It seemed appropriate that I update my blog on Cyber-Monday, as I sit here, trying to determine if I really need everything I just put into my cart on Amazon....and Target....and a few others.
Anywhoo....how are you all doing? It's been a while. I suck at updating this. I promise to try to get better. :)
So, what have I been up to? Well, not much. Trying to keep ahead of the pain, trying to recover, and trying not to worry about the next steps. I know we have treatment coming up - I can feel something in the left side of my abdomen...it's tender and feels like a lump or something, so I'm going to bring that up to my doc on Thursday when I see him for blood work and a follow up. I'm sure I have a CT or PET scan in my future. Again, I'm trying not to think about it. It's scary, because I know for a fact that the cancer is growing inside of me. I have no doubts. I'm trying to get my head around that, so that when we get the results, I'm not completely and utterly shocked by what they say. I've decided that if my CEA is below 1000, I'll consider it a good day. I know that's a super high number, but I feel like I have to set goals for myself to feel successful, and setting the bar that high seems like a good way for me to reach a goal. So, I'm hoping for a CEA of less than 1000. *sigh*
It's hard, the not knowing. But, it's also been wonderful, not thinking about it (all the time), and not scheduling everything in life around treatment, doctor's appointments, and wondering how I'm going to feel on a certain day based on treatment. I know those days are coming - they have to be. For right now, I'm just enjoying the break and trying to make the best of my down time, so to speak.
The back pain has increased. I'm completely dependent on the walker now, which sucks, but when I have it, I can get around much better. Because it has a seat, it allows me the breaks I need now and then. I'm hopeful that, someday, I might be able to walk without it again, but I don't think that time is coming up soon. I need to get stronger, and I need to get ahead of this pain. I'm starting to wonder if the pain I'm feeling has something to do with the mass that I can feel in my abdomen. My lower back pain is definitely still there, but I also have this muscle pain in my mid-back, which is sometimes more painful and more awful than the back pain. I'm working with my pain doc to try to figure out a combination that works, but I feel like just when we get ahead of it, it gets worse or changes and we have to start looking again. It's extremely frustrating, but I'm learning to live with the pain and to live in spite of it.
I'll tell you, though - I'd give a limb to have a day without pain, without the cancer, without this burden on me and my family....
Anyways, I'll tell you something cool that happened this weekend. I won tickets to go see Garth Brooks in concert in Las Vegas! After some debate, I decided to ask my mom to go with me, and she and I spend this past weekend (Friday and Saturday) traveling to/from Last Vegas to see Garth in his last concert there at the Wynn Hotel/Casino. It was a spectacular concert....the show was televised on CBS live (you may have seen it, and Mom and I were briefly on television....), but what was seen on tv didn't hold a candle to the live show. It was just amazing. His show was basically him talking about and singing the songs from his life that have had an influence on his music, so he covered music from the 60's to the 90's. He also did a few of his own songs. After the television cameras went off, he continued to sing for us. And, during the show - his wife, Trisha Yearwood, came out and sang with him as well! I was floored - I had no idea she'd be there, although in hindsight it makes perfect sense.
It was an awesome trip. I am so glad that my mom and I were able to do it - such wonderful memories. And, we stayed at the Bellagio, which I'd highly recommend. Just a gorgeous hotel with fabulous amenities and beautiful rooms.
All right, let's see what else has been going on? I've just been taking each day as they come. My mother-in-law, who so kindly came down from NY to help out while I was in the hospital, spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my sister-in-law in Milwaukee, so I've been getting back into the routine of getting the kids up in the morning and off to school, and then picking them up, doing homework, getting dinner ready....basically, just living life the way it's meant to be lived. It's been wonderful - exhausting, but wonderful. My MIL comes back into town tomorrow for a few more weeks, so it will be fun to share some of our holiday traditions with her, like our town's Christmas celebration (which happens this weekend - yeah!), gingerbread decorating (also known as eating the frosting and candies before they make it to the houses), and shopping for family and friends. I'm hoping to do a few crafts this year with the kids, so we'll see if that works out. :) Sometimes, my plans far outreach what I have time and the ability to do. Stupid pinterest. LOL!
I think that's about it. As I said, I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday to do blood work and talk about what's next. I know it's not going to be a fun discussion, and that's okay. It has to happen.
Oh! I know what else I wanted to share! I found out that both kids got accepted into Camp Kesem (the cancer camp that Jules attended this past summer)! They are over the moon that they get to go, and I was so excited to tell them! If you are a parent and a survivor, please take a look at Camp Kesem - they have camps all over the country, and it's free! Such a wonderful experience for the kids, and it warms my heart knowing that such a horrible situation for our family can be turned into wonderful memories for them!
Happy Holidays, my army. You know my house has been decorated for a week, and I'm on the prowl for more stuff. I love this time of year....