Friday, May 29, 2009

The Diagnosis

Today I went with David and my parents to meet with the Oncologist. The diagnosis was worse than we had been expecting. I have “Small Cell Cancer” - SCLC. Most of the time Small Cell Cancer originates in the lung and therefore is a type of lung cancer that mostly occurs in smokers. They are not sure of the origination of my cancer, but I have never been a smoker. My cancer is not categorized by using numbers to differentiate the stages. Instead it is classified as either limited stage or extensive stage. Limited stage means that is has not progressed or spread beyond the initial site and extensive means that it has spread. I have the extensive stage.

The prognosis is poor. According to the documents that the doctor gave us to read, from the time of diagnosis: the median range of survival is 8 to 13 months, less than 5% of patients survive 2 years and 1 - 2% of patients survive 5 years. The doctor wants me to start Chemotherapy immediately (probably next week - I am waiting to hear when my appointment will be). Also according to the documents, SCLC is highly responsive to chemotherapy but it commonly relapses within months. What I have read says that I will undergo 4 - 6 chemo treatments and that should put me into remission. Following that I should have 6 - 8 months cancer free and then they will be expecting it to return. Once it returns SCLC doesn’t respond well to chemo and at that time the patient usually only lives 4 months more. Pretty grim statistics.

Now for the good news. I am NOT a statistic. I refuse to be a statistic. I fully intend to blow those statistics out of the water and surprise everyone. David and I and our families believe in a higher power that can do anything. We have faith that our Father in Heaven will take care of us however He feels is the best. Please keep praying for us. I know that it helps and we can use all the help we can get.

If we could ask one more thing: our kids know that I have cancer and they know that I will be undergoing chemotherapy, but we are not telling them the kind that I have or the prognosis. Please don't tell them. We want to protect them as much as we can. We will tell them what they need to know when we deem it necessary. Thanks for understanding.


Joanne said...

I just talked to my mom...I don't quite know what to say except that I think you are so amazing. If anyone can overcome it's you!!! You're in our prayers everyday. I know you'll blow those statistics out of the water :) We love you...Hugs for you and please give that big brother of mine a hug too :)

josie said...

We had a high school football coach who beat lung cancer and he attributed a lot of the success to change in diet. He went on a very specific diet of cancer fighting foods. You could look into something like that to help your body fight this thing. Although it might not be that fun going with out things like red meat and choc chip cookies, it may help.
We love you!! We will pray for you!!

Katie said...

We love you and pray for you and your family everyday.

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

Kaci - I don't know you very well but your words are inspiring. Our family will be praying for you here in Arizona.

Super Mario said...

Kaci, my wife Lara and I have always marveled at the wonderful job that you and Dave have always done as parents. I think about your family from time to time and I happened to find your blog tonight and read about the news. If anyone can conquer this is you. I have no doubt whatsoever that you will beat the odds. We will keep you in our prayers every night. May God bless you and your lovely family and may He give you the strength you need to overcome this. With much love from The Albornoz Family previously at Eastern Avenue Ward.

Jenni said...

Kaci you are an inspiration to us all!! Nothing can bring such a strong, positive and wonderful person down. Cancer is all about attitude, my mom has ovarian and she refuses to let it get her, she is a 3 year survivor (the doctors are still in shock she was stage 4c)but she is alive because she refuses to give in. You are the same way it is just a bully and you won't let it bully you!! My family is here to help in anyway we can, we are praying for you!
Jenni Walker and Family

Mom said...


I am your mother-in-law's cousin, Janet. I do know that miracles are real and that prayer can move mountains. I will be praying for you too - with great love and admiration for your strength and courage...Cousin Janet

bmcarter said...

All I can say is WOW...... You and your family will be in my prayers! Take care!!

Your cousin..... Candice