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  • Writer's pictureJentrie Williams

Ready or Not, Here We Go

Updated: Feb 20, 2018

As you probably heard, I met with my Dr. Tuesday morning and finally received answers. It was pretty overwhelming, but also a relief to know exactly what's going on and what the plan will be from here on out.

I was Diagnosed with stage 2 Non-Hodgkin Mediastinal Large B Cell Lymphoma. I was diagnosed stage 2 because the tumor is contained to only my chest (which is really great that it hasn't spread!), but they will be treating me as if it were stage 4, because of the dangerously large size, and location, of "too-ma."

The Plan

They will be giving me a chemo treatment called, r-chop. It is very intense chemo that I will have to be given at the hospital, as an in-patient, for 5 days non stop. The great thing about it is that I should not have to do any radiation. Since I am so young, the radiation could cause a lot of problems down the road; like heart disease and breast cancer. So I am grateful I won't be doing that!

I will receive treatments for 5 days, be home for 18 days, then back at the hospital for chemo treatments another 5 days, and so forth. While i'm home, I'll have to get labs done twice a week, take lots of pills, and, for the yuckiest thing they just sprung on me yesterday, with no warning ;), give myself shots. EEEK!

That brings us to yesterday, Wednesday the 26th...

Wow is the only word I can think of that is fitting to describe my day yesterday. After a long night of worry and packing, I was told to check in at noon, to "see" if they'd be able to put a port in for my chemo treatments. Well, when I arrived, they took me back and started poking me and getting me set for the procedure. What?! We're doing it?! I had no time to prepare myself, I was so nervous. But maybe it's better that way.

I was extra nervous because they were not going to be able to give me both of the sedatives, seeing as I ate breakfast because I didn't know i'd be getting my port. Let's just say, the procedure was not fun. They inserted the port on the right side of my chest, just below my collar bone. After giving me a million numbing shots, the Dr made the incisions and started jamming the port into "the pocket" he'd just made. Oh My! he was yanking that thing so hard that my shoulders and whole body were being yanked to the right with him. "It's a lot of pressure because there's no fat, just muscle." (I'll take that as a compliment ;)) I started shaking uncontrollably. They offered to turn some music to help calm my nerves, and were probably quite shocked when I asked him to search for the stations, 'LDS Hymns' or 'I am a child of God.' Of course that calmed me down and helped me get through the rest of the procedure. And after, I was so happy, because as the Dr. and the nurse (both men) were wheeling me back to the recovery room, they were humming "Come thou fount of every blessing." :)

They got me all set up in my room, and the whole rest of the evening I got more and more scared and overwhelmed. Dr after Dr came in to deliver news that was just plain yucky. Tears streamed down my cheeks. I wanted to run away. Every day, and with every piece of news, this gets harder. You should see the "chemo bible" they gave me to read...

It was time to get my first chemo treatment started. Two nurses came in, dressed and looking like they were ready for war. Gloves, special sanitary gowns, and masks. But, they soon took all of that off because as they prepped and did their precautionary routine, they found I had a fever. Fevers=infection, so they had to take another x-ray, more blood, and a urine sample. I guess everything looked okay, and the fever wasn't infection, just my body reacting to everything that's been going on, because they started my first bag of chemo last night.

I feel pretty good and don't feel any side effects yet, so hopefully they can help me stay comfortable.

I wanted to thank you for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. Though I cannot reply to every message, comment, text, or call, please know I read and hear every one of them, and they are helping me so much. I love them, you will never know. This is hard, and I know there will be a lot of hard days, but your kind words and encouragement give me strength and the desire to stay happy and positive.

I heard this quote in a sacrament meeting about 5 years ago. It has stuck with me ever since and I think about it often...

"Heavenly Father doesn't help us around our trials, He helps us through them."

I know that to be true. What I also know to be true is that He has sent His angels, and earthly angels (all of you) to help me. I know He has a plan for me and I know this will all be worth it.

I love you and hope you can feel of our Heavenly Father and Savior's love for you also, especially on this Thanksgiving day. We have been given much, we are blessed.

Xoxo Jen

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