Friday, September 3, 2010

A Tale of Two Sonograms

How often do you get to see live feed videos of the hottest growth spots in your body in one week? This week I saw two. Woohoo! The first one showed a flicker of light pulsating in a one-inch long object that already has hands, feet, a head and eyes at 9 weeks. Not that I could see these body parts. All we saw was a fuzzy, black & white blob. But we could see the heartbeat. And anyone who has gone through a pregnancy knows that seeing that flicker is a key checkpoint of life. This good news Monday was sandwiched between discussions of radiation, radiation burns, radiation beams (which apparently are way more high-tech these days), radiation side effects and browsing through an American Cancer Society catalog of dozens of different hat and wig styles.

On Tuesday, the sonogram picture was not so cheery. Half-naked and slathered in goo as doctors waltzed in and out of the room, I stared at an object that looked like a letter 'C' that someone squashed together. This puffy object was once a lymph node. But they needed a third sonogram from a breast expert to confirm it. There is so much cancer in it that when they biopsied the lump, the doctors didn't find any lymph cells. After viewing this video, we got to talk to chemo doctor (formally called a medical oncologist). No matter how nice he was, the words coming out of his mouth were not nice. Chemo sounded like a road trip through hell where you hope to come out with a 20 to 30 percent better chance at life but could also come out with no hair, a GI tract that doesn't like food, infections, anemia, swelling, memory problems, mouth sores and, though rarely, new cancers. He called it "dumb medicine" because even though it targets fast growing cells like cancer, it also hits all the other fast growing cells in your body. The young-ish and healthy, like me, are good candidates. I interpreted that statement as: The young-ish and healthy are good candidates because only the young-ish and healthy can stand it.

NOTE: We want to thank all of you that have sent kind words or offered to help in some way. Your words mean so much to us. They make me feel like I've got this room full of little bouquets of love.
NOTE 2: Flicker's due date: April 6 :)


  1. Oh wow! I'm shocked and heartbroken just reading this. How scary! You and your sweet family will be in my fervent prayers. I had a rare kind of skin cancer near my eye during my second pregnancy that I might not have caught before losing my eye if it weren't for the pregnancy and the hormones that made it grow faster and make it more noticeable. My experience obviously was nothing like what you'll have to endure, but I can identify with the mixed emotions of worrying about the baby and feeling it was a blessing that saved me from worse at the same time.

  2. Kathy, I think of you every day. Love you so much.

  3. Oh my goodness Kathy, Harmony sent me a link from your facebook page. I am so sorry to hear about your cancer and happy to hear your pregnancy news. We will pray for a healthy baby and a healthy you. I can't imagine what you and your family will be going through. Please let us know if there's anything we can do.

  4. Kathy, I'm so sorry that your life has given you this huge challenge. It sounds like you're off and running though. You've already made some tough decisions. I'm impressed with the love,understanding, and maturity that are expressed in your blog statement. Please know that you have many supporters and lots of people who love you. Dixie

  5. Dearest Kathy, Needless to say, we were shocked to hear this news. Certainly, your other aunts have first-hand experience with this which may be of some value as you travel this road. [if there is a genetic relationship, sorry you had to be the recipient] Love your Blog notes and am so glad you started this. Keep that positive attitude and bright spirit; it will help to keep you strong in the weeks and months ahead. We, too, are glad Flicker came along. Doesn't God work in mysterious ways? You, Steve and the gang remain in our thoughts and prayers. Please let us know if there's anything we can do. Hugs, Renea & Brian

  6. My dear friend. OH how I have been thinking of you, I'm glad I found that you'd set this up so I can know what's happening. I'd love to see you so I'm going to give you a call and set something up. LOVE to you - I'm sending my prayers your way.

  7. Kathy, just a little more love for you from me. You're in my heart, my head, and my prayers. Like everyone else, I'm here for whatever you need.

  8. From Aunt my niece Kathy,

    I have no words of wisdom, as age does not always denote wisdom.

    What I do have is love, empathy, admiration, and encouragement. Hang in there. Keep that positive attitude and that fighting spirit.

    You are greatly loved by all those who know you, and needed by those close to you.

    Sending our love and prayers,
    Joyce and Rich