We had a follow-up with my hematologist on the 17th, and got mostly good news. While there is some involvement in the chest, there is nothing below the diaphragm, so that keeps me in stage 2. Also, my blood work shows a very slow rate of growth–my numbers are almost normal–so my stage is probably not changing anytime soon. What THAT means is that he is hopeful that we can psuh off starting chemo until at least the third trimester–or maybe even after the birth! This is such good news–easier on both me and baby, if only from the perspective of my physical resources during pregnancy.

The flip side is that the start date for chemo is now up in the air. As long as things remain stable, we wait, but if the blood work or scans change it could start at any time. This makes our lives a lot more nebulous between now and the end of the year. It’s worth it to minimize the effects on baby and on my body, but it just means we have to live with some uncertainty, particularly in terms of how my husband will handle his work situation. One month at a time!

The other “exciting” news is that the MRI picked up a pericardial effusion–fluid around the heart. It could be no problem and go away, but I am now being referred to a cardiologist for monitoring since if it gets worse they might need to drain the fluid…ugh! Have I mentioned I am no fan of long needles? Any needles, really? Hoping to avoid that, but time will tell. I went for a heart echo yesterday (the 19th) and will repeat next week as well as see the cardiologist. I think I have more specialists to my name now than have ever been involved in my (heretofore uncomplicated) healthcare before this.

So, for now I am waiting on calls to schedule another heart echo, the cardiologist, the high-risk OB consult, and the second opinion with a Hodgkin’s group at a larger medical research facility. Keeping that calendar handy! And I go back to hematology in four weeks.

The other thing that changes with the current “plan” is that I will be living with this for a lot longer. The intensity of it all just dropped quite a bit…for now…but the endurance needed, both physical and emotional, feels like it has increased. Please keep us in your prayers for that aspect of this journey too!

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