Sunday, August 24, 2008

A quick little update

Tomorrow I begin my 9 week long chemo treatment. It's sure to be a rollercoaster of fun! As I mentioned before, I have to go through three 3 week cycles. One cycle of chemo is basically as follows:

Week 1: Mon. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Fri.
Week 2: Tues.
Week 3: Tues.

So this next week is gonna be pretty intensive, having to drive about an hour and twenty minutes each morning to get to London and then sitting there with a chemo drip connected to my arm for three hours. I'm gonna have to find some stuff to occupy me...
EDIT: I forgot to mention that we have a volunteer cancer driver who will drive us to London every day for free, they get reimbursed for the gas by the Cancer Society I believe.

I'll continue to post throughout the chemo process and maybe you'll learn a thing or two about it all, doesn't that sound fun?

By the way, I love how some people have those little preconceived notions about cancer. Now I haven't run into anything big but over the past few weeks, I've told some people about my cancer and they say "Ahhh, well you look good!"or "You look well!" Now I know this is in their best intentions but of course I'm going to look good! Cancer doesn't suddenly make you a sickly, pale, shell of a person or something. Unless you have some sort of visible cancer, it's not really gonna show a whole lot in a person's looks. Perhaps people just subconciously tie cancer with that poster pale and sickly theatrical look. *shrugs*

Anyways, thanks for all the great comments and words of encouragement you guys have been posting here, in emails, and on Facebook. Not to mention all the nice cards I've received! People have a surprising affinity to sending me cards with dogs on them...

Thanks to everyone and I thank you for your continued support in the next step of my recovery process.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Some great news (compared to everything else)

So I went to the cancer clinic in London (apparently I'm too young for the cancer clinic in Kitchener!). I met the medical oncologist (specializes in chemotherapy) and she said that I will only need 3 cycles of chemotherapy. Each cycle is 3 weeks so that means I'll be done sometime in October! Adding in recovery time, I could be on my way to Thailand in November or early December!! The oncologist said she could see no reason why I wouldn't be able to do that if the treatment is successful (90% or more successful, I think I'll be ok).

The best part is that I won't be missing one of the biggest tours Rotary Thailand is taking us on! That's the best Christmas/Birthday present I could get!

So, to Emma and all the other exchange students in Thailand right now, I'm coming soon to a country near you, November/December 2008. I'll see you there!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

And it just keeps coming...

So, I'd like to mention that my surgery went very well. It was the first time I've been in the hospital for myself, the first time I've had surgery, and the first time I had an anesthetic. That stuff is crazy. I woke up and I thought they hadn't done the surgery yet only to find I was in the recovery ward!

I also had a CT scan on Tuesday, this was to show if the cancer had spread at all. They put this crazy xray dye in you so that the machine can pick it up. When they inject you with it, it makes you feel very warm everywhere. Really weird.

I got called in to the oncologist yesterday and he had received the results of the CT scan. It turns out the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in my lower back (which are connected to the original tumor area). Essentially this means that I'm going to have to go through CHEMOTHERAPY and that will take MONTHS. The oncologist said that the success rate is around 90% and this is one of the most treatable cancers.

This, of course, sucks horribly. Rotary told me that they are still very enthusiastic in having me go to Thailand whenever I am capable of doing so. It's not a matter of "if," it's just "when."

I'm still keeping positive and whatnot. For now this blog won't exactly be about me in Thailand but I'll still post through the recovery process (and I am labelling this post as "predeparture").

On the bright side, I won't have to worry about haircuts for awhile!