Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I wasn't sure how to title this post... so I left it blank. How to summarize in two words how I'm feeling right now? Just can't do it.

We found out the results of the CT scan I had done last week, and again, they weren't good. The tumors have not shrunk at all. Nada... nothing. And the cough I developed last week isn't due to a cold or asthma, it's because of fluid building up in my lung again.

So Plan B is done too. My doctors here are going to contact the expert again at Mount Sinai to figure out next steps. Right now, I don't know what that will be... perhaps another type of chemo or perhaps participation in a clinical trial (new chemos). My regular oncologist was on holidays so we had a different one and she's not a sarcoma expert and hadn't checked with the Mount Sinai doc before. Hopefully she'll be able to contact him this week so we can figure out what we do next.

On a more positive note, the tumors haven't grown. This may be due to the chemo keeping them in check or it may be because the tumors are incredibly slow growing. We don't right now which one it is.. but I guess we'll find out once we stop chemo for a bit. I pray it's the second actually as that gives us more time to find something that will work.

Since it seems that conventional medicine is failing me right now, I'm looking towards unconventional options. I'll be starting intravenous vitamin C therapy in the next week or so with a naturopathic doctor in Toronto. The Canadian Medical Association Journal published an article recently about some successes with i.v vitamin C. Of course, there is no guarantee - but then there was no guarantee with chemo either. And the good thing is that there is no down side - no negative side effects. Even if it doesn't reduce the tumors, the benefits of increased energy and a decrease in pain will make it worthwhile for me.

It's been a very very tough couple of days. When I decided to do this blog, I promised myself that I would be honest. That isn't to say that I would hang everything out there - it is the internet after all and not everyone needs to know ALL the details. But I said that I would be honest with what I'm going through and generally, what I'm feeling. So... here it is...this is the toughest thing I've ever been through. I'm feeling hopeless and scared stiff. Take it one day at a time as my sister reminded me. Right now that's all I can do. I wish I had some fitting Bible passage or a quote from a book or devotion that expressed everything I'm feeling right now. I've never been good at recalling quotes from any source (I can't even tell jokes properly :) ) I know I've read many inspirational things over the past 8 months, but right now I'm drawing a total blank. The only thing that comes to mind is the well known Psalm 23: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me." No matter what the future holds, I know that God is with me and is holding me close.

13 comments:

Betsy said...

Annette,

All of my thoughts and prayers are with you throughout this difficult time. I cannot even begin to imagine how you are feeling, as just reading your post took all the air out of my lungs.

I can imagine it must be that desperate panicked feeling of wanting time to stand perfectly still.

If I lived closer to you in Ontario, I would be there in a flash -- Ryan and Paige would have so much fun playing together.

Its amazing as our bodies get ill and weak, how our souls and spirits take over -- and that is exactly what is happening with you--you can see it in your writings--the transparency of the love you have for your family and friends, and the joy you are finding in every day life.

Praying for you...

Mauzy said...

Oh Annette, I wish I could give you a hug! Know that not only God is with you, we all are too. I would love if you could come down to the states........

Christie's Corner said...

Words are inadequate at times like these. Know that we are thinking of you, Tom and the boys. If you need anything, just ask.

As always, you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Charmian and Andrew

Karen said...

Oh Annette,

You are in my thoughts and my prayers.

Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD. 1 Chronicles 28:20

I was looking for Jer. 29:11 and found this page that I thought would be an encouragement to you.
http://www.calvarysac.org/resources/library/book/his_plans_for_you.html

Love, Karen (Connor's mom)

Kris said...

Annette,
I can't find the right words to tell you how I feel, but I know that I am scared for you too. You go through so much to battle this thing and for it to not respond with as much gusto as you are giving it is horrible.

Some things to latch onto...it is not growing - better than growth. The fact that you are trying some alternative approaches - that is great. It cannot hurt you and can only help you.

I wish I could erase this cancer from your body, and your life. I am so sorry for this latest event. I hope that new treatments can be found for you.

Sorry I just don't have the right words to bring comfort today. But know that you are always in my heart.

Love,
Kris

Tammy and Parker said...

Annette,

I was just thinking about you last night. I am sorry that you have had to go through the chemo and especially sorry that they don't think that it has worked. But I am thankful that nothing has gotten any bigger.

I think trying alternative routes is a good idea. I also think clinical trials are a great idea. My bil is dealing with Multiple Myeloma and clinical trials have provided him with treatments that have worked wonders.

Is there anyway to come to the states and be treated at a hospital that has doctors that deal with only the issues you are dealing with?

Sending you hugs cyber hugs and wishing they could be irl hugs instead,

Tammy and Parker

Chewy Mom said...

Annette,

I am sure you are frustrated and discouraged and scared! I know I would be. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you face this.

The Psalms are FULL of people (mostly David) questioning God, even shaking his fist at God! God is big enough to handle us being honest with HIM about what is going on in our lives and in our hearts!!

Hugs,

Karen

Michelle said...

Oh Annette, I'm so sorry to hear you didn't get the news you were so hoping and praying for. How discouraging that must be. I think it's great that you are keeping this blog "real" and letting us know all the good along with the bad. Although I surely wish there wasn't so much bad :( I'm sorry the cold is turning into more than that.

Sending many many prayers your way, praying that the IV Vit C will help and slow those tumors down.

You are always in my thoughts and prayers.

Lisa Huckleberry said...

Annette,

I have been thinking of you so much lately and so sorry to read everything you are going through right now. I appreciate your honesty through such a difficult time - it is ok - you need to get it out and vent away if you need to! Never give up having hope and faith and the belief in miracles come true! This is not yet the end - so please hang tight and hold faith that this is just a trial and I believe somehow that God will pull you through this...

I wished I could be there to do anything I could for you - Lily could even show you her newest mean sounds! She is growling like a dog lately! lol!!! Anyway's, I am sending lots of hugs and prayers and strength and positive thoughts your way!

Also, just wanted to mention - that Kamanos Cancer Institute here in Detroit has lots of clinical trials for different things - they may have one that could help you or at least point you in the direction of someplace that could. If I could make any phone calls for you or research their website for you - I would be more than happy to... I went to Karmanos for my radiation and still see my Oncologist there - it is a wonderful place.

Please keep us updated as you can and know that you are in our constant prayers!!! We keep you close in heart and wrap our arms around you!!!!

Love,

Lisa and Lily

Helen said...

Annette,
Our roads have crossed because of this rotten disease. I wish it was for happier reasons. All I can say is whatever options I learn about, I'll pass them on to you.

You and I can only live for today, hope for tomorrow and gain strength from the One walking with us.

God Bless You and your family
Helen

Tara Marie said...

Dearest Annette,

Ugh, this was not the post I was hoping to read, but I have complete faith that this unconventional path may well be the road to recovery. My mothers dear friend had come to the same crossroad with conventional treatment of her cancer, she went the unconventional route and visited a doctor in Texas that was trying an unproven treatment...it proved to be the key for her.

There is a movement on Flickr.com at the moment in sending love and support to those that are battling this beast.......my tribute was dedicated to you and Stephanie.

You can go visit the tribute at:
http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=223837025&size=m

All of my thoughts,prayers and love are being sent your way, today and everyday.

Clare said...

Annette, I'm so sorry you didn't get better news. Please know that you have many, many people thinking about you and praying for you. I hope the Vitamin C treatment is successful

bobusn said...

Praying for you...