Wednesday, July 28, 2010

i-What?

Hello there all! Well, I really don't have much to report as far as feedback goes from my Doc. I called first thing on Monday morning and I didn't get a call back (well I may have but I missed the call and they didn't leave a message). So, I emailed him directly last night. Screw phone calls, I got a response in 17 minutes! Ha. He told me the decision was so far split and that he was waiting to hear from the big guy, the head of MD Anderson. So hopefully he will hear something in the next couple days. He asked me what my thoughts were and I told him I was leaning towards no. I haven't heard anything since that.

I'm enjoying my cancer free life, that's for sure. I went yesterday with Mom to get a new computer. I am now a proud owner of a MAC. I LOVE IT. I finagled my way into a free iPod touch too...hee hee. The promo said if you buy a MAC for college you get a free iPod touch...well, I don't right go to college right now, but I did and I still have my ID so that worked! Ha. I'm obsessed with both of these new toys...such great entertainment. Oh technology these days.

So that is a little update from here. I will keep you posted if I hear anymore...

Till the next time...

Love, Erin

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Was that a dream?!

Hello all! It's been a few days since I've posted so I thought I would write tonight and let you all know how I'm doing. I was sitting here tonight thinking, did all of this just happen over the last 6 months? It feels like a blur, like a dream. Wow. I seriously can't believe I kicked cancer's butt in less than 6 months. This crap better not come back and I'm pretty sure it's aware. :)

Let's see...Wednesday we had a little impromptu celebration happy hour at the Loc for a few Miller Lites. Well, a few turned into a few too many but man was that fun! Everyone, including me, was so happy to see me out having fun, enjoying life. It seriously was the best feeling. What I did learn from that night was that I sure did not miss hangovers! Now, party planning is being made for my big one now...details soon!

Along with planning a party, I'm trying to figure out where I want my celebration trip. I have pretty much decided on a trip to California to visit a few friends I have over there, but a sweet cruise to Europe was thrown in the mix, but I highly doubt that is going to happen. I'd rather spend that money on hardwood floors in my house. Yes, I'm always thinking practical.

Although I'm starting to plan a few things, the thought of the transplant is still lingering in the back of my head. I am going to call Jane (my case manager at Good Sam) first thing in the morning and hopefully get the feedback from Dr. Schriber's talks with his Doc friends tomorrow. I will be chomping at the bit to hear back from them. Then, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief...

I meet with Dr. Nabong the following Tuesday as well. So, until then I am just living life, as I should. It feels amazing peeps. You really have no idea. Just remember to live because you never know when you will be thrown a curve ball.

I'll post again when I hear from Dr. Schriber...

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Love, Erin

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Expect the Unexpected...

Hello folks! Another update here that I'm sure you all have been anticipating. Today I thought would be the first day to my cure. Today I thought I would be given the details of the transplant, the rid all of my disease...screech! (Picture the sound a record makes when you go back!) Not the case at all. My life is pretty much back. Can you believe it? I don't think I do yet...but I am enjoying a cold Miller Lite as I type this. Never did I think that would happen today. I never thought I would hear the things I did hear today either. Ok, so how do I explain this to make sense? My head is literally still spinning (and it's not from the Miller either.)

The best news is that I'm in COMPLETE REMISSION. There are NO signs of cancer. My lymph nodes are NOT active, they are enlarged. Enlarged how much? Less than 2 (2 what? No idea, but 2( and less than 2 is good. The biggest one I have is 1.92. Whew, in the clear. There was nothing on my PET scan that Dr. Schriber saw that showed a red flag. Whew. The biggest thing that came out of this meeting is that I'm ALK positive. For once in your life you want to test positive. You can either be ALK negative or positive with this type of cancer and I'm positive, the best case. This is really really really good news and he stressed that a million times in the meeting. Not only is my cancer rare to begin with, but being ALK positive is very rare too. Duh, here we go again...we all knew I was special!! This means the transplant may be too much. This means my progression percentage has already been increased from 20% to 30-40%. If I do the transplant NOW it would only increase it another 5%. So what do they want to do? Pretty much nobody knows. I could treat it aggressively and do the transplant and get that extra 5%...but is it worth it for the rare, yet possible future side effects? Or do I sit here and wait, hope and pray that it doesn't come back? I found out today too that the transplant is NOT a 100% cure. I would still have to live my life post-transplant wondering if it was going to come back. So, either way it will always be in the back of my head. I'm ok with that.

This decision is ultimately going to boil down to me. Dr. Schriber is going to chat with his fellow trusted doctor friends and see what they have to say, but he's under the impression it will come back with mixed decisions. I am leaning towards NOT doing it. I don't think an increase in 5% with rare yet possible lifelong side effects is worth it. Do you? I'm asking for everyone's opinions too so if you have one, please let me know! I'd love to hear from you. I am to call him on Monday with my decision, but I'm not going to give it to him until I hear what he has to say after chatting with his friends.

We played out all the scenarios today and I have never heard the words "if" and "maybe" so much. We all know "maybe" is my least favorite word in the dictionary too! Ugh! There are a lot more details I'm leaving out, but I think I have probably confused you enough...

The other BEST news of they day is that I can live a normal life...hence the Miller Lite I am drinking now. I can go out with my friends, have a beer when I want, no restrictions. Just what I wanted to hear! I hope it continues.

How am I feeling? I'm a little overwhelmed, but in a GOOD way. I'm sad in only one aspect though. I feel like "my day" last Thursday was ruined. I feel like the day I heard there was no cancer in my body was compromised by the transplant talk. Now there most likely won't be a transplant. That's reason to celebrate too!!!

So, the time is almost here when I can start planning my celebration party. The time is almost here when I can start planning my much needed vacation! The time is almost here when my life is back for good. Ahhhh...doesn't that just make you all so happy? I really don't think it has sunk in for me. Not sure when it will yet either, but for now, I'm enjoying being cancer free.

The prayers work peeps, thank you so much. Just keep them coming that this nastiness doesn't come back. I don't think it will because it knows now it doesn't have a chance. I win. Period. Almost the End.

Love you all--The Cancer Conqueror.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The verdict is in...

Hello all! Do you want to hear the good news or the bad news? Or is it bad news? I don't know. My mind is all jumbled right now, my emotions are all over the place. I really have no idea how I'm feeling! Ha.

I was a nervous wreck this morning. We went to Cindy's Cafe (like we do every time before my appointments) and had breakfast. Then, it was off to Ironwood. Man, that place was BUSY. So very sad. The busiest I've ever seen it. There was a line to check in! Luckily I got called back really fast so I was happy. I didn't wait too much longer until Dr. Nabong came in. No hello, no how are you, just straight to business. I could tell right away it wasn't good news. Well, it was good news. There is no sign of the disease. The bad news is the lymph nodes are still active. Pretty much they are like ticking time bombs. They could act up at anytime. He wants to do the transplant. He said he had spoken to Dr. Schriber before he left for out of town and he has been waiting for me to come in. So, Dr. Nabong made a phone call, came back and said I would be hearing from their offices soon. Well, it hadn't been 1/2 hour and I already got the call. I will be going in to meet Dr. Schriber Tuesday at 2:15pm. I will find out more information then.

I knew going into today that I would find out one thing. That thing being if the cancer was gone or not. The cancer is gone. I am cancer free...but it sounds like who knows for how long. That was why Dr. Nabong was so concerned. Mom, Dad and I feel the same way too. It could come back at anytime given the nature of my cancer. Everything is happening fast, again. Sounds like I could begin this whole transplant process next week.

I have been crying. I heard good news, but honestly it's really hard to be happy about something so great when you have this huge hurdle to cross coming up. I don't think I know what I'm really in for, nor do you guys. I will spare you the details until I find out more, but I do know that I will be admitted to the hospital for at least 3 weeks. 3 weeks without my dogs. 3 weeks without a lot of things. Ugh. I have never even spent a night in the hospital (ok maybe when I was born), let alone at least 3 weeks. YIKES. At least I know that you all will never leave my side!! :) The whole things scares the crap out of me, but if this is what it takes to rid my body of this terrible disease once and for all, I'm down.

So it's mixed news. I had a feeling there would be a but...I was right again. This whole process has shown that my gut and feelings don't lie. I have been right throughout this whole thing, especially when it deals with my own body/health.

We're not done yet peeps! Oh, I left out a big thing. I asked Dr. Nabong at the end if I could have a beer, he said, "yes." I said, "really?!" He said, "just 1." I said, "just one!?" He said, "Ok 2." So, 2 it is. They tasted delicious!!! Weird for the first sip, but then it was just like I had remembered it. Now, I'm ready for a nap.

It's taken 162 days to beat this crap, but we're on to Step 2! I know I can do it.

Lots to process peeps...thank you for your thoughts and prayers, but I'll be asking for more! Love you all!

Love, Cancer Free EB

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Less than 12 hours...

Till I hear the biggest news of my life...wow. I can't believe it's almost finally here!! I feel like I've waited forever!! I really don't know how I feel...all I know is I'm hoping that I want to hear only good news. I do know that whatever the news is I can handle it. I'm strong enough. I'm ready. Bring it. I can really almost taste the Miller Lite in my mouth too...I think that's a big sign. :)

Flower update: I got a new arrangement delivered to work yesterday. The lady couldn't pull up the delivery information to see if creepy neighbor had signed for them, so whatever. I hope he's enjoying them. Ugh. At least I got a fresh new arrangement. Thank you Mary!! :)

Blood sucking went fine today...I love going there because everyone hates the fact that I made an appointment and I "jump" the line...hee hee hee. I'm no dummy.

It's almost midnight here and I best try and get some rest. I hope I can sleep.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. I will post tomorrow as soon as I'm able to!! Keep thinking the good thoughts...I hope my journey ends tomorrow!

Till tomorrow with good news...

Love you--E

Monday, July 12, 2010

Scan done, Results Thursday!

Thank you everyone for your prayers yesterday, today and I guess well, everyday! You have no idea how much it means to me. I know they are working and I pray too for the best news possible on Thursday. Ahhhh, it makes me tear up thinking about it. Could I really get my life back Thursday? It's all so overwhelming. I'm scared, nervous and so emotional!! This is tough!! At least I don't have too much longer to wait...thank goodness.

The scan went fine today...just like the other 2 PET scans I've had. This one was the biggest though, but the machine doesn't know that! Ha. I treated myself to coffee and the golden arches breakfast afterwards. I know, not the healthiest but I deserve it!

I come home from work and find that I got flowers delivered today. The note on my door tells me they are at my neighbors house, next door. The address on the delivery card clearly states their address. So I go over there and the guy, he was really strange and weird (never met him before) says he doesn't have my flowers and seemed utterly confused. The lady that lives there is in LA and she's gotten my flowers before...so odd. So I left there almost in tears...did he really keep my flowers? So I have to call them tomorrow and see what's up. If you are the person who sent them to me, thank you. I sure hope I can enjoy them.

I also lost my favorite ring today. It's not really lost, I just can't get to it. It fell underneath my bathroom cabinet. It's really hard to explain but I figured out I need a saw to cut it and hopefully I can retrieve it that way. Ugh. So, this day hasn't been very good. I certainly hope the scan was though...

So that my friends is the update. Blood sucking on Wednesday, then the big verdict on Thursday. 11:30am in my doctor's appointment. I will report back as soon as I am able too...I know you will all be chomping at the bit...please don't pull your hair out...I already did that last week. :)

Thank you again for your support, prayers, thoughts, words, you name it. I so appreciate it.

Love you all--Erin

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Say a little prayer for me...please.

Hello all! Tomorrow embarks one of the biggest weeks of my life. My future is dependent on how my scan turns out tomorrow morning. Am I nervous? Yes. Am I scared? Yes. Am I emotional? Yes. More than anything though I'm looking forward to it all being over.

I followed all the "rules" today though. I am not allowed to have any caffeine 24 hours prior to my scan. So that meant this morning I couldn't have my coffee...no soda for me either. In fact, I really tried to eat healthy today. Lots of water, etc. I also couldn't exercise and since we all know I haven't done that in 5 months, I decided exercise would be replaced with nothing strenuous. So, I took it easy today. I have an excuse. Tomorrow is HUGE.

So with that said, I would like all of you to say a little prayer for me tonight that my scan will come back clean as a whistle...no trace of cancer in my body anywhere. I know it will happen and I can't wait till Thursday to hear the good news. Thank you all.

Scan time: Approximately 8:30am AZ time. :)

Love, Erin

Friday, July 9, 2010

6 days till the verdict...

Hello all! Just thought I would check in and let you know what's up! Nothing really...it's been a pretty normal week and a busy one. That's fine with me because time is going by super fast!! I like it. In almost 5 days I will find out the verdict. I'm quite nervous. Of course I'm thinking positive (as is everyone else) but I really just don't know. I just have to hope and pray that what I went through for the last 5 months was enough to rid myself of this terrible disease!

I've gotten asked quite a few times in the last week if I have cancer, or if I'm battling cancer. Do I say yes? Do I say, no? Do I say, well I hope not anymore! I say a combination of all 3...ha.

On another topic, I am losing my hair again. I can literally pull it out just like I did last time. I had a good set of peach fuzz on the top of my head too...boo. I guess the last treatment finally kicked in and made that hair fall out. I'm fine with it though because I know it will be the last time!!

Next week is medical week. I have my PET scan bright and early Monday morning, then lab work on Wednesday then the verdict on Thursday. It could be Miller Lite time on Thursday...do you know how excited that makes me? I think I'm more excited to hear that I don't have cancer anymore though!

So that is about it from here. I am still feeling good. I still am pretty tired and my strength and stamina levels stink, but they will come back in time. I think I'll go get another massage soon. My body needs to love me again!!

I'll leave you with some more tidbits of information I came across...have a great weekend everyone!

Love, Erin

The 12 Dirtiest Fruits:

DIRTY DOZEN
(Buy These Organic)

1. Peaches
2. Apples
3. Sweet Bell Peppers
4. Celery
5. Nectarines
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Lettuce
9. Grapes
10. Pears
11. Spinach
12. Potatoes

CLEANEST 12
(Lowest in Pesticides)

1. Onions
2. Avocado
3. Sweet Corn (frozen)
4. Pineapples
5. Mango
6. Sweet Peas (frozen)
7. Asparagus
8. Kiwi
9. Bananas
10. Cabbage
11. Broccoli
12. Eggplant

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Hello all! Just thought I would check in and say hello! Did you all have a great 4th of July? I hope everyone had a good one. I unfortunately wasn't able to jet out of town and escape this heat, but I did have fun today. I had a few friends come over and we BBQ'd and hung out by the pool! It was quite a relaxing day. The heat sure does take a toll on me...I'm pooped and I didn't even drink any alcohol! Ha!

I did try out swimming with no hair finally. It really is a weird sensation and definitely so refreshing and less annoying. Very low maintenance I guess I should say. Heidi and Frank went swimming too and loved every second of it. Frank is usually a scardy cat, but today he was such a good swimmer. I am watching Mom's dog too, Sydney, and she didn't want anything to do with the water. She spent most of the time inside where it was cool...she's no dummy.

I thought my dogs were going to have a panic attack from the fireworks tonight. I could hear and actually see the big display going on at Tempe Town Lake. Frank was shaking and panting uncontrollably. Poor dog. He has finally calmed down. Now that I think of it, it's the first year in awhile that I've been home at night on the 4th. I think I will take their fear of fireworks into consideration for next year.

Another normal week is upon me and I'm still feeling great as can be! Just counting down the days, hours and minutes until I find out my future!!

I hope you all had a great and safe weekend!! I will check back in soon!

Love, Erin :)