May 30, 2008

added quote from my dear friend Monica

"Tribulation is a blessed lot, because it is only in passing through it that we find transcendence."

R.I.C.E. side-effects

So this Chemo treatment has been very different than the RCHOP. My doctor told Derek that it is a harder regiment than the RCHOP. I didn't throw up with RCHOP but I did this time. I also didn't have mouth sores but I developed them yesterday. The other weird thing is that I got a hive-like rash yesterday night and my arms and legs were itching like mad. The good news is that my hair hasn't started to fall out yet and it's getting very thick. I'm sure it will because with the RCHOP it took 18 or so days after the first treatment; but hey it's still here and that makes me happy. I also have been more tired and I've had a strange headache before I go to bed or when I get up from bed after sleeping.

My most difficult challenge has been my little boy's reaction to life, (I'm guessing here). Isaac has been throwing terrible two tantrums a lot lately. He is very persistent, hopefully that will serve him well in the future but right now it is not so much fun. Because I have had so many doctors appointments since Lizzie has been born, and because I won't be with them in July I feel a little guilty, but by no means do I give into his demands. All I want to do all day is listen to them talk and hug and kiss and play with them!

May 22, 2008

Root Canal and Chemo; all in one week

Well I am on my second day of Chemo. Yesterday I had Retuxan which was 5 hours and then the E part of the RICE; so all in all it was almost 8 hours. Today is a lot lighter. I have to have the 24 hour pump hooked up soon. Tuesday I also had to go to the dentist for a root canal because of the last treatment of Chemo. What a week, huh. When it rains it pours.
Well I am starting to collect mottos and inspiring words to get me through this. The first one "you must go through bad to know the good!" I also found these messages to be inspiring, "The truth is that our only safety, our only security, our only hope is to hold fast to that which is good. As the mists of darkness gatheraround us, we are only lost if we choose to let go of the iron rod, which is the word of God." and "Your Heavenly Father loves each of you and has sent you to earth with a purpose. He has revealed a plan of Happiness that if followed, will ultimatly bring you home to his presence, having triumphed over the trials and challenges of this world." Words from Hymns mean more now. Even though life has not been as fun lately there are so many good things that come from this experience. Once again I thank each of you for your continued love and support.

May 18, 2008


We went to a patient/caregiver meeting on Tuesday and got the schedule from my coordinator. I got a huge manual for the transplant also. So, here is the schedule.

This Wednesday I start Chemo called RICE. Dr. Kanard found a way to let me do the 24 hour drip from home; with a portable drip that looks like an old walkman. I will do that Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and Saturday I will go in for a IV flush at Poudre Valley Hospital and possibly Nuelesta. I have to do CBC's for 2 to 3 weeks to see if my white blood cells are low enough for the transplant.

Then in June I will have another Bone Marrow Biopsy and PET scan, a heart scan and X-ray on the 10th in Denver. On the 17th I have to go down again to meet with Dr. McSweeney and sign consent forms. That Friday on the 20th I will go back down and get my port removed and another port inserted. Then they will do more Chemo and growth factor to get my stem Cells up so they can harvest them the next week. So, I will go in the 26th through the 30th to get enough stem cells for the transplant.

Then I wait again until the 10th of July; we will go down that day and get settled in the hotel. The next day I will start the high dose Chemo for 6 days until the 16th, I get a rest day on the 17th and the 18th is what I call "T-Day"; we will do the transplant that day. Then I will stay at the hotel for the next two weeks until they decide that I am good enough to go home. Once I come home I have to have the whole house sanitary and someone else has to clean it for a whole year and I can't even be in the room when they clean it. I also have to have all of my immunization shots again like Lizzie, even though she is already one up on me, she has only 1 round of shots left.

So that is the plan. Hopefully it will go smoothly and not too painfully. We still need as many prayers as you can give.

May 9, 2008

The Next Step

So we talked with both my doctor and the bone marrow doctor yesterday. The biopsies that were suppose to go to Denver to be re-analyzed were sent to the Mayo Clinic again and on the 7th were sent to Denver. So they had no results from that when we saw them. They both recommended an autogalous transplant, which is taking my own stem cells freezing them and then after 6 high dose rounds of Chemo they will put it back into my body.
I don't know the schedule yet but I do know that in a couple of weeks I will have to be in the hospital to have a regular round of Chemo which is called RICE. They put you in the hospital for it because the I part is intervainously injected for 24 hours and it can do damage to your bladder so they give you another drug along with it that is also 24 hours. Dr. Kanard is trying to make it so I can go to the Clinic for the 3rd day but we will see if I can. Then we will wait have another PET scan and in 10 days they will hook me up to a machine and get out the stem cells. Then a week or so after that, I think, I will go to Denver, St. Luke's Hospital, to have the major strong Chemo for 6 days rest a day and have the transplant. I will have to stay in a hotel or something similar for 3-4 weeks later to recover while I am getting my immune system back.
I am a little sad that my hair is finally growing back and now I am going to loose it again for a while. I am also a little worried about the rest of my organs after having so much Chemo so close together. My worst worry is not being able to see my wonderful children everyday. I have never spent a night away from them except when I was in the hospital and now I have to do it again. I just want to hold them all the time right now; which isn't that much different than before. Maybe I didn't learn this enough the first time, but it is really hitting home right now; how precious our time is. I don't know if I am going to be cured. I know that Heavenly Father loves me and watches over me, but I don't know if he is going to cure me. I know that he wants me to be happy during this, even though it may be hard. I am trying so hard to let the little things go; like all of the messes that the boys make. I love them so much, I just hope that this will still be a bump in the road and not a hole. I thought I would include some hair pictures. The second one shows that my hair looks like Isaac's.