I have to go back to MD Anderson in Houston today. I asked them to schedule all my appointments at the same time (to coincide with chemo every three weeks), but they flubbed the scheduling this time and I have to make an extra trip.
Here are details: When my cancer was discovered in my right neck lymph nodes, it was determined that the cancer cells were HER-2 neu positive. This means, they told me, that they came from breast cancer and should be treated with specific drugs that attack the HER-2 neu cells.
But, besides my neck, they can’t actually find any tumor/cancer in that part of my body or its related lymph nodes, which they think is strange.
After thinking about it some more, they have decided to check me for stomach cancer. HER-2 neu positive cancer cells almost always indicate breast cancer, but can also come from the upper stomach. Stomach cancer is extremely rare in the U.S., but more common in China and Japan. I am not ethnic Chinese, but I am gastronomically Chinese. 🙂
Stomach cancer is worse than breast cancer, so I am hoping it is not stomach cancer.
They don’t really think I have stomach cancer, because stomach cancer shows up in your left neck lymph nodes (my lymph node trouble is on the right side). That would be hard to explain, having cancerous lymph nodes in the wrong side of my neck. But since my situation is hard to explain anyway, they feel it is the responsible thing to do to check.
Nothing showed up on the CT scan of my abdomen, so hopefully the scope won’t find anything there either.
My sister-in-law will drive me down to Houston today, we’ll spend the night, then I go in the morning to have the little camera thing threaded down my throat. I’ll be under anesthesia. I think they will dismiss me by noon. If they find nothing, I may find out immediately. If they find suspicious tissue, they will biopsy it and I won’t find out the result until the end of next week at earliest (due to holidays and the lab being closed).
Then after the hospital dismisses me, we will drive back the 4.5 hours in the middle of Houston/Thanksgiving traffic. Please pray for traveling mercies. I’ll probably sleep due to the effects of anesthesia, so pray that Laura will be wide awake and alert to handle the traffic as we return home.
Also, please pray for two of my nieces. One of them (Val) in Montana was in a one-vehicle car accident yesterday. She is apparently okay but shaken up and the car needs repair. The other (Karin) in North Carolina is 6-7 months pregnant with complications and was admitted to the hospital last night; her doctor wants to induce labor. The doctor predicts things will go relatively well, and that the baby, once prematurely born, will be in the hospital for three months. It is her first pregnancy. She and her husband are in seminary and preparing for long-term overseas service. No doubt the enemy would like to confuse those plans, so pray that nothing bad will befall them, please.
Also, please pray for a cousin of mine (Wanda) in Virginia who got a cancer diagnosis soon after I did. She is two years younger than I am, and she has a sarcoma on her hip. She is going through all the same kinds of things I am going through. Pray that God will give her peace, strength and healing.
I had chemo last Friday and it went really well. My excellent nurse at MDA told me that many people have a hard time during chemo, but I am a very healthy type of cancer patient who has minimal side effects. Side effects could increase, but so far so good. My doctor thinks I am doing well and that my neck looks and feels like a normal neck.
God is with me. Thank you for your interest and prayers. Sorry I am having trouble writing people back individually, but I appreciate your comments, emails and other messages that express your love and prayers for me!