Jan. 20.

Halfway to the Unknown

My Status: A little more tired than I’d like to admit
Mood: Good

Just a quick update… I saw my doctor today to review my blood work, as I do every Monday after chemo treatments, and had a chance to ask her how I was doing overall since we had hit the halfway mark. Are you ready for her response????

We don’t know.

She agreed that it was a good time to make an assessment of progress and was ready to send me for some tests—but then she looked at my chart. Here’s the problem … the tests she thought about running as a gauge to see how the chemo was working didn’t show the evil abnormalities the first time around, so re-running them wouldn’t give us any better idea about how I’m responding to the treatment than I know right now. The test which gave us the information about the abnormalities in the leukemia and the lymphoma was the bone marrow biopsy, and because of the potential for infection, the doctor will not conduct that test again until AFTER I have completed all six treatment cycles.

So it means we’ll have to wait until after my April treatment with probably a little bit of time for me to recover from the treatment itself, then have the biopsy done and wait a week or two for the results. In all likelihood, I won’t know how I’m doing against the cancer in me until the end of May.

Does my body really need to keep everything a secret??? I get the whole mysterious woman thing, but seriously, I’m not supposed to be mysterious to myself.

Other than the whole not really knowing how I’m doing overall against cancer, my blood values are good and the doc is quite pleased with how healthy I look, and how well I’ve been managing the treatments so far. So we’ll just keep moving forward one step at a time.

PS—I did ask the doc about using the port for taking blood, but she prefers not because not everyone knows how to handle the port, and it is more prone to infection than a normal stick for blood. *sigh* It took two tries to get me today… this is becoming a trend.

By LK Griffie | Posted in Good Day | Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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  • Susan Lemieux Smith says:
    January 20, 2014 at 8:06 PM - Reply

    Liana, do you have any internal “sense” of how you’re doing? For instance, before your diagnosis, could you tell that things weren’t quite right? I wonder if intuition is helpful here at all, given the long wait that you will have for a formal assessment. I know that you can’t treat medical issues based on intuition, but does it give you any peace of mind in the absence of an official word from the professionals?

    I think about you a lot – even when I don’t write. I wish I didn’t have so many medical challenges of my own right now so that I’d have more of me available to give. But you play the cards that you are dealt, even though you never agreed to play the game. There is no other choice. I was looking in my senior year book from high school and I found where you had written in it! Prayers and good vibes are flying around with your name on them and those will continue for the long haul.

    — Susan

    • My internal “sense” tells me that while I may be half way through the cycle, I don’t think I’m quite half way done… if that makes sense. And I refused to acknowledge any issues prior to the diagnosis, that I can look back on now and say were some soft indicators that not everything was great. Primarily energy level.

      During and post-chemo week, I always have an energy drop, but then I have a couple weeks where I am feeling closer to normal. But starting the week prior to chemo again I notice my energy levels dropping. That tells me that we still have a battle ahead.

      Part of what helps me mentally is that I wasn’t expecting a definitive answer (although more than “we don’t know” would’ve been nice.) I was just looking for a ballpark of either “You’re about where we expect” or “You’re not quite where we’d like to see you.” I knew “You’re exceeding our expectations” wasn’t going to be the case—I would love for it to be the case, but I deal in reality, and that at the moment is not realistic.

      I’m sorry you’re going through medical challenges too… if there is anything I can do, let me know. You know I’m always here if you need an ear.

      And I love that you found my signature in your yearbook. Makes me smile. 😀

  • *hugs* Okay, so the mysterious body is being mysterious – which means that we can choose to assume that the medications are doing whatever we believe they’re doing because who can possibly prove any different?

    I believe that they are coursing through your system, destroying all your cancer cells in the grand style of Luke Skywalker shooting those laser things at the Death Star. I also choose to believe that when they explode (because, you know, Death Star destruction = BIG BOOM) they leave in their wake sparkling glitter and bits of rainbows.

  • You’ve got this! You caught it early and are getting treatment and even if your doctor can’t make a prediction I will… you’re 63% of the way there. Somewhere between your second to last and last treatment cancer will give up and depart for good.

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