Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happiness is Contagious.... pass it on

SO, as I said in my last post; When I lest my last treatment, Dr. V gave me orders to schedule for labs and Rituxin in one month.  So I scheduled them, and then left thinking I was done until the following month.
  I had follow up appointments in Utah, which worked out great since it was my kids SPRING BREAK.
I decided to take my kids to Utah for a little mini vaca since they would be off for the week.  We were able to go to Disney on ice at the Energy Solutions Center.  My mom works for Coca-Cola, so we are able to go every year and sit in the Coke suite.  Last year when we went, Hope watched the show off and on, but mostly she walked around the suite and played.  This year, she sat in a chair, and did not move the entire time.  She absolutely loved it.  I had to bring her treats to her.
  We also went to a tubing resort in Heber City called Soldier Hollow.  It was so much fun.  You sat on a big tube and a pull line pulled you up the mountain, and then you could slide down in big groups.  The big kids all ran off on their own and had such a fun time.  Hope jumped on her own little tube.  I was a little worried about her on the pull line all by herself.  I was up in front of her and all I could hear is her yelling "woo-hoo" the whole way up.  She loved it!  We also went ice-skating at the Olympic speed skating oval in Kearns.  Lauren and her cousin Jake just took off...they said they were naturals.  Josh and his cousins Jared and Hailee were using walkers that help you stay up on the ice...and they also took right off.  I held on to Hope and skated a little with her.  She was disappointed she could not skate as good as Minnie Mouse could.  She only lasted about 10 minutes, and then wanted her skates off.  She did sneak back on the ice with her tennis shoes and found she could do a lot more spins that way!
    Anyway....some medical stuff....  On my drive down to Utah I got a phone call from the scheduler at Dr. V's office.  She told me I was scheduled to come in for a Rituxin infusion on Monday, and then a follow up appointment with Dr. V on the 24th.  I explained to her that I was on my way to Utah and would not be there on Monday, so we scheduled the appt for that Friday.  I was surprised since the last I heard I would not have anything with Dr. V until the following month.
   And then Dr. Glenn (my Utah oncologist) told me my white counts could be having a hard time coming back up because of the bone marrow harvesting, but they should be coming back up on their own.  She said if they don't come back up, she would have another bone marrow biopsy done to make sure they're not missing something.  She also said something that made me very happy!!!
She said:


She said that last treatment would not necessarily "hurt" me, but it wouldn't necessarily "help" me either.  Especially since it had been about 7 weeks since my last treatment.  I really figured I was done, But it was just so good to hear and have that confirmed!!  Hooray!

So yesterday I went in for my Rituxin infusion.  My ONC nurse asked if I would like a CBC done and I said "of course".  I opted to not have the Neupogen shots to boost my white count, so I was curious to see if my body was doing it's job and rebuilding on it's own.....and it was!
   My white count is up to 3.7 (it showed the normal range starting at 4.0, so that's pretty darn close to low-normal) and my ANC is up to 2100  (that's 1000 higher than last week).  So my numbers are coming up!  GOOD JOB JEN'S BONE MARROW!!!  I'm so proud when my organs do what they're supposed to do! :)

I feel really good.  I'm starting to really feel like myself.  I'm able to do most of the things I did before treatment.  Like I said before, my hair is slowly but surely growing back.   There was some talk of the chemo possibly putting me into early menopause, but that did not happen (which is a good thing).  I'm feeling a lot of the side effects of chemo totally wearing off.  Although I still have a couple of minor effects, and the Rituxin has some mild side effects.  But seriously, I feel so blessed.
  Over the last 5 or so months, something inside of me has changed.  I look at things differently, in a good way.  I think I always had a positive outlook, but now I make a conscience effort to have more appreciation for even the little things.  Starting with life itself.   Every day when I wake up I think how thankful I am for life. I now know how fragile life is.  I also am trying to look for the positive in all situations.  Because, trust me, if you can find positives in cancer, chemo, spinal taps, surgeries etc..then you can find positive in ANY situation.    And it's so much better to focus on the positive.  Happiness is contagious!  pass it on  

(That last part may or may not have sounded a lot like a Skittles commercial)

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