Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The white blood cells that could

I have to admit, when it comes to pictures, I had to sneak in some preview photos from my awesome trip to Chicago, even though this post is about my most recent doctor's visit.  Above is a photo from the The Palmer House, which we visited while we were in downtown Chicago.

Now, for the doctor visit.  We went to visit the neuro-oncologist yesterday and learned a lot.  My new doctor (a very friendly and inquisitive doctor--I definitely got a good impression from him) also recommended chemotherapy as our first line of defense against the new growth.  The chemotherapy they are suggesting is a drug called temodar.  It is taken in pill form and I can be on it for up to two years.  Basically, I will be doing 5 days of treatment, 23 days of rest, wash, rinse, repeat for as long as my body can stand it.  The drug is supposed to significantly lower my white blood cell count.  This causes the exhaustion and susceptibility to illness.  I will also be having regular lab work and MRI's every 9 weeks.

Whew.  So far I'm feeling nervous/confused/excited about the whole thing, depending on the moment.  We're trying to learn as much as possible and mentally prep ourselves as well.  I probably won't be starting the chemo for a few weeks so we can sort out insurance because apparently chemotherapy is quite expensive--who knew?  Okay, that's it for now.  Will post more soon with Chicago/Christmas pictures.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

MRI News

Okay, folks, no one likes waiting, especially when it's something important (trust me, I know--we waited 1.5 hours today at the doctor's office for my results).  SO, I'm going to do this as quickly as possible.

We went to the doctor for my follow up appointment today and found out that my tumor has grown.  It has grown a fairly small amount (about 2 millimeters), but it is enough to cause concern for the doctor.  He is referring me to a neuro-oncologist so that I can start chemotherapy.  I am going to meet with the neuro-oncologist on Tuesday of next week and will learn more about it at that visit.

The doctor I met with today assured us that the tumor is "behaving itself" and that it is quite slow growing. We knew this day would come.  I was just hoping this day would come in 2030, not 2010.  I will post more after meeting with the new doctor AND I will dedicate a whole post to my AWESOME girls weekend in Chicago.

I just want to thank everyone again for your thoughts and prayers, phone calls and messages.  I know we'll get through this and be stronger on the other side.  :o)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

White Death!

Well, it seems that the white death has finally struck us!  

We knew we couldn't outrun it--we're not that lucky.  But it came suspiciously early this year.  Perhaps it is a reminder to us that we are REALLY here in Ohio and DEFINITELY not in Charlotte anymore.  Ah well, I hope all of our North Carolina friends & family are enjoying their snow-free sunshine!  

Apparently, Isaac wasn't too impressed with the snow either.  I put him down to walk on his own and he slipped after 10 seconds on the ground.  He sat in the snow for a minute and then walked over to me and said, "Up, please".  Lilla on the other hand, would have happily played out there for another hour if we let her.  We had to drag her away from her bucket and cup to take this picture:

I had to get a picture of everyone all bundled up by the picturesque lantern and frozen kiwi plants.  It was mighty cold!  Even my camera was protesting at being out of it's nice warm camera case.

Ahhhh, happy Mama and Isaac: warm, inside, unbundled, and drinking hot chocolate!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

29 for the first time!

Since having been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, my life has been put into an altered perspective for me.  I, like most people, need to work to appreciate what I have and celebrate every day that I have here.  And when I have the opportunity to celebrate a whole year of life, I make sure to go big.  Really, really big.  

So my cake MAY have weighed almost as much as my 18 month old son.  It may have been the exact opposite of healthy eating.  It may have been able to feed a small nation...or a brain tumor mama with a sweet tooth, or maybe 5 or 6 sweet tooths.  But like I said, being blessed with another year of life is a momentous event and is worthy of some big celebrating, including the once-a-year chocolate cake.  

Fortunately, I have been blessed with folks who help me look out for my health when I'm not feeling the motivation I need (or feeling tempted by chocolate cake and television).  One such person, my fantastic sister-in-law, Sarah made sure that I found the yogi in me this year for the big celebration.

For two hours, I had my chi aligned, focused on healing and love, and did not think once about chocolate cake.  All-in-all, it was fabulous and I was really grateful to have the opportunity to learn some new poses and have some quality quiet time.  Which made for an awesome birthday and definitely makes me look forward to the year to come.

OH!  And one more thing!  My MRI has been rescheduled to December 21st and my follow up with the Doc is on December 22nd.  So, I won't be posting info on it till after those dates.  I will definitely keep the blog updated on any news.