As you may know, I was recently diagnosed with Grade 2 Olingodendroglioma, a kind of brain cancer. After my diagnosis, the next step was to figure out what kind of treatment to use to try to beat it. I’ve decided on the treatment, and am starting it today. In this post I want to share a little info on the treatment and how you can be praying, if you’re the praying for me type. Here’s what the road ahead looks like, for now.
My treatment: Chemotherapy
The treatment I’m starting is Temodar (Temozolomide), a kind of chemotherapy. Because I am a baby who is scared of needles, I was happy to learn Temodar is taken in pill form. I’ll take pills in the evening for five days, then for about three weeks I won’t take any pills. Week 3 I will get a blood test to check how the Temodar is affecting my blood/immune system, and Week 4 I’ll get another test to make sure I’m strong enough to start the next month of chemo.
Temodar is considered “well tolerated,” which means while it has side effects, they tend to be more tolerable for most patients. Of course you never know what the side effects are going to be for a particular person, but I’m hopeful. My doctor said the most common side effects are nausea, constipation, and fatigue. One thing about chemotherapy is that it is basically flooding your system with a toxic attack that is meant to kill the cancer, but the chemo doesn’t differentiate between cancer or healthy cells, so it can do a lot to you. At the least my immune system will be weaker while I’m on chemo, but we don’t know what other side effects I will have.
That’s no fun, but when it comes to ways to treat cancer effectively there aren’t many options. The side effects of chemo are worth enduring if it means effectively treating my cancer. I will say that I have done the research and reading, and decided this is the treatment path I am taking.
While I’m on chemo I will get MRIs every two months to see how the tumor is responding. The hope is that the tumor will shrink and eventually completely go away. If that happens I will get regular MRIs to monitor if/when the tumor returns. My understanding is that this kind of tumor almost always comes back eventually, and if that happens then we’ll start treatment again.
If the tumor does not respond to the chemotherapy we will likely look at radiation options. It would be great to avoid that because the side effects of radiation can be worse, and because of where the tumor is in my brain radiation is much more likely to affect me negatively.
What to pray for
If you pray, and you want to pray for me, please pray for these things:
- Complete healing. I believe God can heal me, and I want to pray for that. Even if He doesn’t, I trust Him.
- For the chemotherapy to work.
- For me to experience minimal/no side effects from the chemo.
- For me to have a healthy appetite, and an appetite for healthy things.
- For my family: Janelle, Belle (9), Juliette (6), and Fiona (4). Specifically, for them to experience the love, grace, and provision of God in a way that grows their trust in Him.
- For my daughters’ salvation.
- For God to use my cancer to bring Himself glory and attention, that more people would see how good He is through this.
Thank you all so much for your love and prayers.