Monday, March 18, 2013

CANCER IS A BITCH...

This is putting it nicely.
 
I got a devastating phone call last Friday. (03.15.13) It was Michele from Dr. Borst's office.
The pathology from the biopsy that was taken on Monday of last week in the pelvic region 03.11.13) showed the cancer has returned to the vaginal cuff.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with what this means, it means the area where they took my cervix and all that jazz the cancer is back in this same area.  I was told if the cancer comes back, it will more than likely come back in this area, or metastasize to the lungs or brain. 
 
Here is the kicker...The spots they see on my lungs...well they aren't sure what they are still, but are about 95% positive my cancer has also metastasized to the lungs and that these spots are cancer.  So not only has my cancer come back in the same area, but it has spread to the lungs (both lungs) too.
 
What a bitch this cancer is!!!
 
So I went in today as most of you know to see a doctor about my platelets being so low for so long.  This doctor would be Dr. John Bibb.  He is a Medical Oncologist in Dr. Borst's same office and knows a lot, I mean A LOT about blood! So I had my normal weekly blood drawn today and any guesses on what my platelets were???  34.0, that is up from the 26.0 last Thursday.  Some good news on my levels was my WBC is 4.0!  That's NORMAL, for a healthy person! Great news for me!!! Every week it keeps going up and up...3.0, 3.3 and 4.0 today!! So Dr. Bibb is stumped.  I have managed to stump yet another doctor.  Looking over my labs, he was sure I had to be taking some OTC medication or herb or SOMETHING that was the reason for the platelets to be so low for this long.  After doing a history and physical on me he was still asking questions.  He even took a phone call in the middle of his consultation to talk to the radiologist that read my PET Scan a few weeks back to see if he noticed anything on my PET as far as my bones.  He didn't.  So that's good news.  What he thinks might be happening is the chemo that was helping fight the cancer off damages not only bad cells but good cells too.  So possibly what could be happening, while I was on chemo (which is common but not common if that makes sense) it depressed my cells to the point where now my antibodies are attacking my platelets.  This is called Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura also know as ITP.  Which means just that, my body is sending my antibodies to attack my platelets as if they were a foreign body or infection.  Which could be the cause of the low platelet counts. 
 
First steps in figuring out my puzzle::
 
1)Blood work...and lots of it! I had that all done today.
2) Steroids.
3) Platelet transfusion
4)Possible Bone Marrow Biopsy
 
Step 1...So the blood work that was drawn today, the first set was just to see what my CBC was.  Which gave us the platelet count.  The second batch of blood (there was like 7 tubes the second time around) will be sent off to test for any bone cancers such as leukemia.  Dr. Bibb was sure of himself these tests would come back negative, but we have to rule them out before moving on to step two.
Step 2...I will call on Friday, the blood work will be back by then and I will find out what my levels are, and if anything shows positive for bone cancer.  If all is negative, then I will be put on Steroids for about 4 days.  These can make me moody and irritable, I am sure Scott won't notice a bit of difference!!! hahahahaha :) After the steroids are done, I will have a bunch more blood work done.  Once that is back we will know if the steroids were able to get my platelets up and keep the them up. If they are up and stay up, this means I do NOT have ITP.  Just means my platelets needed some help rebounding from chemo.  If step 2 fails...If the steroids don't work they I will do step 3.  I will have  platelet transfusion.  If I get 1 unit of platelets say today, and I get labs drawn in 2 days from now then and I have ITP my platelets will be destroyed in those two days and will be back to the 20-30's range.  A normal person would get platelets and two days after the infusion it would show off the chart numbers 140-150's.  Depending on that will depend if I have to have a bone marrow biopsy.  They do these in the office or at the hospital.  A bone marrow biopsy will tell us exactly what is going on with the bone marrow and why its not able to produce platelets, or what is happening to the platelets once they are mature.
 
In the mean time, I have an MRI of the pelvis scheduled for tomorrow at Banner Desert at 330pm.  This is going to hopefully give us more information on the size of the tumor in my pelvis.  In hopes it is small enough we can do internal radiation to kick this tumors ass.  Dr. Zaky my radiation oncologist is already getting her plan together, we just need my platelets to be at least 100 before I can be treated. As for what is going on in my lungs we will just treat this as though it is cancer that has metastasized and will get chemo again, but will need my platelets up to 100 as well in order to safely treat me.  I see a Natropathic specialist on 04.01.13 in hopes to give me more treatment options than the normal run of the mill chemo/radiation combination. 
 
Scott and I have changed our life style to raw.  We eat a lot of fruit, veggies, nuts, chicken and fish.  Its really been a great change of pace.  I notice I have a lot of energy and sleep much better at night.  I recommend it to everyone. Cutting the sugar wasn't hard until I had a dream I made a whole package of cinnamon rolls and ate all of them!!! :)  Scott says it's my ego trying to get the best of me.  I will not give in, not even after I craved cinnamon rolls all day! :) I filled up on apples and such instead! :)
 
I had a plan to surprise my coworkers tomorrow.  I was suppose to be going back to work starting tomorrow for 2 days a week 8 hours each day.  I was cleared with OCC Health, and got my doctors note and everything...only to get the news last Friday that my cancer has returned.  My supervisor and I both decided I would postpone coming back to work until we had a full treatment plan in place going forward. So I won't be back to work anytime soon, at least not within the next few weeks.  I was really looking forward to returning to work.  It will happen soon enough.
 
I do believe that is all for now...
I know it's a lot, but thanks for sticking it out and reading to the end...cancer is a bitch, but I will gladly show her whose boss! :)
 
Until next time
 
Tanya
 

2 comments:

  1. Hi Tanya. You are the strongest gal I know. Thank you for keeping everyone updated on your blog.You are always in my thoughts and prayers girlie.

    Love always, Amber Hathaway

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  2. Yes sis I do have to agree, CANCER IS THE BIGGEST BITCH OF ALL. Keep fighting your ass off because someday soon it will pay off. I love you so much

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