Friday, June 22, 2012

Remembering the Blessings

This week we have been on vacation in the Rocky Mountains. The past few days have been spent in a cabin outside of Estes Park, CO. It has been a great time to get away and spend some time with the family. My sister and her girls and my mom have been here as week. Watching the cousins play been a blast. One of the highlights of the trip so far was yesterday when we all went on a horseback ride. Just seeing the smile on the girls faces as they got on those animals and listening to them talk to and about the horses was an amazing blessing. And it reminded me once again, the greatest blessings in my life are cuddled up on the couch next to me. These girls and their mom being so much joy to me and seeing them smile is the best medicine for any heart. Today we are taking a gondola ride to the top of a mountain and have a picnic up ther. I will be soaking in every moment, the beauty of the mountains, and the giggles I hear coming from the girls. Have a blessed day and I hope you can hear the blessings in your life today too!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Side effects

Today we are taking off on a vacation. We will be meeting up with my mom, sister, and nieces for a late celebration of my mom's 70th birthday. It has been a long time since all four girls have gotten together and they are excited. It is is also the first day that side effects have started due to my new medication. As with all medications, there is a list a mile long of the possible side effects. Normally I avoid reading these lists because I don't want to think about what might happen. The side effect that I do have is a visual one. Yup, not only do I have the squishy vision thing in my left eye, but now when I blink the edges of both eyes are distorted. It is hard to describe, and my vision isn't any worse. As my father-in-law put it, it is like have the results to taking a psychedelic with the actual drug. The other person in Beloit who has taken this med had the same side effect, and it went away over time. Luckily it does not really affect my daily life, once again it is jut an inconvience more than anything else. I am sure I will let you know if more side effects come, until then, have a great week.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

So I met with my oncologist today, and the word of the day is waiting.

Yup, I get to wait for another 10 days before I can start taking my pill. He wants the radiation to get out of my system before I take it, and that takes two weeks. So on Friday, June 15th I can start taking the pill.

As I told him, I am chomping at the bit to get going with this, but he wants to make sure that everything is okay.

I understand, I really do, but come on! I am getting tired of waiting.

The rest of the visit went fine. All of my numbers are good, there are no other issues going on with me. So all of that was positive.

I did get another shot that helps to harden my bones. I get those every month now, luckily they are not painful at all.

I also set up another visit in a month and a PET scan in two months. That PET scan is the biggie, it will let me know how well the pills are working.

So that is the news today. More to come I am sure.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Radiation Over, Moving Forward

I have taken the past few weeks off from blogging basically because I was a little overwhelmed with everything and needed a break. Now I am back and will catch you all up with everything that has been going on.

I have had my 14 sessions of radiation. The last one was this morning, and I got to keep the mask (which is currently sitting on my desk and I am debating what to do with it - paint it, target practice, or bonfire - you can log in your suggestions as well :) The treatments went quite well and the side effects were minimal. The only real issue I had was a sore throat and that was expected. Hopefully it will go away in the next few days. I was not tired or worn down like many are and I was able to keep doing everything I have done at work and with my family. Overall it was not a large change, just an extra trip to the hospital every day for three weeks.

A few days ago I started having some headaches as well. They are not as bad as the cluster headaches that I get, but they are annoying. The worst part is that they make my mind wander as to what could be causing them. I think it is more likely that I am anxious to get back on my new pill and start that leg of the treatment.

As for the pill, I meet with my medical oncologist next Tuesday and I am fairly certain that I will start the pill then. I am looking forward to this stage because it is the treatment that holds the greatest hope for me at this time. I have heard many positive stories about it and so I am anxious to get going with it. It will also take 2 months before I know how it is working. They need that much time for the drug to do what it is supposed to, so it will probably be in August when I have my next PET scan.

Some of the emotional stuff that has been going on is trying to be organized for the "just in case" moments. I am one who likes to be prepared for anything, and so I have been putting together files and folders for what might be, and that is emotionally exhausting. Hopefully all of that will be done in the next few days and I can leave it behind me.

I also try to find more ways to spend with family during this time. I am looking at ways to make some lasting memories and take lots of pictures, especially funny ones with everyone smiling or sticking their tongues out. These are the moments of joy that help when the moments of struggle come.

And I am still planning things for the future, both for the church and for my life. I am looking at some trips to take, maybe coming to the Cities to see people again later this summer, and some creative ideas at the office. All of this excites me and keeps me focused as well.

So I will update again next week after I meet with the doctor, and please let me know what you think I should do with the mask!