Almost Done

5 Jan

…with the first phase anyway.  :)  We are going this morning for my FINAL treatment of this primary course of chemo (6 rounds).  What will follow is maintenance therapy with Rituxan every eight weeks.  It should be pretty tolerable.

I am looking forward to my last date with Treanda (Bendamustine) because it is not a nice friend.  This drug targets both good and bad cells and is the reason my veins went kaput and I ended up getting a port.  BUT, let me say – life with a port is SO much better!!  Normally, it takes two to two and a half hours for Treanda to infuse.  It burns so bad they have to do a slow drip and dilute it with saline.  Today, thanks to the port, the infusion took 40 minutes!!  They cranked that baby up to high and let her run!  :)

I asked Dr. D at what point he could declare me in remission.  He said I am in partial remission now, but because of the location of the lymphoma, we may not get to a place where he can say with 100% confidence that I am in remission.  Hmm…that’s a little bit of a bummer, huh?  Not really because he explained why he feels that way.

It is difficult, sometimes, to distinguish between normal thickening in the kidney and thickening caused by chemotherapy, especially when the thickening gets reduced as much as mine has been by treatment.  He said, “when people ask, tell them you have responded amazingly well because you have.”  He also said that there are some great new drugs coming out that he’s very excited about so by the time I have to deal with this again, we’ll have new and better options.  I’m so grateful for his honesty.  I always know that he will give it to me straight.

I’m still praying and hoping that God performs a miracle and a reoccurrence does not happen because I know it can happen.  But I’m not pinning my hopes on that and mentally preparing myself for a future rematch with this disease.  Some people might look at what Dr. D said as “Partial remission???  That’s all he can say???” but I’m grateful for this success.  Because the way I see it, chemotherapy has been a success.  Maintenance chemo for two years is intended to keep the lymphoma at bay as long as possible before we have to face it again.

So that’s it for today.  If you have questions, let me know.  This post may be a little confusing because, as I’m writing it Wednesday night, I’m still kind of woozy from the “Vitamin A” (Ativan) and Benadryl and all the other dozen things they poured into me today, so my brain is a little fuzzy.

Thank you for your encouragement and your prayers!  I love you all!!
♥ Rachel

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2 Responses to “Almost Done”

  1. Kathy January 5, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    Rach,

    Yip, yip, yip, yip, yippy!!!!!! Thank heaven for the end of this vicious round of chemo. There’s no way you can truly know what an wonderful inspiration you are to me. I know this whole physical and mental fight (and it is a full blown fight) has to be the toughest thing you’ve ever had to deal with. Just keeping up this blog when you have days that you feel sooo sick would be a struggle I’m not sure I could manage. I want you to know how much I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart because I know there are scores of people out there who will benefit along the way from some of your research and your uplifting approach. Get some rest and I’ll check in with you over the weekend.

    Love you sooo very much, Kathy

    • rachturner January 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

      Ok, I’m crying now so there’s really not much I can say to you other than I love you so much. :)

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