please pray for me...

Discussion in 'Prayer Request Forum' started by clarnet73, Jun 14, 2003.

  1. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jun 14, 2003

    Hey all-

    I'm having surgery next week (either Wednesday or Thursday; I'll find out Monday)...

    I've had a lump on my nck for the last couple months, and the doctors have finally diagnosed it as "being consistent with Melanoma..." It's strange, because I don't have any other moles or discolorations or anything, but they said it isn't all that uncommon. It's also strange for someone this young (I'm only 21) to get skin cancer, but they say it happens.

    My doctor is supposed to be the best one in the area for this sort of thing, so I'm not too worried... it's just a frightening possibility. Only problem is that it's the same area where the facial nerve runs through... but the doctor says that he and his team are "real good friends with that nerve" and "we like to stay on opposite sides of the street."

    I'll keep you all updated, just wanted to let you all know.
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 14, 2003

    I will definitely keep you in my prayers. Take it one day at a tiime.
     
  4. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Jun 15, 2003

    Thanks for telling us. I'll keep you in my prayers as well.
     
  5. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jun 16, 2003

    Well, I guess good news and bad news... we got a call today cancelling our appointment this afternoon... I'm not havig surgery this week. That's the good news.

    Bad news is, the scan I had on Friday apparently had some abnormalities and they're switching me doctors... which means it isn't as localized as they thought...

    Now I'm getting scared. Will know more on Thursday. I don't want to wait! grrr.
     
  6. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Jun 16, 2003

    I'll keep you in my prayers and send good thoughts your way to help you get through the week!!!
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oh you must be very worried. Does it help to realize that there is nothing you can do but go along with the scheduling flow? One thing that can help is to set aside a certain time of day to worry and let it go the rest of the day. When you start to fixate, just remind yourself of the time that you have chosen to worry and 'put it on hold' until then. Also, be good to yourself during this troubling time.
     
  8. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jun 16, 2003

    thanks, upsadaisy... i've pretty much decided that ther's nothing I can do about it; thankfully, my mom and dad are awesome. :) I'm looking on the upside that I can now go ride roller coasters this weekend (they were going to make me wait 3 weeks after surgery) instead of having to wait until the middle of July... and I get to be there for the first several days of summer school at least, so I get to know the routine (routine is essential with 7 special ed. kids and 8 adults in the room!) and the kids before I disappear for a week and a half. :) I was all afraid that for the first week-and-a-half we have kids, I wasn't going to be there...wierd for a kid to keep switching 1-on-1 TA's. :)

    I think if I focus on the kids I won't worry so much. :)

    Will keep you posted. :)
     
  9. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jun 23, 2003

    OK... it's a lengthy update, but I like to keep people posted. :)


    The scans I had last week showed small bits of the melanoma in other areas, so just taking out the lump in my neck won't be enough. They also said radiation won't really do a whole lot, and this kind of melanoma doesn't repond well to the chemo drugs everyone hears about.

    Instead, they've decided to do something they call imuno-therapy... here's a "regular people" explanation... Chemotherapy is drugs that basically kill off all the stuff in your body so the cancer cells die. (OK, so not REALLY a truly accurate medical explanation, but close enough.) Imunotherapy is inundating your body with antibodies that are already present in your immune system in small amounts (a peptide, if you remember your science classes) that help your immune system learn to fight the cancer itself. It blasts it with info that says "These cells are bad. Kill them."

    My mom uses this analogy:

    Cancer's like a weed. You want to get it before it grows too much more. Chemotherapy would be like spraying a whole bunch of Rid on the weed and everything around it, hoping to kill it. This particular weed doesn't respond to Raid, so you have to try something else. Imunotherapy is like spreading fertilizer on all the grass surrounding it so that it'll choke out the weed.

    OK, enough of my medical lesson. What this basically means is...

    On a Monday, July 7, they admit me to the hospital... the ICU, so they can carefully watch the side effects. I have to be in there a whole week, not coming home until the following Saturday. Every 8 hours, they infuse my blood stream with these really powerful antibodies for 15 minutes. They do this every 8 hours for 5 days.
    Then, I get to come home for a week (to recover, they say) and come back in the following Monday and repeat the process. I then get 2 months off...they test to see if it's doing any good... if it is, they repeat the process again.

    Good news is, they say that even though it's in an advanced stage, I'm young, otherwise healthy, and a female, which I've been told are all good signs.

    Downside, other than being BORED out of my MIND for 2 weeks in the ICU, is that the side effects of the drug make you feel like you've been run over a truck... like a really bad case of the flu without the sniffles. And they say you feel that way most of the recovery week, too... As much as I hate being sick, I'm not looking forward to that part AT ALL... but, not a lot of choice. :)

    Just wanted to update you all...
     
  10. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 23, 2003

    Oh gosh, Clarnet, I am so sorry you have to endure all this. Keep focusing on the positive stuff you have going for you. Do you have a laptop computer so you can check atoz? That might keep your spirits up. I know many people will be praying for you and keeping you in their thoughts.
     
  11. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    I don't have a laptop... not having all my internet friends iwll make it tough, but i'll be happpy to check when I get home...but I have 2 weeks before then, though. :)
     
  12. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Jun 24, 2003

    Emily, I read your update last night... I just wanted to let you know that I have been praying for you every time I think of it! :)
     
  13. Love to Teach

    Love to Teach Cohort

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    Jun 26, 2003

    Hey, Emily! Wishing you did not have to go through so difficult a time! Hope knowing that we all are- and will continue- to pray for you helps in some small way. Our school principal and many others, locally and state-wide, are serving with the Guards over in Iraq. I have put flags up in my home, at school, and in my van to help remind me to say prayers throughout the day for their safe and speedy return. In your honor, I will add bright, beautiful sunflowers so that throughout each day, I can also pray for your safe and speedy return to good health. You take care and know that we are thinking of you! May God Bless,
    Jody
    *Just a thought: My son has diabetes and has on occasion had to be hospitalized. Our hospital had video games, VCR's, computers, etc. for the patients to use. Maybe your area of the hospital could borrow a computer from the pediatric unit. Maybe your hospital has or could get you access to a laptop. Maybe check with the Hospital Auxilary or some local organizations to see if they could rent or borrow one for you. Maybe even the Cancer Society or the Chamber of Commerce? Don't be afraid to ask for what you need. Lots of people are willing to help when they are aware of a need.
     
  14. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jun 26, 2003

    Hehe... lilkidteach and I are friends from college and she's letting me borrow her old laptop for when I'm in the hospital. :) Keeping my fingers crossed that I can hook it up to the 'net. :)
     
  15. Shawnmarie

    Shawnmarie Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2003

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. Sending many cyber hugs your way!! I'll be thinking of you, be strong, and remember that God doesn't give us anymore than we can handle, I have really found that to be true.
     
  16. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Jun 26, 2003

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Don't torment the nurses and doctors too much. :D

    Lori
     
  17. charli

    charli Guest

    Jun 27, 2003

    Serenity

    Hey, Emily,
    I am praying for your strength to endure this difficult time! My grandmother had cancer several years ago and when times got tough she read the serenity prayer:
    GOD, grant me the serentiy to accept the things I cannot change, COURAGE to change the things I can,
    and WISDOM to know the difference.

    Now, when I am faced with an unbearable or tough situation I, too pray this prayer along with my favorite, Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

    One thing is for certain, the other ladies in this strand will make a powerful prayer chain to help you overcome this!

    Love, prayer and wishes for a speedy recovery,
    Pam aka charli
     
  18. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jun 27, 2003

    Also, keep this in mind:

    YOU CAN'T SCARE ME - I'M A TEACHER !!!
     
  19. emccoy

    emccoy Companion

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    Jun 27, 2003

    Our prayers are with you. May God grant you strength and healing.

    Lots of love from the East Coast.
    Ed
     
  20. Carla

    Carla Companion

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    Jun 27, 2003

    We will pray for you also. My father was diagnosed with cancer in Nov. It was very hard dealing with at first, but he is a fighter and determined not to let it get him down. Just fight and never, no matter how bad it gets, never give up. My thoughts are with you.
    Carla
     
  21. Love to Teach

    Love to Teach Cohort

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    Hi, Emily! Just checking in to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you! How are you holding up? I would imagine that the waiting to get started with all this is the worst part right
    now-?! Hang in there and know that we are ALL pulling for you!!
    May God Bless!
    Jody:) :)
     
  22. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Thanks for all the well-wishes... I go in Monday. I'm optimistic, but the hardest part is that I feel perfectly fine going into the whole thing, but I know I'm going to feel really bad while I'm IN the hospital... It's a heck of a lot more fun doing my summer job (special ed. summer school aide) than it is to feel sick! But, on the up side, if I feel OK, I get to come back for the last week of summer school, so it's all good. :)

    Lori-
    But tormenting people is what I do best! :) LOL :D

    If I can hook lilkidteach's laptop up while I'm in the hospital, I'll keep you all posted. :)
     
  23. hillsidefogo

    hillsidefogo Companion

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    Jul 5, 2003

    Hi Emily,

    Just wanted to send you best wishes and prayers from Canada. I'll be thinking of you and praying for a speedy recovery. I found when under extreme stress that listening to a nature relaxation tape helped a lot. Just picture those wonderful antibodies surrounding and destroying the cancer cells and hang on.
    Dawn
     
  24. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jul 6, 2003

    BIG HUGS FOR EMILY

    ((((((((((((((((( EMILY ))))))))))))))))



    ;) ;) ;)
     
  25. mommaruthie

    mommaruthie Aficionado

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    any updates?

    Hi, just been gone for so long and hoping to hear news- any updates on emily? Ruth
     
  26. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Jul 8, 2003

    She just went into the hospital yesterday (Monday), and is scheduled to be back home Saturday morning. She doesn't think she'll have Internet access at the hospital, so I guess we'll just have to wait...
     
  27. Love to Teach

    Love to Teach Cohort

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    Jul 10, 2003

    Emily-know that you probably won't see this until you are back home, but hope it will help to know that we were with you in spirit throughout this long week! We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Hang in there! :) :)
    Jody
     
  28. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jul 12, 2003

    I'm a bit odd-feeling right now, sleepy and such so not totally coherant... was checking up on posts but didn't find all the new ones, ran out of time, LOL


    Monday and Tueaday weren't too bed, Wednesday was OK, Thursday and Friday really s*cked... ick!

    I'll write more later in the week when I have more energy... thanks for the box! :)
     
  29. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    It's great to hear from you!! Hang in there.
     
  30. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Jul 16, 2003

    Hey clarnet73,
    Are you going to go into the hospital again next week for your second round? Let us know what the schedule will be like again so we can focus our prayers for you. :)
     
  31. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jul 16, 2003

    Hey there...

    I've almost recovered from the last round, I got my appetite back and am almost sleeping through the night again... one of the side effects is water retention (the only diet I know of where you don't eat all week and still gain 10 pounds!) but I have finally found my knees and ankles again... all is good...

    I go back in again Monday for another week... they give me my treatment at 2 PM, 10 PM, and 6 AM, although I don't feel anything until 2-3 hours later... I'll feel OK until probably Wed. or so, then I kinda become real sedated... last Friday, it was too much of an effort to turn on the TV when the button was right next to me! ACK! I HATE being sick!

    But next week and then I'm done for 2 months. :D
     
  32. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jul 20, 2003

    going in Monday morning... talk to you all on Saturday... only one more week of this and I get 8 weeks off, yay!
     
  33. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Jul 21, 2003

    Hi all,

    This is just a reminder to keep Emily in your prayers this week. She went back in for a second round of treatment today. Going by her schedule she listed above, the first effects are probably hitting her as I type this post.

    (She's on CT... which is the time the forums go by.)
     
  34. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Thanks for the prayers and virtual hugs... I just got back home today, and am still feeling petty crummy... I got 12/14 does again, which is unbelievable...6 would have been good.

    WIll be on more as the week improves :) I miss you guys :)
     
  35. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I bet you're feeling crummy. Hang in there, one day at a time. We'll keep the prayers coming your way.
     
  36. Love to Teach

    Love to Teach Cohort

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    Thinking of you and praying each day for your speedy return to good health! Hope you are soon feeling better from this latest round of treatment. Hang in there! :) Jody
     
  37. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Thanks...I'm feeling MUCH better today....just trying to get over the dang water retention in my feet/legs/ankles and the peeling skin all over...and my swollen mouth, which I didn't have last time... I feel like a drooling child or something, LOL....each day gets better. :)
     
  38. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Jul 28, 2003

    I'll be sure to pray for relief from those side effects. Thanks for the update!
     
  39. emccoy

    emccoy Companion

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    What's happening

    Has anyone heard any recent news from Emily? How is she doing?

    Ed
     
  40. Love to Teach

    Love to Teach Cohort

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    Hi, Emily! Like Ed, I am wondering how you are doing? Hope all is looking up, and you are getting stronger each day! Take care and know that warm thoughts and prayers are still coming your way! :)

    Jody
     
  41. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Aug 9, 2003

    hey all...

    I missed the last message or I would have posted sooner. :) I'm doing great... my taste buds are back (they disappeared for a few days, that stinks!) and all other side effects are gone... skin is still peeling, but it's not too bad. :)

    I go back 9/8 and 9/9 for repeat tests, have a dr. appt. 9/11, and will then know what's going on. Most likely, another round of this yucky stuff. :rolleyes:

    Now, it's finding a job that will let me off for my Dr. appts and rounds of treatment... preferably one with insurance, or else I have to take enough classes to be a full-time student... i'm sick of taking classes! aargh! :rolleyes:
     

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