Hello?

It’s me. Haha. Thanks to Adele for that opening line. She’s been stuck in my head all day! Week… month…

Anyway… it has been quite a while since I have updated. I guess I have been pretty busy. Life has been non-stop recently. I don’t exactly know why because I’m unemployed and single. How can I be so busy? Also, I’m pretty high on oxycodone right now because I’m in so much pain… all the time. So if this post is weird… that’s just how it’s going to be.

Right when I got back from Minnesota, I went right into wedding mode for my friends, Michael and Amanda. It was an EPIC wedding, to say the least. I’m so glad I was a bridesmaid because I had such a great time with everyone. I even had a great time with the hours and hours of manual labor we did before the wedding. I’m super proud of my corn hole boards that I painted… free hand! But, it rained during the entire wedding, so no one used them. If I were to talk about all the amazing and crazy things that happened during the wedding, we’d be here all day.

My masterpiece!

My masterpiece!

The rain forced us to use this storage room as the bridal suite. So fancy.

The rain forced us to use this storage room as the bridal suite. So fancy.

After saying I do! They got to enjoy some married alone time in the storage room. Haha.

After saying I do! They got to enjoy some married alone time in the storage room. Haha.

But, it was seriously such a beautiful wedding. There was so much love. Amanda was such a chill bride the whole day, which was so great! Even when we found out that her foot had been bleeding and it got on her shoes and her dress. We all freaked out. But, she was just like, “Oh.” The groomsmen all got together and did a surprise dance for her. The bridesmaids joined in at the end. Michael made this sweet video that recapped their entire relationship from when they met. We partied so hard… and it was a Sunday. I’m a little sad that it’s over. I’ve known Amanda and Michael both for 8 years. I’ve seen their relationship from the very beginning and it was such an honor to stand up there with them as they said, “I do.” Even though, I was so cold and couldn’t feel anything, the only thing I could feel was the love. They are amazing people and the best friends a girl could ask for. Love you both!

Now, on to the next wedding. #gabeandpamgoham coming in April 2016!

I haven’t been doing much lately. Last time I went to my oncologist, my white blood cell counts were crazy. She’s worried about me getting sick so I have to be super careful and not be around people.

I also got my PET scan results back. I actually got the results the Monday after the wedding, November 9. So far, I have only told my family, my close friends, and people who have asked me about it. I feel like the more I say it out loud, the more real it becomes. I’ve been dreading writing this post. I hardly know what to say because I don’t even really know what’s happening exactly.

So my PET scan showed that the tumors have shrunk. However, there is still high activity in them. That means that the chemo shrunk the tumors down but didn’t stop whatever is making them grow. However, my oncologist didn’t really have much to compare the PET to because my insurance is crap and I wasn’t able to get a PET scan when I was first being diagnosed and staged. It kind of feels like we’re starting all over again.

I have another lymph node biopsy this upcoming Monday. Hopefully, the flow cytometry will give us better insight as to the current situation of what’s going on in these tumors. Then, on Tuesday, I have a consultation with a bone marrow transplant center. Well, I guess nowadays, they’re calling it a stem cell transplant. My oncologist suggested that the next step be an autologous stem cell transplant. This is where they take my stem cells and freeze them. After that, I get high dose chemo or total body irradiation where the goal is to completely get rid of the cancer. They do this after they take the stem cells because the high dose kills everything, even the good bone marrow. After that, they’re able to put the stem cells back into my body so that it can start making healthy blood and bone marrow again. During recovery, I’m highly susceptible to infection so I’ll probably be in isolation. The transplant can be done completely as an outpatient procedure or I’ll be in the hospital during the entire process.

So this is not exactly what we thought was going to happen. And it’s not what most commonly happens with Hodgkins lymphoma patients. I guess my body was so healthy before, it just really wanted a challenge!

I’m talking to a couple of people who have had an autologous transplant. It doesn’t seem like a painful process or anything. It just takes a while to complete. I just want to do whatever it takes to get rid of this cancer for good. And I want to do it as soon as possible. Mostly because my deductible restarts in January. So if I need to be hospitalized, I’d rather do it now, while I don’t have to pay anything anymore.

So that’s what’s happening. I will update more on the transplant stuff after my consultation.

Thanks to everyone who has been checking in on me. The fight isn’t over yet. But, we’re a step closer.

~SL

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