Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thurs Feb. 28, 2008

Well so far I'm not so good on the day to day aspect of blogging this whole thing but today I try again to update and give more information about the treatment.

On Tuesday the 26th Clayton and I went and donated my hair to Locks of Love before it started to all fall out. That process hasn't started yet but they expect that it will and said I should lop it off before it started. Then she (Ashley, lovely girl who'd had her own form of cancer before as well) took the electric razor to my hair and I'm now officially Mr. Clean!

Now Tuesday was also the day after the last bag of Chemo Drugs...They call the combination of these drugs EPOCH...the drugs include Cyclophosphamide, Doxorubicin, Etoposide, Prednisone and Vincristine. Taken at different times and in various forms (pill's, IV, etc.) for 5 days. It's funny that they should call it EPOCH...the definition of this word means..."a significant period in history or in somebody's life"....usually they name these things after the combination of letters of the who ever came up with this name was either pretty smart or has a strange sense of humor.

Anyway, after that first part of the treatment come the shots...GCSF Shots, these shots Stimulate Normal Bone Marrow for White Blood Cells. The Draw back is the bone pain and the muscle cramps that come from this...After 2 days of these (did I mention I have to give them to myself?) I'm already ready to bag it...the pain can be intense and it comes and goes in waves which literally can make me yell out in pain.

Mentally my attitude goes the gambit. Sometimes I wake up and have all this crap going through my head...usually about Why this is happening, pity me, No I'm not going to let this get to me, etc. Yesterday I just laid in bed...didn't care, didn't want to do anything but watch TV...yet had a small spark of energy and did the dishes...yes, I was in pain for most of the day, but I think part of my problem is that I don't know how to behave. I'm sure it takes time to work through all of this but I don't know...I'm having a hard time to get on a positive course some days. At least for now the crying jags are over.

I know I need to push myself for doing some energy work and stuff to help me get better yet I make excuses not to. Like..."I'm tired or I can't focus"...what I'd like to know is why I do that? I know they can help, yet I get this "Whatever" attitude and continue to make excuses.

So that's it for now...Day 10 since I was diagnosed with Cancer and started receiving treatment.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Day to Day Part 1...The First Week

Welcome all! This first writing of my blog; week one, of my announcement of having Cancer -- Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and the battle that is starting.

On Tuesday February 19th, 2008 my Doctors at NIH (National Institutes of Health) told me that the biopsies on what was thought to be a fractured rib, then a possible infection, was really Non-Hodgin's Lymphoma. I managed about 1 minute and a half to let it all sink in before I blubbered like a big baby...yea I know it's a natural response but I'm not given to blubbering. Anyway in between crying jags Dr. Leonokis tried to give me all the information and instantly wanted to take some more tests 2 immediately and one later so they could "stage" it. Staging is where you find out the true severity and then treat it. The final Staging test, a P.E.T. exam was to take place in Mid March since that particular department was quite busy...I didn't want to wait that long and bless his heart Dr. Leonokis took the reigns found a cancellation and worked everything out to get the tests done. They admitted me that day and I was there until Thursday the 21st.

On Thursday February 21st, 2008 I started Chemotherapy. The staging results haven't come back as of today (Feb. 25th) and I've now been to the hospital everyday since then having a bag on a battery operated pump, connected to a PICC line (a catheter into the arm that goes up into the Large subclavian vein to give better administration of the chemo) changed and so far so good. Today will be the final bag change and it will take 3-4 hours since they will be giving me bags of IV hydrotherapy today. This helps with the dehydration caused by the chemo and gets be geared up for part 2 of this round...the self injected shots...and I think for now I will end here and find out how the shots work before I write more.

One last thing to those of you reading this...I want to thank you for the immensley wonderful outpouring of support, generosity and love that has come my way. I can't tell you how much it means to me. You are all the best friends that anyone could ask for. You have taken the time to write e-mails, bring food, take me to the hospital, etc...all of this has been an enormous help to Clayton who is the best care-giver anyone could ask for...My love for him is infinate and I can't tell you how blessed and lucky I am that the universe saw fit to put us together.

Feel free to post your comments here and I will try, as the process goes on, to keep this updated. It will all of course depend on how I feel on a day to day basis...

I have to tell you, for me, it takes a lot to write things down here. As I write it, it's cathartic, then I read it and the fear and emotion that spring up bring tears to my eyes and I feel panic and it takes time to just write this paragraph. I am trying so hard to be strong, I don't know what to do some days, and being tired doesn't help. If it wasn't for you all and Clayton and the babies (Xena and B'Elana -- See their pictures elsewhere on this site.) I don't know what I would do. I really am scared and I love that I have all the healing energy I could ask for from you, clayton, and the babies.

More later...