Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A Bad Two Weeks

A couple of weeks ago, Dr. Schnur called me and said that my CT Scan showed enlarged lymph nodes in my chest and that this was a possible sign of Hodgkins returning. He told me I would need a PET Scan and yesterday was the first possible day for a PET Scan. This morning Bob and I met with Dr. Schnur and he said it was pretty clear that I had relapsed.

I had made the mistake of checking the internet in the intervening weeks, and had pretty much convinced myself I'd be dead by summer, so the visit was actually quite good. He's very optimistic. He's still talking cure. The only thing between me and that cure is a stem cell transplant and high dose chemo.

So I have officially prepared. I made Bob buy me an iPod. I figure if I'm going to have to spend some time in isolation, I might as well be entertained.

I have to have a biopsy in a week or two, and a bunch of exams, and then in March I'll start an abbreviated course of chemo. Then I'll probably have the transplant in April (it uses my own stem cells from my own blood stream.)

I'd post more now but I'm going to play with my iPod first.


Blogger Richard said...

Maureen, I'm sorry and sad to hear about this, but glad that your doc is optimistic. I know you'll beat this.

February 22, 2006 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Richard said. We're pulling for you. Love, Christopher (KY, not Japan).

February 22, 2006 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear. But what they said. You will get through this with as much grace as you did before. HUGS.

February 22, 2006 2:07 PM  
Blogger David Moles said...

Fuck cancer!

February 22, 2006 2:12 PM  
Blogger Autumn said...

I'm glad the doc's optomistic. Which iPod did you get?

February 22, 2006 2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What David said, dammit.

Wishing strongly for all possible good results, but how horribly irritating that you have to go through all this again.

Jo Walton

February 22, 2006 2:24 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Best thoughts here. Keep fighting!

February 22, 2006 2:32 PM  
Blogger Russ said...

Maureen -- Christopher's friend and fellow Hodgkins patient Russ here. I'm so sorry to hear about the relapse. You're going to be fine. I've heard about HL patients who relapsed more than once and are doing fine now. You'll beat it with the stem cell transplant, I know it. As for me, my January CT scan was clear, but I know a relapse is still possible. I'm pulling for you. rw

February 22, 2006 3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dammit! What everyone said. You'll kick it.

February 22, 2006 3:16 PM  
Blogger Clayfoot said...

Umm... What all ^^ those ^^ nice people said. Does this mean you'll have time to play Halo 2 with us on Xbox Live?

February 22, 2006 3:29 PM  
Blogger weephun said...

Stay strong. You can make it through whatever life throws at you, I'm sure.

February 22, 2006 3:52 PM  
Blogger Avatrix said...

Sorry to hear that you're facing it again. Stay strong! I ride in the Pan Mass Challenge every year (for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute); I'll add you to my list of "riding fors".

February 22, 2006 4:04 PM  
Blogger Dave (Dasro) said...

Oh man. Good luck, keep fighting!

February 22, 2006 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, well, poop. And, yes, ditto on the Fuck Cancer.

February 22, 2006 4:47 PM  
Blogger Stephen Dorato said...

Ugh. Sorry, Maureen, but you'll be fine. Stay off the internet -- except to download from iTunes!


February 22, 2006 5:11 PM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

Oh I'm so sorry, sweetie, but you're going to beat this, and you know a whole lot of people are going to love you through it, so don't give up. Remember your middle initial.

February 22, 2006 5:31 PM  
Blogger vidstudent said...

From a fellow Ohioan and random target of your odd variety of advertising, good luck and get well as quickly as your body allows. (Two months aren't going to fly by, so we're hoping it doesn't take longer than that.)

In the meantime, I'll try to see if I can save up for a trip to Cleveland and a $35 shirt (which means no Indians game with the trip, but oh, well.)

If the iPod needs music, let us know. :-)

February 22, 2006 6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Maureen -- so very, very sorry. What a terrible Wednesday. There will be a happy ending, but why the seven point plot first? Call anytime you feel like talking. We all love and need you --

February 22, 2006 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

-- Steve

February 22, 2006 7:43 PM  
Blogger krystyn said...

You are absolutely luminous and mischievous. I am sending my love and strength. You rock utterly.

February 22, 2006 8:07 PM  
Blogger Amber~Joy said...

You don't really know me, but I play ARGs and played LCP. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

February 22, 2006 8:12 PM  
Blogger ThaJinx said...

You're an amazing and talented individual, Maureen, and I have little doubt that you can rally the strength to overcome this. My thoughts, prayers, and hopes are with you.

February 22, 2006 8:29 PM  
Blogger Jason Erik Lundberg said...

Aw crap, I'm really sorry to hear about this. It totally sucks. But you have a lot of people, me included, sending good vibes your way. You'll kick its ass.

And have fun with your iPod.

February 22, 2006 8:34 PM  
Blogger chance said...

Hugs and love best wishes!

I know you'll come out on top.

February 22, 2006 9:42 PM  
Blogger Shadow said...

If it's any comfort -- and I suspect it may not be -- I have an uncle and a cousin who both survived Hodgkins. And that was before they had all this fancy-schmancy stem cell technology.

(Yeah, that didn't really help.)

Thoughts and prayers.

February 23, 2006 1:31 AM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

Oh hell and damnation. I'm glad the doctor is optimistic, but I wish he didn't need to be. You will beat this. Put lots of good music on the iPod and listen the Dickens out of it...

February 23, 2006 2:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aw, hell. I'm so sorry you have to go through this. Know that we're all rootin' for you.

February 23, 2006 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I drew a lot of positive energy from your work - I hope that some of it can now make its way back to you.

February 23, 2006 10:12 AM  
Blogger Tobias S. Buckell said...

Maureen, my thoughts are with you.

February 23, 2006 11:05 AM  
Blogger Greg van Eekhout said...


I'm very unhappy that you have to go through this, and very glad that your prognosis is good. I'll be thinking about you and sending good chi in your direction often.

As for your iPod, you should check out the Apple Music Store and see if there're any podcasts that look interesting to you. Once you find one, you just click the Subscribe button and get them automatically downloaded.

February 23, 2006 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never commented here before, but I've been reading for a while; I adore your writing. Just wanted to say that my thoughts are with you, too.

Best of luck with the stem cell transplant. You can do it.

February 23, 2006 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can do it. a great deal of people have you in their thoughts.
the iPod sounds like a great start.

February 23, 2006 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best wishes for a successful treatment and recovery.


February 24, 2006 2:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maureen, I'm sorry to hear about the relapse. The wagons are circling for you.

February 27, 2006 2:54 PM  
Blogger Ted said...

You've beaten this before, Maureen. You'll beat it this time, too.

February 27, 2006 10:58 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh, Maureen. I write this with tears in my eyes. I am just so, so sorry that you've relapsed. (I have one active node and am in "watch and wait" myself.)

It's been a while since I've visited your blog, but today I thought of you for some reason. What a bitter shock to read that you're facing the beast again.

As a former daily reader, and having shared this experience with you around the same time, I have some observations: Maureen, you are wise, and brave, and strong. You are not alone, you are loved, and you are very, very clever. You can laugh in the face of things that are fearsome, and cry in response to beauty. You are a person of wonder and intellect, heart and might. You beat this once, and you'll do it again. I invite you to join the wonderful community at's Hodgkins message board. There are a LOT of people there who have been through the experience you're facing, and they have a lot of knowledge and wisdom to share. I think you would benefit from their perspective on the other side of the SCT. (Both auto and allo.) Please join us -- or at least read the posts there, search the database for relevant information, and look at how well just about everybody's doing! Here's the link:

I send you strength and resolve, and truckloads of positive vibes. I'm with you, girl! (Along with a slew of others who think the world of you and care for you a great deal.)

Kick some ass, Maureen. :)

March 02, 2006 12:47 PM  

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