A time to be Thankful!

Well, it is getting to that time of the year where there is something going on every night, with holiday parties, children's programs, holiday shopping, and visits to see Santa. The past couple weeks have been pretty busy in our household. Two weeks ago I was sick for an entire week with 102-103 degree fever, and this week I had treatment on Tuesday and, of course, it was Thanksgiving.
This was my first time being sick since chemo, and I have found, that after being in chemo, getting sick is much scarier than one would expect. I laid on the couch miserable for 5 days, refusing to lay in my nice, comfortable bed, because that is where I was chemo sick, and I refused to feel chemo sick. It was like a terrible flashback. I had to keep reminding myself that this was not cancer, and I would be fine in a couple of days, however, what my mind was telling me was being completely overridden by the fear in my heart. This fear and sadness was compounded by my oldest son asking me if my bad cells had come back, and if I was going to have to go to the doctor all the time, again. I hate for my children to see me sick now, no matter what it is. I don't want their memories of me to be me stuck on the couch sick all the time.
I went to treatment by myself this last Tuesday, which was nice for me because I like to ride up there with my music blasting, singing like a rockstar (which, I might be, but I don't sing in front of anyone, so you would just never know). It also gives me a chance to get some reading done as the Herceptin, ie. liquid gold, drips into my veins. My doctor was a little shocked to see me there alone, given my history of bringing someone new every time I go. It has been a running joke with them.
I got the results back from my MUGA scan. My ejection fraction (which indicates heart functioning) had dropped from 79% to 70%. This initially scared me a little because 55% is as low as they will let it go before they take me off of the Herceptin. I figured if my EF dropped by 9% every 5 months, I might not be on this too long, and this is the stuff that is saving my life! But...my doctor said that 70% is very normal, and that 79% was actually pretty high, and he thinks that I was just nervous when they did my baseline MUGA. This is entirely possible given the fact that it took 5 tries for them to successfully thread my IV that day and they blew a vein in the process.
They also did lab work on Tuesday, and my blood counts were low, so they gave me a shot of Arnesp to boost my red blood cell production.
We did not start the Zometa yet. My doctor wants to get an MRI of my spine to see exactly how the bone is healing back in where the cancer once was. Since my bone density testing was normal, he thinks that if the bones are healing back in fairly normally, then he is not sure whether or not he wants to start me on Zometa or not. He indicated that there are some pretty sucky side effects, and he wants to strike a balance between being aggressive with my treatment and not making me miserable with treatment side effects. So, I am going back to the hospital in a week and a half to have a full spine MRI, and then the following week, which is my normal treatment week, we will decide whether or not to start the Zometa.
Other than that, treatment went pretty well.
As far as the rest of my life, we had a beautiful, organic, free-range, Thanksgiving dinner with my in-laws, and spent a lot of time with friends in our neighborhood. We put up Christmas lights and decorated the tree, and I got some running in.
What am I thankful for?!?! I am thankful to be in that time of the year when everyone else takes that time to examine their life and what they are thankful for. I think it is so important to reflect on the year and look past all the mildly annoying and painfully difficult times, and place emphasis on the people and the things in your life that make you happy and bless you each and every day. The top things on my list are: my family(immediate and extended), my friends (immediate and extended), my current fairly good state of health, the health of my children, my doggy, my beautiful home that I had the privilege of designing with my dad (which is incredibly special to me), twinkling christmas lights, my running shoes, and the fabulous weather that we had today!


Anonymous said...

We love you
Jeff, Kathy, Allie, Adam

Anonymous said...

Isnt it funny how those wee ones can be so darn smart! Dont you fret and be upset or afraid to not feel bad around them; rather choose them to be angel wings wrapping around you to give you love & Care. Counting my blessing this season too and wishing the best to you and yours...Breezy

Shannon said...

I just wanted to let you know that I am kind of in your same boat. I was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer back in March of last year - on Friday I will finish my radiation. I have one more hurdle to pass and that is having 1/2 of my thyroid removed in February 2006 (I have 2 small nodules that the biopsy comes back inconclusive). I would not wish cancer on my worst enemy, but it makes you thankful for the small things and things you once thought were important really don't matter. I wish you the best in all your treatments. I know the feeling of always being frightened everytime you don't feel well. I thank God everyday for what I've overcome. Have a Happy Holiday season!

Anonymous said...

Way to go, T! You are an inspiration to your friends, family, and others. I will personally keep you in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

I am thankful at Christmas time that I have a friend who has reminded us all of what we already have!