January 13, 2016

Pre-Germany Treatment Choices Made

I started the New Year off hiking with two of my good friends along the Oregon Coast on the cliffs of Cape Kiwanda. It was magical! The weather was beautiful, not a cloud in the sky although it was cold and windy. Being that this was the second annual traditional get together, we were properly prepared for the cold weather with hats, scarfs, gloves, and coats. Prior to New Year’s Day, I decided to write down all the things that no longer served me that I wanted to release. Equally, I wrote about my hopes for the future. At the urging of my friend Karri, we each wrote down a word to describe 2016. The word I chose was Gratitude; my friends chose Self-Care, and Acceptance. We placed our pieces of paper – with our word written on it, into the jar. We then talked for a while and when the time was right, I threw the corked glass bottle into the sea.

All the tests are in, the PET/CT scan and several weeks of bloodwork have been considered and a treatment choice has been made. In some regard, the decision was quite simple, I mean really, who wants to endure chemotherapy and the path of destruction it leaves? Although cancer cell activity continues to increase, another infusion of chemotherapy, prior to departing for Germany seems counterintuitive. The PET/CT scan was received with concurrent good and bad news; it indicated a reduction in the size of multiple tumors however; there has been an increase in lymphnode involvement that is described as “accelerated” activity. Moreover, the chemotherapy did not slow the growth within the lymphatic system; rather it appears to have fueled activity. The fact is that chemotherapy failed to halt cancer cell activity in the lymphatic system. I too am not convinced that my body could tolerate and recover from another chemical poisoning. So after weighing all my pre Germany Clinic treatment options, I have decided to forgo subjecting my body to further doses of chemotherapy. This decision was not made lightly, this is my body and my life that I am fighting for.

I am so ready to get to Germany for treatment and remain hopeful that this will be the missing piece to regaining my health. My passport arrived this weekend, so I am all set to be an international traveler! There has been much discussion in my home as to travel plans specifically, when Curtis would travel over to meet me in Germany. At the urging of the treatment clinic, my current health struggles, and the current diagnosis, Curtis and I have decided that we will travel together and he will beside me for the entirety of my treatment. I have decided to reframe this month long adventure as the honeymoon that Curtis & never had. So Germany it is – tickets have been purchased and travel arrangements made. I encourage everyone to continue donating to the treatment fund especially due to travel expenses being more costly than anticipated.

A delightful group of 6th grade students has been corresponding with me over the past several months. During the holiday break, I received an envelope filled with precious letters. I too received a special bear with a handmade tag on its ear. Look closely at the photo – this bear was from a sweet student. I really enjoy receiving letters from not only the 6th grade class but from those that continue to exchange letters with me along this journey. I have developed some very special relationships through writing.

I want to encourage everyone that is reading this blog to consider making a monetary donation to my treatment fund. We are incredibly close to raising all the money needed for my treatment and travel expenses. Remember, I have one child left in the home, he does not graduate until 2017  - I am going to that graduation! Many thanks to all that are rooting and supporting my efforts to leave this cancer behind me and find health. I am truly blessed by all those that are in my corner, you are my biggest cheerleaders.

Donate Please

Preferred way to Donate by Mail:
Christina Garrett
PO Box 192
Philomath, Oregon 97370

Selco Credit Union Direct Deposit: "Team Christina"

Today, I am hopeful~