The Scoop

Our meeting with Dr. W today was fine. Not encouraging, but fine. I don't know why I expected better news, but I think it's hard not to hope that the bad news you hear is somehow wrong; that they've somehow made a mistake. Basically, the cancer is still the same as prior to chemo. Possibly a little larger, but he said it was hard to tell. He was glad that it had not returned to my bowel or colon (because that was a large part of my initial surgery), and my chest and lungs are still clear (apparently, this is the next place the cancer would go). It does not change my stage of cancer (still 3c), and remission is still a possibility, but he said that it would be very tough to get there. 

There are several more drugs that we can try, which is good, but unfortunately they each have a success rate of only 25%. It's a little too early to be considering clinical trials because hospitals who hold the trials like for the patients to have tried the more main-stream drugs first. They will be keeping a much closer eye on my blood levels and if they don't go up, we'll change drugs as opposed to sticking with it for a full 6 rounds.

We plan to contact another local cancer center with a good gynecological oncology department. It's a little hard for me to do this, because I feel as if I'm betraying Dr. W or implying that I don't trust him, but Becky assures me that it's a very normal thing to do. I don't expect better news from a different doctor, but I do agree that it's helpful to have a second doctor review my chart.

Honestly, we feel quite discouraged tonight. It is hard to digest news like this, and I find myself wondering how in the world we got to this point. It still seems so unreal. Prior to today, I felt like I had not let myself hope too much or plan too far in advance past the first 6 rounds of chemo, but it was clear to me as I broke down while the nurse accessed my port that I had, in fact, allowed myself to hope. I look at the blog post about my "last" chemo day on September 1, see the pictures, even the title of the post "Kill Cancer Day" and feel as if they are mocking me.

Physically, the chemo went well. It only takes about an hour, which is a huge improvement over 4-6 hours. I'll go two Tuesdays in a row, still have the Neulasta shot (which makes me feel almost worse than the chemo) then have a week off. I'm already feeling sick tonight, but in general this chemo drug should not be nearly as debilitating as the other. Dr. W says the best thing I can do is to get plenty of rest, exercise regularly (which was impossible with the other drug) and eat healthy. Oh, and take a multi-vitamin. Remember when your mom always made you take your vitamins? Apparently, she was right.

I really do covet your prayers. I know that I could not have stayed positive without your help over the last few months, and while I am not feeling much positivity tonight, I do believe that it will come back. I do believe that God is good, and that He has a plan even when that plan isn't easy or what I would have ever chosen.

And because we need to end this on a much lighter note, here are a few Rory-isms from her birthday.

"Mama, what is your favorite part about my birthday today?" This was at 7:25 a.m. She then turned to Camden and asked him. I cut him some slack and told him he didn't have to answer. So she asked Brian.
"Mama, you sound like a weally, weally nice witch." Honestly, I have no idea where this came from.

While browsing the little girl's section in Target today, she was a few steps away from me behind looking at another rack, and I hear. "Mama! This. Is. E.Dorable." She was holding a pair of plain grey knit leggings. 
This whole E thing is new, but I noticed three different times today that she said a word that begins with A as an E. For example, E.dorable, Edults, and Essignments. 

"I weally want to be a UPS man when I grow up. That would be so cool."

While I was in chemo, Brian picked her up from FWBBC (my workplace for many years, as well as my alma mater) where a few of my friends (thank you!) were watching her for us and took her to Starbucks. He had to be a little creative about the bathroom situation when she needed to use the potty, and naturally she wanted to just go by herself. He told her that she was too little, and we didn't want a stranger to grab her. She paused and said, "Yeah, I would really miss my kitties." But apparently not her family?

Pictures coming tomorrow of Rory's new hair accessory, our lunch date, and even a cool little doorway that Brian discovered. 


Praying for you tonight that the Lord will give you rest and sleep. Thank you for being so open with those of us who don't know you personally. I pray that the days ahead will be good ones and that you will have strength and peace.
Owlhaven said…
Praying, Melissa...
Joan B said…
Decided that since I can't think of anything to say that would be helpful I would just let you know that I read your blog faithfully and that your children are adorable. Hugs
koopdedoo said…
I stumbled on to your blog this past weekend, and I am in awe of your photography, your digital scrapping talent, and your honesty. May you settle into your new "normal" with ease. And may you have more sunshine than shadows in the coming days.
Jolie said…
Praying praying praying, here. Both for peace and healing for you!
Karen said…
I am always, always praying... I also think that perhaps Rory and Sam could work together some day. He's said he wants to be a FedEx driver for years now! His reason is that he can drive a big truck but also go into buildings to talk to people all day. :-)
Marvetta said…
Praying for you and the whole family. I know it is not easy on any of you..Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers daily. It is hard not to know what God's plan is but know He is a big and mighty God and miracles are his business. We love you!
Amy said…
Always praying for you and your family. Sending healing and peaceful thoughts your way!
Kara said…
Praying fervently for you. This is so hard. I was in a study of Isaiah last year and there were several verses that were really helpful to me when dealing with my dad's cancer. Here is one:

Isaiah 41:10
New International Version (NIV)

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Wendi said…
Praying for you Melissa!!!!!!!!
Praying not just for your healing, but also that your hope returns quickly. Until then, we will all be hopeful for you.
Elizabeth Frick said…
Melissa, I don't even know what to say... nothing I say or do can take away this struggle for you, though I wish it could. I do hope that you prove the medical field wrong and that cancer vanishes without a trace. Sending you all the love and energy I can muster!
And Rory... I know exactly how you feel about the kitties. ;)
Annie B. said…
Like I said last night, I wish I could jump through my computer and give you a BIG hug. Thank you for blogging. I was wondering how you were feeling regarding the appointment. I will be praying and lighting candles. I love you.

I have no words, but I love you and know the Holy Spirit is interceding on your behalf.
Anonymous said…
thinking of you Melissa. Rory is adorable!
Katrina said…
I am reminded over and over again as I check you blog of how good God is. I am so proud to be your friend. You are so brave, faithful, hopeful, and encouraging. Thank you for sharing through this.
Anonymous said…
So many have said what I would say, only better. Know without a doubt that we love you all.
And give Rory one more Happy Birthday wish from this Gma and Gpa, ok. And look forward to a visit from you sometime soon when they can play in our yard.
Wendy said…
docirikSweet Melissa! Please know that I am praying for you fervently!! For complete healing and peace in your heart and soul!!!
Wendy said…
Sweet Melissa! Please know that I am praying for you fervently!! For complete healing and peace in your heart and soul!!!
Anonymous said…
Sweetie, you told us God called your family to Texas. If you're called to Texas, don't let the storm along the way distract you from His promise. Jesus said "let's cross over to the other side". He told the disciples where they were going. They didn't get the promise in those words and became fearful when the storm arose. Hang in there, girl. God has plans for you. Much prayer here and my mother's church is praying for you as well.

Amy said…
I've said it over and over, but it really is true: I am praying for you all the time. Somehow it just doesn't seem like enough but I'm trusting that it is. There are so many praying for you, holding you up when you feel hopeless and tired and discouraged. Our God is the Healer and none of this has caught Him by surprise. He will give you the grace and strength to walk each step of this next part of the journey and will carry you when you feel you don't have the strength to go on. He is faithful and will never let go of you, sweet friend!
Stephanie said…
Hi, Melissa. I remember you from the Holt message board and have been following your story a bit through Facebook friends. Just want you to know that you're in my thoughts and prayers. I'm so sorry for this news...

Stephanie Park
Anonymous said…
Melissa, one word is too many, one thousand not enough.

Your honest heartfelt sadness and pain are palpable and real...bearing witness to pain is something that seems to conjure people's efforts to assuage say the right verse or saying to lighten your spirit. I hope every bit of it helps..but there are times, if you are like me, that it does not. That is okay too..the painful journey can feel quite lonely
even though surrounded by so many who long to help.
I work nights and will pray alongside of you, in the middle of the night..both physically and figuratively.
Hugs gf
Katie Nelson said…
I really appreciate you posting your updates here. I'm sure it's not easy to do, but I'm always wondering how you are doing. I also love hearing the cute things your kids say - they are hilarious!
Lena Gardner said…
Praying. ((hugs))

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