Alese Coco's Journey through Hodgkins Disease

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Monday, May 30, 2005

Happy Memorial Day…

A lot to be thankful for… I’ve been thinking about our fighting men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan who are fighting for our countries freedom. Far too many have made the ultimate sacrifice in this war and wars past so that we may live in freedom God bless them.

I’m feeling physically and emotionally good right now. I’ve been feeling well for the past few weeks. I did not have treatment last week, I had side effects from PDX, nothing major… but Dr. O’Connor felt it would be best to wait a week, so I have treatment bright and early Tuesday morning.

I had the chance to stop by Ronald McDonald house a few weeks ago and say “Hi” to one of my favorite people Joanne Shapiro; she’s an awesome person who I always enjoy talking with.

Shallyn was scheduled to be here this week; unfortunately, she has a final in a class and was unable to travel. My Dad arrived yesterday afternoon; he’s going to be here for the next ten days. We’re going to fly back together, on June 16th, its Shallyn birthday and I want to be home for the celebration.

After tomorrow’s treatment, I still have three weeks of PDX left. My time here has gone by really fast; it’s hard to believe I’ve been here six months.

Fighting 2 Win.

-Alese

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Confused...

Last week when I had my PET/CT Scan my doctors told me they were alarmed by the report that one of the lymph nodes had
grown significantly in my chest. In every scan I've ever had the size of the lymph nodes are reported in centimeter (cm) for some reason the radiologist in this last scan reported some in millimeters (mm) and others in centimeters. The thought was that this particular lymph node in my chest had grown from the size of grape to the size of small zucchini in a short period of time. However, this was not consistent that most of the other lymph nodes had shrunk or diminished.
In short, the report had everyone confused.



After careful reexamination of the PET and C/T film, the lymph node was millimeters not centimeters, the node has grown slightly, but remains in the area of margin for error. I'm going to continue on the PDX trial and I'll be staying in New York. Thank God the use of conventional chemotherapy is off the table.



A few weeks after the PDX trail is concluded they'll scan me again, if growth continues to diminish or stabilize at their current size, this trail is considered successful. The good news is that I'll be able to continue taking PDX even though it's not approved by the FDA. That's the great thing about clinical trails; because I participated in the trail I can continue using the drug.



Fight 2 Win,
-Alese

Thursday, May 12, 2005

A Mixed Bag...

Last night, I went to Sloan Kettering and had a PET Scan and CT Scan done, the results were mixed.

While most of the tumors had diminished or disappeared, there is a mass in my chest that will not submit to the treatment. As a result, Dr. O'Connor has decided to put me on a low dose chemotherapy that will kill this mass. I request your prayers for my continued strength, I have faith in an awesome God that everything happens for a reason, and I am not scared. I also cannot ignore the positive, most of the tumors shrunk or disappeared. The situation could be a lot worse, and I am thankful that there were some positive results.

As of this moment, my plans are to come back to California and receive treatment at City Of Hope, but I will remain under the care and supervision of my Sloan Kettering doctors and return to the East Coast at least once a month. This way I am able to be with my family and friends most of the time, and still receive the best possible treatment. I hope to move back to the West Coast within the next few weeks. I will keep you posted.


Fighting 2 Win,

-Alese

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Thank You For The Support & Prayers…

During my week off from treatment I was able to come home for a whole week! It was awesome to be home again; just to be able to drive and go sit at the beach and take it all in, seemed so surreal. On Wednesday The Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach had another benefit for me. Thank you to everyone who came and showed their support for my family and I.

I feel very blessed.

I flew back to the East Coast on Thursday morning, and I don’t mean I got to the airport around 9am, we left the house 5AM! Which at the moment I can honestly say I wasn’t too happy about, lol… But it actually worked out good; because I slept almost the whole flight, and we landed here in Morristown in the early afternoon.

This Monday I will start another 6 week treatment regimen of PDX, I will go in once a week for six weeks. On Wednesday the 11th, I will go in for scans. A PET and a CT. This will tell us how I am responding to the treatment. I am asking for your prayers. As any cancer patient can tell you, scans are really stressful because so much depend on the outcome.

Thank you to everyone who posts in my guestbook, I check it everyday- and I love hearing from all of you… Your support gives me so much strength.

Fight 2 Win
-Alese