It has been a long three weeks of driving to
Seattle each day for blood draws, tests, x-rays, MRIs and just about every
other kind of test. I was very worried about having an MRI after my
nightmare experience in the hospital last January. I do realize that my
mind was affected by pain killers at the time. However, the thought of having
another one and hearing all the crazy loud noises was unsettling, but I
have learned that having an MRI with a clear mind is not so bad.
I have had two setbacks during all of this.
The first was a heart sonogram that showed that I had a thickening of the wall
of one chamber of my heart. This sent me to see a University of
Washington cardiologist. What a brilliant doctor! He said my
condition could be genetic or it could be caused by the cancer giving off
proteins that were building up in the heart. After a heart MRI complete
with headphones and Mozart, the diagnosis was hypertrophic
cardiomyopathy and it is genetic. It was very good news that it wasn’t
caused by the cancer. As I write this, I have on a 24 hour heart monitor
and will see the doctor again on Friday and have a stress test. He has
been in consultation with my team doctors because they need to know exactly
everything about my heart. I am sure they don't want any surprises.
My second setback was needing a breast biopsy.
This nearly sent me into a tailspin. After my mammogram, I knew there was
some calcification and that they were going to request my records from my
local clinic. When I didn’t hear any more, I thought everything was
fine. Monday evening I had a call from my team PA to say I needed a
breast biopsy. The delay was caused by the clinic sending my
last CT scan instead of my last mammogram. It had to be reordered and,
thus, the delay. I was very upset about this and had a minor meltdown.
Yesterday, I had the biopsy. They don’t really think it is
anything, but they have to know for sure. I don’t have the results,
yet. It has really felt like my physical body is at war with my soul
My Hickman Line was placed today. It is a
central line that has two lines hanging out of the chest and it will be used throughout the transplant process for
blood draws, chemo infusions, and harvesting and transplanting the stem cells. I broke down when the sedation nurse was explaining it. This is the
first time I have shed a tear, except at home, since this all began last
January. I have dreaded having this Hickman Line and seeing it every day dangling from my chest. Not only will it be an ugly sight, it will be a complete reality check and reminder of the gravity of my situation. It was just too much for me
today after my setbacks. The nurse was wonderfully supportive and the
doctor was compassionate and empathetic. With their expert care, I
got through it pretty well.
I will enter the University of Washington
Medical Center on Monday and begin the chemo…………