Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June 15, 2010

Today I decided was my new birthday. Okay, my second birthday from my real one. Because today I was officially diagnosed with Stage IIIa cancer or T3N1M0. T means the size of the tumor and I was staged at 3 because Harvey (I named the ugly sucker) is over 5cm. Had he stayed at 3cm or so, I would have been staged a II. Node involvement appeared to be less on the PET than MRI so they decided by the looks of the scans there was little or no involvement and put me at a N1. Possibly one or two specks in there but maybe not. The M0 is my favorite one. Means no mets to anywhere in my body and believe me they looked everywhere. While a Stage IIIa sounds ominous, for me, it was good news. It gives me a fighting chance.

Had all my tests done over three days last week and results were in the computer when I met with the radiologist/oncologist. My one hour appt turned into two hours and I had so many questions answered and so much information given to me. They are very thorough. My regular doctor (the jersey guy) met with his team and they posed this plan for me for treatment. I will be getting 30-33 zaps of radiation and chemotherapy in between. A grueling cocktail but if it gets rid of Harvey and any of his microscopic spawn floating in a few of the lymph nodes, then I will deal with the side effects. Plus they are big on pain killers and while I'm not, the doctor told me to put aside any of my thinking that I will get through this on Tylenol - take the meds given and it will be easier on you. So I will listen. However, if I start acting like Hugh Laury on House, someone send me to treatment.

I have to go tomorrow to see the oncologist because I was late for that appt because the radiologist had me too long. So I see her tomorrow and hear about the chemo side of the cocktail. Too bad Tequila wasn't part of the treatment. When I meet her I will hear her side of the story. Then Friday I have to go back to radiology and be fitted with this body thing in a CT machine and marked and noted so the physicists can calculate where to exactly point the rads at my body. Interesting. I'm to expect a lot of different side effects from both treatments and I have them marked down. If I experience them I have ammunition to deal with them (cream, drugs, anti-nausea drugs, more drugs and maybe a drug or two for good measure). If I do not experience the worst, then I will be thankful and make a quilt that day. I have no where to go, nothing to do that is pressing for the next few months so that will be when I push to heal and get through treatment.

Thanks for being there and for reading this blog. Today a great weight lifted off my shoulders knowing the cancer had not spread. That was my greatest fear. Thanks for all your prayers because I know they markedly helped. Be Well, Marilyne


  1. Marilyne
    That is great news, Thank You Lord
    Glad I found that Gaurdian Angel and sent her back! Nurse Nancy does agree with your team, take the darn meds, they know what they are saying! Do not cheat, do not think you are doing OK so flip to Tylenol, do not do any of that! There are some times in our lives where we need to follow directions, this would be it!
    So proud of you, as they say Go Big and you are Bigger than life So relieved for you at least for today!!! lots of love and prayers

  2. I pray for Harvey's quick demise!

    I have the same thoughts about taking the drugs, but your comfort is most important! Sometimes we have to listen to the doctors and follow their instructions. Yeah, my favorite thing to do???

    Love, jj

  3. Thank you Nanc and June - my two sewing buds. June, Nanc would have been right in the middle of our quilt kvetches...she loves to sew too. Know that I appreciate your love and support from the bottom of my heart.

  4. I am glad to see you upbeat and not in a downer mood. That will be key to getting through this. I will get some movies to make you laugh and keep you occupied. Anyway, I'll work on Harvey for you as I get time, then we make t-shirts and you can post the photo of him on here, if you can. Remember, we are here if you need us, no matter the time, we'll be there. If you ever get the urge to talk and no one is awake...remember I work nights, I am only a phone call away. Hang in there. We'll see you soon.

    Love you,


  5. Justin, there is no way I can be in a downer mood...first, Meagen would be first in line to kick my butt. Then you and Brandon would kick my butt. Then Dad would kick my butt and I know for sure a handful of my dear friends would get in line to kick my butt as well. With all the issues I already have in that proximity, I am very aware of my mood. lol. Besides, I'm looking forward to wearing my pink wig and being called "Trixie" Love, Mom