Monday, August 6, 2007

Heather's Doctor Report

06.AugNew Each Morning…
Impression:Post surgical changes of left frontal craniotomy with interval removal of left frontal lobe tumor There are post operative changes of the surgical bed, including mild surrounding edema, but no evidence of abnormal tumor enhancement on todays study.
I spoke with my Oncologist at Mayo today (Dr. Joon Uhm) , and discussed the benefits/ or lack thereof of continuing on with chemo. He said that given my reaction to the chemo (low platelets, constipation, toxicity etc) that I would not be crazy if I decided to not continue through next year. He said that studies suggest that Temodar in conjunction with radiation renders the most benefit, and there is no scientific data to suggest that taking it without radiation will benefit me or my cancer, yet there is no scientific evidence to prove that it WONT benefit me or my cancer either.
We discussed whether or not I had an Anaplastic Astrocytoma or an Oligodendroglioma and he said that it depends on what test you put the most credit into. The tumors morphology suggest that it is an Anaplastic Astrocytoma because it cells are dividing rapidly and are star shaped under the microscope, but genetically it is missing chromosone 1 and 19 so that lends it to the Oligodendroglioma side. He said that he completely understands why I dont know what to tell people because honestly he doesnt know what to tell me He said that in the next 5 to 10 years they will have more of a definitive answer to patients like myself, but right now there is little known about my type of tumor (meaning that little is known about its genetic makeup)
My next appointment is on the 16th of this month (at Moffit) to discuss my continuing chemo (or not) and to go over the future game plan. I just really don’t know what to do on that. I hate how I feel when I am on it, and if there is no scientific data to tell me that it is definitely working, I just cant justify poisoning my body in hopes that it is killing stray cancer cells. But then again, if it is killing the stray cancer cells, I hate to take that chance. I dont know, I really dont. I may take it for the first cycle (5 days on, 21 days off) and see how my labs are doing, and if I dont feel to bad I will continue to take it. (Dr. Uhm made that suggestion.)
So there you have it I am very very happy to know that the treatments did their job, and that there is no residual tumor. I will have an MRI on the 16th, but it shouldn’t show anything new. My family and I are going to go out to my parents tonight and celebrate, it has been a long long 3 months.
I know that this MRI cant show me the small cancer cells that are supposedly there, but I cant worry about that today… That is the funny thing about Gods mercy, He gives you just enough for today…. tomorrow His mercies start anew
I think that the most significant thing I have learned over the last 3 months is that I am not in control. I am a type A personality to the hilt, yet I never was really in control. It is funny how the more you try to control a situation, the more God graciously shows you that you aren’t in control. I have tried to control so many things in my life, from my daughters health to my brain tumor. Yet when I hand it over to Him, I have so much peace. He is the only person that controls my destiny, no matter how hard I try, it rests solely in His hands. He gives me just enough grace and mercy to face todays obstacles, yet I foolishly worry about what tomorrow will bring. I am working on that, as hard as it is.
God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.They’re created new every morning.How great your faithfulness!I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).He’s all I’ve got left-Lamentations 3:22-23 (The Message)
(Im not dizzy anymore, in case you were wondering )


susanwalkergirl said...

Dear Heather...what wonderful words of wisdom you share...lessons you have learned while in the refining fire. I'm certain that you know the love of God for you Heather in a more personal and intimate way than ever before. The God who knows the very number of hairs on our head and collects our tear drops in a goodness...what kind of love is that? An inseparable love.

Dear Father in heaven...we fall our our knees with thanksgiving on our lips that thought this journey...You are walking with Heather each day and each moment. We thank you that she is more aware each day of Your presence and mercies. We thank you that You come shining through we see Your reflection in her. Jesus...the decisions Heather must make are too overwhelming from a human standpoint. But not for You. Guide her and direct her. We pray that the side effects from medication will be minimal to non existent. We pray that Your healing hand will rest upon her. We know that You are able to work miracles...if it be Your will. We know that You are the Great Physician. We pray that through this illness that You will be glorified and praised. Comfort Heather...may her rest be sweet. Fill her mind with Your word and remind her daily of Your love for her. Pour out Your love through Your she will be encouraged daily. May she never doubt for one second Your love for her or her eternal security because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. In Jesus precious name we pray. Amen.

jel said...

Glad ya not dizzy anymore! :)


passing-thru said...

The Lord has blessed and we will continue to pray for GUIDANCE and your so right about "HIS MERCIES ARE CONTINUOUS"

AND LOOK AT ALL THE GREAT SUPPORT THE LORD HAS BROUGHT U , many from people that have gone thru similar struggles and the spouses of ones who have gone thru it like Claire - so thats GREAT NEWS considering all that has happened .