Piia Pauliina
  • The game is not over, yet

    October 4th, 2010

    My tooth was pulled out on Friday, and I survived! It was not particularly a pleasant experience, however the dentist and the nurse were ever so lovely and caring; I felt I was in the good hands. I saw the tooth after it had been extracted, the roots were in a bad state, and definitely needed to be out! My face is a little bruised now, but that will go away, eventually. I need a false tooth/implant to replace it, as the tooth above it has nothing to bite to, which means it can start ‘moving’. Also, I need a tooth so that I can chew food on that side of the mouth. I must start a ‘new tooth fund’ programme. My birthday/Christmas present wish for this year is a new tooth!

    I went to see my medical team today. My blood counts have improved, white blood cell count was 4.1, within normal range; and I am not so neutropenic anymore! It shows that if I rest a little the body has a better chance of recovering. They will check the blood counts again on Friday when I go to the hospital for my biopsy.

    The consultant, Dr Matutes went through my PET scan results. There is some underlying cancer activity brewing in the area of my original cancer site, even though Lucy said that the area was clear. The new area of activity is in my pleural cavity of my left lung, and they do not know if that is cancer related or not. The biopsy will tell that. I am being referred to see the radiotherapy consultant who will plan my radiotherapy treatment. The planning takes about a week and the actual treatment about three weeks. I will have another PET scan after two months of the radiotherapy treatment.

    If that scan still shows any cancer activity, I may need to go through another stem cell transplant next year, but with stem cells from a donor this time.

    As I was sitting in the consultation room with Dr Matutes and Lucy, it was very clear to me the game is not over, yet. Not by any means. Since the stem cell transplant, I had been hoping the cancer was gone, and I could start planning the rest of my life. But, it is not gone, and I need to change my mindset; I need to live in the present moment, not think that my life will start once the cancer is cured.

    The cancer is under control, which is a very good thing. I do not have to have chemo, which is also great for now. Yes, I will have to have some radiotherapy, but apart from fatigue, it has not got really any nasty side effects that I know of.

    I actually left the hospital feeling a little emotional, but mostly positive. I will beat this; it is just going to take a little longer than I hoped.

    I asked Dr Matutes what was the likelihood of me being able to go to Finland for Christmas. We had a little chat about it, and in the end she said go ahead and book the flights. I am going to Finland for two weeks in December! Finally!!

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