Saudi Arabia/USA: I Looked My Cancer In the Face

 

This post is a personal update on me, American Bedu.  I had written last month about the continued spread of my cancer.  Since that December posting I underwent a liver biopsy and started a phase I clinical trial.

  The liver biopsy was interesting, to say the least.  The biopsy area was numbed but I was not allowed to have any medication for relaxation.  The reason for my not being provided any medication was that I needed to be alert during the biopsy procedure in order to follow specific breathing instructions.  The prep time and actual biopsy took about two hours.  I then spent an additional 3.5 hours in a room where I could be observed and monitored to ensure there was no internal bleeding.

The doctor was able to retrieve three specimens of the cancer in my liver.  Once the procedure was over and the area was being bandaged, I asked if I could see one of the specimens.  I know it might sound like an unusual request but I had this need to look my cancer in the face.  I wanted to know what this cancer looked like.  It was a surprise.  Floating within the test tube of fluid was this itty bitty teeny weeny white worm-like thing.  I thought to myself, “THIS is what has been ravaging my body and giving me a hard time?”  Needless to say, getting to see my cancer also gave me a burst of anger that I am channeling into positive energy in order to fight this deadly disease.  I am determined not to allow this worm like thing within my body destroy me!

My oncologist also decided to move up my start date of the clinical trial and it has been started.  As I am writing this (on 09 January) I have only begun the trial.  I’ll be at my oncologist’s every day this week.  Today I received a low dose of chemo.  I learned that low doses of chemo actually stimulate the immune system.  Since my trial is focused on boosting the immune system, I want all the stimulation I can get!  Tomorrow I’ll have my first infusion of the trial medication.

I don’t know yet what kind of reactions I will or will not have.  This is partly why I am also trying to get a “stockpile” of posts written in advance for there may be days I will not be online at all.

In closing this post, my advice for any cancer patient whose cancer has reached an aggressive stage, is do not give up and do whatever will work for you to help prepare you for the battle.  Cancer is a war.

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18 Responses

  1. I love your determination! Fight, Carol, fight!

    Thanks for the update! Love you!

  2. Here’s to a victorious battle. Good fighting. Let’s hope it is a quick win.

  3. I hope yur trial goes well and th eoutcome is great for you , good luck carol. 🙂

  4. I truly wish you well, Carol. Chemotherapy to my understanding, is exhausting.

    In fact, I have heard that strong doses of it over several consecutive treatments can weaken a person’s immune system.

    My 82 yr. old father has prostate cancer. I have a sister who is an emergency services doctor, so we do have family to advocate on behalf for my father and get all sorts of info. from oncologist. My father was diagnosed nearly 3 years ago and has not yet elected to have chemotherapy yet. His cancer is mid-range seriousness.

    At his age, if he has chemo..for 8 wks., every day, it will weaken him and his immune system.

    So right now, he appears normal except he has cancer and now, noticeably does not recove as quickly from colds/flu. He has no other health problems, no cardiopulmonary, no respiratory, nor neurosmuscular problems….which I am certain if he had additional health problems his cancer would be far more difficult/complicated.

    THis is itself, an inspiration of the important of becoming healthy while one is still “young” and getting on the long term path of decent diet and regular exercise. (He doesn’t exercise. Just walks a few blocks to store occasionally.)

    I appreciate your motivation and drive to feed this blog with new content for us all, Carol!!

  5. Wow. That is just mind-blowing. A little WORM??? Wow. Just wow. Who would have thought. That feels very empowering somehow. It really does. And it sure gives new meaning to Job (Ayub)’s words: ‘I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God’…

  6. I use to assist all the liver biopsy cases and it did seem strange how one cell in your body goes rogue and spontaniously starts growing at a fast rate. Since it is one of your own cells, your body tries to protect it. Talk about the ultimate personal betrayal.
    You are right about constitution and will being the key factor. Oncologists actually factor this very heavy in the course of treatment. With this in mind, I would like to see you whoop a@s Carol, on your little treasonous cells that look like a worm.

  7. Dear Carol,
    I am soooo glad your trial has started and I hope it brings true healing to you. I can completely understand wanting to “see” the cancer. It has had such a profound impact on your life-it seems very natural you would want to look it in the eye- so to speak. And I’m not surprised it made you angry. I mean how dare it? It has rearranged you life and intruded in every possible way- uninvited.

    Anyway, I hope the trial is very successful. For you and then ultimately for many others. That would be a wonderful outcome.

  8. I am hoping the best for you.
    Do you also address the nutritional aspects?

  9. I am asking for angels of love, light, strength and courage to surround you. God bless you.

  10. I’m sorry to heard about that. I wish you the best and I’m praying for you. I hope you will win this battle also.

  11. Carol, a new journey for you to fight this thing. I have a close relative who has been fighting cancer for 10 years and on different trial drugs. He has had virtually no immune system for the past few years but he remains well and is actually going to have a little trip to Europe in a couple of months. So having no immune system doesn’t necessarily mean catching nasty things all the time.

  12. This was a very nice post. I enjoyed reading your blog today very much.

    Love to write?

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  13. I pray that this trial goes well!!! Hugs.

  14. Thank you ALL for the words of support, encouragement and hope. I completed my first infusion of the trial drug last week. Ironically I had reactions to the meds which were given to counteract side effects! As a result I was down for a few days but I’m feeling much better now.

    I can say that this trial drug is much easier on the body than chemo.

  15. I just want to wish you all the very best and pray that God gives you the strength to get through this next tough phase.

    While I love your blog, and it is sweet you are stockpiling posts for it, please don’t put yourself under any undue pressure or stress. We’ll all be here waiting for you when you are ready to post…you’ve given us so much of yourself, take some time and space for yourself.

  16. You can and will overcome this Carol, we are with you- your determination will give success to you.

  17. […] patient battling Stage Iv metastatic breast cancer.  The cancer has spread into my bones and liver.  I have been through multiple traditional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.  I was […]

  18. […] a phase I clinical trial particularly because the cancer decided to spread from my bones to the liver. While the clinical trial would have some side effects, I actually had never felt so good and able […]

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