Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Getting Staged, But Not In a Fun Theatrical Way

When you catch the cancer, things are only beginning after your diagnosis.  Now you need to know how much of the cancer you have.  This is achieved through different types of imaging.  You can expect to have a CAT and/or PET scan.  If you're pregnant though, you can really only have MRI's.  So I did.  I'm not going to regale with with a blow by blow of how that was, but I'd just like to say that when you are going to put someone into a tube the size of a drinking straw, it is disingenuous to ask them if they can handle being in an elevator.  NOT A COMPARISON MEDICAL COMMUNITY! NOT EVEN CLOSE.  PLEASE WORK ON YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS AND STOP LYING.  I didn't think I was claustrophobic until I spent an hour in that puppy.  That's all I have to say about that.

I would complain more about being shoved in a drinking straw, but before the MRI, my perspective on medically inflicted discomfort underwent a cataclysmic shift when I had a simple little procedure call a Bone Marrow Biopsy.  That is a procedure that is so unpleasant they do not even try to give you a pep talk about it.  If you powered through my last post you know how much I heart being stabbed.  This time they stabbed me in the butt, into my bone.  Once again a local anesthetic is administered but your nerves want you to know unequivocally that that is total bullsh**, so while the skin and muscle part of you are like "we can't feel anything", your nerves just scream at you.  The very kind Nurse Practitioner who we love and who we are very grateful is part of my team said "if you need to scream, just scream".  My understanding is that this was meant to be comforting and an indication that I was in a "safe space" wherein there would be no judgement for how I withstood the discomfort of being stabbed in the butt.  Unfortunately, when you are being stabbed in the butt you are automatically not in a "safe space".  The suggestion that screaming might be a normal response to this procedure makes it more challenging to maintain composure.  Luckily, Michael and I are quite the team, and he doulaed me through that ordeal like a star.  We basically crushed that.

In the end, it turns out my marrow is clean as a whistle, YAY!  But, not yay, there is evidence of disease in nodes near my liver and in my chest.  BUT, yay again, that does not really impact my prognosis, just how much treatment I need.  So, rather than waiting for me to deliver to begin, I will have 6 chemotherapy treatments (2/month) until I am induced at 36 weeks, and then 6 more treatments after the delivery.  I am formally considered to have Stage IIIa Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

*Small brag:  I had a pulmonary function test to check that my lungs could withstand chemo and I CRUSHED it.  Try not to be jealous, but I was informed by a medical professional administering said test that I follow directions better than elderly folks who have hearing loss and early onset dementia.  It's a gift.

1 comment:

  1. How in the world can you make cancer treatment so funny? It's a gift too, I think.


I love your comments...please say hello and share your thoughts. "Meeting" my readers is such a treat!