Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Different Kind of Volunteering

In my retirement, I've talked about volunteering in my free time.  As you may know, I volunteer one morning each week at the library at Rory's school, which the book nerd in me TOTALLY loves!!  Now I'm signing up for a different kind of volunteering.

On Monday, I am volunteering to have a liver biopsy.  There is a DNA screening for a mutation that can only be done with tiny little pieces of my cancer that are removed via biopsy.  They keep the pieces for a very long time. In fact, they still had pieces from my liver biopsy last year when I was diagnosed (a little over a year ago already!), but they need more DNA than they had left.  So, I'm volunteering to do it again.

It's not too bad of a procedure, but it's not something you typically want to volunteer for, either.  I liken it to a root canal ... you don't feel much while they are doing it because they numb you up, but the next couple days can be a real bitch.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the recovery from this one will be easier than the last one because my liver is in MUCH better shape than it was a year ago.  They use only local anesthetic for the needle biopsy (basically they take a long needle, stick it in my liver through my abdomen, the needle then jabs me again and cuts out a tiny piece of tissue and keeps it). They will likely do it 2-3 times, and I will leave a few hours later with nothing more than a band-aid showing.  [I almost wrote "with nothing but a band-aid on", but then realized that would be a VERY different image!]

This is one of those situations where the goal is to leave no stone unturned.  If they find I have this mutation, there is a better treatment option out there for me.  There is only a 10-20% chance I have it, but that's worth a band-aid to me.  So, on Monday, bust out "Do They Know It's Christmas" in my honor, ok?   Somewhere here there is a way to come back around to volunteering from Band-Aid, right?

Shout out to my '80s friends!




Wednesday, April 3, 2013

First Loss

Last night I found out that I've lost what feels like my first cancer-colleague.  Yes, I just coined that term.  If you remember, we went on a great family trip in August thanks to Little Pink Houses of Hope.  Yesterday, one of the great women survivors who was on that trip with us passed away.  I believe Elisha was on 31.  She was the youngest member of our group, with the youngest kiddo.  Her son Sawyer is now 2.  Below is a picture of the two of them.  Elisha, her husband Steven, her mother Cindy, and Sawyer could all use your prayers.  In August, Elisha was done with treatment.  She was healthy and happy.  In December, the cancer metastasized to her brain.  It changed and took her life very quickly.

Elisha was beautiful.  She had a smile that took over her entire face, lit up her eyes, and luckily, it was easy to catch that beauty with a camera, so you get to see it, too.  God bless you, Elisha.