Wednesday, November 30, 2011

As I approach my last treatment...

Sorry for not posting anything in the last few treatments but they have been pretty uneventful. Everything is going as planned. I am so overwhelmed with so many emotions and my bi-polar days are more frequent. In the beginning I feared the unknown and now in the end I fear the unknown. All of my insecurities that I would not allow myself to feel are now coming out...and they are ugly!

In my heart and soul i truly feel like I have beat this awful cancer but every now and then a low whisper in the back of my mind reminds that I shouldn't count my eggs before they hatch. My thoughts go from woohoo I beat, shit I'll have to go through additional treatments because that one lymph node still lights up in my PET scan. I am still as positive as I was in the beginning and I know I gave it my all. But now I feel like it is judgement day and the thoughts of, "if there is still more in me the chemo will get and kick it's ass" are now turning to "i am done with my treatments and what if this or what if that"...too many what if thoughts

Another emotion that I am going through is (and this one is hard to put into words, so I hope you understand)...For 6 long months I have been a cancer patient, what will i be after this is done. It has controlled my life, dictated my daily activities, determined my calendar and even was my main topic of conversation with so many. I know I have always been Meredith but for the last 6 months I have been Meredith the Chemo patient. I'm not an attention whore but I have had such wonderful support and love these last few months that I wonder how it will be once it is all said and done. I love those text messages, phone calls and Facebook posts of encouragement. It was those kind words that gave me so much strength to fight the good fight. Will I be sad once they stop? Or, will I find a new strength within my self and my new found cancer free health?

Plus, I'm curious about this monkey I'll be carrying around on my back...I will call this monkey "relapse"...when, if ever will I feel free of relapse? they say after 8 years I will be considered "cured" but until that day comes will I get butterflies in my stomach or that nauseous feeling with every blood test and every PET scan? I'm sure the confidence will grow with each one but what if year 9 or 10 or 16 comes around and it isn't good news, then what?

Will I be instantly better and be back to my normal self? Will I miss my almost daily naps? Will I still need them? Will my hair grow back as fast as I lost it? Will I have reactions from the chemo down the road? Will I feel better when my port is removed? Will the scars fade? Will my children remember these last 6 months and think I was a warrior or not? Will I feel comfortable in my own skin again? SOOOOOOoooooo many questions, that only time will tell.

I will tell you something that never crossed my mind or doubted these last 6 much my friends and family helped me and love me. From Barbara and Aaron supporting me through this whole thing, checking on me and ted to see how we were dealing with this life changing disease, Dawn and Leigh Ann bringing my kids dinner on treatment nights, or Nicolle, Lorie and my Mom taking my kids for a sleepover so I could sleep, my mom for being here almost every treatment to watch the girls so ted could go to work on time and staying till all the kids were asleep, Lorie and Nicolle for bringing Josh and Mikey home from school on my bad days, Jeanne and Ed for my treatment morning text messages that always brought a smile to my face, my niece Bella coming over ans spending the night here to help with the kids, Ted for being so strong (even though i know this whole thing scared the crap out of him), Tara for letting me vent on the phone from the 1st tests to the last treatment, and all of the phone calls, emails, texts, facebook messages and comments that sent love, encouragement and strength from friends and family members from all over. Words can't describe and a "thank you" just doesn't cut it but know how much you all mean to me!!!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

My 8th news is good news!

There is no news to report...this was like every other treatment. Blood work, met with the Dr, he told me my numbers are great and off to the chemo room i went, took a little 3 hour nap and went home to sleep off the rest of the benedryl.

The next day i had a bright idea of having a garage sale...about 20 minutes into it i started to feel really off, so i went to go lay down leaving Ted, my Mom and Lorie to manage the garage sale. I slept the entire day and when i woke up in the evening i had almost a 103 degree fever. I called the Dr on call and he told me to try to get it down at home and if it didn't go down then i should head to the nearest urgent care...but low and behold, the fever broke and I went back to bed to sleep the rest of it off.

Sunday was like all the other, i woke up in pain but tried to suck it up and get on with my day. I succeeded...I went from my bed to the was the best move to make, hahahaha!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Results...

Let me start off by saying...YIPPEE!!!

Ok, now that I have that out of the way let me explain. Dr. Parikh came in and I asked him, "so am I going in Medical Journals for being the fastest cured Hodgkin Lymphoma patient?" he smiled and even laughed a little bit. He is starting to get me, my humor and's about time! He pulled up my chart on the computer and looked it over and told me that there is one more barely visible active lymph node on my left jugular chain. that's it, ONE!!! All four tumors are gone and all the active lymph nodes in my abdomen are done. This is very exciting...let me say it again, YIPPEE!!! Chemo is working, I AM beating this! I was informed that at the end of treatments I would have to wait 4 weeks before I could get another PET scan.

I went back to the chemo room and sat in the chair and the tears just started flowing. The nurse came over and hugged me with a very concerned look on her face and I told her, no these were tears of joy, all my tumors are gone and I only have one active lymph node left and she hugged me a little tighter. when she released me she had tears in her eyes. She started my IV and calmed down and took my wonderful 3 hour nap.

7 down, 5 to go...

Half way there!!!

My 6th round of chemo was like all the others, get there-check in-have my blood drawn-see the dr-go to the chemo room and get ready for my 3 hr nap :) but...what i was really anxcious for was my PET Scan. This was going to tell me that I AM beating stupid Hodgepodge's butt (that's what my friend, Barbara calls it). The Dr said I woul have to wait till the end of next week to have it done and then I would have the results by my next appt.

I went to Desert Radiology, got my valium, sat in the comfy chair and went in for my scan. I tried to get the tech to tell me but no luck, he wouldn't talk. Afterward Ted and I met Lorie for breakfast. Now I wait...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

5th Chemo Treatment

Well, this one started just like all the others...blood work, then meeting with my Dr. then off to the chemo room...but ended a little different. My blood work was amazingly good so no worries there but i pointed out to Dr. Parikh that I had these little red freckles on the inside of my arms, stomach and thighs and he said he never seen that before (they don't hurt, itch or bugme in anyway they are just there). He examined them and was still at a lost. he said that the only thing that could be causing them was the white blood cell boost injections. so he was going to skip the injection this time (i must admit i was a little leery but did a happy dance, cause if you've been reading this blog you know how much i despise that damn shot). I went to chemo, took my nap and went home to sleep the rest of it off. Then the nausea set in and it lasted a little longer then usual. but i think the pain of the injection usually out ways the nausea, so i never pay attention to how much i actually am queasy. i went the following week for a blood test to see how my body was doing without the injection and it was doing pretty good. my platelets were up a lot higher then usual but my white blood count was a little lower then normal. Not scary low but low. They said that is normal because i didn't have the injection and my body would try to replace them through out the week and hopefully they would high enough for the next round of chemo.
Well tomorrow morning i will have my next round, my 6th round, the half way point...half way point, woohoo!!! I will get a pet scan in the next week to see how everything is going and that the treatments are working. i'm hoping for them to do the scan and tell me this nightmare is over! ahhh, to dream :) It has flown by pretty fast and before i know it, it will be over and I WILL BE CANCER FREE!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

4th Chemotherapy Treatment

I am a 1/3 of the way through!!! WOOHOO!!! My treatments are usually in the morning around 9ish so i was super bummed that I had to wait til 12:15. But my blood counts were great so i was cleared for treatment. i went in the "chemo room" and choose my "comfy" chair for the afternoon. Everything was going well and the benedryl was kicking in so i was off to nappy nap land. I was woken up an hour or so later by one of my dad's best friends, jimmy. what a wonderful surprise to have a visitor during treatment. he was in town unfortunetly visiting his son in the hospital. so i felt very special to have him visit me. we caught up and visited for a little while then he left and i was finishing up my last few minutes of treatment. i left and went straight home, rested for alittle while then got the kids ready for dinner. It was my mom's birthday and we were going to dinner at 6:30. It was go go go that when i finally crawled into bed i was exhausted. That night the nausea set in...and it was awful! for the next 3 days i felt like it was never going to end. between the achyness of the shot and quesiness i was in for one tough fight. This time was the hardest to bounce back from (but i guess i say that every time). It seems like this will be a snowball effect but i am prepared mentally for the next time. With my friends and family by my side i will get through this next round and be back to myself in no time ;)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tears of Fear, Tears of Love, Tears of Joy and most importantly Tears of Relief!

So this week was my 3rd chemotherapy session, but most importantly my bone marrow biopsy (bmb) results. through out this whole thing I have not been overly scared until Dr. Parikh said he wanted to do a bmb to see if it had spread and he might have to move it up to stage 4. WHAT??? stage 4, surely this could not me happening to me, i don't even feel sick half the time and that is where this silent killer has brought tears of fear. Stage 1, 2 & 3 are all treated pretty much the same way but 4 would mean a bone marrow transplant (if I understood him correctly, so much information is thrown at me at once, I hope I am getting it all straight). I have been through so many procedures some were no biggie while others were downright painful. I did not not want to go through anymore pain. I have a lot of fight in me and I would put up another if I had to but that was not a path I wanted to go down.

I knew i would be strong enough for that battle because so many friends and family have come forward and said without hesitation that they would be tested. They would give me there bone marrow if I needed it. They would save my life!! That overwhelming amount of love I have in my life is amazing. I knew that if need be, someone would be my match and i would be OK. That unselfishness i felt from so many, brought tears of love to my eyes.

So when the Dr came in and shook my hand i said with a big smile, "so you have good news for me, right? I'm ready to do the happy dance!" he replied, "yes it came back negative" i stuck my hands in the air and did a happy dance in my seat! we laughed! and and the tears that came to my eyes were tears of joy! I held back the sobs this time, i swear I'm allergic to that eyes always seem to water there ;)

After my appt with my Dr i walked back into the chemo room and the nurses all greeted me and asked how my appt went and if i wanted to talk about it, i was so excited i hugged the nurse and said, "it came back negative, it didn't spread, I've got this!" she hugged me back and said, "she never doubted it". I started my chemo and sent out the good news via text and facebook and then settled in for my nice long nap. My brother, Ed came by with lunch for me at the end of treatment. He watched her flush out my lines and remove the IV. I followed him to his and Sarah's new house and got the tour then I left to drive home and pulled over on the side of the road and cried tears of relief! But not for myself, but for all the selfless, wholehearted friends and family in my life. I would never want them to go through that pain of having to be tested or be the match that would save my life, to be MY donor. Fingers crossed that it stays this way and that come the end of November I will have beaten this awful disease and I will look back at this 6 months with a new lease on life and more love in my heart by all who stood by me. I love you all very very very much!