What a week... results in...

So sorry for the delay in updating.  I know that every one knows I had my 3 month scans last Friday.  In looking back I have been feeling pretty run down since I had the flu in December.  But being the person I am powered thru.

When you make it in to your appointment there are all sorts of things that go thru your mind.  Like, hmm... while taking vitals they only took 2 vials of blood does that mean it's just a simple routine update?

I get called back in to the exam room and wait for my doctor.  Nurse Jon comes in with a new gal and goes thru the normal list of questions - any issues with x, y, z?  She keeps asking several times if I'm having nausea or stomach issues/vomiting, etc.  I get the feeling this isn't going to be a great appointment - Jon's face shows it.

Dr D comes in.  He first laughs at my red Toms shoes (I love those shoes!) and asks if I coordinate with my molemate Chelsea!  He then goes to wash his hands and says ' you look pale, do you feel pale?'.  My response is - what does Pale feel like?  and shouldn't I be pale?  I'm a melanoma patient I avoid the sun!  :)

He then goes on to tell me that my latest scan showed something.  It shows a section on my small intestine where there is significant thickening of the wall.  The other concern is that there are lymph nodes near it that are also enlarged.

The biggest concern of the moment is that my hemoglobin has dropped to 5.6.  Normal range for a female is like 11-14.  I'm typically in the 13 range.  He says for someone that has lost 1/2 her blood I shouldn't be up walking around.  I need to be sent to urgent care to get at least 2 units of blood.

WHAT?  This is NOT how I thought my day was going to.  I have to get from the out patient center to urgent care at the main hospital.  How are they going to take me - by ambulance!  I wonder how much that will cost for a 20 block ride thru traffic?  :)

Sorry for the gross picture - but this was my view for about 7 hours while I got 2 units of blood.  My poor left arm looks like I'm an addict!  Since they can only use that arm for blood draws and blood pressure.

Ok this post is getting long so here is the short story!  I got admitted that night.  My blood levels were taken at 1:30 am and had gone up to 8.6 from the first 2 units.  I am scheduled to get another unit before they release me.

Next steps?  Well since my levels held it appears I most likely have a slow GI bleed due to the spot shown in my small intestine.  There was lots of debating back and forth about surgery vs. treatment.  In the end the team has decided to start with treatment.  Plan is to get Zelboraf - the drug trial I tried to get in to last March when my lung mets were found.

I asked about biopsy - given the spot they would have to do surgery anyway to reach the spot.  So stay tuned - I'll know more on Tuesday when I meet with my oncologist again.

Right now, I feel pretty good.  Better than I had.

Sorry for this being a little bit of a long update.  I"ll share some more info about the drug they are looking at having me take and next steps.

Thanks everyone for the continued thoughts and prayers!

PS - This week made me realize how important it is for blood donations.  Thanks to the O+ donors that were able to provide me 3 units!

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  1. Erin, you are in my thoughts. In my prayers. Sending positive vibes. Hugs. Debbie (Eerye70 from mpip)

  2. Erin - We are praying for you lots over here. Thank so much for sharing your story!!! Hoping for good things on Tuesday!