Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sweet Jessica

I decided to go ahead and get my second Avastin treatment on Thursday. Even though it could put a delay on surgery if I need it, Dr. Gore and Dr. Huh seem to be in agreement that it should help my symptoms (poor appetite, trouble using the bathroom, abdominal pain) by possibly putting a stop to fluid buildup in my abdomen. I also wanted to get Dr. Gore’s take on the new information. He feels strongly that the BEP chemotherapy regime will put me through hell and possibly kill me without really doing anything at all to prolong my life. He seems to think the BEP is just not a good option and wants to see how the cancer responds to the Avastin.  We also had a frank discussion about what would happen if we ran out of options. He was very honest with me and I really appreciated it because I wanted to know what it would be like for me if I die from this cancer. He said hospitalization or home hospice care are options, but I think I would prefer to be at home. I would need to have a tube inserted in my abdomen at all times for constant draining of fluids and I would have a feeding tube inserted through my nose to avoid problems with vomiting. He felt confident that the pain would be something that could be managed, but at a certain point I would be on so much pain medication that I wouldn’t be able to communicate. IV fluids and the feeding tube could be removed when it’s time to let go. I am not saying all this to be depressing or because I am depressed (though I do not want to die), but at a certain point there might not be any more options for me and everyone needs to be prepared for the possibility that I will not win this battle. I think I am prepared to accept it if that time comes though it is certainly not the way I would want to go. I think it will be more difficult on the people who care about me than on me. I truly hate that and it makes me feel guilty that I might die. 

I did also get a phone call from Dr. Huh yesterday. He said he had talked to the pathologist that would be retesting the tissues from my original tumor and hoped to hear back by the end of next week. He said, “Between you and me, we are probably going to find out that it is juvenile granulosa cell. I just want to be sure though.” The options on the table for juvenile granulosa cell seem to be continuing the Avastin treatments and seeing how it turns out, the dreaded BEP chemotherapy regime, surgery, or some combination of the three. I told Dr. Huh that Dr. Gore didn’t seem to have any faith in the BEP regime at this point. Dr. Huh said that Dr. Gore could be right but it’s just impossible to know for sure what the outcome would be. 

I want to talk about something more upbeat now. I have an amazing friend who has been a sort of super hero to me through all of this. She came up with the, “There’s something about Mary” bracelets as a way for people to show support for me. She completely surprised me Monday with her latest idea that she had somehow managed to keep a secret from me for a while. She has been selling support shirts and surprised me by giving me all of the money she raised Monday!

back of the shirt
front of the shirt (it's a little wrinkled because I slept in it)

She has sold 60 shirts to my friends where I worked for 4 years so far and now other people are getting in touch with her about buying them. She is so smart and creative, and has always been an amazing friend to me! It’s so amazing and thoughtful that she came up with a new way to support me and that so many people wanted a shirt to show support also. 

A picture of me with Jessica
I wish for all the opportunities and good times for Jessica throughout here life because she is an extraordinary person. She has selflessly worked so hard to do these things for me and I can never say thank you enough or express my gratitude enough.

"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light." - Helen Keller

Unfortunately, now and for the rest of the weekend I need to catch up on class work. This week was so stressful that I got behind again.


  1. what a sweetheart!!! can't ask for more in a friend, sweetest thing i've heard in a long while :)

  2. What a great friend! The t-shirt looks nice!