Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hospice decision

Hey to any and all that still read this blog,
I've wanted to give an update and since stopping chemo I believe I have the energey now to do so! I am still in nursing school, haha! I won't give up. I've got only until mid December, why give up now? I'm doing home study at the moment, but I will be there for the graduation and I've completed all but 3 assigments to make up for clinical days. I may never work as a nurse, and I am OK with that.

After my last consult with my oncologist, I decided to meet with hospice and I signed on with them. The cancer is not only all throughout my peritoneum, but also in my liver and my lungs. I refuse to have raidation on my lungs because I've not yet seen it work and I have however, seen it cause esophageal contriction amongst other things. So the beast has won, I guess you'd say. I still don't feel 100% content with my decision, but I know that is fear of the unknown and the afterlife, the uncertainty of what is there for me.

I am just now coming to terms with the fact that the lives of the children I've touched throughout my 25 years of life may just be what I was here for. In time, I will accept that, I still struggle with thoughts that there was more for me. I guess time will tell.

So that is where I am at. If you email me, I will give you my phone number to keep in touch. I will still add Cam and Kieran on my blog to post updates should the time come that I'm not able to. As soon as I graduate, you can expect daily posts, if I am able. At this time the plan is to graduate and move to my biological mother's house. I know that causes some controversy, but I feel in my heart it is what is right.

Love to all,

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Lots of decisions to make - health update

It's been a while and I apologize for the lack of posting. I'm not sure how many read my blog and if anybody really misses me, but for my ego's sake- I will assume I am missed and write an update :-)

I've been taken off Gezmar (chemo) temporarily due to my CBC counts. My white blood cell count that in a normal person should be between 5,000-10,000 is 900. My Red blood cell count, which should be between 12-16 is 10 and my platelets which should be between 150,000-450,000 is 48,000. So my oncologist feels (and I agree) that it is too dangerous to proceed until these rise.

My oncologist has also palpated a mass on my liver, which means that is is possible (nothing is for sure) that it has mets to my liver. I am also scheduled for lung testing because I have pain during expiration, which isn't too typical of lung metastasis, but still possible.

My decisions at this time include school and further chemo. If I do in fact have mets to my lungs, I think it may be time to look into hospice care, although my oncologist still wants to fight it, even if mets to the lung, because of my age. But I truly believe in quality vs. quantity and I'd rather have the cancer kill me than the chemo kill me. My tumor markers have doubled within the last month as well.

I wholeheartedly believe that I am here for a reason and sure, I hoped that would be to live a long, healthy and productive life but maybe I am here for other reasons. Maybe I am here to continue to make the difference in the lives of others with cancer, especially children, which is where my heart is.

My other decision is about school. I wanted this so badly. I wanted to become a nurse, even if I died before being able to work as a nurse. I wanted to complete this program. But it may not be in my cards. I am behind many clinical and theory hours at this point. I have been making up my clinical by volunteering at Children's and Hospice and I've been making up some theory buy wrting care plans and case studies, but I still have another full semester after fall. It's something I have to really think about and I guess that probably depends on the possible mets and what prognosis that would be.

If I stop chemo permanently, I want to travel, I want to spend every moment possible with my biological family. I want to do all of those things that most people never take the time to do. I want to hold the hands of dying children more often than I've been able to. I want to do some incredible things before I die, because I want to make a difference before I go. What is life worth if you haven't made a difference?

So as the title of this post states, I have lots to think about and decisions to make. My oncologist has become a friend, and I can't let her make these decisions for me. I need to consider all of the facts and the stats. I need to use my own knowledge to make the best possible decision for me.

So that is where I am at.
I am sorry that this wasn't a happier post.
I will be adding my brother Kieran and my significant other, Cameron, to my blog as an additional poster so that they can post when I am unable or if things change because I do have internet freinds that I care for and would like them to have updates - the good and the bad.

Hugs to all,