I hope all is good with you.
Thank you all for all the love and support you have been sending – positive energy is a powerful thing and I’m grateful to have all you people in my life right now.
So, here is where we are today but first just a quick recap. On 10 September I had a biopsy taken from a mass in my mouth and on 17 September I was told I have Large B Cell Lymphoma – a cancer of the blood. The next day I had blood samples taken and on 26 September I had a CT scan. All the time the mass in my mouth was growing and I had to go onto a liquid diet because I could no longer chew any food.
I started making up superfood smoothies and drinking a litre a day. The smoothies always contain fresh green vegetables, 2 teaspoons of ground up buckwheat, about an inch of ground up turmeric root, desert spoon of hemp oil, teaspoon of chia seeds, desert spoon of probiotic yoghurt, sprinkle of ground cinnamon; then I add fresh and/or frozen fruit to make is taste nice and coconut water to thin it down to a drinkable consistency. I have to say I have been feeling great since starting this diet.
On Monday 29 September I saw a consultant haematologist at the hospital and she was supposed to tell me then all about my disease and the treatment plan, but that didn’t happen as the results of the scan and blood tests were still not available. She did give me a quick examination. She asked to look at the mass in my mouth and I warned her it looked disgusting,but her reaction of “Eugh! That’s big and looks horrible” shocked me a little. I already had the feeling that the tumour was shrinking by then but I didn’t say anything. So we got no definitive answers that day and we left the hospital a bit disappointed but understanding that the treatment needs to target the problem so the more information they have the better.
My next appointment, ‘by which time we hope to have the answers’, was supposed to be yesterday at 12:30 but on Tuesday I received a phone call asking me to go in at 09:30 instead so they could take a bone marrow biopsy after which I would be seeing a different consultant haematologist.
This consultant confirmed that the first biopsy had returned the cancer diagnosis and the results of the blood tests had confirmed the diagnosis. The CT scan only found the cancer in my jaw bone, causing the mass in my mouth, and nowhere else in my body – Good News!!! Two more tests are required so that they can accurately ‘stage’ the disease – the bone marrow biopsy and I will also need to have a PET scan sometime in the next two weeks. She said that in the meantime they can start treating the tumour in my mouth and I told her that it has already gone. This is true since 29 September the tumour has completely shrunk and I no longer have any swelling inside my mouth. My tooth is a bit wobbly and seems to be exposed at the roots, but all the swelling has, for the time being at least, gone.
The consultant looked at me with disbelief. She asked me if I had been taking Steroids and I said I hadn’t had any treatment, then she checked she was actually talking to the correct patient (confirmed). She said she had seen the tumour on the scan and that it was very unusual for a tumour to disappear without treatment.
In the light of this new development we agreed to wait until all the results are in before starting treatment. So the bone marrow has been taken for analysis, I’ll be having the PET scan soon and more blood will be taken for retesting. My next appointment is 21 October and I will probably start treatment soon after that.
It is such a relief that my mouth feels almost normal now after weeks discomfort, but don’t worry I am a realist and I understand that the tumour was a symptom of a much bigger underlying issue that is going to have to be dealt with in the near future. It just feels like I’ve been given a breathing space and a bit more time to prepare myself for what lies ahead. I’m in a good place right now.
The image above is another spread from my Little Book of Cosmic Maps.
Take good care of yourselves
© Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal, 2014 unless otherwise stated. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janette Gregson and ajsartjournal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.