Carmen Thieme carmen’s journey

First post: Apr 14, 2018 Latest post: May 18, 2018
Journal entry by Carmen Thieme

In 2016, I went in for (again) some pelvic and back pain I was dealing with the last year; had several back injections and some therapy but nothing seems to work for me. During this visit my primary doctor found a swollen lymph node above my left collar bone. Next step was to have a small sample of this tissue to be analyzed by the Pathology Department and a CT scan. From there it was an appointment with Hematology/Oncology to discuss the lymphadenopathy, (swollen lymph node). So as shocking as it was and still is, I was diagnosed with metastatic adenocarcinoma of unknown origin, he gave me a life span of 1 to 2 years. So cancer it was, but at this point there was uncertainty of where it was originating from. Tests did show a very small spot on the tail of my pancreas but nothing conclusive to confirm it was the pancreas. They also order a Ultra Sound as the CT Scan show a swollen left Kidney. The ultrasound indicated a swollen lymph node (cancerous) protruding into the left kidney which was giving me Ureteral Obstruction. So to keep my left kidney healthy and functioning the decision was made to have a stint placed in my left kidney to keep it healthy and avoid blockage. I would need to have this stint replaced every 2 to 3 months. Chemo preparation was in order and I waited until after Christmas to start them. My 1st chemo treatment was January 9th, 2017. It went very well, it was a non-aggressive treatment, no hair lost, but lots of nausea and weight lost. But I kept up my activities, hanging out with my grandkids, cleaning houses, YMCA visits and anything else I could do.

My Chemo went on through the month of April of 2017. Exciting news is each one of my children now wanted to plan a one on one vacation with each one of them. My time with each one of my children was amazing and with blessings of memories I will always cherish. My 1st one was to Africa May, 4th thru the 15th, 2nd one to the Bahamas, June 1st thru the 8th and then my 3rd one to Las Vegas, June 23rd thru the June 26th.  Now each day I wake up is put into such a different perspective when you have a life sentence to win, a battle undeserving, with weapons unknown.

FEAR became a huge word, a feeling, a reality in my life. Fear has two meanings: Forget everything and run OR face everything and rise. I knew which road I had to choose and I knew what master would be directing me to do so. One of my favorite versus from the Bible I kept close to my heart as a young adult was; There hath no temptation taken to you but is common to man: but God "is" faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear "It". 1 Cor. 10:13. Well this has got to be the biggest temptation ever I would be experiencing in my life, but with God my fight had just begun.

After my trips were over (sadly to say) I continue where I left off having additional chemo treatments thru September 2017. My pain in my lower back and pelvic area has become worse regardless of the Chemo Treatments.  I had a CT scan October 11th, and found that my lymph node protruding to my left kidney had swollen and shown growth and with my increase in pain they thought Radiation would be the next step. The radiation goal was to shrink the lymph node and give me some relief from the pain. I started the radiation treatment on October, 2nd (2017). This would consist of 15 treatment , 5 days week and ended on October, 20th. Treatments were. now over for a while. So I continue with the blessings of "Life", feeling pretty good. CT scan on November 27th, lymph node did not shrink at all, but there was no new growth of cancer! Enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with family and was looking forward to 2018. In February my hubby and I took a road trip to Tucson Arizona to visit Mom Hue and Sis, Vien and my niece, Tara, had a great time and then heading home we stay a few days in Mesa, Arizona visiting my sister, Linda and brother-in-law, Lowell; its always great to spend time with family, "priceless treasures".  Pain levels are on a different scale now, never ending, but I keep going; to mask it and maintain it through meds. Next CT scan was March 26, 2018 it showed the pancreatic lesion to be about 1 cm larger, the lymph node above the left clavicle (left collar bone) was prominent, and likely be cancerous also. Recommendation was to start an aggressive chemo treatment this time with gemcitabine/abraxane, administered for three consecutive weeks, followed by a one-week break, and repeated for 4-6 months. So I dove right in and started my 1st treatment on March 28, 10:40am to be exact. So God left me with this and this I will leave with you: Fear thou not: for I am with thee: be not dismayed: for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee: yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10.