Monday, August 30, 2010

Round 2

I half expected Round 2 to be worse than the first because they say each treatment builds upon the last. Well, in some ways it was and in other ways it was better actually. For example, I was able to keep a decent appetite the whole time in the hospital. A friend even brought me a Chipolte salad and I ate every last bite! On the other hand, the itching was worse this time. And the medicine DID NOT really do much. But I still feel like I'm doing better than anyone expected (including myself). I don't have nausea (thank goodness), fever, or rigors (chills) which are some of the hardest side effects. Fatigue is the biggie. And I don't get very good, deep sleep in the hospital because they wake me up every 2 hours to check my vitals. UGHH. It's the most annoying thing in the world. I just want to sleep, people!!!

The BEST part of the week in the hospital (besides the Chipolte salad, opening a letter or card every day from someone different, and having my parents w/ me) was getting some good news on the first day. The tumors are SHRINKING. The doctor could see that on my x-ray (I have to get one each time I get a PICC line). This is a miracle and answer to our prayers. And it is especially great because that was after only ONE treatment. Cancer, I say, "Take that!" It doesn't stand a chance. Whatever happens, I'm going to win. I always do. There just isn't a way around it. I have too much to live for, plus, I'm too stubborn and competitive to let it overtake me!

When I returned to Boise, I was SO happy to be reunited once again w/ Eric and the kids. Like always, I missed them terribly. I am so grateful for our family members, friends, and ward members who are helping out with kids, meals, and cleaning the house. It takes so much stress off of my shoulders. The first few days home were tiring, like the first treatment, but do-able. I tried to sleep as much as possible, juice it up, eat frequently, take my meds, and just take it easy (which is a hard thing to do for me). I am also grateful for my hynotherapist and acupunturist who do wonders for my stress, sleep, immune system, visualization, and many more things! These things are pertinent to my healing process!

On a side note, I found this blog, written by a girl who is battling Stage 4 cancer of an Unknown Primary. That means that doctors can't figure out what kind of cancer she has, so it is hard to treat. She lives in SLC and is just a little younger than me. When I read her blog, I am reminded of how lucky and blessed I am to not be as advanced as she is (she has tumors throughout her entire body and was given very little time to live), and more importantly, we know what BEAST we are dealing with at least. I am also humbled and inspired by her own strength, will to keep fighting, and her positive attitude. You can read for yourself at:


Jenn Bosch said...

Woohoo for shrinking tumors! Kick em while they're down! I'm so glad to hear you're doing ok with the treatments. I'm suffering the nausea, fevers, etc for you I think. Lol! My poor compressed cerebellum(which controls coordination and movement) has me grabbing furniture and walls just to get around my house. Dizziness, vertigo, and nausea are a daily thing for me, in addition to severe headaches. I'm just hoping and prayin' I didn't pass this congenital defect on to my 12 year old. I'm just in limbo, awaiting the referral process to a qualified neurosurgeon who understands this rare disorder(Chiari Malformation). Hopefully decompression surgery will help restore my cerebrospinal fluid flow and I'll be able to have some semblance of my life back. I'll always have problems from the Chiari, but the surgery should make things better and allow more room for my brain and CSF. It's scary knowing that this problem could paralyze me in the future, but we try not to go there.

I'm so glad your folks, friends, family, and church are helping you guys out! It must be such a relief! We've pretty much been left to our own devices to handle my issues. Thank goodness Andy has an awesome boss who let's him work from home, and my 12 year old is quite a trooper too! We'd be in much more of a mess without her.

I don't remember where you're getting treatment, but I may end up at UCSF for my brain/spinal surgery. We'll have to get together some time when you're down in CA. Until then, keep fighting! You will beat this!


Lisa said...

How fortunate we are to have our health -- it's certainly not to be taken for granted. Jenn, sending love and healing your way ... Chiari Malformation sounds tough -- hang in there. Have you been able to connect with others who have the same condition? It seems to help to talk with people who understand first hand ... there are the people who love us and there are the people who walk in similar shoes ...

Christina, I read Sarah's blog ... she's so beautiful inside and out. I feel guilty worrying about melanoma when you two are so much younger. I have to believe that youth and healthy living is on your side. I am sending good thoughts your way daily! Take care of YOU.

Adrienne said...

Could you please share what drugs you are taking? My dad will be starting Intereukin 2 on Monday.