Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back So Soon?

Yesterday I went into the Cancerville Clinic expecting to chat with my doc about the next round of consolidation chemo. Instead, I got some less than thrilling news. An unusual blast cell was spotted in my bloodwork which indicates the leukemia's back and remission is over. This morning I'm having a bone marrow biopsy to confirm and the results will be available Friday.

This news is difficult for several reasons. Not only has the cancer returned quickly, but because I have the super-duper meaniepants version of AML, whenever the cancer comes back after chemo, it is something of a wasp. It's been swatted and now it's pissed. The cancer is smarter and stronger and less likely to respond to conventional chemo.

On top of that, this return doesn't help my chances of success with the bone marrow transplant. Going into a BMT after a second remission reduces my five year survival rate, and when the survival rate is 20% after the first remission, this reduction is significant. I go from not so hot chances to craptastic chances. Should the docs prove unable to put my leukemia into remission, a BMT is off the table. Doing a transplant on active leukemia is just a waste of time for everyone.

Needless to say, I've been brewing some pretty dark thoughts over the past 24 hours. I'm just about tapped out of energy to stay focused and hopeful in light of this new development. My realistic side can't help but think of my ever diminishing chances and being just another one of the faceless many who succumb to AML. But for Little A's sake I have to focus on being one of the select few with the golden tale to tell, the human interest story worthy of a 60 second Olympic broadcast spot.

Ultimately, my fate is not in my hands, but I can sure as shit push through with the determination of a Jason Lezak powering through the last leg of the relay against those asshat French swimmers.

Last night, one of the little songs we used to sing at church camp popped into my head, and I've been rolling it around in my brain to soothe and strengthen my spirit:

Those who walk with the Lord
Shall renew their strength
They shall walk upon wings
Like eagles

They shall run and not grow weary
They shall walk and not faint
Help us Lord
Help us Lord
In thy way.


CarolDymacek said...

I know this isn't the new you wanted to hear, just know you are in my prayers and there is a higher power who can do anythng

Lo said...

I am so sorry. I've been following you throughout your "battle", for lack of a better word, and you are such a freaking strong, optimistic woman. I believe in my heart that you will beat these evil bastards. I'll be praying for you. Honestly, that's not something I do often, but maybe it's high time I start.

MelodyLane said...

Stupid Zombie Leukemia.

I am sending positive energy, prayer, happy thoughts, all of that stuff your way.

I am wishing you the absolute best in all of this.

Alex the Odd said...

You know me so you know my thoughts on religion and god etc.

But believe me when I say: I am praying for you Manda, and all of the Amos clan.

If anyone has the power to become a heartwarming story on Oprah it's you, Lady.

Brave Little Baker said...

Oh Manda I'm sorry. I just a prayer for you and i'll keep praying for you. And keep singing your camp song. There is a lot of truth in it.

Anonymous said...

Well I am sorry to hear your bad news - it is my birthday. I hope you are my match at the bone marrow if you need it.....they can dig it out like it is osso bucco. I always feel stupid saying hang in there, but do.

TK said...

As always, my thoughts and best wishes are with you. We're all pullin' for you.

lordhelmet said...

Sorry to hear about the downturn, you're in my thoughts and I'm pulling for you. Be strong! Be brave! None of those Olympians could hold a candle next to you! It's time to school those pansies on what true endurance means. You're going to be a heroic inspiration to many people, just keep your head up.

Ranylt said...

Manda, if it helps, you are far from "faceless" to a legion of 'net chums. There are too many of us sending positive thoughts--with grit teeth and clenched fists, we're at it so hard.

Stay cool, bitch-stubborn, and strong as ever.

Julie said...

Manda, there's nothing else to say except that I'm praying my ass off for you, everyone at Pajiba adores you, and I am in consistent awe of how you have been handling this.

Black Irish Girl in Ohio said...

I am sorry to hear your news. I am not sure what more to say than that.

BTW - I found your site by way of TK's site. You gave Tart her name.

Big OH

tinksgirl said...

I read your blog yesterday and didn't have time to post a comment so I came back today to do that and was expecting to tell you how happy I was that you were feeling better and that you finally got to see The Dark Knight. My stomach dropped when I read today's post, I'm so sorry you're going through this-try to stay strong, so many people are praying for you.

Anonymous said...


My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Keep your head up and your strength too.


dianarchie said...

Hey Amanda! I'm extremely sorry to hear about this!! I can not begin to imagine how you are feeling right now! We are praying for you, Adrian and little A!
~Diana & Archie

prisco said...

You have no idea the impact your whole fight has had on me, personally. I hardly know you, digitally, but I'm about to stake my entire filmmaker career on an idea that was inspired entirely by you, you crazy broad, ya. Now, I'll have to work twice as hard. And fast. And I don't like to hustle. Chafes the thighs, you know.

Fight hard, champ. You knows we loves you.

The Domina said...

A very wise cancer lady once told me that when they tell you your survival rate is 20% you have EVERY RIGHT to be one of those 20%.

Also, if BMT ever goes back on the table, I'm on the donor list and would gladly get further tested specifically for you if that's possible.

JamieSmitten said...

Damn. It's almost like the universe knows how strong you are and wants you to prove it. The good news is that you WILL prove it. No doubt in my mind. Lots of love -- and anything else you need, just ask.

Anonymous said...

If you give up now, I will call you a cheese-eating surrender monkey (i.e., French).

And, since I am a medievalist at heart, I offer Julian of Norwich:
"...All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well"


Anonymous said...

Someone has to be that statistical anomaly. It will be you.

Sending you as many good vibes as I can muster. Kick this AML's butt!

a.j.g. said...

I wish I had half of your determination and attitude. Reading this is humbling. Thank you for being willing to so honestly share this difficult time in your life. I'm continuing to pray for you, Amanda. Keep us posted.

jM said...

I'm a Pajiba commenter and just wanted to say what an amazing woman you are. I'm praying for you.

Amanda47 said...

Oh Manda Panda,

I know we the faceless are reaching out to you through the interwebs and sending luck and strength your way.

I can only think of the (annoying but appropriate) saying tacked to our family fridge:

"Those who say it can't be done,
should never get in the way of the person actually doing it."

Just take it one step at a time, in little pieces and you'll get through this.

Rage on sister, Amanda47

Anonymous said...


You are in my heart daily. I really mean that. I don't know what is in store for you—-no one does--but we are all here with you. We are ONE. Now is the time for you to rely on that strength from all the wonderful people in your life. Pull deeply from that well, my friend, for nothing buoys the heart quite like the the love from your child, husband, parents, friends, neighbors, and yes, faceless warriors on the internet. We are here for you, and I know that isn't much, but it is something. When things look the worst is when it is time to fight the hardest. And you are an incredibly strong woman.

I'm reaching out to you across the miles, holding you in my mind and heart, and channeling my energy to you. You are worth it. You deserve life.

Thank you for making me a better person.

All my love, prayers, and meditations,

Kara (boo)

Marissa said...

Hey kiddo -

Just catching up on the news. Hang in there, I am thinking about you, and once again, sure that you are going to have an amazing story to tell when you beat this stupid thing.

The running metaphor still comes to mind - keep that finish line in mind!!


Dawn said...

Manda, I'm so sorry. This truly sucks and I hope life hands you the good news you so sorely deserve - and soon.

But like others have said - someone is in that 20%, there's no reason that that someone shouldn't be you. Not because you're an inspiration or because you "deserve" it more or less than anyone else, but because you have more sheer balls than at least 90% of the population of this country.

Rock on, woman. Make the zombies fear you.

cindy said...

I hope this isn't too corny, but I wanted to share a poem that carried me through some hard times.


OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
(William Ernest Henley)

Mr. Controversy said...

Hang in there, Ms. Pink. Positivity is always a plus. Besides, regardless of good or bad news it all ultimately comes down to two choices: let yourself be defeated and stay down, or fight on and keep smiling straight until the finish. (Be it victory or defeat.) Now you don't seem the quitin' type, so I sure as shit don't want to see you getting gloomy. :)

By the way, I understand I am a complete stranger to you, and that this must be weird, but what can I say I'm random. (And I'm a pajibite, so that's how I found you. No creepy tactics here.) Best of luck, and just hang in're the only person I know that the zombies are truly afraid of.

Anonymous said...

Stay strong, we're with you.

-Pajiba lurker

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