|St. Peregrine, Patron Saint of Cancer Patients|
I went to the BMT on Thursday for my IVIG appointment. I took the reports from the physical therapist, saying how quickly I had deteriorated in only a week. I went from driving myself to the clinic and walking in with my walker to barely dragging myself in with Ron's help the next week. That day we got a wheelchair. Now my body from the ribcage down is paralyzed.
When the doctor saw me and read the reports, he immediately put me in the hospital and scheduled an MRI. They did the MRI late that night. The next day when the expert read the MRI, he said the cancer has come back and involves nearly my whole spine. We never saw any sign of it in my spinal fluid, but it's in the spinal cord.
Mantle cell lymphoma is a very aggressive, sneaky kind of cancer. The first two times I got it, the progression was very fast. And Dr. O said that it will probably be very fast again. He said it is moving up my spine. Right now the lumbar region is affected, which is why I can't walk and have bladder and bowel problems. As it travels up, it will involve my arm movement, then my lungs, and finally my brain.
He said that I could have brain and spinal cord radiation, or very strong chemo. There are not many chemos that will go into the spinal canal. He said that neither of the choices will cure the lymphoma, that I'd have to stay in the hospital and could very well die there. He said that all either procedure would really do was to buy me a little more time.
I told him that I wanted to go home. I want to spend my last days with my family. The doctor set me up with hospice. We don't know how long I will live. He said it could be days, weeks, possibly months, and that he even had some patients who had been on hospice for more than a year.
Given the aggressive nature of this cancer, I don't expect it to be months or a year. Right now I feel okay except for the paralysis, and that's not really painful, just uncomfortable.
My sister, Sandi, has come to get Mom and will take over her care now. That is huge burden lifted from our shoulders, and I am so thankful that she is able to do this. Please pray for Mom as change is not easy for her. And for Sandi as she makes adjustments to her busy life.
I hoped for a longer time, but I am dealing with it okay, The hardest part, of course, is how this hurts my family. I've fought this cancer for over 3 years, and this is not unexpected, so I hope we get through it without too much trauma. As my sister said today, we've had time to love one another and say good-bye. It's not like a horrible accident where your loved one is suddenly killed and you have no chance to hold them one more time and tell them what they mean to you. So I'm grateful for the time we'll have for that.
Praying for a miracle, but putting it all in God's hands.
Thank you for being here these past 5+ years. It's been fun sharing my life with you and finding new friends on the internet. I'll continue to blog when I can. I love all of you, dear readers.