Sunday, June 28, 2009

First Visit

As I mentioned in the early on post, we came to UAMS at Little Rock for testing. Well, I never would have imagined what all kind of tests they would put you through before we could ever get on the road to recovery. My first visit to UAMS was June 10th, we were to be there at 7:30 to pick up our packet/schedule for the whole week. First stop was the lab, then on to the dreaded bone marrow biopsy, no time to moan and groan because we were now off to xray and a CT scan. Tonight I had to start on a very limited diet for a Pet scan the next day, we went to Outback, Clay and I both had a steak (I couldn't have the bread, croutons or cheese on my salad)and I think it was the best steak that I had ever had before at Outback. Maybe it was because I knew I was not going to be able to eat until after the Pet scan, so I went all the next day without anything to eat or drink. The Pet scan was at 4pm, I was very hungry after that. Other test on June 11th included an EKG, bone survey. On June 12th, I was scheduled for an MRI, Echo and a meeting with the nutritionist. After a weeks worth of fun we were ready to come home. W e headed home a little afternoon, it was good to get back home, even though we knew it was just for the weekend. It was good to see everyone, going to church on Sunday was very emotional but it was good to be around my friends at church. Then back to Little Rock on Monday, June 15th.

We met Dr. Barlogie for the first time. We met with him on Tuesday morning, he talked to us about my poor kidney function and how important it was for me to keep hydrated. He scheduled me to have a 3 line (like a port) put in so I could have fluids daily. This line is surgically sewn in, it was not a pleasant experience, you do get use to it but there is alot of discomfort involved. After the line was put in I was sent to the Chemo room to take in a bag of fluids, this takes an hour or so running through your line. We also found out that 2 spots showed up on the Pet scan as hot spots, one was in my abdomen area (the area of my previous ovarian cancer) and another in my thyroid. This called for another biopsy, they scheduled the abdomen for Thursday, June 18th, this biopsy came back fine. Just a finding of scar tissue. They were unable to schedule the thyroid biopsy the same week. They scheduled it for Wednesday, June 24th, at 4:15.

They told me I could come home for a few days, but I had to have scheduled visits to Highland Oncology to get fluids on the days I would be in Fayetteville. I worked Monday & Tuesday, June 22 & 23, Clay stayed in town to work on Wednesday. My sister brought me down on Wednesday and Clay was here for another Dr. appt on Thursday. We did not hear from the biopsy results until Friday, why it took so long I don't know. The news wasn't good, it was diagnosed to be thyroid cancer. Go figure. We have not talked again to the thyroid dr. but Dr. Barlogie said it wasn't a fast growing cancer, so our goal right now is getting my kidney's in better shape. My thyroid will have to come out, but we are going to hold off just a little while on that. I have a lot going on this week, I will post about all of that later. Clay headed back home to work most of the week, Andrew is here with me for a few days, then my sister will come down for a couple of days, then Clay will be here to finish out the week and stay most of the weekend. So we are always having "changing of the guards" around here. I am so blessed to have "people".

I would like to say a BIG Thank-you for all the prayers that have been offered on my behalf and for my family during this difficult time.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Early on

My story started back in March, I was having a few random pains in my left leg. It was actually close to the time for my routine blood work. I had ovarian cancer 4 1/2 years ago, so I am at a yearly visitor to Highland Oncology. Since it had almost been 5 years Highland said it would be fine to just have my next labs done at my clinic (UAMS AHEC-NW) so that is what I did. As I mentioned pains in my leg encouraged my Doctor to run some blood work to rule out a number of health issues. My blood work showed extremely high protein levels which was causing poor kidney function. I was referred to a Nephrologist in town to study my kidney function. He felt he would need to do a kidney biopsy to get to the real problem. We did this in May, the results showed to be Multiple Myeloma. From there he felt I needed to see my oncologist for futher evaluation, I chose Dr. Rosenfeld, since he was my oncologist a few years back. Clay and I went to visit with him the middle of May, he was skeptical with the readings from the kidney biopsy, he felt like we would need to do a bone marrow biopsy to know for sure. We did the bone marrow biopsy the next week, we met with the doctor the following week for the results. I think it really caught him by surprise, he didn't see it coming. It truly was Light Chain Myeloma. We left his office shocked, stunned, upset and scarced of what was to come. Dr. Rosenfeld's recommendation was to go to Little Rock to the UAMS Myeloma Institute for a game plan. So that is where we are now, we have for the most part been down here since June 10th for testing and another bone marrow biopsy. This just brings everyone up to speed, I will try to post things as they happen and as I can.