Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Update

It's been a while since I have updated you all, I find it hard to do because I end up crying through most of it, but here goes....bear with me.

It is Sunday morning and quiet around our house.  C and Richie are out riding the trails on their mountain bikes. The dogs and kitty are sleeping off their morning meal.  M is still in Russia, she returns August 14.  She has moved in with a new host family.  She had been having some problems with the first family. This was their first hosting experience and I am afraid they were ill prepared for the experience. She is now living with a younger couple, their three year old son and their small dog (with three new puppies).  She sounds much better and I believe this will be a much better experience for her. 

I am slowly recovering from my chemo treatment that was given on July 13.  I knew I would return to treatment when I decided to take a break in March.  And oh, what a glorious break it was! Although I have had short breaks from chemo since my cancer was diagnosed in July 2007, most of those have been because of surgeries, or tests or procedures that needed to be done. In March, my CA125 was at 16 and as has been the routine with Dr. C, it was time to do a CTscan to determine what might be happening internally.  Things looked good and there was no rush to the next treatment. My hope was for a permanent break, but that was not to be. After a few weeks, my CA125 started to climb again.  When I saw Dr. C in May she was ready for me to start chemo treatment again. My CA125 had risen to about 140 and she wanted me back in treatment.  I wanted more time.  I wanted to get M off to Russia and enjoy some more time without the side effects that have become my constant companions.  

So, on July 13 I was readmitted to KUMed for the beginning of yet another chemo cocktail.  This time around I am getting carboplatin and taxol. These are the first line chemo drugs for ovarian cancer.  I was not very happy about this combination.  I don't want to lose my hair again and the carboplatin is nasty and makes me very sick.  But Dr. C believes that I respond well to the carbo and with my most recent CA125 coming in at 357, I need the big guns again to blast those poor misguided cancer cells out of my system.  It is terribly depressing. I keep hoping that I will beat this nasty disease only to have those cancer cells keep growing and beating me up.  I am very tired, finding it very hard to pull myself up this time. I had a nuelasta shot (white blood cell booster) on July 15 and while I know I will be glad for it when my blood count drops, the side effects are almost worse than the chemo side effects.  Achy bones, muscles, and a constant headache are exhausting.

Retta has organized meals for us and that is a great relief.  Richie is very tired at the end of the day and I have very little energy.  So it is nice to know that there is food for all of us and bright smiling faces delivering it. I have rides to and from Kansas City organized so that I do not have to drive home after my 24 hours of chemo and that gives me a chance to visit with family and friends.  

C is a good nurse. I think he is doing well, he has more faith than any of us in my ability to beat this.  I am a very lucky mama to have such a believer in my corner.  He stayed by my side all day Friday.  I couldn't ask for a better companion.

The bright side to all of this is that Dr. C continues to encourage me to build memories with my gang.  And we'll work the chemo treatment around that.  A little depressing, no? But she is right and I want Richie and the kids to remember the good times and not the nausea, the achy bones, the neulasta shots.  

So, we are headed to Camp the first week of August. Richie, C and his friend D, and I will make the great trek East. We plan on staying at Camp until August 11th. School starts the 12th and the boys will start a day late, but Richie's work schedule was difficult to manipulate this year.  M will return on August 14 and then my world will be whole again. I know she'll leave home someday to start her life, but she's only 16 and she belongs here with us!

In September I am going on a whitewater rafting trip in Idaho on the Salmon River. My cousin Ellen will be along on that trip and I am looking forward to seeing her and to be with a bunch of other cancer patients and survivors in the wilderness. I know that sounds a little crazy but I think I get to be a little crazy at this point in my life! I can let the world fall away and take in the beauty of the experience.  

Richie and I will celebrate 20 years of married life this fall and are hoping to get away for a weekend in late September or October. This will depend on how I am doing, of course, so my plan is that I will be doing well.  

Enough of the sad talk.  It's a beautiful looking day outside. It IS Kansas in July, 95 degrees and 99.9% humidity (:)), clear blue skies.  I might have cancer, but I am not stupid, I am sitting in the air conditioned house and plan on staying here the rest of the day. 

I hope all of you are doing well, enjoying your summer, loving your families.  Keep the good lovin' coming our way. We accept all prayers, good intentions and love.  We always need your love.