Monday, May 31, 2010

Greenbrier Relaxation Prior to Chemo

Jonathan and I decided to have an overnight stay at the famous Greenbrier resort in White Sulfur Springs, WV since we are unable to vacation because of my chemotherapy. The Greenbrier resort was extremely relaxing. The hotel was beautiful. The food was delicious. The spa services were the relaxation services that the doctor ordered. Jonathan enjoyed a soak in the healing sulfur spring water and a massage. I enjoyed an antioxidant scrub and a massage. Afterwards, we both felt completely relaxed and at ease. We highly recommend the spa services of the Greenbrier resort. I feel emotionally prepared for the start of chemotherapy tomorrow.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Graduation Weekend

The highlight of my Memorial Day Weekend was my husband's graduation from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. After 4 long years filled with tons of work, memorization, clinical skills challenges, and fond memories, he is now a physician. I can't put into words how proud of him I am. He is a wonderful man, friend, husband, and now doctor.
As I prepare to start chemotherapy after this great weekend, I am thankful to have my own 'live-in' physician to help me with all the ups and downs. He will be able to help me with questions and all the health issues that will go into the side effects of these medicines. This journey will also help him relate to his many future patients and their family members.
This weekend also included time with family and friends. It was great to have my parents, parent-in-laws, grandmother, aunt, sister, and brother-in-law together to celebrate. Jonathan and I also enjoyed catching up with some old friends of his from medical school. We shared many fond memories of our times over the past 4 years. Our weekend also included great meals. The food is absolutely delicious and we highly recommend any of the restaurants in the Lewisburg/White Sulfur, WV area.
We had a great time getting away and celebrating prior to starting the chemotherapy.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Everything else going on

So, having to go through chemotherapy is stressful enough. Well, I can't do anything easy. Guess what else is going on in my life right now?
1. Jonathan is graduating from medical school!! 4 long years of hard work is paying off. I'm so proud of him. I don't want my health issues to make people overlook the amazing accomplishments he has made. Plus, he is starting residency on June 16th with orientation and July 1st for full time work.
2. We're moving!! We are scheduled to move our household over the weekend of June 11th. We're moving to Roanoke, VA.
3. We bought a house! We are first time homeowners. We close on our house on June 11th.
4. Jon and I are both going to be starting new jobs! As stated above, Jon will be a intern resident physician at Carilion Clinic and I have accepted a position at Carilion Clinic with their hospitalist.
Any one of these things would be stressful enough, but when you add them all together and put chemotherapy on top...I'm just thankful that God is providing for us.


Hello Friends and Family!
Many of you are visiting this blog to follow along as I go through chemotherapy. For those of you who I haven't shared much with yet, this is how I got here:
I had a benign cyst called a mature teratoma or dermoid removed from my right ovary when I was 11 years old. That surgery also took my right ovary. I had been living my life like any other normal female over the past 16 years. I stopped using birth control medications in December 2009 secondary to the headaches. I then went approximately 3 months without having a period. Compounded with have diffuse GI symptoms concerned me. So, I went to see the doctor. I had some tests done. And...they found another teratoma on my left ovary. (I thought that was my good ovary??) My original thought (after the tears ended) was concern as to whether or not I would be able to keep my only left ovary. I need it to have children. So, all the fertility questions quickly went through Jonathan and my minds. We met with a gynecologist and a gynecology oncologist to see who would be the best to do the surgery. Both doctors agreed that the tumor could be removed and leave my ovary behind. Yeah!! So, I had surgery on May 11th and my surgeon was optimistic that everything was "A OK". During surgery that take a small sample of the tumor and look at it under a microscope- called a frozen section. My frozen section looked benign. So we all thought this was the same thing I had 16years ago-rare. Then I got a phone call from the doctor saying I needed to see the gynecology oncologist. Turns out that when the doctors looked at all of my tumor under the microscope, it was an immature teratoma which is malignant- even rarer.

To clarify, I had a immature teratoma removed from my left ovary that is a rare type of malignant ovarian cancer. It has been removed. However, this type of malignancy is very aggressive when it recurs. But, it is highly susceptible to chemotherapy.

So, the next step is to start chemotherapy. At this point, I'm scheduled to start chemo on June 1st. I will be receiving 3 different medications via infusions. The schedule is to receive the medications over 3 days and then off for 3 weeks. The multiply that x3 (for 3 cycles). Then I'll be finished.

Join me here for my thoughts as I go through this process.