Tag Archive | Dr. Jeff Sharman

The End Is Here!

It’s official.  I am done with chemotherapy!!!!

I’m tired, and a little bit uninspired as writing goes – which is normal for after chemo feelings.  I brought an entourage with me today: Mom, Tom and my sister Andrea.  Joanne was my nurse today, she & Shawna have been my main nurses throughout this journey.  It has been such a blessing having nurses that care about you taking care of you.  I can’t say enough positive things about Willamette Valley Cancer Institute oncology nursing staff.  Almost makes me want to go into nursing…almost. 🙂

It’s also been amazing to have a doctor with the same faith as you.  Having Dr. Sharman as my doctor has been meaningful because I know that not only do I have a doctor that is beyond gifted in the medical field, but he has the Great Physician on his side.  To know that he is going to the One that is the Healer for guidance.  Thank you Dr. Sharman for your care.

All the support I have had during this 6 month journey has been overwhelming.  It’s difficult to remember who all has done and given what.  At least with the mealtrain.com website, I can go back for the past few months and figure out who all has brought us meals. 🙂  I can’t begin to tell you about my mom though.  She has pretty much rewritten her spring, summer, & fall to make sure that I would have transportation to and from all my appointments.  This has allowed us to have some good one-on-one time that I will treasure forever.  Now to figure out how to continue it, because I do not want to go through this again! 🙂

Thank you all for the prayers and support.  I’m going to close for tonight because both kids have Health speeches to finish (before tomorrow of course!) and they need my help.  And right now, I’m thinking clearly enough to be able to help them, so that is QUITE an opportunity for them!


Joanne and Me – the END of Chemotherapy!

A Different Kind of Radiant

Thursday’s appointment with the radiologist went really well. We met with Dr. Wendland at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and she gave us some great information on the whole radiology protocol. As she went through what some of the benefits of radiation could be, I was thinking that it was something that I should probably do.

Then she went through some of the reasons I might not want to go forward with it. As I understood, with radiation, the drawbacks are relatively site related. She said that because of the degree of advancement of my Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, there was no way that they could focus the radiation on each area that had shown having cancerous activity, so they would just have to focus on the mass. Because my mass is in my chest, there are a lot more major organs that could be affected by the radiation. The major concerns that they have are for the lungs, heart & breasts. There are side effects that I could have that would show up right away, but it’s the long-term side effects that concern them the most.

With the lungs, I could have reduced function in the future, and with the breasts, it would raise my chances of getting breast cancer. But she said that it was what could happen with my heart that concerned her the most. Since the location of my mass was so very close to my heart, there would be no way to treat the mass with radiation without also treating the heart. She said that if I were 79 years old, complications in 30 years wouldn’t be an issue, but in her opinion, the risks to me outweigh the benefits of radiation. She had called Dr. Sharman and talked to him about my case to see what his thoughts were about my treatment.

When a patient has a “bulky” mass (10 cm and larger), they feel (and evidence shows) that it’s important to do the radiation. My mass originally was measured at 10.0 cm, but later, in the PET scan that was done, both she & Dr. Sharman measured my mass to be right around 8.2 cm. Both doctors felt that because it was more of a “gray” area, they wanted my input on whether I wanted to do the radiation or not. Talk about pressure! 🙂

Finally, after discussing everything at length, and finding out that both she & Dr. Sharman feel that there are not enough benefits to outweigh the risks of radiation, I have decided to go with their professional opinions and not have radiation treatments. This means that once I have my last chemotherapy treatment on October 4th, I can begin the long road of recovery. I’m not even sure what that will entail, so I guess we’ll all find out together. What I do know is that I am claiming my Psalm 118:17 verse more & more every day.