Tuesday, June 12, 2007

"Progression" and "Pleural Effusion"... two bad news words for a gal with Stage IV cancer.

As I mentioned last week, I was not expecting great news from my CT scan based on the fact that I have been having increased symptoms. The only bit of good (?) news this week is that I was correct!

In fact, my CT scan showed some new spots of cancer in my lungs. Although the drug was holding the existing spots at bay, and no new areas have been affected, this is still NOT GOOD ENOUGH, and a treatment change is in order.

I will begin a new regime tomorrow, Myocet and Cyclophosphmaide. Myocet is an encaspulated version of Adriamycin, a very powerful drug I had way back in 2001. It is a tough chemo, but the encaspulated version is designed to stay in the body longer, and seek out cancer cells, leaving fewer 'normal" cells damaged. We will see. I expect a bit of a tough ride.

Pleural Effusion: fluid has now built up in the pleural cavity (which surrounds the lungs). This is not uncommon with advanced cancer in the lungs. Yesterday I had quite a bit of that fluid drained in a procedure called "thoracentesis". Unfortunately, my procedure did not go as planned, and they were unable to remove all of the fluid, which means I will likely have to have another one sometime soon.

So, it was quite a long, sad day yesterday. We have cancelled our mother daughter cruise which we were to take this weekend, and I will have a DIFFERENT kind of weekend ahead.

SO, that is the update, I wish I had better news to report. As always, we draw strength from the love, good wishes and prayers of our family and friends. The love and kindness shown to us really does help lift us back to our feet so that we can keep moving forward. Thanks you to all our wonderful supportive family and friends.



apprentice said...

Hi Joanne. Sorry to learn of this.
It's a tough road that you're on and I appreciate your candour in telling it how it is.

Having done A/C at the outset I can also empathise with you about the prospect of doing more.

And I'm also sorry to learn about the need for drainage, I'm sure being more comfortable helps, but that had to be stacked against yet more procedures.

Not sue what else to say, other than to say you and yours are in my thoughts.

Much love

Anonymous said...

We are so very sorry to hear your news today Joanne. Please know you are in our thoughts and hopefully your new drug plan will relieve some of your symtoms. Although it must be extremely tough, we do appreciate that you continue to write this blog.
Thinking of you and the family.
P & G

Anonymous said...

HI Joanne, I am also so saddened to hear your news. What a horrendous, difficult journey that no one should ever have to travel. We have to believe that these drugs will hit hard and provide some relief from the symptoms. I am also so sad to hear that you had to cancel your cruise as I know how much you were looking forward to it. Please know that you are loved and prayed for often.
Lots of Love and Hugs, Loretta, Dave and Hayley

Anonymous said...

HI Joanne,
I hope this message finds you feeling a little better after your thoracentesis. I'm sure those procedures are hard to go through. I'll be thinking about you today and sending good thoughts your way that the new drugs are doing their job. You really are an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Yech. The news really SUCKS Joanne, but thank you for preparing us all for this. Your candour and strength is amazing.

I'm sorry this weekend didn't work out as planned. When you are up to it, just call and Kelly and I will jump on a plane. We'll throw on the flipflops and fan, and go "cruising" from the couch in that lovely sunroom of yours.

Until then, know we're thinking of you, and holding your hand through this next round... Love, Karen

Anonymous said...

Dear Joanne, We were also very sad to hear your latest results. What courage it must have taken for you to write it all down and share this awful news on your blog. Thanks for doing that as we all appreciate your honest reporting of this horrible journey. We are thinking of you today (like every other day) as you embark on another course of treatment that you already know will be a tough one. When you feel discouraged, I hope that the knowledge of our love and prayers helps in some small way. You and your family are going through so much and we feel such great empathy for what you are all going through. Because of our love for you and your family, we feel deep sadness because of what is happening to you. We will continue to pray that you (and your family, including your parents and siblings and their families) get all the courage needed as you continue to battle against this dreaded disease. Wish there was more that we could do for you, but from this distance, the assurance of our prayers is all we can offer. Words are inadequate.....with much love, Nick, Lorraine & family

Anonymous said...

Dear Joanne,

What disheartening news and how difficult it must have been to update your blog to keep loving family and friends connected and informed.
Words, as my father would say, "are more often than not woefully inadequate" and this is one such time. As well,you had to cancel your mother/daughter cruise - now that is asking too much of one soul.

thinking of you with love and prayers,

Gen and Glen in Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

Joanne,Gord and kids,
You know, we can't even begin to imagine what you are going through and feeling this week. It just gets more and more challenging for you. I just spoke with your mom and she shared with me how genuine and deeply caring all the Health care people are, who are helping you through this fight and I am thankful for that. If it makes the days any easier, that's a blessing. Your strength and example continue to "buoy up" the rest of us who are struggling with your circumstance. Hang in there through this round of treatment and just let me know when you need a "grande, no fat latte" (for medicinal purposes) and I will be there in 10 minutes.
Our continued thoughts and prayers,
Love Peggy & family

Anonymous said...

Hi Joanne, we are very sorry to hear the news. The best news is that you responded well to the treatment in 2001. The draining of your lungs have hopefully relieved some pressure. You and your family are in our hearts and prayers. Judy and family

Anonymous said...

Hi Joanne. I'm sorry to hear the news from the CT scan was not what you'd hoped for. We all wish things could go better. Know that all you really have to get through is this day and somehow by the grace of God you will. As always you are in my thoughts and prayers.