Below is my first post in by blog at www.fightwinnowlive.com the day after I was diagnosed with NHL 9 years ago today. It's surreal that that ever happened and look at how far I have come now....
February 5th, 2010:
Hello there everyone! I have never done a blog before, but I think under my current situation I thought it would be nice to start this. It will not only help me log everything that has/will happened but it will keep all of my supporters, friends and family in the loop! This isn't going to be an easy journey, but I'm ready to start and conquer it.
Here is how it all started...I'm going to insert how my Mom described it...
"To bring you all up to date—Erin’s been experiencing pain and swelling in her lower right groin since last September. She went to her OB/GYN at that time and was told that she probably had swollen lymph nodes and to wait 3 months. Swollen lymph glands usually mean an internal infection but blood tests at that time were clear.
"The swelling never really subsided and her pain increased these past few months so Erin went back to her OB doc and he referred her to an orthopedic surgeon. This doc came to the conclusion that it was probably a hernia but to confirm that an MRI was done Friday, 1/22. Well there wasn’t a hernia—but there was “something”—and to find out what that “something” was Erin was in for a biopsy Friday, 1/29 at Banner Gateway Hospital. It takes forever to get prepped for these procedures but at long last we were ushered into the procedure room to talk to the doctor doing the biopsy, Dr. Friend. He asked Erin what she knew and she reiterated pretty much everything I’ve just written. He asked her if she had seen the MRI herself and she said “No”, so he took us back to a computer monitor and showed us the “slides” of what they found. It’s a tumor, about 4.3 cm in size (I guesstimate that to be about the size of a nickel) nestled right next to her bladder. Dr. Friend first took samples of her nodes—had they come back normal he would have gone right to the tumor for more samples—but her lymph nodes were abnormal which meant “there’s something wrong in Denmark”—procedure done. I waited in the lobby for the hour it took all this to be done and then was escorted to Erin who was in recovery—she was under “conscious sedation” but needed to be monitored.
"Both Dr. Friend and her surgeon were there with Erin and they recommended to us that a full CT scan be done . . . #1 to make sure there was no hemorrhaging from the biopsy and #2 to see if there were any more of these tumors hidden about. Thank the Lord no other tumors, just a small spot on her lung which was of no concern.
"SO . . . the samples they took from her lymph nodes went to a pathology lab/pathologist to be examined. Exactly what is affecting them? Because of their inability to function properly is that why the tumor is there? There’s a litany of questions we hope to have answered but with this all initiated last Friday we had the weekend to endure before getting to actual business days of work in the lab!!
"I asked Dr. Friend, point blank, what’s the best we want to hear on these results? . . . and this is when Erin about fell out of bed and I off my chair . . . he said “You want to hear that you have lymphoma.” Good God—you never want your doctor hoping you have cancer (lymphoma is a cancer of the lymph nodes) BUT in the scheme of everything else THIS COULD BE lymphoma is the easiest of cancers to treat. "
I got the dreaded phone call at 5:12pm last evening (Thursday February 4th) from my Dr. Schuster. The only word that came out of his mouth was lymphoma. He said it was very aggressive, he had already been in contact with my now oncologist (Dr. Nabong) and how Dr. Nabong wanted to see me ASAP. I asked him a few more details and this is pretty much all I know right now. I have aggressive large cell Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. (I will refer to it from now on as NHL..funny because I hate hockey). It's best treated thru chemotherapy.
Of course hearing those words you have cancer are not easy. I never thought at my ripe age of 31 I would saying that and quite honestly, those words don't feel right coming out of my mouth. I am probably still in a bit of shock and trying to process this all.
I am meeting with my oncologist today at 1pm. My Mom and Dad have been right by my side and they are accompanying me at this appointment. I'm nervous, but yet anxious to hear what he has to say, to learn more and get on the right track to kick this nasty thing. I will write more later and fill you in on how the oncologist went.
Thank you all for your support, prayers, kind words, nice gestures, hugs, tears, oh my gosh, it's so overwhelming. I truly am blessed to have all of you in my life.
Love you all...Erin