Wednesday, October 10, 2007

FAQs

How are you doing? It just depends on the minute. Sometimes incredibly happy and hopeful, others the opposite.

Did you hear from the Dr.? Yes, yesterday. He had been trying to get a hold of a few other Dr.s to see I could be eligible for the study I mentioned earlier. Turns out it has been too long since the original biopsy to qualify. He was hoping I would have gotten picked to not have the next surgery, as he thinks there will be no cancer in what he takes out next. So, the surgery is scheduled for Tuesday.

What does the surgery involve? They are taking out the superficial lymph nodes near my left groin (around 10 I think). They also take the fat around them (are we sure this doesn't warrant removal of fat from other areas?). He said they have to move a small leg muscle to cover up the blood vessels. He will put a couple of temporary drains in to control the fluids.

Are there complications? Some people (15%) develop lymphodema where their bodies dont drain the fluids correctly-it would be like having a swollen leg always. The Dr. thinks because I'm young this wont happen, the body will find a way to distribute this. He said numbness is normal where they operate, and of course pain.

Who do you like better? George W., George Clooney, or George of the Jungle? George Clooney.

When do you start the drug treatments? He said a few weeks after the surgery, after Ive healed up.

Whats that going to be like? I need to get more info on this. I haven't seen the medical oncologist yet to get a real good idea. From what I gather its one month of IV injections and feeling really sick (like having the flu) and then a year of giving yourself shots for the rest of the year. I will have more info later on this.

Who is going to help? According to all of you, who is not going to help? My mom and sister might fly in for that awful month. This question doesn't scare me anymore, I feel like I could ask a hundred people for anything.

So, you could either be drop dead gorgeous and smell really bad (and there is nothing you could do about the odor) or just look normal and smell normal. What would you pick? I have to admit Matt, this question stresses me out.

16 comments:

suzanne campbell said...

Alisa I have done the Lymph node thing if you have any questions let me know. This is in the day when they couldn't see them so they just scooped away and took 25 you only have about 30. I have been fine.You are in our prayers love Suzanne

Sonja said...

There is no question about it--I'd rather be ugly and have a tolerable odor.

Brittany said...

Thrilled that you used Matt's "would you rather" question, and even more thrilled that you're keeping a sense of humor about all of this.

Definitely George Clooney, if it has to be a George.

lou said...

I agree with Sonja, although in real life, I look like a rose (in a human kind of way) and smell like one too... or at least like shampoo.

Rob said...

What about the third option of looking really, really ugly, but smelling really, really lovely? I think this would be a fantastic choice, since I would never have to take any showers.

Jesse and Leah said...

I would be ugly too. Hopefully my personality would make up for it, right?

Chris said...

Alisa - Several others have begun their messages to you with these words..."You don't know me". But I look forward to meeting you someday when all of this is a distantn memory. My daughter Emily is your sister Sonja's sister-in-law, and she forwarded one of your blogs to me at work several weeks ago. I sat at my desk and wept at your story. I marvel at your courage, your gift of expression, your delightful sense of humor, your grit, and your faith. And like so many others, I have been drawn into your journey. I find myself at odd times of the day thinking of you and wondering how you are doing. I was so tired tonight, and just ready to go to bed when I thought of you and had to check on you before the day ended. I have thought about writing to you for several days and sharing with you something that I read ten years ago during one of the most difficult seasons of my life when illness and fear struck deeply in our own family. I came across this quote which seemed to come to my mind often that year and it would always bring me peace.

"When you come to the end of all the light you have, and must take a step out into the darkness of the unknown, believe that one of two things will happen: either there will be something solid there for you to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly." - Patrick Overton

May our Heavenly Father continue to bless you with all that you need at this time. There are people you have never met who are praying for you and your family. - Chris Hall

Tricia said...

You are so funny--as if you have any more fat for them to take from ANYWHERE in your body!!

Doc said...

Either one of them sounds great to me since right now I have the worst of both worlds. Stinkin' ugly has whole new meaning ...

ronco said...

I'm sure this is going to turn out fine. I'm going to come by and help any way I can, but mainly by showing you my new camera when it comes. You're going to love it.

jennie said...

Hmmm.. George Clooney is easy on the eyes... but I just can't stomach his Hollywood political agendas! I loved the questions Matt. And as far as looking good and smelling bad... I think I'd prefer to smell good. My pregnant nose wouldn't handle the stench, despite the beauty. Thanks for the informative post!!!

Fantastic 4 said...

Alisa and Josh-
Not a day goes by where I am not thinking about you guys and how you are doing. Alisa I love your sense of humor- your an amazing person to keep everyone smiling at this time, Love it!
I love just listening to your blogs; YOU are so informative and just a delight to read about. I am strengthened by your courage. There are SO many people praying for you. I just cannot express to you how you have put my life into perspective and realize more and more what is important. I think back at your phrase "There's no place like Lehi", Amen to that, there is nothing more important then being home and with your family.
Stay strong; (I know easy for me to say)
Love,
Shalise V. Benjamin

Karlet said...

I bet you get asked those questions all the time. Especially the George one. I have Sam's shoes in the back of my car, if you want me to bring those by sometime!

momila said...

Alisa-
Well, Brent called you, he said, and gave you a firsthand account of life on Inteferon--he has 34 more weeks on it and still has a sense of humor, (and his hair.) We've had a rocky couple of years, but so many little miracles along the way. In a way, we feel bad that Brandon $ Brit are missing out on the blessings that come when a whole family pulls together, in faith. They are in lovely Yuma, AZ and we don't see or talk to them much. Keep your family all as close as possible. Thank God every day for the tiniest of blessings. I know I need to call you soon & chat--as a supporter of somebody on this drug, I have a lot of insight that Josh could use!
Love you guys--there is HOPE smiling brightly before you!!
Buffy

alisa said...

Thanks all! Suzanne, yes I would love to talk to someone who's had this done. Call me sometime soon. Rob, if you smelled bad and couldn't do anything about it, you wouldn't shower anyway would you? Leah, luckily you are beautiful and smell nice. Chris, thank you for that quote, and for cheering for me from afar. Just don't let my life depress you. Matt, you are gorgeous and Ill ask Brittany about the smell. Jennie, I guess I was only considering the looks, but thanks for your political reminder. How are we feeling about Hillary??? Shalise, thanks for the prayers, Josh says hi. Buffy, I really appreciated the hope I got from Brent, he is so strong. You have been through so much it makes me a little ashamed to complain. Your angle of hope is in my front room. We love you guys!

Annie Lane said...

Mmmm...I would like to cast my vote for George of the Jungle because I think Brendan Fraser is soooo hot in that movie. (Yes, my husband knows). Keep Smiling!