Where do I begin? We received so much information this morning that I am completely overwhelmed with what I am about to go through. Tomorrow I am going to receive a PET scan to determine if the cancer has spread. It will also enable the doctors to determine whether or not the tumor has spread into the orbit of my eye. Whether or not it has spread into the orbit will determine the course of treatment. As of now, it looks like they will do a a couple of rounds of chemo to try and shrink the tumor. This may start as early as next week and will involve a hospital stay for up to 5 days for each treatment. Prior to surgery I may have a permanent IV port and feeding tube put in place for the chemo treatments. This will all be determined when we meet with the oncologist on Wednesday. If they have success shrinking the tumor, then they will do surgery to remove the tumor and repair the structure of my face. The surgery sounds quite complicated and long so the more they can get the tumor to shrink the better. They will either use a prosthesis or take a bone from my leg to repair my face. And then after surgery, they will do chemo again or radiation or a combination of both.
I was very impressed with my doctor. He is very young, but seems very knowledgable about cancers of the head and neck. He will also be collaborating with a team of doctors to determine the best course of treament. This meeting will take place on Friday and they will let us know in the afternoon whether or not chemo or surgery will take place first. The doctor seemed confident that this tumor is treatable and that the outcome will be a positive one.
If the results of the PET scan are positive and the cancer has not spread I will feel very relieved and more confident that I can beat this. I pray that the tumor has stayed put!
While I am glad the process has started, I am very scared about what is to come. Can I handle this? Am I strong enough? It will be hard to not be physically strong and not be able to go for my morning runs. And forget about vanity. I will be losing my hair, I will be scarred on my face from surgery and have facial burns from radiation. But that doesn't matter - I just want to live! I want to see my kids grow old and see my grandchildren! I want to grow old with Jason!
I am trying to have hope, but have moments of being afraid of disappointment. I have been trying to start my days in God's word for encouragement and strength. The other day he reminded me of the miracle he performed with the birth of our daugther Mackenzie and that he can do the same for me!
I thank each and every one of you for your words of encouragement and especially for your prayers. Please keep them coming! And we will be taking advantage of the offers from those of you that have volunteered to take the girls for the day or bring meals! We will let you know what we will need when the plans for treatment have become more final.
Please pray for healing and for strength! And pray that I will be strong through the chemo treatments!
I will continue to keep you updated!