Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cancer Has Progressed

Yesterday, we learned that my cancer has progressed in my liver and is also confirmed in my lungs. In addition, I have a mass under my arm that we are assuming is a tumor. No need to biopsy, thank goodness. Not such good news.

Holding Steve's hand looking at the scans yesterday, I was overwhelmed. We knew I had two nodules that they were "watching" in my lungs...but to now have 7 or 8 confirms that the two original nodules were cancer. Also, the pain in my side which I originally thought was from my back flap reconstructive surgery was not so much from the surgery but from a new mass residing with my lymph nodes, back where my original cancer was in 2009. I guess now there is no need for me to curse the surgery, as I had been doing from time to time as a result of the constant pain. That tissue is all soft and good.

So, what is the plan? To switch to UCSD. I cannot begin to describe how cared for I felt yesterday by Dr. Sweet as he scrambled to get answers and conversed with Dr. Boles, my new UCSD Oncologist about a plan for my care. We were in his office for an extra 90 minutes....but the outcome was well worth the wait.

One thing Dr. Sweet suggested was some radiation on my side for the pain. As many of you reading this may know, since I already have been radiated on that side, we still are not sure if this can be done. However, if it will get me off some of these pain meds...I am all for it. That appointment is next Wednesday.

I think the most disheartening thing was that we learned that my fatigue is likely disease related, not chemo related. This is really hard to take because I am really tired. Dr. Sweet is going to try to qualify me for a transfusion for my anemia in order to give me more energy for our trip. I hope he can.

Through a message from Dr. Boles through Dr. Sweet, I learned that I am not a candidate for the clinical trial at City of Hope, but my progression will perhaps get me onto the clinical trial that I had been hoping for at UCSD. I see Dr. Boles immediately after my vacation and she asked that I arrive with scans in hand. They have been ordered and ready for pick up.

We are very scared. Yet we know that nothing really has changed. We knew triple-negative breast cancer is quick to spread. We knew that we needed to find a chemo drug that worked. All that has happened is that we have not found a chemo drug that works. We have only tried three. There are more out there. We have hope.

Yesterday is a bit painful for Steve and I to relive. So, I ask that we not receive a lot of questions at this time regarding my treatment. I will try to blog through out the week to keep all updated.

On a positive note, I had a little conversation with my body yesterday and came up with a theme song: "I am a Believer." I think my body needs to know that I believe in it regardless of what the scans show. And there is some deeper logic to this too; so you do not think I am completely crazy. I ask that when you think of me, think of this little jingle please. Maybe I will even try to come up with alternate lyrics for it...just for fun. I have nothing but time, after all.


  1. Dear Marsi, "I am a believer" in your courage and strength of spirit!!! Sending positive healing thoughts your way every minute of every day.
    Love, Linda Dreyfuss

  2. I'm a believer! Praying for miracles. Love you Marsi sooooooo much.

  3. Thinking of you and the family and sending so much love and so many positive thoughts your way!!

  4. We are believers Marsi.
    God Bless

  5. Ah, jeez, now I have that jingle stuck in my head! ;) I love you Marsi Kay Dale White! Your stregnth, courage and your bright, happy smile affects us all greatly in many a positive way! And I completely understand your logic behind your new theme song...Does this make us both a lil' crazy? I am definitely a believer in YOU!!!! XOXOXOXXO to you all!!!

  6. Marsi, I am a random subscriber. I have been following your blog for a few months now, after learning a friend was diagnosed with Stage 3C at 37. Your strength in inspiring... I am a believer! Sending positive energy your way.

  7. Thinking of you Marsi and singing your song!
    Kristin Graham

  8. Thinking of you and sending positive thoughts to you and your family----Your positive outlook is very inspiring-----Please don't hesitate if there is anything I can do to help in ANY WAY...and -I hope you enjoy every minute of your upcoming vacation----

    Lori Mohney

  9. Been reading your blog for a bit and finally decided to post. I wish you much strength and hope and wish you the best of time on your vacation. Will be singing your song as often as I can.
    Ashli Elsperman

  10. We continue to pray for you Marsi, and your family and doctors. We believe in you!!

  11. I'll make up the dance u Marsi!

  12. Marsi,

    I am a friend of Stephani Dennis. I, too, am triple negative. I just finished my 6th and final round of chemo.

    You and your family are in my prayers. Faith is all I can say. Your strength and courage is amazing.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    Karmel Ternus

  13. Hi Marsi - I am also a friend of Stephani Dennis. She posted your blog on FB. I read it and the first thing that came to my mind was how inspiring you are. I watched your video's and saw your kids smiling and it warmed my heart. Through your blog you are a source of encouragement for those who have been or are now afflicted with cancer. I am a believer also, and I believe that God can move mountains! I've seen everyday miracles in my own life and I choose to believe that he can do the same in yours. You are in my daily prayer book, so please know that every morning at about 6:30 you and your beautiful family are being prayed for. May this Holiday season bring you the blessing of a loving family and wonderful friends that will surround you with HOPE.
    Christine Whitacre

  14. I am one million times one million a believer!

  15. Singing with you, Marsi, and thinking of you lots.

  16. Life Over Cancer. You're mind is a fighter and it can win. Have you ever heard of the Block Center in Chicago? You might look into it. Block wrote a book called Life Over Cancer, and it's amazing.

  17. Thinking of you always and often. We are cheering loudly from your old stomping grounds up northand we love you dearly. Be strong, even if it's only a little bit everyday. Love, Shelley

  18. Hi Marsi!

    I am a believer also. God can do miracles and besies He has the last word! You are in my prayers and thoughts.