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,


Possum said...

I'm so so very sorry honey.
What a blow. That's really sad news.
I think you're right though - it's time to make decisions. Don't waste a precious moment while there are things you do really want to do.
I do hope you get to spend heaps of time with your bio fam.
Oh sweetie - you have such a beautiful heart.
Wish I could hug you in person - but please know I'm thinking of you - and sending cyber hugs from AUS for you.
Thank you for the updates - I really appreciate them - as you're often in my thoughts.
Biggest hugs,
Poss. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Nina said...

Nicole, I have just found you, and have been reading your story. It has touched me so much... I believe you have made a difference already, no matter what the future brings.

suz said...

Hi Sweetie. I am glad you posted. To answer your question, I regularly wonder and worry about you given your medical condidtion. I selfishly worry that if the cancer did take you, that I wouldn't know and I would forever wait for word of you.
You have touched me deeply and even across cyberspace I feel we made a connection.
Please keep in touch and post when you can. Feel free to call me anytime. I would love to hear your voice live.
My best to you. Big hugs.