Nashville or Bust

The trip that started a longer journey


Last week, some of you may have spied this tweet of mine. It was at the end of the day and I had been doing some related medical research for a work project. The opportunity to skate around the University of Nebraska website was there so I took it. I wanted to shake answers out of the sky … and my laptop.

As unhealthy as that exploit felt at the time, it seemed to work. Dr. Chan and his team literally were faxing the report to Dave’s doctor as I was boring holes into my screen. Yesterday when Dave went in for his check-up and treatment #3, he finally received a full pathology report. In black and white. With little paragraphs, circles and arrows to boot.

The good news is that it is not one of the ‘Terrible Ts’ or any sort of ‘Undifferentiated Neoplasm’ — things we had heard thrown around in the past. They have also ruled out plasmablastic and any T-Cell forms of Lymphoma — directions seemingly plausible from the quickie path study conducted in the OR. The words on the paper brought us back to our starting place of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. And while that may seem ironic … especially after everything Dave had to go through to get there… there is a (see comment) comment attached. It’s always something…

Dave’s “challenging” case is “very difficult to classify” due to an “atypical morphology and immunnophenotype of tumor cells.” I’d argue that all of this is an atypical morphology, but then again, I’m the girl with the Google Med School degree, remember? Basically, their report says they’ve never seen anything like this. So, behind the base clinical category are the words “not otherwise specified.” Dandy. While this may seem unnerving, it is the consensus of a group of doctors who have pioneered many advances in Lymphoma treatment. A very large group of doctors. Dave’s slides were actually presented at a conference, thus the delay. We imagine PowerPoint was involved as well as some sort of buzz-in and vote mechanism. Had we known, we would have tagged his pictures ‘rights managed,’ negotiated a nice per use fee and sent popcorn. Not that Nebraska needs corn sent to them. That’s our Kentucky hospitality (and odd humor) kicking in.

Back to more good news … the CHOP chemotherapy that Dave has been receiving (and received yesterday) is the best course of action for this type of unclassified classification. The only rub is that one of his markers, CD20, is negative so that prevents him from receiving Rituxan as part of his therapy. I was somewhat hoping that this additional weapon could be added but it looks like he has to go old school. Dave was terrific in getting through treatment even when his veins didn’t want to cooperate in the beginning. (They were cold.) He’s become very good around needles and the nurses really are the sweetest. He’s an amazing guy and such a good sport.

Originally we were told six to eight rounds of chemo then we’d talk some radiation. We’re still on that track. Dave will get a CT scan right before his next treatment so his doctor can evaluate tumor response. We know the tumor didn’t like round one of the sinister cocktail and that was a VERY ENCOURAGING hurdle to overcome. We can’t wait to see how much more these additional rounds have beat it up. We are also going to conference with another physician in his oncology group to see if Dave will be a contender for additional forms of treatment. Given his no words can describe it situation, a little more exploration is warranted. His case has their attention. As it should.

All of this will take place in Cincinnati on either side of the New Year so we’ll be able to get through the holidays in comfort, ringing in cheer and hope. Spring and the finish line will be even closer at that point. *yay*

P.S. — I know many of you were waiting on this news yesterday. Sorry to shove you in the waiting room, as that place is a cave. Yesterday was a big day and perhaps it was the cold, but the events took more out of me than I expected. Sleep was good for my head (and this post) as I was able to channel some perspective. Thanks for the continued prayers, thoughts and hugs. The support is amazing and so very appreciated.~ Jacqui


December 14, 2010 Posted by | Dave | 6 Comments

Still Here

A number of folks have been checking in with us over the past 48 via various means of communication. Y’all are too sweet, did you know that?

Things are well (despite the Jack Frost cold) and the house has taken on a festive look with stockings, candles and other Christmas treasures we’ve collected.  The kids are rounding out the semester and anxiously awaiting their two-week hibernation. (Me too!) The guys will get the tree this weekend. The girls will bake some cookies. Good times.

And while we’re all enjoying the December hub-bub, we’re also in a period of wait: waiting on the test results from Dave’s surgery, waiting on Brandon’s test results (he finally got in for his genetic blood draw), waiting on the college acceptance letter and yes, waiting for Santa to arrive.

It can be exasperating at moments but I haven’t stopped believing. ~Jacqui


December 8, 2010 Posted by | Brandon, Dave, Everyday | Leave a comment

Just Forget The World

Earlier this summer, my friend Joe and I decided to “celebrate” our 25-year old friendship by exchanging mix CDs. An 80s thing, yes, but fun all the same. I’m not sure how it really came about – this decision – but we wanted to share with each other the type of music we were listening to now as opposed to the stuff we “encountered” in 1985.

And me – in my quest to be creative and have this project mean something – opted to limit my mix to 25 songs that somehow, in an odd way, reflected the story of my life since age 17 … where I’ve gone, what I’ve done, what I’ve become and oddly enough, what I was about to face. (Creepy how those things work out.) Yes, a project with a back-story. It was tough to produce and I really wonder why I was so driven to do it.

Included in my mix was this song by Snow Patrol. I put it in to signify how I was feeling after becoming a mother — dealing with the “tug-o-war of life” that inevitably would get in the way of the relationship Dave and I had established. I never followed this band. In fact, I don’t know anything about them. But I’ve always loved this song.

The day after Dave got the first call that something wasn’t right in his body, I heard this song on the radio. After listening, I turned the radio off, and left it that way for quite some time. Music made me hurt too much. It represented too much: past, present and future.

Slowly, I went back to music and listening. And, upon doing so, heard this song three other times in random locations/settings. I’m not sure what it means. Maybe someone in radio land is in tune with how I am feeling. Or, perhaps now more than ever, I am.

It is a beautiful song.

December 1, 2010 Posted by | Dave, Everyday | Leave a comment