treatment, it doesn't hurt to have another opinion. I actually do have a match for an allo transplant so that is something he is thinking for down the road.

    Thanks for your comment!

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