|Shhhhh....it's a Wig! ( that's for you K & L )|
This is my Holly, Jolly wig holder. It works perfectly! It has been a little hard to feel holly and jolly, even though this is usually my favorite time of year. My stem cell transplant has been scheduled for Christmas Eve. And as "un-festive" as that sounds, actually it's a great day to have my new "birthday". I haven't really been good at updating, and I think it's because I've still been in a bit of shock, and not accepting this is happening (even though it HAS been happening). But I do want to keep track of everything, because I want to have in writing what this process is like. I also love having a place where friends and family can stay updated, and this seems to be the best way to do that.
So.....here's where I'm at. I finished the 2 rounds of R-ice chemo to try to get the cancer to be mostly gone before transplant (the less cancer you have going in to transplant-the better the odds are of it staying gone). After my last round of R-ice I was able to fly home for a week. It was so, so nice to be home and be with my family-but it was hard too. I didn't feel really well because I had just had a chemo treatment. I was mostly tired. So I wanted to jump in and do the things I love to do as a "home management/ carpool specialist", but my body would not let me. Rude!!
While I was home, I was able to check in with some friends, get some appointments done for the kids, and get some appointments done for me.
I flew back to Salt Lake on Tuesday, and then Wednesday I started what's called the BMT workup to get ready for the transplant. Really what it is, is a bunch of tests to make sure you're healthy before your insurance will approve covering the cost of the transplant. It makes sense, it just ended up being a lot of tests. They were:
Echo cardiogram / EKG test (healthy heart)
Pulmonary function test (healthy lungs)
Mammogram ( healthy..well..you know)
PET scan (to see if the cancer responded to R-ice)
Labs & Urinalysis
So speaking of the labs....I showed up in the lab thinking I was there for A blood draw. When I sat down at looked at the tray this is what I saw.......
So then Yesterday I had an appointment with Dr. Glenn and she said the PET scan showed almost all of my cancer is gone YAY!! She said there was a minuscule amount left in my abdomen, but the chemo I will get before transplant will get rid of what's left. So she said I was OK to start the transplant. If I had to be glad about one thing through all this, it would be that my body is fighting and responding and this process is continuing to move along with no serious complications. That is really a blessing.
NOW.... I'm done with medical for a few days. Lar and the kids are driving down on Sunday night and that will be our Christmas Eve. Santa got the memo, and knows to deliver our gifts Sunday night (what a great guy) so our Christmas Day will be Monday. Then Tuesday, tentatively if my insurance has sent approval, I will check in-patient at Huntsman Cancer Hospital for one month.
This process sometimes feels like a long, dark tunnel. And even though I don't love the tunnel, at least I feel I can see the light at the end of it. I KNOW the reason I am able to get through this emotionally and physically is 100% due to support I receive. I have wonderful friends that have stepped in and work with Larry to keep everything afloat back home, and they know words could never express my thanks for that. I have amazing support from my family here in Utah that have been to every appointment, every treatment and continue to take care of me. And I have so, so many others who have helped in other ways, or offered prayers. All of this combined has allowed me to focus on what I need to to get better. When you take on one anothers burdens...this is what it looks like. And what it means to someone it beyond what words can express.
Good Thought: My daughter. Lauren, just texted me to tell me was accepted into her school Student Senate for a second semester. She was also sent a letter from the National Junior Honors Society asking her to apply, and found out today she was accepted. YAY! I'm so proud of my kids and how diligent they are. And also how resilient they are. They continue to do their best and stay on track, and I am so proud of them. Knowing how blessed I am to be their mom is what makes me want to try harder and get better so I can go back to being there for them in every way!! Here's to hoping the next month flies by!!! :)