Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Even in Routines, Changes Abound

Thank you for hanging in there with me. This road is starting to feel long, though I'm not complaining about that! Just realizing that, if it feels long to me, I suspect that it may feel long to you as well. Please know that I deeply appreciate your being along for the ride, keeping me and my family in your prayers, and doing so much for us.

Friends have asked about the status of the HIPAC (hot chemo) surgery that I was considering. This is a huge surgery, and since things are going relatively well, it is hard for me to jump into it. But, it is still on the table. I need to get a liver MRI first (to check out the spot on my liver, though the PET CT seems to show it is okay). So the HIPAC is on hold for now, and I don't need to make an immediate decision about it.

My two-week cycles are starting to feel routine, but there are definitely changes. One big change (on the chemo front) is that my usual nurse had a baby, so I got a new nurse. Though I knew that this was coming, I still burst into tears...then moved ahead.

The big, positive change is that I had absolutely no stomach pain this past cycle. Yay! I know that more than a few of you were helping to pray for that. THANK YOU! It was like I got an extra day of life.

We had alot of changes in our household, too. Aidan turned seven, and Julian turned four (on the same day -- I like to say "Thank Heaven for 7-11"). I was initially diagnosed with this when Aidan just turned four and Julian one, and I sometimes wondered if I would see Julian turn four. That alone was worth celebrating.

The day before the boys' birthday, we made a trek to Cambridge, VT to pick up our dog! I'm not a dog person or even an animal person. And I like things to be clean. No one could be more surprised than I was about my sudden deep desire for a dog.

After my diagnosis in February, I felt the boys should have a pet. A cat was out of the question (due to allergies) and I immediately ruled out a dog because it would have to live inside. We considered rabbits, since they could live on the screened porch and outside, then decided it wasn't a good fit. We tried to get chickens, but the coyotes got to them before they reached our house. Then I met a friend's dog, and suddenly my view and emotions changed, and I got a laser focus on that.

Kenobi (named after Obi Wan from Star Wars) is a 7-month-old cockapoo. He arrived housetrained, relatively calm (though scared out of his wits), and willing to do what I ask him to do. That alone is a refreshing change for me. Plus, he seems to be smart, which I appreciate, and adores me, so who can resist that? The boys are thrilled with him. Tiron is graciously adapting.

Another big change is my mother's cooking. My parents have been generously traveling from Pittsburgh, PA to Cambridge, MA for one week every month, which basically amounts to every other chemo session. They are gifted at keeping the house running, and my very Italian mother is a fantastic Italian cook. Growing up, we always ate all Italian. I didn't see a bagel or Chinese food until college.

But she jumped into preparing raw foods, and now routinely spouts beans, makes raw hummus, and uses the dehydrator to craft incredible crackers. She starts with my recipes, then enhances them to make these amazing creations that I can't replicate. She even juices wheatgrass and greens. I admit that I am impressed. She still makes meatballs, sausage and ribs for everyone else. The meat dishes aren't tempting to me, the spaghetti is, and I like that the combination makes our house smell like my memories of growing up.

I hope that your summer is going well, with lots of beautiful moments, big and small, and that you are riding the waves of change as they happen. I also hope that you can feel the adoration that surrounds you, starting with adoration from me.

I have chemo again this Tuesday (July 20), and really do appreciate any prayers, positive actions, even smiles on our behalf.


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