Wednesday, January 19, 2011

From MY MOMMA....

Hallelujah! The Ct Scan that I had November 21st showed NED (no evidence of disease)! This of course was the outcome that we were all hoping for! Dr. Choy (Radiation Doctor) calls this a “very good response”. He would not use the word “Cured”. He says that title is not given until there has been no evidence of disease for 5 years. He did say that if I have no recurrence in 2 years then my chances of going 5 years are very good. No guarantees are given of course.

I’ve read many stories and articles about how, today, many people are living 10 years and longer after diagnoses of this disease. Early detection plays a large role in longevity. When I was found to have Small Cell Lung cancer, also called Oat Cell, the tumor was between 1 and 2 cm. This is considered tiny, but small cell lung cancer is very aggressive. The cancer was also what they called “limited” meaning that it had not metastized to other areas of the body. For those of you that don’t know, the main reason that the cancer was caught so early was due to low sodium levels in the blood. I was hospitalized more times than I care to talk about for low sodium levels, then the cancer was found. Certain Lung cancer’s often cause people to have low sodium levels. Sodium is a vital nutrient, like potassium. So I’m going to give smokers a little hint, when you have yearly checkups and CBC are done, ask the doctor to routinely check your sodium levels. Normal sodium levels are between 135 and 145. Mine had dropped as low as 117, dangerously low. Another hint, get an occasional CT scan to check for tumors. My tumor was so tiny that it did not show on a regular X-Ray. The American Cancer Society is considering recommending CT scans instead of X-Rays for early detection.

I want to say “Thank you” to the many people that helped me get through this battle. You all have such big hearts, and are so giving and loving. This battle would have been so much harder without each and everyone one of you. There have been fund raisers, cash contributions, visits while I was hospitalized, flowers, and lots of prayers and well wishes given by all. All of those things meant so much to me and have helped tremendously. Thank you so much. I do want to give a very special “Thank you” to my very own warrior – Christy. She fought so hard, never ever gave up and did not relax until I had landed in the right place and my treatments began. She has been by my side every step of the way. Also, a very special “Thank you” to Daniel, he was a huge help while I was going through all the hospitalizations and after treatments began. He held the house together, including paying the bills, taking care of these crazy dogs, and taking care of whatever needed to be done. He has been by my side every step of the way. Also, a very special “Thank you” to my sweet Mother, I felt her love every day and in so many ways, a Mothers love is so special. She was always available to take me into Dallas for treatments, lab work, etc. She was by my side every step of the way.

On January 3rd, 2011, I had a MRI of the brain (gotta love those MRI’s). The MRI showed no evidence of disease. How about that, I have a clean brain! The reason for having the MRI was that lung cancer often metastizes to the brain. Since my brain was clean, in the near future I will be scheduled to undergo 10 low dose whole brain radiation (WBR) treatments. The reasoning is that if any cancer cells did make it to the brain, the radiation should kill them off. The risk of side effects is very minimal. Then about every 3 months I will be given CT scans, watchful eye approach, of course I hope they always show NED (no evidence of disease). I am in a Clinical Trial, so if all goes well, they will follow me for the next ten years.

I still consider myself a bit of a spring chicken, so I figure that there is still a lot of life out there for me. I have places to go, things to see, people that I love, people that love me, people I hope to find in the future to love, and a whole lot of FAITH. Losing this battle simply does not fit in.

Once again, Thanks to all of you for your prayers and your help. You have all just been wonderful and I love you for it.

Love to all,
Debrah B.