Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
We are so blessed.Welcome to Tori's journey. It all began around March 10. Tori started in with a bad cough, congestion and feeling very tired. We went to the doctors and he said she had some sinus issues and put her an on antibiotic. She felt a little better on some days, but then got worse. Her days were full of wanting to do nothing but lay around, her cough got worse and her chest began to hurt. She lost her appetite and began losing some weight. She kept the positive attitude, continued to work and manage her school load, but struggled. We took her back to the doctors, who put her on a stronger antibiotic and told us to get a chest X-Ray if it wasn't better by Monday.Her chest got better at first, but then got bad again. She began having shortness of breath, lost a few more pounds, her back began to hurt (we assumed it was from coughing so much), she was still very tired. Some days she felt pretty good and other days it was difficult to breathe. She began experiencing extreme night sweats and some numbness and discoloration in her left arm when she was actively using it.We had a chest X-ray done which showed some fluid in her left lung. So back to the doctors we went. The doctor noticed a large swelling around the left side of her neck, almost looking like a football players neck. The doctor then told us that the chest X-ray also showed a large thickening down the middle of the chest. He said that these were all sign of lymphoma - which is a form of blood cancer...and thus it all began!
Tori is feeling pretty good. Her chemo treatment went well last week and she will have one more in a couple of weeks. It was nice to have her home tonight for a few hours (and a special thanks to Connie for that delicious dinner which allowed me to spend time with Tori and not have to cook!).
The American Cancer Society has a program called Look Good, Feel Good, typically designed for older woman. They are partnering with Cancer Connections (another great organization) to do a Look Good, Feel Good for young ladies. They asked Tori to be their first recipient and give her feedback in naming the program, the location, etc. They give you a bag of makeup, a facial and teach you ways to manage the changes in your hair, skin and nails when you have cancer. The picture is from her session.
We will be heading down to OSU-The James on March 18-19 for all of Tori's pretesting and orientation. It will be a full two days. Then on April 5 she will begin taking her Nupigen shots. She will most likely have surgery on April 8th to place her line and then on April 9th, they will begin her stem cell collection. This can take 1-3 days and will all be done down at OSU. There is then an 8-10 day waiting period where the stem cells will be frozen. She will then most likely be admitted around April 21 for three weeks for the transplant process.
Many people have asked why we need to do the transplant if the chemo is now working? If we just finished her last round of chemo and it put her in remission and we did not do the transplant, she would have an 80% chance that the cancer would come back within the first year or two. By doing the transplant, it drops from 80% down to 50%. Anything more than zero is too much for me!
I am very nervous about the next two months. I hate the thought of what Tori will have to endure. I have read enough about it to know it will be a very difficult and painful process. I can't imagine being gone for three+ weeks and leaving my home, my career and my family - most specifically my little 12 year old Dylan, that will be the toughest part!
Tori, however, is ready. I think she is just ready to be done and she knows this is part of the process to get there. Her spirits are good and I know that has a lot to do with all of the support that she has!