|Hunstman Cancer Hospital|
Bittersweet. One more treatment down (the sweet part), two more to go (the bitter part). I guess I really shouldn't complain, because remember....the treatment is working !
I had treatment last week and had the usual symptoms. I sort of know what to expect now. I guess that's what happens. Today I'm feeling quite a bit better. I'm was able to get quite a bit done, but still desperately need to get my Christmas decor down. Does anyone else go through that? As soon as the New Year is here, I feel like I need to start with a clean house. I'm not looking forward to taking down all the decorates...especially the awesome tree Derrick put up for me, but I know it's inevitable. But now I'm on a time schedule because I will be spending the last 2 weeks of January in Utah.
I will go down next week and have all my pre-tests done (EKG, lung test, labs, etc, etc). And then I will have my 5th chemo treatment at Huntsman. After that treatment I will take Neupogen shots twice a day for 4 days (sort of like Neulasta-stimulates the bone marrow and forces it into my blood stream), and then I will have 2-4 days of stem cell harvesting. Then I will come back home to have one last chemo treatment. YAHOO! I can't wait. I just might have hair by this summer. :)
I did (obviously) get my bone marrow results back and they show NO SIGN OF CANCER! As hard as it's been to go through chemo physically and mentally, I'm so thankful to have the cancer gone. My "New Year" for me will start in February where I will be looking for some new things to add to my "health regime". Some of them will include some natural approaches to keeping the cancer gone. I've had lots of wonderful friends with lots of ideas, but I am always looking to try new things. Let me know of you've heard of anything that is a natural anti-cancer. I would love to have this cancer stay gone for a long, long time.
As soon as my last chemo is done (Feb 7th) I will be starting a 2 year Rituxin maintenance plan. Basically I will have a 6 hour injection once a week for 4 weeks, every 6 months for 2 years. Confusing?? yep. Having the Rituxin alone is not a big deal. Besides being a little time consuming, it does not have the harsh side effects that chemo does. It is just another precaution in keeping the slow-growing cancer away.
I know I've made it very clear I'm cancer free...but I probably should make it clear that my cancer (Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma) is not curable. It can come back at any time. BUT>>>>> it can stay gone too. And that is what I will choose to focus on. Through faith, prayer and being proactive I truly believe this cancer will stay gone. But having the clean stem cells in "the freezer section" at Huntsman will be a good back up plan just in case.
Even though I'm looking forward to going down to Salt Lake and getting past the next phase of my treatment, I'm so sad to leave my kids behind. Larry will be staying home with them to help them keep their routine (school, etc). But I hate the idea of being away from my kids. Although when I look at things on a much bigger scale, this is such a short period of time. I hope it goes by fast. I plan on getting lots of loves and kisses before I leave, and twice as many when I get home.
Have I mentioned lately how wonderful my husband is? He has not missed one of my appointments / treatments. He takes care of me always (and that's not always easy). I'm a lucky girl!