Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ok, now to play ketchup.

Wow.  I’m thinking that I have some work to do here.  My last entry was on June 29, and it is now July 29.  So, let’s begin.

Disclaimer:  If you don’t have lots of time, please don’t start reading this.  Put it off until later.  Even if the kids are on the computer, kick them off and come back to read this.  It might be a bit wordy.  /end disclaimer.

Good afternoon, dear reader.  Welcome back to my blog.  Although, it should be me who is welcomed back, as I’m the one who disappeared.  So, welcome back, dear writer!!  Ok…deep breath.  Where am I at?  I left you last with 6 chemo’s done and a rough plan of what lies ahead for my dear wife.  That was the end of June.  Amazingly enough, things have changed.

Between the 29th of June and the 17th of July, not much happened.  Our holiday plans were changed.  Originally, the kids were going to go camping with my family for 4 days, after which I would join them for 4 days.  We changed that.  We decided that the kids and I would go camping for 8 days, and Dianne would have a holiday at home…no kids, no hubby, no worries.  We did this because during the time we wanted to be camping, she had to have a consultation and possibly a chemo treatment.  We figured that this would work out well.  So, on Monday the 13th, the kids and I headed off to Coaldale, and then to Kikomun Creek Provincial Park (Surveyors Lake) in BC on Tuesday.  We enjoyed our time their immensely, although I can honestly say that Dianne was sorely missed by the kids and by me (being Mom and Dad on a camping trip is not all it’s cracked up to be.)  I actually forgot to feed the kids lunch on the first two days.  And this whole changing of clothes thing is hogwash.  But hey, it saves on laundry when we got home, right?

So, all this begs the question:  What did Dianne do whilst we were camping?  Well, she rested.  From everything she’s told me, she enjoyed it quite a bit.  On Thursday, July 16, Dianne went in to the CCI for her consultation.  Her blood counts were up!!  The good Dr. measured the tumor (which in his estimation used to be the size of a watermelon (and anyone who knows Dianne will laugh hysterically at that), and decided that it now measured 4cm x 4cm.  This down from 5cm x 3cm from the last measurement.  Excellent!!!  (/insert Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure guitar riff).  He also said that the tumor is softer and seems to be caving in on itself (I call it an implosion).  This too is very good news.  This means that the tumor is shrinking in size from outward edge to inward edge (nipple to chest), and is breaking up slightly.  Chemo on the 18th is a go!!!!

As a side note, Dr. Joy’s new intern apparently has warm hands (which makes Dianne very happy) and he likes the Calgary Flames (which automatically adds to the respect level I have for him).

Dianne emailed me at 3:10PM on Friday, July 17 to let me know that the chemo treatment went well.  (Thank you Henrietta for taking Dianne to the consultation on Thursday and to the chemo appointment of Friday!!)  She had a good nurse, which always makes the process better.  She also had a guy eating ice beside her for the last half hour.  Just so you know….when Dianne sees ice, hears ice tinkle in a glass, thinks of ice or eats ice, it brings back nasty chemo memories.  It is not pleasant for her.  So that last 1/2 hour must have been real crappy for her.  (not to mention that it is now very hard for me to make a Mojito, margurita or daquiri without making her sick).  Only 1 chemo left!!!!

ONLY ONE CHEMO LEFT!!!!  For me, it seems not too long ago that we were facing the daunting journey of 8 chemo treatments and all the hellish side effects thereof.  (For Dianne, it seems a long time ago, but time is moving different for her.)  And now, she has one left.  Wow.  We are both really looking forward to the end of the leg of the trip.

On July 20th, Dianne received a phone call from the surgeons office requesting that she come in at 10:15 the next morning.  This is an important meeting we figured, because this is where the mastectomy decision is most likely to be made (single or double).  Thank you Andy for driving Dianne to this appointment.

What transpired at the meeting with the surgeon?  Well, it has been decided that surgery will take place at the end of August or beginning of September (usually  or 4 weeks after the last chemo).  Dianne’s blood counts have to be up before surgery can proceed.  The surgeon prefers to do a single mastectomy now, and if Dianne would like to, the second one can be removed in a years time.  The surgeon feels this reduces the risk of infection.  However, Dianne has the final say as to what happens.  She has signed a consent form for both a single and a double….now she needs to make that decision.  Dianne and I have talked about it, and are still gathering some more information before we decide.  We have to let the surgeon know at the beginning of August what will happen.  Dianne will need to stay in the hospital for one night after surgery, and if there are no complications, she can go home the next day.  I will be home for 2 weeks following the surgery in order to do everything that Dianne would normally do (feeding kids is an important one, as I learned on the camping trip!!).

And that, dear reader, brings you up to date.  Dianne’s next consultation is next Thursday (a week from tomorrow).  The final chemo is approaching!!  The tune to The Final Countdown by Europe suddenly popped into my head for some reason.  Ah, this is going to be an important landmark in this journey.  I am looking forward to being able to tell you that chemo is done.  And, the Lord willing, I will be able to do that next weekend.

Again, I must thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers, and for all the other support given.  Thanks again Henrietta for being such an awesome sister!!  And Andy, thanks for being a great brother-in-law!!  And Laura, many thanks for once again injecting the Neulasta into Dianne on the Saturday after chemo (can we call you one more time next weekend?).

Dear reader…..cheers.