Monday, April 27, 2009

The week that was.

Good morning, Dear Reader.  Welcome to Monday.  Ugh.  Monday.  Have I related to you how much I do not like Mondays?  I believe I have, so I won’t go off on a rant about what Mondays do to me.  Ugh.

I haven’t updated these pages for some time now, and that is mostly due to laziness and a severe lack of writers block.  I started updates almost everyday, even just to say hello.  But, whatever I wrote just didn’t flow, didn’t work and was impossible to read.  I suspect that this won’t be any better.  However, I feel the need to update you on Dianne’s status.

The week that was.  For the most part it was a pretty tame week, with a wee hiccup on Thursday.  For whatever reason, the last chemo treatment didn’t hit her very hard.  Maybe it was the new anti-nausea med she tried.  Maybe she’s just uber-tough.  Maybe we’re all just getting used to it and didn’t notice.  I don’t know….but I’ll take it.  I’ve mentioned before that when she has a good day, we all have a good day.  And except for Thursday, they’ve pretty much all been good days (relatively speaking, of course).

So what happened Thursday?  Well, suddenly, without fore-warning, Dianne could not keep any liquids in.  She was pale, even more pale than normal.  Now, she’s always been my alabaster queen, but this was pretty bad.  And lethargic.  The poor gal had zero energy.  I ended up giving the kids their breakfast, getting David out the door for school (on time even!!!).  Dianne ended up in bed.  The main cause of concern here was dehydration.  This is potentially very bad for her, and could have potentially ended her up at the Cross for an IV.

But, before we panicked we called the Cross and asked for advice.  They suggested that she try Imodium.  So, Rebecca and I drove to Safeway and picked up some Imodium.  While we were there, we bought a dozen multi-color roses for Dianne along with a big helium balloon that said “Happy Birthday!!”.  I also picked up a Venti Vanilla Mocha something or other coffee from Starbucks.

Yes, dear reader…Thursday was Dianne’s birthday.  What a way to spend it, huh?  I’m pretty sure it will be a birthday she will soon as forget.  And no, she won’t forget it because of chemo brain…she’ll forget it because it really wasn’t a great birthday.  We tried to make it special for her, and hopefully we succeeded.  The positive news is that the Imodium helped, and by mid afternoon she was keeping in the liquids and she started to perk up a bit.  I ended up going to work for a few hours, and things went back to normal.

That was our Thursday scare.  It is possible that Dianne caught some sort of bug.  As this is the ‘no immune system’ period, this was scary.  Thankfully she got over it real quick, and things are now back to the new normal.

Here’s hoping that this week has no such scares or episodes.



Thursday, April 16, 2009

I’m so happy I could cry!!

Good afternoon dear reader.  And by good afternoon, i mean GOOOOOOOOOOD AFTERNOOOOON!!!!!!  As the title of this entry states, I am so happy I could cry.  I’m sure your interest is piqued, so I guess I will share my joy.

Today, Dianne had her appointment with her Oncologist, along with getting blood work done.  The blood work went really well, and her counts came back to 100% again.  This means that the 3rd chemo treatment is a go!!  I’m not sure if we’re supposed to be excited about chemo, but we are.  It would really be disheartening if a treatment had to be delayed because of low blood counts.  Thus, we are pumped!!

Is that the reason I’m so happy?  It is a contributing factor, but not the full reason.  The real reason is this:  the Oncologist confirmed today what I have been suspicious of all along:  my wife is crazy!!  LOL, you read that right…the good Dr. stated today that Dianne is nuts.  Ha, I love being right.  (I’m glad Dianne isn’t watching me type this…it would be the frying pan treatment again).

But, this begs the question:  Why is Dianne crazy?  (Besides the obvious reasons of hanging around with me for the last 15 years or so).  Well, Dr. Joy thinks Dianne is loopy because she doesn’t use the anti-nausea meds.  He has never had a patient that can go through 2 rounds of chemo and approach the 3rd with out them!!  He says she is a throw-back to the 1930’s.  (Does that make her much older than me, or just much tougher?  I’ll go with tougher.  She’s a tough old bird.)  Suspicion confirmed….I’m right, she’s crazy.  LMAO.  (I’m going to walk into the house tonight very very carefully)
But even this, dear reader, is not the complete reason for my happiness.  Yes, it is awesome that her blood counts are back.  Yes, it is awesome that she is handling the chemo so well (without anti-nausea meds!!).  But there is more.  Wait for it… it comes…..ready?


That’s right, dear reader.  The tumors really are shrinking!!  They have gone from 8 1/2 x 6 all the way down to 5 x 5 (all measurements in CM).  And not only are they shrinking, but they are also breaking up!!!  Yes, there are now 4 small tumors instead of 1 big one (and by 1 big one, I mean that the original 2 tumors melded into 1).  This is also fantastic news!!!


So far, it is very apparent that the chemotherapy is doing it’s job!!  Getting news like this is very uplifting.  It makes the hardships of chemo well worth it!!  The twofold purpose of the chemo was to try shrink the tumour(s) and to see what effect the drugs would have on this particular cancer.  Well, I’d say that so far, both purposes are being fulfilled.  We are so very thankful that this could be the case.  Truly, God is guiding this, and He is awesome and good!!!

So, now there is one thing that has to happen.  The good doctor gave Dianne a different anti-nausea medication to try.  The reason?  She has to be able to handle the anti-nausea meds in order to receive the last 4 rounds of chemo (she will be on a different type of chemo for these last 4 rounds).  She is going to try the meds tonight in order to determine if it is the meds making her sick or the chemo.  And since she has not had round 3 yet, tonight is the perfect time to try them.  My only stipulation is that she doesn’t take them until I am home from work.  If this med is going to knock her sideways, I want to be there.  If she can’t handle this anti-nausea med, the doctor is going to have to come up with a Plan B.

And as a side note, the ultrasound she had a few weeks ago returned confirmation that the cancer has not spread to a couple of suspicious areas!!  Again, this is fantastic news!!

And this, dear reader, is the reason I am so happy I could cry.  We have all been praying mightily for positive results, and today’s news is what I believe to be the answer to our prayers.  Obviously, Dianne still has a long hard road ahead of her.  But up to this point, things are moving along nicely.  Our family thanks you all for your prayers, positive thoughts and every other support you have given us.

The worst part of today?  The yogurt in my lunch was mouldy.  That makes me angry.

Have a wonderful afternoon, dear reader.  I know I will.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

4 day weekend!!! w00t w00t!!!

Good day, dear reader.  Welcome to Thursday…the last work day until Tuesday.  Ah, the sweet sound of ‘4 day weekend w00t w00t!!!!’  That’s right…4 days off.  Brilliant.  There is lots going on this weekend.  My dad is turning 70 on Saturday (Happy Birthday, Dad!!!!!!) and my eldest niece is doing public profession of faith (Congrats, Debra!!!!!!!!).  I’m taking the kids on the first bike ride of the year on Friday.  Lots going on.  Lots to be thankful for.

One of the nicest parts of the weekend is that Dianne is feeling pretty good.  It is always hard to see it when she suffers after a chemo treatment, but it is very uplifting to all of us when she is doing well.  She has another week to prepare for her next chemo, but it will be a busy week.  She goes for an ultra-sound on Tuesday at the CCI.  Presumably they want to check out the tumors, and see if they are shrinking, or just hanging about maintaining the status quo.  Thursday she goes for her pre-chemo blood work and consultation, and if all goes well she will go for chemo on Friday.  Round 3 it will be….only 5 to go after that!!!  Is that a light at the end of the tunnel I see?  Heh heh…a bit optimistic, but that’s the way I roll.  To Dianne I say ‘stay strong babe!!!  By the grace of God you’re doing awesome!!!!’

I would like to thank Pastor Lindemuller (I hope I spelled that right) from the URC in Fresno, California for the gift.  He and his wife sent us a book…I can’t remember what the title of it is (I’m at work at the book isn’t), but I will publish that title tonight as an addendum to this blog entry.

And a shout-out goes to Joanne who put the idea in my head to actually keep these entries and make it into some sort of journal so we can go back on it years down the road.  I told you you’d like this entry, Joanne!!!  Thanks!!!!!

Have a great weekend, dear reader.  I hope to see you again on these pages soon.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Not much new going on here…..

Happy Friday, dear reader.  I am so happy its Friday…for several reasons.  Reason #1 is that it’s, well…Friday.  By far, it is the best day of the work week.  Reason #2 is that I am one day closer to having Dianne and the kids back home.  They spent the week (spring break) at Dianne’s parents place up in Camp Creek.  From all reports, they have had a really good week.  The kids love being there….it’s an acreage, so they can play outside without any worries, there was still lots of snow on the ground to play in, and they adore their Grandpa and Grandma.  And Uncle John.  Uncle John builds fires, which both kids really really like.

Dianne also had a really good week.  By Monday, she was able to start eating real food again, she was done taking the steroids, and the heartburn issues were not as prevalent as after the first round of chemo.  Of course, she was tired, but that is the new normal…tired is normal.

She is now into the 7 day period where her immune system is shot.  At this point, her white blood count is extremely low, if not non-existent.  This means she is very very susceptible to infection, and we are going to be trying to lessen the risk of infection happening.

So this week I have been a bachelor.  As much as I love seeing the family have a good relaxing time up in Camp Creek, it is not an easy week for me.  All you husbands out there are now thinking ‘What, are you crazy?  No wife.  No kids.  No commitments.  Sounds perfect.’  Well, let me tell you….it’s not.  I look at it this way.  No wife means I have to cook, clean, sleep alone, talk to myself and worst of all, I have to remember that even though she’s not around, I still have to justify all the money I spent when she gets back.  No kids means the house is very very silent.  This is not bad until it’s time to sleep.  The house is just too quiet to sleep.  My kids do a lot of farting and burping and talking in their sleep, and it serves as a lullaby to put me to sleep.  With them gone, the silence is deafening….and un-nerving.  Thus, I don’t sleep well when the house is empty.  Next time I’ll make a recording of all the noises and play them as I try to go to sleep.

When I get home this afternoon, I have to clean the house.  Do the dishes.  Do laundry.  Make the bed.  Dispose of all the empty beer bottles.  And other miscellaneous tasks that need to be done.  And all this has to be done before 8 PM, because that’s when I head over to Mike’s place to play video games.  Yes, my priorities are right.  If the house isn’t perfect, I’m still going to play video games.  Tomorrow the wife and kids are back home, so they can get to work after a week of lounging around.  (Was that my outside voice that said that?  Oh man, I’m up the creek now.)

And that, dear reader, is all I’ve got.  Not bad for a week in which there was not much new going on.