Thursday, October 12, 2006

Progress Report

Yeah, darn it - there is progress to report. Progress is not good in the world of cancer.

Today's MRI revealed tumor progression. I was always told that it was a matter of "when", not "if", but there has always been hope that I would somehow become a medical oddity (in a good way).

So far it's rather small and in the same general area. Just a blob extending out of the tumor bed area. I'm glad it's not a bunch of grapes sitting on my brain stem or anything like that. But it's the signal that Temodar (the wonder drug) is no longer effective for me.

My options are:

1. Surgery, which is something I'd prefer to avoid as the holiday season approaches (already did that to my family last year). It's also not recommended, given the small size and lack of symptoms.
2. Focused radiation, which is not recommended, because the tumor is larger and has more infiltrating characteristics than what would be ideal for this treatment.
3. Chemotherapy using an experimental combination of Avastin and Carboplatin. This is something my doctor has been using with good results. It's not a cure, and it has its own down-side, but it's something. This is what we are going with.

I start on Tuesday. I travel downtown and hook up to an IV for four hours. Luckily I have a laptop and can maybe get some work done while I sit there. I go back two weeks later for a different infusion (a little shorter) and then repeat every two weeks. I undergo a LOT of monitoring for all of the nasty side effects on my kidneys, liver, stomach, and immune system. I have MRI's every other month, as usual. If this works - great - we keep going. If not, the list of options narrows a little more.

I have been amazed at the calm and peace I have felt as I digest this news. It's not a happy thing. It's disappointing, and it hurts to know that this causes pain for my husband, my parents, and others who just think I'm so darn cute and lovable. I know that this is a big change that will require more adjustment, more logistics to work out, etc. It may affect the things that consume most of my time and energy right now. It puts urgency into the "tie up loose ends" in my life. It causes me to worry about a potential financial impact. It causes me to wonder if (or when) I will start to lose some of my talents and abilities. (Got another Messiah performance on December 17 - gotta keep enough right brain intact!!!) It especially gives me concern about my son, because I want to shield him from this crisis.

And yet - despite all of this - there is calm and peace. There is stuff to think about and work through in my mind, but I feel no despair. I feel sad, but I feel that I am watched over and cared for. My trust in the Lord has not wavered at all. I know that all will be well, whatever is happening now. The prayers of many have given me what I need to endure this. I'm sure that many more prayers will continue on my behalf, and they will continue to help me. Just please pray for my family, too.

Be still, my soul,
thy best, thy Heavenly Friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.


Kari said...

I am so sorry!
Prayers for sure, Krista!!

Faith said...

I'm sorry, Krista. I was thinking of you and how long it's been, and thinking that you've been beating the odds so far. Here's hoping that you continue to beat the odds. Regardless, I'll continue to pray for you and your family, that you'll all have the peace that you're feeling now. You know I love you!!

Ana said...

Krista, you are in the prayers of a lot of strangers. I'm so sorry this happened. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your faith and peace with us today.

Mandi said...

Prayers fervently coming your way.

Anonymous said...

One big fat California hug coming your way!

I'm sure the calm and peace you feel is knowing what you've known all along...The Lord knows what you are going through and He is there to comfort you. He might even love you more than (gasp) Jared.

Wish I were there in person to give you a hug, but please know that my heart and my prayers go out to you.

Love you!


Krista said...

I was into the denial myself, so I am so surprised to read of the reoccurance. I am so sorry too, but will send prayers of strength and peace. You have done absolutely all the right things--having faith, a positive attitude, eating right & exercising so utlimately the Lords's will be done.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry Krista, but again, your incredible faith amazes me and is a wonderful example for me. My personal opinion is that if anyone deserves to be a "medial oddity" it should be you. Ironically, I found out that my grandpa has the same (or extremely close to the same) type of brain cancer that you do. However, he is so old that his body can't handle the chemo or radiation. They did remove the tumor though. Anyway...

I'll keep praying for you and your family! Love you!


Anonymous said...

Oops...I meant "medical" not "medial" oddity. :o)


Proud Daughter of Eve said...

Prayers and hugs for you and your family!

Heidi said...

So sorry to hear about your setback but I feel confident you will come out the winner again! Hugs and love to you, Jared and the kids. I am bad about calling but know I think and pray for you every day!

Anonymous said...

Krista, I don't know how long you've been battling this horrible disease, but I do know what you are going through. My daughter also lived in Plano (still has a house there) but moved to Houston to be with us(her parents and brother)about eight months
ago. She has been on several different chemo treatments and is now trying Avastin and Carboplatin. All I can say is I sincerely hope it works for both of you.