Live from the Infusion Room.

August 4, 2009 erinmcgrathwo

Hi all. So we (my mom, Sam, and I) met with the new doctor here at Dartmouth yesterday to go over the biopsy results.

Let me just say its been a crazy couple of weeks. Since this new lump (or rather old lump in the same “super clavicular” area) came back and on July 17th the doctors in Maine were concerned I have been on edge, completely absent-minded and have been very bad at keeping in touch so I apologize to anyone who was ignored during these past weeks.

So on July 17, they told me in Maine at EMMC that the disease could be back and not responding so they wanted to stop chemo and get a better look. They ordered a CT scan which showed the mass in my chest was bigger than it was in May, but only size and not what the substance of it was. Meanwhile they schedule to have a PET scan for the following THURSDAY… booo I had to wait a whole week to learn what the heck was growing on.

Well in the meantime I called my doctor down in Dartmouth to let her know what was going on and told her my concerns. She talked to me about how its really important to feel confident about your cancer care and that’s when I said, TAKE ME BACK! She was able to schedule me a PET scan for the following Monday (which meant waiting a couple more day) but she would be able to deliver the results asap.

During all this the lump was growing angry looking and bigger, it became red and hot. I was put on an antibiotic to take care of a possible infection (the blood work showed a jump in my counts) O also- the PET machine at EMMC BROKE TWICE and my scan would have been pushed back anyway (I’d like to note that this was the SECOND time the PET at EMMC broke when I was supposed to have a scan)

Ok. so a drive down 95, across 101, up 89 and back to VT.
I finally get PET scan results, the mass on my neck breaks open and starts seeping and they schedule me in for a biopsy.

phew. The biopsy went well, a couple stitches but the site looks so much better than before.

So YESTERDAY we met with a new doctor here who was great. He came in the room after getting the biopsy results and said “well i have some good news” this was the first time we have heard this from a doctor in 6 months. The mass is a lot of necrotic tissue (dead tumor tissue) that probably got infected while I was sick and that’s been stirring up trouble. The cancer is still hodgkins, and they have found a couple new areas with activity. But all in all this is good news, the cancer has not spread anywhere else, its just being a pain in the butt to get rid of.

This brings me to today. Currently I am sitting in the Dartmouth Cancer Center infusion room startingy my new more aggressive chemo! It’s called ICE.. yup, how fun is that? So I am going to be on ICE which consists of a half of a day in the infusion room, then I go home, then I come back tomorrow morning and get to be hooked up to chemo for 24 hours, so I’ll be bunking at Dartmouth tomorrow night. woot.

The new plan is to do this ICE for several months until they can get healthy stronger stem cells from me and take them out, then they hit me with more chemo and get the cancer really low then poof put the healthy cells back in and they triumph over the cancer. Sounds pretty cool. So its still a bit of a road ahead but I am feeling positive and strong still and ready to kick butt.

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One Comment Add your own

  • 1. Brook  |  August 14, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Thank you for the update. Glad to hear you’re feeling optimistic and that the results are not as bad as you feared. We are thinking of you here in Happy Town.


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