Cancer Tour Guide

This summer was supposed to be a relaxing break from my crazy year with cancer. However, it has not exactly turned out that way. We arrived in northern CA about a month ago to help my mom through some medical procedures.

My mom had a biopsy done on some underarm lymph nodes and she received the results a few days ago.

Mom has low-grade B cell follicular lymphoma (Grade 1), a type of blood cancer. Although she isn’t officially staged, it appears that her cancer is at least Stage III.

It all started when she decided it would be a good idea to have a colonoscopy after my experience with appendiceal adenocarcinoma.  CT colonography showed her colon was clear. But they stumbled upon a bunch of enlarged lymph nodes in the surrounding area and investigated further with CTs of the abdomen and chest.  Found many enlarged lymph nodes and a mesenteric mass in her abdomen.

Oddly, if you are going to get cancer, this is supposedly a better one to have.  Unlike my cancer, it supposedly grows very slowly so she’s probably had this for quite some time. With proper treatment, it can probably be managed for quite a while.

So we are planning next steps.

We have so much time, and so little to do! Strike that, reverse it. – Willy Wonka

She must pick an oncologist and have her disease staged (more tests).  Based on the staging, treatment recommendations will be determined. At that point, she will need to be near one of her three kids  since her small town is too small to offer treatment.  Yes, MD Anderson Cancer Center is high on the list of places to be consulted.

I feel like a tour guide on the Planet Cancer ride!  “…and coming up on your left is “Stunned.”  Next we will be passing the “Sinking In” place…”    It’s actually an honor to be able to help her.

Wonkatania boat

5 thoughts on “Cancer Tour Guide

  1. Ivanna, so sorry to hear about your mom, but you are the best person to be her “tour guide” for all this. I am sure that you are an inspiration to her, as you are to many. We will keep your mom in our prayers, as we keep you for your continued recovery. hugs to you…rt

  2. Ivanna, you are the best tour guide for this journey. I know you will find the right people to help your mom through this. I’m glad the girls got to spend a good chunk of time in Sonora and Jamestown, seeing all the things you did when you were growing up. We will be thinking of all of you.

  3. So sad about your mom, but relieved that it’s a “better one to have”. They (her doctors & every friend & colleague of Bryan’s that I questioned endlessly) said that about my sister’s thyroid cancer….that it’s a good cancer to get if you have to get cancer….& 10 years ago & she’s still doing great…..NED. She’s so lucky to have you as her tour guide. Sending love to you both!

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