Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We're Ready to Freeze!

Well we finally have our tumor killing procedure planned for tomorrow morning at St. Barnabas Hospital in Livingston NJ. Instead of doing the RFA procedure in which the tumor is burned the are going to do something called cryoablation (click on this to get some more info). This is essentially the same thing except the tumor is frozen instead of burned.

The doctors (interventional radiologists) came to this decision because this causes less damage to the surrounding tissues, and since this is close to my lung and a major blood vessel this approach makes sense, and all my other doctors are in agreement. The procedure will mean an overnight stay (let's pray it's just one night) to check for internal bleeding, and infection.

There is a chance however that because this tumor is in such a precarious position that it might not be reachable without harming me and they may not be able to perform the procedure at all. Essentially the risk would outweigh the benefit. I am just putting in this caveat because I know we are all hopeful that with a whiz and a flash this will "get gone" but it may not happen in the way we are expecting and wanting.

I am naturally very apprehensive and just plain old fashioned scared, but I am grateful for this option to be able to have this tumor treated locally without resorting to chemo just yet.

I also wanted to add what we have told and discussed with Sydney and Ethan. We just talked to them about it last night and the discussion is of course always open and ongoing. However we told them that mommy is going to the hospital to work on my tummy again. There are germs in there, and I have to go the hospital to get thee medicine I need to fix it. I have to sleep over there for a few nights. Ethan thinks it's great that he "doesn't have to see my stinky robe in the morning" and thinks it will be cool to come see me in the hospital.
Sydney burst into tears. We are still talking to them both of them about it but of course she bounced out of bed this morning happy as a lark and off to school she went. There is no doubt there are nervous and scared but we are continuing to talk about it with them.

I want to reiterate that Fran and I have reassessed, thought about and discussed whether we should tell the kids I have cancer. And after much thought, discussion and reassessing are sticking with our decision not to. We are being honest with them in terms they understand. We feel like saying to them I have cancer is just putting a label on it and is too much of an abstract concept for them to understand. In my opinion its a label that will just terrify (especially Sydney) them and will accomplish nothing. If I had lupus I wouldn't tell them that either because it's not something they can understand, but they understand what sick means, and germs mean and that hospitals and doctors are places that help you get better.

I hope that everyone will continue to support us in this and will also talk to the kids about it in this manner if they ask questions, or want to talk about "mommy's tummy" etc.

I know I say this all the time, but it is so important to say. You all have been so crazy supportive!!!!!!!!! My family, my friends, people I do not know - I cannot tell you how it keeps me afloat. It keeps me from sinking. I can't tell how many times I am so down or crying and my blackberry beeps and its a note, or message from someone and it lifts my mood completely, and yes I admit it, I usually hug or kiss my blackberry expressing my gratitude!

I really don't like violence but I am ready to kill, kill, kill this tumor dead. Smush it, smash it, freeze it, destroy it. I want to say in the words of my amazing daughter (after she has bravely killed a bug) "I deaded it"! So here is to deading.

I love you all so much. Thank you for loving me and sticking with me.

Fran you have been incredible. You have been strong, and I have been able to lean on you. Thank you babe.

Much Love,


Paul Coffey said...

Good luck with the Freeze Karen!
We'll be thinking of you tomorrow morning.


SaraLouise said...

what a beautifully insiring blog. thankyou .
i have set up my own, to hopefully brighten up every battlers day , insipred by my mam and dedicated to her.
i hope it make you smile as it does her

Declan Dunleavy said...

Best of luck tomorrow.
Go and "dead" that tumor!
We will be thinking about you.
Lots of hugs and kisses
Declan, Jacqui and Kaia

danosirra said...

Wow. GOod luck with everything tomorrow. I hope it all goes swimmingly.


Kevin Clarke said...

Best of luck tomorror.


Amie said...

Karen, you are in our thoughts and prayers as always!! Here's to freezing that bugger :) Stay strong!
Love to all,

Anonymous said...

Karen, Just to let you know that you are in my heart and thoughts and prayers.

May God be with you and help you and the docs along the way.

Love and hugs,

I have been scared to check here and today I had enough guts to check in on you.

Jennifer said...

I can't believe Syd killed a bug. Walter and I agree with you completely. Walter sends you mushy love.

Anonymous said...

Best of luck Karen,we're praying for you!
Bea and Robbie

Anonymous said...

I will not agree on it. I assume precise post. Specially the title attracted me to read the sound story.

teresa loughnane said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you today Karen. We fully support you both, you know your children better than anyone. Love and prayers.
Teresa and co xx

Anonymous said...

Good luck deading this!!!! You are always in my thoughts, prayers,etc!! Go Superwoman, go!!!!

Donna R. said...

Praying for you and the family, and thinking of you today.
Donna R.

Lena said...

Hi Karen,

We will be thinking about your and praying for the successful 'freezing' of the tumor today! If there is ANYTHING we can do to help -e.g. watch the kids, anything at all, just let us know.

Much love,

Lena and Victor

Don MacLeod said...

Wishing you comfortably home enjoying some gentle hugs. ….

Hold Fast …
Don MacLeod

Fran said...

You are an amazing, inspiring and strong woman!!!...You are in my prayers as is Francis and kids...FRANNIE LaRIV

Jessica said...

Karen - I am praying right now!! Jesus, DEAD that %$#&% tumor!!

kmc said...

Praying the deadfest is successful today...wishing you peace in each moment, you are never far from our thoughts & prayers.

Kristin & the Cams crew

Christine Falk Dalessio said...

love. prayers. and anything we can do for you.