Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Musings and Beyond

We had a delightful Christmas. I was overly prepared and gave too many gifts to the kids and Richie. Every year I think I will tone it down and find alternatives to the gifts, to the wrapping paper.  While I have been successful some years, this was not one of them. I did not have one medical issue the entire week and of course, that was absolutely wonderful. We even had snow falling on Christmas Eve. Pure bliss!

We had Richie’s side of the family over for soup and other fine foods on Christmas Eve. There were blizzard conditions all evening long, but we were all snug in our house, lovely music and conversation all evening.  M and C disappeared with some of their cousins late in the evening for movies, everyone else was gone by 10 p.m. or so. I was so very excited to have my first Christmas in two years as a ‘healthy’ woman that I stayed up late to play Santa and didn’t get into bed until one a.m.

M and C were up at the crack of dawn (it seemed) and we sat and enjoyed coffee and gift giving for a good few hours.  We ate way too much during the day; watched Richie and C run the snow blower, watched movies, read books.  I was so delighted to give my family the gift of ‘not being in the hospital’ for Christmas this year. 

Our celebrations ran all weekend long.  We haven’t had snow, at least this much snow (6-10 inches and lots of higher drifts) in a long, long time.  The kids went sledding on Saturday.  It was a little bittersweet as they didn’t need us to go with them. M remarked that we’d just tell them not to do the things that teenagers naturally want to do so it would be better if we didn’t go with them.  She was right, but it still made us a little sad.  But then we realized we would have the house to ourselves.  That’s good stuff, too! 

Sunday brought us out to the country for cross-country skiing and sauna.  I didn’t do either, but I had the company of lots of family and a few friends and it was a great way to end the holiday weekend.

Yesterday I was admitted to the hospital for my chemo. Course 5, Day 1.  I had a reaction to the carboplatin during my last infusion and am now relegated to the hospital for any future carbo infusions.  They will infuse my chemo drugs very, very slowly over a very long period. I should be home before the end of the day today.

I am starting to have some more serious side effects with the gemzar and if I continue to take the drug on Day 8, I will not have any ‘time off’ the chemo during my cycle.  This just means that I will feel awful during each week and not really have a break or chance to feel good before the next cycle begins.  UGH!

I saw my doc this morning. She was able to answer my questions regarding my gemzar side effects.  I will continue with the protocol but learn how to work with the side effets in a different way.  My CA125 was down to 10 when last tested. So, the chemo is working for me.  The question is for how long and at what price. 

All my love and thanks to everyone for helping us to get to the holiday without any problems. I cannot express in simple words the joy of being at home, with Richie and our children, for Christmas this year. It was for me the greatest gift to give and to receive.

Please send your good juju and prayers my way.  I really need it during the next month or so.

Love and hugs!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I have never been much for the holidays.  I like holidays, I like that we have them, but it has never been important for me to get crazy about decorations, celebrations, setting the mood.

I am not exactly a Scrooge during the holidays, but long ago I decided that I did not like the commercialization of Christmas and wasn’t willing to participate at that level. We have always had fun with the kids, but we never let ourselves go overboard with presents and decorations.  The past two Christmas holidays I have been incapacitated to some extent, either recovering from major surgery or preparing for it.  This year, I am relatively healthy.  This year, I am going to participate more fully in celebrating Christmas.

We have our Christmas lights up and glowing.  Christmas decorations have been moved from the basement to the first floor, the boxes are ready to be unpacked.  We are making plans to be with our family. I am almost finished shopping for gifts. I am planning our Christmas day menu.  We are hoping for an uneventful, calm, happy day.  

We are getting our Christmas tree next weekend and we’ll go together, the four of us, just like we always do.  There will be nothing bittersweet or sad about this holiday. I will not get sick. I will not be admitted to the hospital. I will not allow it to happen.

I got myself out for a good walk yesterday.  It was spitting a bit of icy rain, but the temperature was just right at 30 degrees.  Twenty years ago when Richie and I first met, we spent all our free time exploring the winter wonderland we lived in.  I pulled those memories out today and held on to them while I walked downtown.  I am pleasantly tired from my exercise and reminded that I need to get out everyday for that fresh air.

I am in the city today for VitC and chemo.  I anticipate increased fatigue from the gemzar, but hopefully not much more.  I have two weeks off before the next chemo and hopes for an even lower CA125 next week. 

Thanks to all for the good words, good cheer and help with all things related to our daily dealings with all things cancer.  Happy holidays, good cheer! And love, lots and lots of love.