Monday, December 25, 2006

What? Something I Can't Control...

With the news that my chemo was delayed, it has slowed everything down a bit. My life was moving along on such a fast pace and then I was forced to slow down. I do believe that most things in life happen for a reason and that there are still many lessons for me to learn from this little adventure in my life - but taking the time to slow down and realizing that we aren't as in control of things as we think has been a hard one for me.

As with the last two rounds, this round was different. They asked me to start with some of my anti nausea medications even before I got the chemo and they gave me a large amount of fluid at the end of my treatment. Also, because of the week delay in starting, my blood counts were much higher than at the beginning of the last round. Whatever it was that made the change, I found myself feeling a lot better sooner and that was a very welcome surprise! So welcome, that I overdid it a bit on Thursday, getting ready for the arrival of my brother (Chad) that night and my parents the next day. Which then left me spending Friday on the couch.

The mornings have been a bit rougher than I have let on to my family. The nausea, fogginess in my head and overall fatigue has stayed with me throughout the whole week, but something about Christmas and family, makes it more beareable. Although Ryan and I said a year ago, that we were going to spend this holiday in Calgary for the first time, we now don't have an option. The doctors want me to try and be within a 1 hour drive from the Cancer Center throughout my chemo treatments. So, my brother and parents graciously came to us!

As with every holiday, there has been way too much food, an abundance of presents and lots of unexpected fun! Those of you who know Chad, know that we are pretty competitive at some things. The one time of year we come together to create something great is when we build our gingerbread house. This year, Tricia also agreed to help us, which we definitely did not pass up - she is crazy artistic and nobody can pipe icing like her! With all of this confidence, I decided that we needed to step it up a bit and bought us a Fairty Tale Cottage Cake Pan, instead of our regular gingerbread house. We bought the chocolate cake mix and all of these great accessories for our house, what we did overestimate however was that we could put a regular cake mix in the special pan. So, instead of spending our time decorating the Fairy Tale Cottage, we spent the better part of one day trying to get the cake out of the pan once it was cooked. When we finally got it out...well, let's just say that it didn't really look much like the beautiful picture on the pan.

With the holidays starting to wind down around here, life will unfortunately get back to normal. What is it about Christmas that makes everything seem so magical and perfect? I wish I could hold onto that feeling forever!

It's now time to get ready for week 2 starting tomorrow, which means that my counts will drop and I have to rest, rest, rest. This is especially important this time to ensure that I am not delayed again and my counts will get back up to the levels that they need to be to start Round 4. This will be the last round of my A/C regimen and then for the next 4 rounds I will start a new set of chemo medications. I have heard different viewpoints on whether it will be worse or the same, so I think that it's another way of telling me to just "slow down, concentrate on the now and stop trying to control everything". I guess that lesson will just take a few more rounds to sink in.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Game On!

I was at the Cancer Center this morning having my blood work re run again. At 1 pm, I got the message from my nurse that my counts were strong and I am able to have my treatment as planned tomorrow at 8 am.

The doctors have made a couple of changes to my medication and added in some more fluid to the IV drip tomorrow and are hopeful that these changes might make things a bit easier on me. I've heard that twice before... but am still hopeful that it will improve things slightly and allow me to have a fairly good Christmas with my family.

I have heard that eating beef the night before treatment is helpful, so we're going to eat a home made italian lasagna. One of the great people that I work with - Lori, had her grandma make it for us. If that can't make things better...I don't know what can?!

If I can, I will write again before Christmas, but if not - have a great day with your loved ones, you will all be in my thoughts when I think of how thankful I am for the great people in my life!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Reason to be Thankful

The fun doesn't end for our family. Early this morning, Talyn decided that after looking at our stockings hung on the mantle for several weeks, it was time to pull one of them off. Unfortunately, they were hung on our mantle with some very heavy stocking holders. So, Talyn got a corner of the stocking holder on his left front forehead.

Let me say right now that Talyn is okay. We took him to the Urgent Care and they did some x-rays to ensure there was no fracture of his skull - which there was not. He ended up with his first 2 stitches, a lot of bloody residue and a "you had an x-ray" sticker.

Although this definitely pushed Ryan and I over the point of stress that we can handle, we are very thankful that it wasn't any worse. There were a lot of sick people that were at the center and we were lucky enough to take our slightly bloody child home with us.

So parents, please beware of your stocking holders - who knew that they could be so unmerry?!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Off the Tracks

I got a call from the hospital this afternoon and unfortunately, my counts were even lower today than they were yesterday. They have scheduled me for a chemo treatment for next Tuesday and I will go for blood again next Monday to ensure I can go ahead with this.

This news was pretty devastating. This whole adventure is not one that I planned for, but you do plan for the end date. The end date of my chemotherapy was supposed to be the end of April, but with this delay so early I wonder when I will really be done.

If they had gone ahead today, it would have been very risky health wise. My counts are so low now, that if they had started another cycle, they would have most likely wiped them out completely by next week. That might have ended in me being in the hospital for Christmas and I would much rather be on my couch.

In case I can't write again before you all of you go and spend the holidays with your loved ones - know that I am thankful that you are all in my life.

The Rollercoaster Contines

I went for a doctor's appointment yesterday to ensure that I was strong enough for today's session of chemo and found out that my counts were too low. They retested them all this morning to see if by chance they have come up overnight. Now we are jumping at every phone call that comes in to see what our day holds.

There are obviously good and bad things about whatever happens, but ultimately if I'm not healthy enough to get through another round today, then it's best that I wait until next week. The hardest part about this will be my Christmas plans will have to be changed.

This is another "test" of this whole process for me. As you know, I am a planner and live by planning in advance many aspects of my life. So, when one thing gets moved back a week, it is really hard for me to think about replanning everything.

To all those "last minute" kind of people ... this kind of living by the moment is really hard, you'll have to send me some pointers!