Here We Go Again

I had my first oncologist appointment (round two style) yesterday. It went pretty much as I expected it would. While we know that the tumor in my eye tissue is a Plasmacytoma, there is no way of knowing yet if it is isolated or if my disease has progressed to Multiple Myeloma (that is, throughout my bone marrow or tumors elsewhere in my body). So, next up is a bone marrow biopsy (which will we be done a little different than the last time; ultrasound guided and I will be sedated. Not sure why.). Additionally, I need to have bloodwork and urine labs, and a whole body set of x-ray studies performed. Regardless, the tumor in my eye will be treated with radiation. However, depending on the findings of the other studies my treatment may also include chemotherapy, and possibly stem cell transplant at some point down the road. While I am told that my vision should not be at risk from the radiation, my last round of radiation to my pelvis left me in early menopause at the age of 36, so I am skeptical. I do understand, however, that this may depend more on the tissue types involved than the radiation itself, and that glandular tissue is most likely more sensitive to radiation than the tissues of the eye. Still, I think a little skepticism is normal.

In the meantime (until I know if and when I will be added to my most recent employer’s insurance), I am taking steroids to help slow the growth of the tumor in my eye, and hopefully give me some relief there as it is very “uncomfortable”, which is doctor-speak for painful. I am also taking a slew of supplements to help alkalinize my body, and have quit smoking. I am so very fortunate to have a father who has many professional friends, one of whom is a top-notch radiation oncologist who has told my father that he will see me no matter what my insurance status is.

I want to make sure that anyone who reads this understands that while I am scared, and a little knocked back by these recent developments, the tremendous blessings of a strong support network of family and friends is not lost on me. I am grateful that I am not walking down this path alone, and in turn even more enraged for those who suffer from 9/11 related cancer who do find themselves in that horribly terrifying position of being alone and having no where to turn for any real support.

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