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MRI results and a few more plans.

November 19, 2009

I had a torso/breast MRI on Monday. Here are the results of the MRI and general plans for the future as far as we can see it now:

  • The rib lesion is definitely a little bigger, though that’s still borderline with an element for interpretation depending on the radiologist who’s looking at it. It has been hurting me lately so we’re going to talk with Dr. Travaglini (radiation oncologist) about zapping the spot to settle it down a bit. I’ll still have surgery to remove that part of the bone, but that will come later.
  • There is nothing more definitive about my lungs. The lesion is exactly the same — no growth, so that’s good. The weird spongy areas in the lower lobes of both lungs remain undefined. I think this is all because I still have that stinkin’ cough, as does Hank, as does Daniel. Love those viruses.
  • One of the nodules they found in the right breast that had been “stable” for months might be a little bigger. The original cancer was in my left breast, so a move to the other side would either be another spread or an entirely new breast cancer. Just what I need. Right now it’s looking like it’s 8mm x 5mm, but I forgot to ask what it was when they did the last breast MRI in February 2009, or when they did the CT last month. The difference in size could be attributed to the fact that I wasn’t lying in exactly the same position I was in February (should have made a note of that…). So, my choices with that are to have another breast MRI in 3 – 6 months, have an ultrasound to take a look at the lump, or have a biopsy. In my current “less is more” mood, I chose to have the breast MRI a few months from now. We are all going to pray that the thing disappears. Okay?

So, now I’ve shifted from worrying about my lungs to worrying about my rib and right breast.

I can’t wait to get radiation on the rib. Oh yeah. Looooove that radiation. I guess it’s better than rib pain, though.

As far as future chemo goes, we’re looking at a total of 8 rounds and then re-evaluation. A round consists of one month. I’m just finishing up round 4. If the news is not good at the end of round 8, then I could potentially be on chemo for the rest of my life. I’m hoping that won’t happen. The goal is to keep me stable for many years either way. I just want my life back, so pray for that.

Some time after the 8 rounds of chemo, I’m facing surgery on the rib and possible removal of the lesion in my lung. I’m hoping I won’t also be facing surgery on my right breast. These are all major surgeries. I am so sick of doctor’s offices an hospitals I want to spit every time I see one. Maybe they can just put me in a coma and do them all at once.

In sum, keep praying. My rational mind wants some definition: “when will this be finished?” “when will I get my life back?” Apparently I won’t be getting that. Also please continue praying for Hank and Daniel.

I think in many ways this is much worse for them. Daniel frequently asks me “How are you feeling today” in a way that says “are you going to die”? It breaks my heart and I’m sick of it. In fact, I’m so angry at all this cancer crap that the next person who tells me to have a positive mental attitude is going to get an earful (sorry, Mom). But that’s for another blog entry.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. Cristina permalink
    November 19, 2009 1:51 pm

    Remember the post of July 29th? In which you talked about “Heroic Cancer Patients?” I (and maybe others too) never expected you to be an HCP. Some days will absolutely suck…and you’re being honest with us about those days. It is hard to keep your chin up when there seems to be no end in sight.
    I miss you in the office. People ask what’s the latest with you and when you’ll be back. I wish I could give you a hug, but the best I can do is an e-hug.

    Worrying about the lung seems to have helped…so I’ll start worrying about your rib…

    • Jill permalink
      November 19, 2009 2:07 pm

      Thanks, Cristina.

      • mom permalink
        November 19, 2009 3:34 pm

        OK. my dear one, use Dad’s method that got results. Stomping around the floor, throwing whatever he could lay his hands on and breaking a window. Getting duct tape to fix the broken window. Hit the walls, sit with elbows on knees and put head in hands and say why did I have to have this when I could have had something else. It worked for him now try it and no more positive nonsense unless it is a statement that says I positively know this shouldn’t have happened. Work it out like that and I’ll see you Tuesday. Love and prayers from mom

        • Jill permalink
          November 19, 2009 6:55 pm

          Thanks, Mom. You are very gracious. You have no idea how effective Dad’s cane-slamming was when you were in Harborview. =)

          Also, Hank’s cousin Edith gave me a dammit doll similar to this pattern, but much more evil looking. It’s a great stress reliever to beat that thing and yell. Yup.

          Also, remember that a lot of depression is caused by repressed anger. I need to let this out or I’m going to ‘splode.

        • Kim permalink
          November 20, 2009 6:12 am

          A dammit doll — I made something like that for Bill when the kids were little and he was dealing with impossible frustrations from his ex. It was a “Terri” doll, and I also supplied him with a little box full of corsage pins from all my proms. It’s been a long time since he needed to do the voodoo doll thing on her, but she’s still up in the closet just in case.

          So now it really looks like we’re the family that re-directs our anger to inanimate objects — from shooting the cake topper and the coffee mug with the .22 pistol to stabbing the voodoo doll with the corsage pins, and everything in between and before and after and yet to come. It’s just necessary and theraputic. Go for it.

        • Jill permalink
          November 20, 2009 9:56 am

          Pins. Yes, I need some pins….

        • Deb permalink
          November 23, 2009 9:54 am

          Just read your last two blog entries, interesting. You ride that anger for awhile, I’m sure it will be good to release it! I’m praying for you every day. Hugs, Deb

        • Jill permalink
          November 23, 2009 8:50 pm

          Hi, Deb. Hoping all is well with you and yours. I must say that I’m feeling a little more mellow today. I managed a nice walk in the woods and that has made all the difference. I’ll try again tomorrow.

        • E Lis permalink
          November 23, 2009 8:27 pm

          You are so very right on that one! When I am really ticked, I remind myself it is good just go with the feeling for awhile. If I have to pick anger or depression, then I’ll just be angry. I’ve found some angry music, etc. allows me to have my full on explode and later it mellows. Usually I end up taking a nap after a very good anger explosion 😉

  2. Mina permalink
    November 19, 2009 8:07 pm

    I just went outside and screamed REALLY loud on your behalf. Does that help a tiny bit with easing your anger? Continuing to pray for you and your family. Praying that the upcoming weeks will be restful. Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.

    • Jill permalink
      November 19, 2009 8:09 pm

      Thanks, Mina. It does help. I just plain old need to have a tempter tantrum. Then I’ll feel better. It will also burn calories so I can eat more pie.

  3. November 19, 2009 8:18 pm

    Come and sit in the middle of the floor here and let the hoard of Corgis lick your face…

    • Jill permalink
      November 19, 2009 8:25 pm

      A sure cure for everything!

  4. Resa permalink
    November 19, 2009 8:27 pm

    I’m thinking the f-word. I know letting a few
    f-bombs fly makes me feel better….

    • Jill permalink
      November 19, 2009 8:33 pm

      Truly more effective than chemo.

  5. Colleen permalink
    November 19, 2009 9:14 pm

    Jill, We will continue to pray for your healing and also pray for Hank and Daniel and your whole family. I have been through so much with family and friends that I know that prayer is the one thing that we can all do without ceasing. One of my best friends daughter, Tara, is getting married on Saturday, and she was just diagnosed with Arteriovenous Malformations or Cerebral avms. Tara and Scott are going to have their wedding on Saturday and then after their honeymoon she is going to a neurologist in Arizona. Isn’t is amazing that Tara works for a neurologist in Redmond, Oregon who knew who to send her to. My friend, Carol, is very overwhelmed so please keep them in prayer on Saturday as they all celebrate Tara’s and Scott’s wedding. Life on this earth is tough and without the Lord in our lives I think it would be impossible. I know that you are tired of all this and the Lord knows that too so hang in there. Thank you so much for your blog as we all truly do care about you and your family. Love you, Colleen

    • Jill permalink
      November 19, 2009 9:22 pm

      Oh, dear, Colleen. We will all be praying for Tara and her family.

      Life is short and fragile and I’m still mad about that. I suppose one day I’ll grow up and accept that obvious truth, but I’m not there yet.

  6. Maria Murray permalink
    November 20, 2009 12:31 pm

    Hi Mrs. B.,

    It times like this I wish I were more successful at being holy – you know – one of those people who seems to have a direct line. Still, I’m going to add a special prayer hour for you tonight. I hope it helps… Justin and I are both praying for you. And we’ll remember Hank and Daniel, too. The worst pains I’ve ever felt in my life are the ones I feel through my children’s eyes. Rest and eat lots of pie.

    Maria Murray

    • Jill permalink
      November 20, 2009 1:53 pm

      Thank you, Maria, and Justin too. I hope he’s having a great first year in college. I appreciate your prayers as always.

      I don’t have a direct line either. That’s why I blog. =)

  7. November 21, 2009 11:14 am

    You are always on my mind.


  8. E Lis permalink
    November 23, 2009 8:24 pm

    Ahhh.. can I confess I just cried a bit? I never use to cry, but this last year finds me finding that part of myself as I feel others thoughts and pain.

    I am so frustrated for you!

    However, I do have to share my Dad did almost a whole year of chemo. He is now stable, which is as good as it is going to get. The reality is, he might live just as long as any other man his age with or without Cancer. There were many months were his Cancer was spreading a bit more or not responding, then boom the Chemo did something!

    I will be praying, hugging and thinking of you and yours even more so, then I usually do!

    With love,


    PS all ready been thinking of you all more as the holiday’s approach… I know and feel how hard that can be and to be dealing with the ‘evil’s’ of cancer. (((((HUG))))))

    • Jill permalink
      November 23, 2009 8:49 pm

      Thanks, Lisa. That’s very sweet and also very encouraging. Thanks for sharing your Dad’s story.

  9. Sandi permalink
    November 25, 2009 11:44 am

    Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy turkey dinner with your family; enjoy the day. Don’t forget to give Rex and Q their treat. 🙂

    I’m going to think positive and pray that at your next scan, the lesions will be smaller or gone. I’m thinking that they just haven’t had enough poision. Hang in there!

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