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!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How many people truly know that they are difficult to the bone?...this lady right here!

i had an amazing weekend with friends, lots of laughs and talking and more laughs! coming home to reality, to know the next day was going to be another test of strength was hard. i pulled up to the hospital and got out of my car and went in with smiles and a good attitude but inside i dragging my feet across the parking lot and clinging to the door frames not to walk in. today was the day of my bone marrow biopsy (bmb) and 2nd round of chemo. i had done very little research on a bmb but from what i did see and hear from others is that is would be one of the painful procedures through out this whole ordeal.
i was called back for lab work to make sure that i was healthy enough for this next run of chemo and after that i was prepped for my bmb. as i was explained how the procedure would go down i got all choked up and teary eyed but talked myself down from letting just one of those tears touch my cheek (if i cried again, in front of my dr and nurses they would probably want to check me in to psych ward and give me a pretty white jacket that gave me hugs all day). i laid on my side and waited and waited with my back to the door the dr came in and moved the blanket that layed over my hip and told me he was going to start. i warned him that i was a sissy when it cam to pain and assured me i would be fine. he started by giving me a shot of numbing medicine (like novocaine) for the skin. then he went back in and poked my bone to numb that. i flinched in pain and said ouch! he laughed and said that i was a sissy! it lightened the mood alittle but still the worst was yet to come. he made a very small incision and inserted a fat needle with a hand like crank on it and proceeded to drill into my bone then he insert a thinner needle inside of that and said that i had to count to ten and during those 10 seconds i could NOT move. so with slow breaths the nurse counted for me and with one hand i braced the wall and the other gripping to my other shoulder i waited my ten seconds and he remove the thinner needle to see that he didn't get a sample. so he cranked again further into my bone (he did ask how i was doing and my reply without hesitation was, "how do you think i am doing you drilling into my ass bone" he started laughing and said no more jokes or this would take longer) so he inserted another needle and i waited my 10 painful seconds and he removed the needle and said quote unquote "wow, you are difficult to the bone" (hence the title of today's blog) and went in a third time and cranked away at the drill, then inserted yet another needle and finally got his sample that he needed to run the tests. i won't get the test results for a few weeks but i pray that he got the sample that he needed and i never have to do that again. after he was done he said i did great and a nurse had to apply pressure to the incision location for 15 minutes then put on a compression bandage.
after that was all said and done i went back down the hallway to the chemo room found my "comfy" chair and my nap began. thinking that i was instore for another 5-6 hour chemo session i had made plans with lorie to come over and have lunch with me. but to my surprise i was done in a little over 3 hours. i texted lorie and she said she was waiting for the food and i told her i would meet her at her mom's. excited to get out of there, i grabbed my appt card and headed to the door saying my goodbye's to my nurses for the day. on my way out i see a coat rack filled with hand knitted beanies with a sign saying free to patients and it is a reminder of what may come...a bald head! the dr. says i will lose my hair between the 10th and 21st day and so far i am on day 16 and not one clump has come out....fingers crossed it stays that way ;)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Who knew???

i kept hearing about the side effects from chemo. fatigue, nausea, vomit ting, different taste buds, losing my hair but i never knew a white blood cell boost injection was going to rock my world!!! at the end of my 1st chemo appt the nurse gave me a schedule card with all my next appts. the very next day i would have to return and get a white blood cell boost injection. ok, i thought no big deal, after the mental and physical hardship of my 1st round of chemo this should be no big deal. i'm not scared of needles. i showed up in good spirits, smiling and saying hello to all the nurses i had scene the day before. i got the forms to read about the shot and it's side effects. it asked about my allergies to various things (i have none) and i was warned that i would feel achy and sore that same day and the next. i got my shot and was on my way home. i felt great and went out with heather and jeremy that night and i got home about 11pm and thought, "hmmm, i guess i'm not going to have this achy side effect cause it hadn't started yet"

...then i went to bed...

i was woken up the next morning by a moan of pain and that moan of pain came from me just rolling over in bed!!! it felt like my head to my abdomen was bruised and was throbbing in pain. i had an upset stomach for the 1st 2 days but that was nothing compared to this pain i felt. i am one of those people, when they have a bruise they keep touching it to see if it still hurts (i know, i'm a dork) and i kept doing that all day thursday and friday. in all my life i have never felt a more uncomfortable and painful feeling running through my body. it felt like it would never end and i was very discouraged in thinking that for the next 6months i would feel sick, i would feel like i have cancer. but i woke up saturday morning and i felt "normal" again. i wasn't very queasy (but i am not willing to risk the chance of feeling nausea, so i am still taking my anti-nausea meds) and i felt like i had before the chemo had started awake and pain free!
so just when i thought "damn it,this just started and i am feeling weak and defeated and keeping my glass half full/think positive/kick this cancers butt attitude was going to be a challenge...i squashed it!!! i now know what to expect and i will be better prepared (lots of advil, ice packs and naps) for not my next round of chemo, but my next round of white blood cell boost injections.
a few days of "being hit by a semi...then a bus ran me over...then the train came by and mowed me down" is so worth the REST of my LONG LIFE!!!