Alese Coco's Journey through Hodgkins Disease

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Things Are Going Well...

I had a PET/CT scan on Tuesday and the results were awesome...
I've had stabilization and further reduction in growth, my PET/CT scans are improving. I had a total happy attack after receiving the news, and after regaining composure; I prayed and gave thanks to my Creator and Savior. This is the best news I've had all year.

If you think back with me ten months ago, my options were limited, very limited. My doctors in California told me my chances for surviving one year were under 10%, and that was if I received high dose chemo and had a bone marrow transplant. Although I'm not cured; I'm living life, and I'm doing it at a fairly normal pace. My good days far out weigh the bad days and I'm blessed with so many friends and prayer warriors whose unending support keeps me pushing forward. Thank you, I love you all...

Shallyn was here for the last week, we had soooo much fun. Shallyn is non-stop entertainment; she also helped me out a lot while she was here. I am so blessed to have a sister like her. I also want to thank James, my boyfriend, whose unwavering support has been awesome; we have a great time together. James is an amazing cook and he's also been teaching me how to race cars, its closed course racing and it's really fun.

I'm going to go home next week, the plan is stay home for nine days and upon retuning I'll resume treatment. I'm still filling out all the paperwork for school, and I'm really exited to start again. I love school! I am so that kid that sits in the front row and always has their hand up.

I want to give a shout to my friend Ryan; he has a very rare form of stomach cancer. He's a great person, we flew on a CAN flight together and he kept me laughing for three hours. If you have a moment, visit his website. Check out the Fight 2 Win band on his left wrist, he's a warrior in his own right.
http://www3.caringbridge.org/ne/ryan/


Fight 2 Win,

-Alese

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I Hate Nose Bleeds…

I was supposed to receive my third round of PDX today. Unfortunately, my platelets were too low and they decided to wait a few days. My low palette counts (40k) are causing the nose bleeds. We have the other two side effects under control, but these nose bleeds continue to be a nuisance. I realize things could be a lot worse and I’ll adjust to the discomfort. During the off week of treatment, my palette count jumps to 180k.

Shallyn (my sister) is flying in early Wednesday morning; she’s going to be here for the next week and will return home just prior to the start of her fall semester. I have to go to Sloan Kettering on Wednesday morning for blood work, if my platelets are at an acceptable level, I’ll receive treatment. If not, I’ll have to wait a week. The plan is for Shallyn and I to meet at Sloan Kettering just prior to my appointment. No doubt, this will make for an entertaining morning, thank God for cell phones.

I’m making progress on becoming a permanent East Coast resident. I’ve begun the application process with hopes of beginning classes this winter. I’ll share more information as details becomes available.

Also, please keep my Uncle Dave and his family in your prayers. This last week, Doctors informed him that he has two weeks to two months to live. He’s a great person and I’m proud and blessed to call him my Uncle. If you have a few minutes, read his story on the “People Who Inspire Me” page.

Fight 2 Win,

-Alese

Monday, August 01, 2005

I'm Here To Stay...

I had my appointment with Dr. O’Connor today, we met for a little over an hour and our meeting went well.

My Dad arrived on a red eye flight from Los Angeles mid-day Sunday and accompanied me to the appointment. Afterwards, we discussed my options over lunch before he hopped on a plane and headed back to California. Dr. O’Connor felt this meeting was important, and his office requested one of my parents be present.

The big problem I’m experiencing is profuse nose bleeds, and Dr. O’Connor feels he can control these in a couple ways, both non invasive. As I’ve mentioned before, the other two side effects are minor in comparison, but they are still a nuance. They’re going to try to control these with other medications.

I received two pieces of good news today. First, my blood numbers are as close to normal as they should be. Second, they decided to scan me after my appointment to ensure that PDX is still working. The disease remains stable and PDX is keeping the HD in check. WHOO HOO! If there was any growth, I would be transitioned to another clinical trial. My Dad asked how long treatment was going to last? Dr. O’s response, “Indefinitely, we’re going to ride the horse as long as the horse can be ridden.” I’m going to continue treatment, three weeks on, one week off. My parents and I are going to begin making permanent living arrangements for me on the east coast.

We have a lot of planning to do and I ask for your prayers as this trainsition takes place.

Fighting 2 Win,

-Alese