Friday, January 18, 2008

Breathe In, Breathe Out - A Cancer Recovery Journal - 15

Hi folks - It's been over a month since the last Ema update, and something happened earlier this week that we wanted to share.

Ema visited her oncologist (one of her oncologists, actually - she has a team of them), and he told her he'd like for her to start chemotherapy next week.

This was unexpected since we were told back in November that we could wait to use chemo in the event of a relapse.

Well, the UCLA oncology board revisited her case and decided that, since the tumor was 5cm - the exact cutoff size for recommending chemo, and it was a very aggressive, rare type of tumor, that chemo would be a good thing at this point.

Ema's attitude is amazing. She's not looking forward to losing her hair, but beyond that, she's taking all of this really well.

In a sense, we both feel a little better about her situation because, until this news, it was up to us to make the decision regarding chemo at this time. She was borderline, and the doctors left the decision up to us. It's comforting, in a way, to have the doctors go ahead and recommend what they believe is best at this point. Chemo is pretty nasty stuff, but so is soft-tissue sarcomas. Better safe than sorry.

Ema had chemo before - some fifteen years ago when she had Hodgkin's disease. She lost her hair then, which was stick straight, and it grew back wavy. We're joking now that it will probably grow back in tight curls - ala Freida - the little curly-headed girl in Charlie Brown.

She starts chemo next week, and has to sit in the chair for about 5 hours once per week for her treatments which will last four months - maybe five.

I'm firing up this journal again to keep you folks up to date, and we'll give more details in the next podcast.