On Wednesday I had a CT Scan for my abdominal/pelvic area, to make sure the cancer wasn't any lower then where they think it was. The good news is, it wasn't, and my bone marrow came back clean, meaning I'm in stage 1 still.
The bad news though is the bag that surrounds my heart and helps keeps things lubed up was filled with fluid!
I wasn't even half way home when I received a call and had to come back to the hospital. In there, they inserted a catheter between my heart and the sac surrounding it and drained the fluid. Turned out there was just over 600CCs, thats over 20 ounces, of fluid in it - there shouldn't be more then 10. There was so much pressure it was partially collapsing my heart, making me feel out of breath and exhausted.
But, good news is, when they aspirated 12 hours after that they only pulled out 117CCs, 12 hours after that 50CCs and just a few hours ago only 5CCs, so it looks like I may have this catheter taken out.
Also started my chemo of sorts - the 'smart bomb' designer drug at least. It's called Rituximab. It's an expensive designer drug specifically made to target the type of cancer I have. It tells my body to stop ignoring my cancer ridden lymphatic node cells and to attack them. It made me feel a bit flushed, and itchy and my throat was swollen some - other then that it wasn't to bad.
I'm scared of today and tomorrow though - that's when they will give me Cyclophosphamide, Doxorubicin and Vincristine - real hardcore chemo drugs. Those are the ones that also require me to take powerful anti sickness pills, and make me lose my hair - all my hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, etc - all of it.
Through all of this I also take steroids, Prednisolone and dex-something. It's supposed to help keep my lymphatic node system down some - and it seems to work fairly well.
Before, I would cough randomly, and couldn't figure out why. My cancer doctor told me the cough was due to the tumor rubbing against my trachea, and irritating it. I haven't coughed for a couple of days now, so I hope that's good.
More blood work was done today, and I'm waiting on the results of the fluid around my heart. They'll also be taking me down for another xray - they can check the tumor somewhat and see if it's shrunk any, as well check to see if there's any other fluid buildup.
Today I think I'm really scared - it's real hard to be strong, especially with my girlfriend and family here.
I especially worry about my girlfriend - we've only been together just over 3 months - I hope she stays strong, I can beat this.
Anyway, need to go, transport is here to get my xrays done!
From the 5th floor of the red zone of the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN - this is Jeremy signing out.