Friday, September 26, 2008

The Results Are In...

And my CT Scan was clear!!! Although I just had my CT on Wednesday afternoon, I put in a call yesterday to my amazing care team at the Tom Baker Cancer Center to see if there was any way I could get the results quickly. They all know Ryan and I well and because of the stress we are under dealing with Ryan's situation, my oncologist gave me a call back within an hour of my request!

When Dr. Webster called me back he first told me that it looked perfect. But when he said the word "perfect", of course my cell phone cut out, so I asked him to repeat it. Once he did, I had a hard time listening to anything else he said. He tried to make a joke with me by saying that my head was clear and they didn't even see a brain, but I was still trying to absorb the word perfect and didn't get it. To say that I feel a sense of relief is a HUGE understatement.

I feel like after 2 years of jail time, I finally have been let out for good behaviour. I learned my lesson about taking my life for granted and have made many changes to reinforce a healthy lifestyle for the rest of my years. I also have Ryan as a daily reminder of how quickly life can change in case I ever choose to forget.

Next week we should meet with Ryan's doctors to discuss next steps for him, but until then my family gets to breathe a sigh of relief and just enjoy life!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Taking Back Control!

Getting dealt some less than pleasant cancer news feels like your life is literally being sucked out of you. When we got Ryan's news, it hit us both like an unforeseen tornado in our calming skies. For the few days after the news, we let the news hit us in various waves and told the story again and again to family and friends. Eventually, our emotions were sucked out of us and it was time to take action!

With the help of our acupuncturist, Dr. Johal, we developed a plan of attack to put the control back where it should be - with us! Over the past week we have travelled to Edmonton and Vancouver to visit some eastern medicine doctors. They all had fairly positive things to say. In general, they feel that Ryan's situation is not as bad as the doctors are telling us and that he will get through it. For me, they feel that I will also get through all of this but that my immune system is so weak after 2 years of treatments that my focus needs to be on rebuilding it, or the cancer will continue to return. We left with a nutrition and Chi Gong program to follow, along with a plan to have minimal stress in our crazy rollercoaster of a life.

We arrived back in Calgary this morning exhausted from the travel, but mentally so much stronger. This afternoon I had my CT Scan and tomorow Ryan will get a PET Scan and also get the results from the MRI he had last week. Next week will be a big week for results for us both!

It is amazing how much a terrible cancer diagnosis can play with your mind. All it takes is a doctor to say that there's not many options left or that they can't cure you to make you feel defeated. But I truly believe that the mind is a VERY powerful tool. If used properly, it can help you surpass all doctors expectations! Never forget that you ultimately hold the control over what you tell your body to do or not to do. Ryan and I are here to prove that a positive attitude will help us both surpass this cancer thing for good.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Just when we thought life was going back to normal

Life had been pretty uneventful over the past weeks and I almost let myself drift into a sense of relief. Although I had ongoing anxiety over my upcoming CT scan, the real possibility that it could be clear and we could get on with normal life kept bubbling up. Talyn started at his preschool and Ryan and I were back at work and loving life.

But then our family got struck with another blow this morning. Ryan's latest MRI shows some growth from his tumour and unfortunately this has happened quite quickly over the past two months. Although Ryan's brain tumour has always behaved quite passively over the 11 years he has had it, we knew that there was a possibility that it could turn aggressive at some point. The doctors think this might be what has happened.

The next couple of weeks will be filled with more scans and tests to determine exactly how much of the area of concern is tumour and what the real growth amount has been. Throughout this time, they will be planning in the background for the next likely event of a new form of radiation. These details are all still very new to us, but it is different than the last kind of radiation he had and although there are more risks this time, they feel it could be promising for him.

He will do this for 30 days and then the likely next step will be a very aggressive and new drug for chemotherapy. The oncologist kept saying that we are in tiger territory. It took me a couple of times to understand what he meant, but he was saying that we need to be aggressive, quick and that this is new territory for everyone. Ryan's case is definitely unique. For someone his age to have been dealing with a brain tumour for 11 years and to continue to function so well with all the treatment he has had, is truly an exception.

This is all really new news to digest and we are all trying to get our heads around the latest names of new drugs we've never heard before, new scans and what they will tell us and all the while trying to keep our heads up for Talyn and the new fight we are about to embark on. But don't worry, we are both very strong fighters and come tomorrow morning when we wake up, we will be ready to enter the boxing ring again and this time for the fight of our lives! Get ready to be defeated once and for all cancer...