Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Keeping You In the Loop

Anytime I friend someone on Facebook or follow them on Twitter it's usually because we share some sort of connection, like we've known each other somewhere along the way & I want to stay in touch.  Because of this, I like to keep you updated if there's something going on that I would want to tell a friend or family member.  I appreciate each & every one of you.

That being said, it's time for a health update.  As most of you know, I've been dealing with something unknown for over a year.  It hasn't given me any symptoms, other than I've had some swelled lymph nodes.  In order to figure out once & for all what's going on, I had one removed from the left side of my neck & biopsied.  Last week, the information was handed down from the surgeon & confirmed this week by the oncologist I've been seeing for this year plus process:  I have Nodular Lymphocyte Predominant Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

NOW, before any of you freak out & go crazy...yes, it is cancer BUT I'm assured by my oncologist that no matter what stage I'm in with this particular strain, it is curable.  Everything that I've been seeing is in the 90's percentage-wise for success rate.  This is a huge load off of my mind just knowing what we're dealing with & that it can be treated/cured.  Right now the toughest parts that I'm dealing with are all of the appointments leading up to the treatment.  I just had my bone marrow biopsy today (NOT FUN...this should be a Guantanamo torture tactic), then a PET scan tomorrow.  Next week is a pulmonary test & an EKG just to make sure I'll be able to handle treatments.  Once all of this info is in & I get a second opinion from either Johns Hopkins or Hershey Medical Center, then we can start treatment.  I'll be on chemo for probably about 6 months (once every two weeks for 12 treatments).  I may lose some of my hair & I may be tired some days, but it's what I have to do.  I'm a worrier, as most of you know, but with this, I'm not worried.  I realize that I worry about things I can control (money, jobs, elections...wait, I can't control those...), but this is something that I can't.  This is out of my hands.  I believe in God & I firmly believe that He is in control of this situation.  Just knowing that lifts the burden off of my shoulders & allows me to function where others may be flipping their lids.

The sentence that most comes out of peoples' mouths when I've been telling them what's going on is "If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask."  Honestly, this is one of the toughest questions to answer, yet it's also easy.  I'm a person who doesn't like to rely on others for anything.  I'd rather be the one to help if there's any needed.  So really I can't think of anything anyone can do at this time except to give me all of the prayers & positive thoughts you feel it in your heart to give.  I know the doctors are very positive, but if there's one thing I've learned over time, it's that there is no such thing as too much prayer...unless you're an atheist, then substitute "prayer" with "positive thoughts".  Both of those are extremely welcome & I'm very touched at those who have reached out & already given these for me.  On the days in the future when I will sometimes look at humanity with a stink-eye, I'll remember that there still are good people out there who come through in times of need.

So, with all of this being said, do I have any questions?  I'm happy to answer anything that you have & if I don't know, I will certainly find out for you.  From time to time I plan on making my blogs about what's going on with me through this process, but I won't make it all about the process.  To do that would be to give too much spotlight to it & frankly, I can't handle being serious all that often.  One thing I won't allow this to take away from me is my sense of humor, so don't expect that to go away any time soon :)  So keep checking here or check in with me on my other various forms of social media.  If you've made it this far in this blog, I'm hoping you will.  Thanks for reading & thanks for caring.  Love to all!

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