Sunday, June 29, 2008

Healing Quickly Now

After I saw the ENT Dr on Friday and he lanced my throat-OUCH-it has been feeling much better. Yesterday evening I began to cough bits of the mass up and have gotten rid of most of it by now. Every bit that goes makes my throat feel better so it's feeling pretty good right now. In fact, today I feel the best I have in weeks, months, maybe longer. But then the combination of meds I'm taking will do that. I'm feeling good and today is Nick's birthday so we have a lot of celebrating to do!

Thanks again for your continued prayers. Unfortunately, this still isn't over so please continue to keep us in your prayers. Thanks. We love and appreciate you all!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Bacterial Infection

Nick and I saw the ENT on Thursday morning. I was hoping he'd look into my mouth and say, "Oh yeah, I know exactly what that is." That's pretty much how it went down. Though it hurt badly to open my mouth so he could see my throat, I knew it needed to be done so I did it. He said I did quite well and told me I looked good for what was going on on the inside. YIKES! So, basically it looked really bad. He said that most people who have this problem cannot even open their mouth far enough to get a finger in because it's so painful. I was fortunate to get in to see him so quickly so I could get it cleared up. Fortunately, I already saw a Dr, then had an appointment with Dr B two days later and he asked the ENT to squeeze me in the following day. This was the third doctor I'd seen in four days and still had no medication so he wrote me up a couple of prescriptions. His diagnosis: it looks like the earlier stages of tonsil abscesses. It's a bacterial infection.

Wednesday and Thursday my fever never went away and Thursday night it got much worse. I woke up and it was at 103.4. I started to fall back asleep and about ten minutes later it had gone up to 103.7. I was home alone so I called Nick, but he was at worship team practice and I couldn't reach him. I took a cool bath... blah, blah, blah... eventually it came down. Nick called the ENT's office yesterday morning to let him know that my fever had gotten worse and he wanted me to come back in. I saw him again yesterday afternoon and he decided to lance the back of my throat. It had swollen a bit more. WOW! Talk about painful! Like he originally thought, it was not yet an abscess, so he didn't get any puss, just blood. So it hurt much worse for about an hour and a half, then began to feel better. Today it feels better, partly because I'm on antibiotics, pain meds and steroids and I can see it's beginning to heal. I'll see the Dr again on Monday.

Thanks again for all of your prayers. This week has been quite discouraging but things are looking up for sure.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Another Set-back

Well, here we are faced with another, hopefully minor set-back on the way to remission and good health. For the past couple of months I've been coughing again. This time I'm told it was probably pneumonitis- inflammation from the radiation in my lungs. I've had a couple of random fevers and been a bit "sick" over the past couple of weeks, but got a sore throat last Wed. It has gotten a little worse every day and I began getting a fever along with it. Monday I had my long awaited PET Scan to determine whether my body was cancer free or not. My throat was hurting so badly that I went to the Dr immediately afterward. She did a rapid strep test. It was negative. It's strange to hope that your strep test comes back positive, to hope that you have a mutated strain of pneumonia, to wish that all that's wrong with you is that you have a fungal infection. The alternative is sometimes so much worse that I hope for the more easily curable illnesses.

Tuesday morning, my throat was exponentially worse. I slept almost all day. I forgot to mention, my ear has been aching along with my throat. It feels like someone is stabbing me with a white-hot knife in the ear. Wednesday it was so much worse that I was unable to speak and again slept all day. Nick and I saw Dr B yesterday to discuss my PET and he came in very serious. Not a great sign. He told me that the PET lit up all around my throat. Nick told him all about my ear and throat since I was unable to speak all day. He took a look and I have huge white masses in my throat, obviously since Monday. He's sending me to an ENT Dr today. I hope he can get me better because it's very painful and I'm not eating or drinking much of anything.

Anyway, Dr B said I obviously have an infection in my throat, but he's skeptical that's all it is. He thinks it's the same disease returning to my throat this time and didn't bother us with treatment options until we get this infection healed up.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

When It Rains, Sometimes It Pours

While I'm on the path to full recovery (thank the LORD), my grandma Norma found out today that she has cancer. She's taking it very well- about as well as you can take this sort of news. My parents were at her house when she got the call and were able to offer up some support. I feel bad for my poor mother. Here I am, her daughter, on the cusp of getting my "clean bill" from my oncologist and her mother is just starting the whole process. Mom finished the school year yesterday and what a way to kick off summer vacation. At least my family feels different about cancer now than we did even a year ago. As far as I know, I'm the only person in my extended families to beat cancer. We used to look at it as a death sentence, but not anymore. Treatment has come a long way and we're looking up.

My parents are concerned also for two of my three brothers. One has had a cough for six months and when he saw the Dr the other day, it mysteriously went away temporarily. A few days before my wedding (almost 6 yrs ago) he was in the hospital with pneumonia and his lungs were damaged from a series of misdiagnoses and the time it took to get answers. Mom and I both told him to insist upon a chest x-ray. The other brother was bit by a couple of ticks and immediately began having flu-like symptoms, exhaustion, etc. He thinks he may have lime disease and his Dr doesn't want to test him for it. I believe he's seeking a second opinion.

Please keep my family in your prayers for obvious reasons. Thank-you!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Back to Life

I'm eagerly getting back to normal parts of life. My hair is growing in thick and fast, I've started working from home, my energy level is coming back, I'm going to the gym again and I was able to teach recently. Okay, I only taught a couple of lessons, but it was great to be back in a classroom with young students. One of the little boys told me I looked like a boy. I told him and the rest of the kids (it was during story time and I was teaching them a song), that I got sick and lost my hair but it was growing back.

I began my first round of post-treatment testing last Friday with an x-ray of my chest. In a couple of weeks I'll have a CT and PET Scan. I saw Dr Bernstein last week and he said it was nice to see me doing so well and with hair. I now have more than he does.

Nick has been busy with photo shoots and finishing up his portfolio. He graduates from college June 13. He's almost there! And his portfolio looks great. Thanks to all of you who have modeled for him. We appreciate it greatly.

As if things aren't crazy enough, Alex and Chris (Nick's Brothers) had their final band concert last night and Alex has had Senior Award nights and Senior Spotlight leading up to his high school graduation, also June 13. There's nothing like old-fashioned busy times to remind us to take it one day at a time.