Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Plan of Attack

Today we met with the oncologist. He was ok. Not my new BFF by any means, but he was nice enough. He talked very quickly, and there was a lot of info to take in. I was very lucky to have my husband, mom, and dad there with me to help me take in all the info he was throwing out there. My husband did a wonderful job of taking notes. Thank you honey.

Here is the plan of attack on this nasty cancer thing:
I have a CAT scan scheduled for tomorrow. He did not feel it had spread to my brain, but he wants to cover all the bases. Works for me. I want to know.

I have a PET scan scheduled for Monday. Again, he didn't think it had spread but just wants to cover all the bases.

Want to know what I am dreading about the PET scan?

No SUGAR! Yep, folks that's right. I can't have ANY sugar or caffeine that day. How am I going to survive with my Diet Pepsi???

Oh, this is going to be tough.

Will everyone please drink a Diet Pepsi and think of me on Monday??!!

Oh, and get this, I can't be around my kids for 24 hours after the PET scan because of the radioactive dye that they shoot into me. That is also going to be difficult.

We are very lucky to have Cody's parents about 35 minutes away so they are going to take BOTH kids for the night!

A full night of sleep? YES!! Now that gets me all giddy!!

Ok, I'm done giggling with excitement about the thought of a full night of sleep.

Let's see, I also have to have some blood work done, then we will meet with the oncologist again next Thursday to go over the results.

Assuming that the cancer has not spread, I will begin treatment with the drug Interferon.

I will go into the clinic daily Monday through Friday for four weeks (20 total days) to receive a high dose Interferon intravenously (through the vein).

For the next 11 months, I will go into the the clinic 3 days a week for an injection under the skin. This is just a simple shot, and if insurance will cover it, I can do it at home. However, he said very rarely will insurance okay this.

At this time Interferon is really the only thing that works against Melanoma.

From the research, the side effects seem to be pretty low. Nausea, vomiting, depression (no shit), and fatigue.

But, the good thing-I won't lose much hair. I was pretty excited about that. (I did just buy a pretty expensive straightener!)

I am very nervous about all of this. I'm not quite sure how I am going to go in for daily treatments and still take care of two little ones.

The Dr said the first month is the worst because I have all of these drugs coursing through my body.

I am lucky to have my mother and father in law close by and my parents who are willing to drop everything to be here for me.

I am also lucky to have wonderful friends that are close by to help out.

I have always struggled with asking for help.

I think I am going to have to suck it up and ask.

Keep praying that the CAT and PET scans come back clean. Right now, that is the best we can hope for. Oh, and pray that the insurance will ok me having the shots at home. That will save me TON of time! The Cancer Center is about 30 minutes away. If I could just do it at home that would really help me out.


amanda said...

plans are good.

you can do it.

WE are all right here beside you. well not on the radioactive day :)

but just know monday i will take one for the team and drink a diet pepsi just for you!

you really can do this friend.

it's time to kick a little cancer a**

McMommy said...

Monday, I am TOTALLY drinking a Diet Pepsi for you!

Ok, it's like amanda said...your bloggy friends are all gathered around you...

Team Heather is here.
Ready to kick cancer butt!!

The Hooper Family said...

Been stalking your blog all day!!

Please suck it up and ask for help if needed :)

Since Sonic is my place of choice for caffeine, I won't be having a Diet Pepsi for you, but I promise to get go get a Diet DP and think of you!

How long does the IV drug treatment take each time? Let me know if you need company. Can you drive yourself there and back?

And lastly...very jealous you get a full nights sleep. If there has to be a bright point, that would be it!

Jen said...

I have given up soda but since you twisted my arm (oh you didn't really twist my arm) I guess I could have a diet pepsi in honor of such a brave, positive, wonderful woman!!

I just love your attitude and how you are trying to see all the good things in such a sucky situation. I would hope that I could be that positive, but I doubt it.

Ask, ask, ask--you know people will bend over backwards to help you so don't be afraid to get help.

We're here if you need us!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. We have all been thinking about you and Cody and the kids. The girls pray for you everynight. I am on for the diet Pepsi on Monday.

thetoepfertimes said...

We're in for the diet pepsi on Monday. I'll even make Andy have one! Sounds like a good plan. I'm also of the feeling of just suck it up and ask for help. I know we're far away but we'd be there for anything you guys needed. Here's to your scan today being crystal clear! And to keeping your hair!

Shana from EVERYTHING EADS said...

I will gladly drink a Diet Pepsi for you! It sounds like you have a good plan in place and a very good attitude which makes all the difference in the world! You CAN do this!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Heather,

I admire your strength for simply being able to post the news of your diagnosis and follow-up on this blog. It is terribly frightening and profoundly sad just to hear the news. I can't begin to imagine what it must be like to be living it!

Several weeks back you asked on your blog what people thought your best feature was. At the time, I was going to comment to tell you that I thought your best feature was your wonderful husband. (We husbands have to stick up for each other ... and come-on, Cody is a great guy!)

I hope what you'll discover in the the ensuing months is what everybody reading these posts already knows. That is, your best feature is YOU. It is the all encompassing you that is defined by your relationships with your wonderfuls kids, your supportive family and your deeply caring friends. Ultimately is even the cancer and more importantly how you deal with cancer. I pray that you will continue to muster the strength, courage, and positive attitude that is so vital for defeating cancer.
Reach deep! I know you've got it in you.
With Love & Hope,
Kevin Smith

Jenn said...

I'm keeping you in my thoughts and my fingers crossed everything goes well. I can do your dishes ,scrub your floors,watch your kids but there is no way I can drink diet pepsi sorry I can't stand diet anything yuck! So chores I'll do ,if you like ! haha

Tiffany said...

You CAN do this. Yes, you will need to ask for help, but you will be absolutely blown away by how your "community" of friends and family will rally around you to help in any way that they can - the challenge for you will be to LET them.

Hang in there - I'll toast to you on Monday!

Anonymous said...

Yay for not much hair loss and a good night's sleep...."here's to you!" Oh, that was me practicing my toast to you as I drink a huge diet pepsi for you on Monday. Shoot, I will get really wild for you and eat a cookie with it.

Christy said...

No Sugar? NOOOOOOO! That sounds awful. But a full night's sleep? That sounds delightful.

I'll be praying for you.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

I don't drink DP but I will down an extra coffee for you with extra sugar 'k ;)

You've got a plan of attack and you will be successful :)

Tammy said...

I don't like Diet, but I would be willing to choke it down just for you! Thanks so much for keeping us updated..even though we don't "know" you..we really do care! Stay Strong!

Chelle said...

I'll drink some Diet Pepsi for you on Monday, hon!
I'm thinking about you today and hoping the results are good for you.
Sending prayers and lots more hugs to you!

Mamasphere said...

Diet Coke is my poison- I'll have one of those for you! And heck yeah, I'll be praying about those scans. Just keep the faith.

TUTU Monkey said...

I found you through a few other blogs...I just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you my heart goes out to you during this difficult time.....


shanan said...

Not to scare you but my ex husband has been battling stage 4 melanoma also for about a year and half maybe closer to 2 years. He had the 1 year tratment of interferon and as soon as he was done it spread to his lung and brain. If it were me I would have them start with radiation and chemo. Interferon is just an immune booster hoping your body will heal itself. If we had to do it all over again I would do radiation and chemo first. You are in my prayers. Cancer sucks and it seems to be affecting more and more families.

Becks said...

wow so much to take in hey!! I will for sure be drinking a Diet Pepsi for you on Monday!!! A full nights sleep sounds amazing, fantastic!!!

Go Team Heather!!!

Sarah M. said...

hey - I found you through Olivia's blog :) Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I'll be thinking and praying for you...

Also, I couldn't help but notice your comment about having to pump and dump and wanted to make sure you knew about one resource. If you go to Dr. Hale's guide on (search for 'Medications and Mother's Milk') you can then search inside the book for whatever pain medications you're being put on. He is like, the King of Is It Safe While Breastfeeding. So while a lot of the drug companies say you can't bf out of paranoia on certain drugs, you might actually be able to, at least on some of the pain medications.

I hope that mom developed thyroid cancer when my sister was 3 months old and had to wean suddenly so I know how much all that sucks. :( She had to go through radioactive iodine treatment and, well, radioactive breastmilk isn't good for anyone. LOL

-Sarah M.

Clare said...

Heather, thank you for letting us know!!! We all will be thinking and praying for you with all of the appointments and treatments coming up this week. I will definitely drink a Diet Pepsi just for you!! I would be dreading giving up my soda too:) Oh the little things...

Prayers and love sending to you! XO, Clare

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