Thursday, May 09, 2013

Diagnosis

Team Miner:

Everyone but David and Jeff (thank God!) in the immediate Miner crew has caught Stella's cold.  I basically didn't sleep last night, so I will keep this quick and factual.

The doctors are certain that Jeff has a class of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (that is sometimes called "DLBCL").  This is a type of "non-Hodgkins lymphoma."  The main tumor is in his chest (which is called "mediastinal").  There are also tumors in his liver, near his sacrum in his lower back, and in some lymph nodes.  There is cancer in his bone marrow as well.  Fortunately, there is no cancer in his brain or spinal fluid.

More details on a specific type of DLBCL might possibly emerge when the pathologists complete staining the cells from his most recent biopsy.  His "baby" chemo starts tonight, for a chemo regimen called R-EPOCH, and any additional details from genotyping (the further stains) will not really change his treatment.

Although this felt like the world's worst roller coaster for those of us who adore Jeff, the doctors have assured us that once they got the second biopsy, the diagnosis was clear.  For me, this is starting to make sense.  I was just very naive going into this and thought that cancer came in forms easily associated with organs, like you have breast cancer, lung cancer, period.  Medicine is - thankfully - far more advanced.  And we can be grateful that the treatment Jeff will receive will be as closely tailored to his particular situation as possible.

It is likely that Jeff will be in the hospital for the next two to three weeks.  Then he will get some time off  from chemo, which he will hopefully spend at home, if he and we are healthy enough.  After that he will undergo five to seven additional rounds of chemo.  This will last several months in approximate cycles of every three weeks.  We are not moving to Kentucky in August.  Our plan is to move to Bowling Green in a year.  [Note:  Stella does not know this, or any of these details.]

Pray for Jeff that he will feel as well and as healthy as possible given all of the drugs that are getting pumped into his body.  Pray that the cancer will DIE DIE DIE.  And pray for his spirits.  He is incredibly courageous and strong and I want him, more than anything, to feel loved and supported through this fight.

We also know now that Jeff's primary treating doctors will be Dr. Ai and Dr. Logan.  Pray for them and that they would treat Jeff will all possible care and wisdom in the coming months.

Also, personal politics aside, I was cheered to know that Former Senator Bob Dole - BOB FLIPPING DOLE - is praying for Jeff.  Pretty cool.

This is going to be a long and uncertain road.  We'll be updating our "Lotsa" site for help and so appreciate all the assistance, tangible and spiritual, that we are already receiving.

Katina

5 comments:

Bryanski Stolichniov said...

Glad to hear that you guys finally have a definitive diagnosis. Please do let me know if there are any drug-related questions at all that you have or want more information about, beyond what the physicians have time or ability to explain to you. Either I will answer them, or ask one of my trusted oncology-specialist pharmacy friends for an assist. God's blessings for a tolerable and successful induction treatment course.

Kirsten said...

katina, I so admire your bravery. I have always known you are one courageous lady, but I am in awe of your stamina and grace under fire right now. Jeff and Stella and Lydia are so blessed to have you. sending prayers and love to you all from milwaukee.

Michael Palmquist said...

I need to have updates, Katina. Th
ank you. There's nothing I can do but it helps to hear the latest on this situation and to focus all my thoughts and prayers in a single direction, for you and Jeff, for Stella and Lydia, for your extended family.

Mrs Snoopy JD said...

Thank God you have a diagnosis and ninja doctors who will obliterate those GDMF cancer cells. I have no doubt that your faith, your live for one another, and your beautiful girls will sustain you during this long journey.

dirteens said...

Thank you again Snoops. And thanks Mike, Kirsten, and Bryan.