If you are new to following me on Caring Bridge and do not know the beginning of my walk with Cancer, skip down to Phase 1.0 of the story to catch up! 😊 If not, my cancer journey continues.
PHASE 2.0 Well, the cancer is back. In my thyroid. Thankfully not the war we had before...more of a battle.
The gift in this is early detection. I had hoarseness for a couple of months. ENT diagnosed as permanent right vocal cord paralysis from previous radiation. CT scan was done as a precaution. Found nodule on the thyroid that required ultrasound. Ultrasound led to a biopsy. A biopsy led to a malignant diagnosis. Further tests confirmed it was squamous cell cancer - same as the esophageal cancer. The gift is,.... this was found...at all! I take thyroid medication and any variable in routine bloodwork would have just resulted in a medication change.
Interestingly, if it was a different type of cancer, they would remove the thyroid, radiate and be done. Since it is the same, it means that the cancer is traveling. Most likely thru the bloodstream. Soooo they have to do treat the body with full chemo and radiation. Chemo is a one week a month treatment, 7hrs Monday then pump 5 days. 3 weeks off. Then repeat. Right now they have 2 mths scheduled. After shrinkage, then they radiate. I start Monday, Sept 9th. This could just be the way my life goes. It shows up, we shoot it down. Heck, I am already in the win column from the original life prediction as it is! Every day is a gift.
I am letting you guys know so you can let whoever know for the prayers that beat this thing last time. We can beat it again. God's will be done. I am always transparent so don't hesitate to ask questions.. I am surrounded by family and friends both far and wide.
Please know I walk this journey with Christ by my side in trust and peace.
Grace to you all.....Bonnie
PHASE 1.0 Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using this central location to keep family and friends updated in this journey.
Before I go into the details, I want you to know that I am walking very closely with the Lord in all of this. HE is teaching me trust and is giving me peace. Hear me say: this is hard and scary, but I know Jesus is right here with us in this storm.
A few months back I began having trouble swallowing. On October 4th I had an endoscopy done and they found a mass on the mid portion of my esophagus. At that time they did a biopsy. I also had a CT scan. On October 12th, we received the news that I did have Esophageal Cancer. It did not appear that it was in the lymph nodes. My next test was an ultra sound of the esophagus and the first available appointment was not until November 4th. That seemed like torture to have to wait that long and I asked for specific prayer for an earlier date. Prayers were answered and they got me in on October 21st!
On October 25th, we met with Dr. Hussan and her staff (MA, RN, DR). They are great. MD Anderson knows what they are doing and I felt very comfortable. They schedule EVERYTHING from here. I no longer get to drive the train! Probably a good thing. A Pet Scan was scheduled to make sure there is no cancer anywhere else. The Team of my Drs (yes, I have a TEAM! ) would then all converge and decide the treatment plan. The staging seemed to be 2-3 which is a tumor 4cm or over without lymph nodes affected. Mine is 4.4. She said the probable treatment was as we thought, Chemo with radiation to shrink.
Please believe me, my attitude is great. My faith is strong. My support system unbelievable. They even said support and attitude is so much of the battle. We were read the story of Jesus and the disciples crossing the water and a storm blew in and the disciples were in fear. They awoke Jesus as he was sleeping in the boat in their fear. He immediately calmed the storm and asked why they had so little faith, after all HE was in the boat. So our reassuring statement is "Jesus is IN the boat!"
After my Pet scan, We had our appt with Dr. Hussan on Friday November 4th. It was not the outcome we wanted. The Pet scan revealed some lymph nodes infected that had not been noticed in any other test. Which is why the Pet scan is so necessary before final treatment determination. Sooo we are going full blown chemo! I will have a port installed this week or next. Then we will begin treatment the week after. The treatment now consists of two medicines in one day. One about and hour , then a flush, then a second about 2 hours. Then I will be given a pump that I will wear for 46 hours with the third medicine. All this done in a day and I go back to give pump back after the 46 hours. Then a rest for 10 days and repeat. Four sessions in all. So about 8 weeks. Then they will reevaluate with one of the tests and see how it is working. May need to adjust the medicine, take a break, or whatever. Hopefully, see Gods work in healing. My main focus will be doing all I can to ease the side effects of nausea, fatigue, and aches. Hair will be gone in about a week. I do not plan to wear the camo beanie that Jason thinks will be so perfect! Still in the 80s in Houston and that would be a tad warm. Will probably get a wig to help with normalcy and definitely scarfs.
My Lord is my strength and refuge. I had my beef with God settled in 2010-2011 when he showed me grace and mercy after my surrender of alcohol, materialism, and self. I am no longer amazed by God's hand in my life, but humbled that he has blessed me in so many ways. It is a rough road ahead and one I do not go down alone. Continued prayer for Jason and I.......he/I struggle with the "Why God?" A question we are allowed to ask and one we have to wait for God to reveal the answer..... and there IS a reason! We know our union was fully God orchestrated. We spend a lot of time in each other's arms and trying to keep our life as consistent as possible. My sadness comes from the fact that this is the man I love and want to be around and healthy..........no fear, just sadness. We have told Jake I have cancer and will be undergoing treatment. Kids are pretty resilient. He too needs all our prayers.
Life changes in a nanosecond. All those cliches come to mind............
Family and friends, we are so grateful for each and every one of you. The outpouring of love and care already has been quite a blessing. We will keep this site updated and please check for updates here.