Wednesday, February 3, 2010

January 12, 2010

TUESDAY, JANUARY 12, 2010 11:16 AM, CST
Hungry & late was how the day started.  First off I got to drink berry flavored barium.  Don't be jealous!  I would have preferred the coffee that Jim & Danielle were drinking.  No really the barium wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  We got to MDA early, however the shuttle never showed up.  Jim had to re-park our car later because he ended up driving me over to the building that I was having the CT scan. 

So then I ended up being late for my appointment.  Turned out to not be a big deal.  After check-in, things went pretty quick.  My nurse covered me with a warm blanket and gave me another bottle of berry flavored barium.  Then she put in an IV (of which I was not aware would be happening).  Then it was time for me to go back for the CT.  Let me tell you -- it was easy breezy compared to the MRI I had last month.  I was injected with iodine.  CT scan done.  The nurse left the IV in so I wouldn't have to have another one put in later in the day for the bone scan.

On the shuttle we go -- running a little behind for my 8:30 appointment with my  Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Perkins.  Dr. Perkins' nurse was incredible.  So informative, so caring.  We waited quite a while for Dr. Perkins but while waiting we watched a video about radiation -- we had had no idea about what the radiation equipment looked like.  Now we do!!

Finally Dr. Perkins came in.  He was so apologetic for the wait. We understood -- waiting is the name of the game at this point.  Dr. Perkins is great!  Nice man, he took so much time with us.  He answered all the questions we asked, gave us some more clarity. Dr. Perkins helped pioneer the BRCA-1 genetic mutation testing at Mayo Clinic before coming to MD Anderson 15 years ago.  

Time for what he learned about me from the testing I had done last week.  From the biopsy of the lymph node it was concluded that "metastatic carcinoma" was present in the lymph node which is consistent with my history of primary breast cancer. There are 5 nodes affected.  Three under my left arm and two in the centre of the chest (under the muscle).  I will definitely be having radiation after my double mastectomy.  The surgery to remove the 2 chest nodes would be much like open heart surgery.  Therefore it is not an option, the area will be definitely be radiated.  

So not the best outcome.  However, there were only 5 nodes. There could have been so many more.  Now we have more answers and more things we can pray about specifically.  I said to Jim, "what if we didn't come here?  These nodes would not have been detected (specifically the 2 in the chest)"  Jim said, "they weren't detected, it's not a what if, they were not detected".  Dr. Perkins told us that MD Anderson is one of the only facilities that finds these type of lymph nodes and that most places if they find them tell you to not worry about it.  MD Anderson radiates them though.  

So off to a quick lunch -- "Waterfall Cafe".  We all had a hamburger & fries.  I know that sounds so healthy.  It was good! 

Sixth floor here we come!  Check in for bone scan.  That is where I became radioactive.  I was injected with radioactive material so that my bones would show up better on the scan.  After the injection - a 2 hour wait.  During that time I drank plenty 'a water.  Our friend Erik came to visit too.  Erik started working at MD Anderson about a month ago doing research on Inflammatory Breast Cancer.   Jim & Erik  poked a little fun at me about me being radioactive.  Jim said, "if you jump from a chair right now you'll split in half & cause a nuclear reaction & we'll call you Atom because you're the bomb!"  Hahaha!!!  

I went back for my bone scan at 2:30.  Amanda, was my technician. Jakob had given me his "clinging cross" to take to the hospital with me and I left it in my bag when I went back for the scan.  I was upset that I forgot it but it was too late now.  I get fidgety so holding the cross helps me, I usually scrunch up the blanket.  This panel comes down close to you, doesn't touch you because it has a sensor on it when it gets close.  The scan started at my head.  I was trying to decide whether or not to leave my eyes open or closed during the scan especially while the panel was over my face.  I decided to leave them open.  By leaving my eyes open -- I was reminded of The Cross.  The centre of the panel is marked with a cross.  It might be just a cross marker but to me it reminded me of The Cross.  

Before I knew it -- I was done.  It was painless and quick!!  

Back out to the waiting room to get Jim & Danielle and we were homeward bound.  

The kids came home from their caregivers' homes.  Jakob was with Lynn.  Kelli with Kim. Joey with Jennifer.  Thank you for taking care of our babies.  

I realized yesterday that I truly am a miracle.  I am thankful for the many miracles that become apparent to me everyday.  For the health miracles, the prayer miracles, the people miracles in my life. Most importantly I am thankful for The Miracle. Jesus is The Healer of my life.  

So to my Army of Prayer Warriors - keep up the good fight!  And thank you for your commitment to prayer!

God Bless You!!

Love, Moni

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