Disclaimer: I am sitting in chemo, using my husband's tablet to try to update the blog (because I have been, if you'll excuse the expression, balls to the wall busy the last few weeks). I am hoping that by trying to do this from my email, it will work. *fingers crossed*
So, the last, oh, 6 weeks have been absolutely crazy. I mean, most days have been just trying to make it minute to minute, and hoping I don't lose the kids or my keys or my phone or my mind. And, most of the time, I managed to make it through the day without crying or getting so pissed off I wanted to punch something.
I have been meaning to update you all on how things have been going. Every time something happens, I mentally write a post, then don't have the time to actually sit down and type it out. So, while I have the time, I am going to try to remember everything and update you.
Physically, I am doing well. As I said, I am sitting in infusion right now, getting erbitux. I am on a weekly regiment of erbitux, and on a week-on/week-off regiment with the xeloda. So far, I feel really good on this. About 6 weeks ago, we had done a lab draw with CEA, which had gone up to almost 20. Needless to say, I freaked our. Dr. Kundranda wanted to know what was going on, so I had a CT scan.
On the same day, my father-in-law flew into town, and brought with him my new puppy!!!! Yes, we have a new puppy! When I can get back to my laptop, I will post pictures of her. She is just a baby....4 months old, a Pembroke Corgi, fluffy and full of energy and sharp teeth and so much love it hurts my heart sometimes. She has bonded to me, almost immediately, and she has quickly become a wonderfully amazing part of our family.
And, yes, we still have the cats. The cats and the dog are still learning to live together, but so far, it's working out just fine.
Back to the CT....as you an imagine, that day was very intense. I went from getting the higher CEA on Monday night (very low) to the appointment with Dr. K and talking about what happens if the CT scan shows growth (extremely low) to meeting my baby girl, Gizzy, (a great big high) to hearing back on the CT scan, which came back with minimal growth on two tumors on my lungs (another high)! It was, honestly, an exhausting day.
That week, I also ended up getting my pain pump put in. (Seriously, I am not kidding when I said that I have been on the brink lately.) It worked out that , beause of the CT scan, I was off chemo for over a week. As that is a requirement of getting surgery, it worked out that I could get the surgery that week. So, I went into surgery more than a little frazzled, but it worked out for the best.
The recovery from the surgery was tough the first three days, due to fatigue (I didn't sleep well the first two nights) and withdrawal from the oral pain meds, which should have been tapered a bit more. But, live and learn.
....honestly, I am trying to rack my brain to try to remember what else has happened. Trust me when I say it has been crazy.
The week after my surgery, the kids started school (7th grade for Jules, 3rd grade for Kevin) and are doing really well, in spite of a few issues with Kevin that we are working on. And, my good friend Ilana came into town and visited....not as long of a visit as either of us wanted, but since she lives in the Pacific Northwest, I will take what I can get. :)
The week after that (so, 2 weeks after surgery), my best girlfriends in the entire world came to see me. We rented a house in a neighborhood far enough away from home that I felt like I was on vacation, but close enough that we could stop over and say hello. I have known these ladies for over 18 years, and haven't seen most of them in something like 7 years. It was just....I don't think I have words to really say how I feel about these women and how amazing this weekend was for me. I asked them to come when I was at a pretty low point a few weeks earlier, and within a week, they had flights booked, had rented the house, and were ready to come. It was such a wonderful weekend; even though we live so far apart, being with them was natural and perfect and really felt like no time had passed, except when we talked about our kids and husbands. lt was just a spectacular weekend.
And, the weekend after that (3 weeks to the day, matter of fact), I flew home to New York to attend my 20th high school reunion. Despite some travel snafus, the trip was fabulous. I saw my brothers and nieces, my future sister-in-law asked me to be in their wedding , and I was able to catch up with people I haven't seen in many many years. I played tourist in my hometown, ate some really good food, and reminisced about my childhood. It was just a wonderful trip.
Side note: my pain pump did not make the TSA x-ray machines here in Phoenix go off (the one where you stand inside and hold your arms up in the air). However, it did make the walk-through machines back home go off. No big deal....they took me aside and did a patdown, which is fine by me. Just thought I would share.
The weekend after that, I slept. A lot. I was pooped....so, we spent that Sunday doing nothing. I didn't even shower or change out of my pajamas. It was awesome.
So, I think that's about it. I know there is more; for example, I finally met the child-life specialist here at CTCA, and she is just amazing. She came up to see me in infusion one day, and while I spent most of our time crying, she helped me process some things that have been weighing very heavily on my mind. For several weeks after my CEA went up, I was really struggling with things....I was/still am very fearful that we are looking at some very heavy decisions sooner than I had hoped (I.e., what do we do if the next CT scan, in 4 weeks or so, show growth?). And, worrying about that had started to consume me. If I am being honest, I still think about it, but I am trying not to focus too much on it. I got to a point where I was obsessing about what I wanted to finish...projects I want to complete for the kids, things I need to do around the house to get things in order for Levi, etc. So, while it's better, I still think about it, but I also am working on accepting the fact that, if I don't get those things done, it will be okay.
And, with that, I am going to proof-read this and send it off. More as soon as I can sit down, so maybe next week. :)