Friday, March 30, 2007

Hyperviscosity tested for....

Renee had to go in to give a new blood sample, to be tested for the hyperviscosity condition.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lymphoplasmactic Lymphoma (Waldstrom's disease) identified....

I received a call from Dr. O, and the Mayo clinic identified the cancer to be Lymphoplasmactic Lymphoma (Waldstrom's disease). This is a non-aggressive lymphoma.
This cancer is accompanied sometimes by a condition called hyperviscosity, which basically means there is a specific type of protein found in the blood, in a large amount.
We saw the Retinal specialist also that day, and he confirmed that this was most likely the cause of the 100's of hemmorages in Renee's eyes. The blood vessels in the eyes are some of the smallest in the body, and they were affected by the hyperviscosity first. Other cancer patients with this condition would also have this, but may not be aware, as the hemmorages should clear when the blood is treated.
God had used this, as he directed the hand of my child Faith, to give us an early alarm to this cancer.

Friday, March 23, 2007

No brain tumors found....

Renee and I met with Dr. O, to get the results of her scans. The MRI showed no tumors in her head (praise the Lord). The CAT scan did not reveal any other tumors, and did show the enlarged spleen, along with some slightly enlarged lymph nodes near the spleen. (the spleen is the largest lymph node)
Dr. O thought that Renee probably had a spleenic cancer(cancer of the spleen), and that we would remove the spleen, and treat the lymphoma with a drug called rituxan.
However, the bone sample and a new blood sample was being sent to the Mayo clinic, to get a more specific answer to the type of lymphoma.
Feeling somewhat relieved, we visited my mom and dad that weekend. Our friend, Diane B., let our church family know about Renee's condition.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The testing begins......

Renee had a CAT scan, which whould show any tumors, or other signs of cancer. There was also an MRI scan of her head, as it was feared that the hemmorages in her eyes could be caused by a tumor in her head.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Heart breaking news.....

On Monday, I worked from home, as Renee wanted me to take the call from Dr. O. However, the labs were not complete, and we had to wait another day.

Tuesday, in the late afternoon, the awaited call finally came. Good news first - leukemia was ruled out. Bad news - Renee tested positive for Lymphoma. Tests were scheduled for the next day.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Dr. O checks for the "C" word.....

Renee saw Dr. Olajide, who is a hematologist and oncologist. It was noticed that Renee's spleen was enlarged, which meant that the red blood cells would be "pooling" there, and explained her anemia (partially).
After reviewing Renee's blood, Dr. O wanted to take a worst case scenario approach, and check for cancer. An attempt was made to collect a bone marrow sample, but this was not successful. A small sample of Renee's bone was collected instead. However, the labs would not be complete until sometime the next week. This made for a long, prayerful weekend.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Renee saw a retinal specialist who confirmed that a blood vessel hemmoraged that was located in the middle of her retina, causing the "blind spot". He let us know that these spots normally clear up within about a month, as the blood is cleared from the fluid in the eye. However, he was also alarmed at the number of hemmorages in both eyes, and also wanted to pursue the root cause.
It seems that most patients who have this number of hemmorages are suffering from diabetes, and we suspected this could be Renee's problem.
While waiting in the retinal Dr.'s office, I received a call on Renee's cell from the Internal Dr.'s office, with the lab results. Her blood suger was fine, which seemed to rule out Diabetes. However, she had a low red blood cell count, and her hemoglobin was low. This indicated she was anemic for some reason. This explained her tired and drained feelings, and I had hopes that she could be given iron or B12 shots to resolve this.
An appointment was made to see a hematologist the next day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spot in vision has not cleared....Renee gets checked....

Renee's vision still had a "spot" in her left eye, and I (Brian) made an apointment for her to see an Opthmologist. This Dr. checked Renee's eyes and vision, and found 100's of hemmorages in both of her eyes. He was alarmed, and made appointments for Renee to see her "Internal medicine" doctor, and a Retinal Specialist.
Renee saw Dr. Merachuck(Internest) in the afternoon, and he performed a general physical, and drew blood for a lab.
Renee's mother, Ms. Parker, was driving up from Charleston, SC on this day to visit. Through the Lord's timing, she was there to assist with the kids as the rest of the week unfolded.

Monday, March 12, 2007

An "accidental" bump to the eye....enlightens......

Our son, Josiah Lee Hemric, was born on June 19, 2006. Renee did great giving birth, as she has with our 3 daughters: Charity(8), Faith(6), and Hope(2).
The months following this birth, Renee did not seem to "bounce back" as well. She was home schooling and caring for 2 in diapers, so her "run down" feelings were not so alarming. She was actually showing signs of anemia, feeling tired, weak, and having a lack of concentration at times.
Renee and the kids were getting ready to leave the house for Charity's piano lessons. While bending down to fix the baby gate, Faith accidently bumped Renee's left eye. This stung, but Renee was able to get the kids in the van, and leave. About 15 minutes later, Renee noticed there was a "spot" in her vision. This was alarming, but we thought maybe there was a scratch or bruise on her eye.