Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Such is the way of life (I feel blessed to have it)

The last few weeks have been crazy busy in my life. I have been coaching Ryan's soccer team along with running Ethan to his soccer practice once a week and baseball practice twice a week. Sydney comes home late from school 2 days a week for Leap club and journalism club as well. Not to mention Mondays I go to the doctor for chemo. So, needless to say, life is REALLY busy. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining; in fact, I am so greatful that I am able to be apart of all of this.

A few weeks ago, I started having back and neck pain (yes, there is cancer in the spots that I am experiencing pain). I hate to complain about it, but I finally had to ask the doctor for some pain pills to help me out (milder than what I had in my arsenal since I still have to function). Anyway, while I was dealing with this, I started to think about what cancer has taken from me. Near the top of the list was my ability to move freely and pick up my children. I don't want to go down that depressing path, and may need to address it later, but my point is God works in mysterious ways...

Last week, Ryan, my 3-year-old, was jumping on the trampoline at a friends house. We were there approximately 5 minutes and he was on the trampoline approximately 2 minutes. He started crying and when we got him off the trampoline, his knee was swollen horribly. I took him to urgent care right away, the whole time he cried and would scream. When we got to urgent care, he was crying so bad that the doctor came into the waiting room to find out what happened and see if he could give him some pain meds (Yes, please do). Well, we found that he broke his tibia near the knee joint and through a growth plate. The orthopedic said he does not need surgery, but will be in a cast for up to 6 weeks. During that time, he is not allowed to put any weight on his leg. So, what does that mean? That means, we have to carry Ryan EVERYWHERE. We did find a wheelchair to use while we are out, but it just doesn't work while at home. We carry him to bed, to the bathroom, to the car, to the dinner table, everywhere. Now remember, I was just complaining that cancer took my ability to carry my son. Or so I thought. I have since learned that I can carry him (yes, it is painful, but I CAN do it!). When Shawn isn't home to help, I have to be the one to get Ryan around.

So, my lesson learned is this: Cancer hasn't taken anything from me that I haven't allowed it to take. I AM IN CHARGE OF MY LIFE, NOT CANCER! I just need to remind myself of this little tidbit of newfound knowledge once in awhile.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hangin' in there

3 weeks ago Ethan had the flu. Within 24 hours, I had it too. It was a rough time. Chemo was delayed since I had a fever so I spent a good portion of the week in bed (from the flu). The following Monday (Jan 24th), chemo was again cancelled because my white blood cells were down to 1.6 and my ANC was 0.6. The doctor decided that I needed 5 neupogen shots to boost my WBC's. So everyday last week, I drove 40 miles (one way) to the doctor to get my 30 second shot. Thursday (27th), I woke at 4:30 a.m. to my left hip throbbing horribly (I do know there is a little cancer there as well). I chalked it up to the wonderful shots and continued on my way.

Each day, the pain continued to get worse. In the past week I have taken vicoden, percocet, tylenol, valium, ativan...ANYTHING I could find to stop the pain. It was horrible and NOTHING cut the pain! The only way I could sleep was to pick a position and wait, with tears, until the throbbing eased enough so I could sleep. When I did finally get to sleep, I would wake continuously because I couldn't move without my hip hurting. My whole demeanor was changing too. I was so hateful to everyone because I couldn't take the pain anymore. I finally called the doctor yesterday and he wanted me to go to the ER because there was apparently something going on. I didn't go because I felt this was a 4:55 p.m. answer (if you know what I mean). I ended up taking 600 mg ibuprofen (which I am NOT supposed to take while on chemo), and it helped. Weird huh? I wonder why the hardcore drugs wouldn't cut the pain, but ibuprofen would. I hope that it doesn't come back as I really can't take anymore ibu.

Now that the pain is tolerable, I feel back to my old self! Yay! I am so glad things are finally looking up. :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wow! It's been awhile

Hi all! It has been such a long time since I have written anything. Since my last post, I have almost completed my reconstruction process. The week after my final surgery (in September), I found out that the cancer has spread :(

My L1 vertibrae is completely covered. T8 vertibrae is a new spot. I started chemo again at the beginning of October along with radiation to help with the pain in my spine. 2 weeks before Christmas, I had another PET scan and they found that the chemo regimine I was on was not working. The radiation did stop the growth of the tumors at L1 and T8, however, there is a 2 cm tumor in the lower lobe of my right lung, my left hip now has tumors and T1 vertibrae has a tumor as well. I have again started another chemo treatment and I am crossing my fingers that this one will work. I go in to the office every Monday for 2 weeks and then I am off for 1 week. On the weeks that I go in for a "bag", I also take 7 chemo pills a day. That part is the hard part because I HATE taking pills.

In September, I started down a weird depression road. I was sure that I had this stupid cancer beat for awhile, but when I got the news that the cancer was active again, it was like a slap in the face. Radiation was also hard this time because they were focusing on my spine and I had radiation burns on my esophogus and stomach. It was like the worst case of heartburn I have ever had. I couldn't eat or drink anything for 2 weeks. Since this incident, soda is no longer one of my favorite drinks.

I am doing what I can to get past the depression. I have way to much living to do still and I will not let this cancer stop me from that!