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Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's Getting Hot In Here: Scranton Style

One of my most favorite tv shows....

Wednesday, February 27, 2008





I'm Aliiiiiiiiiiive!!

While I still have the dreaded cough, I am feeling much better than I had even yesterday. Now the focus is getting the tightness in my chest to go away, along with the cough, along with the crap that I cough up, and life will be golden again. Or at least silver.

My dad had his second round of chemo yesterday. So far things appear to be going pretty well, but remembering last time, sometimes it is a day to day thing on how he feels. The cut the amount of chemo that he is getting so hopefully the reaction won't be as severe as it was before. Here's something I never thought would happen. Apparently my dad has some of the chemo nurses that I had when I was doing my year long treatment at Mayo. The thought of one of my family members having the same nurses for the same reason was a thought that never crossed my mind. At least I know he is in good hands with a caring staff. Another thing learned yesterday was that he has lost over 20 pounds since first going to Mayo, mostly being fluid. Can you imagine carrying around an extra 20 or some pounds of weight. That would suck. And the last thing.....my dad's oncologist told my parents that if he had decided to not do chemo the first time they met last month, that most likely my dad would have died by now. How's that for a shock value?

Monday, February 25, 2008

I Have Been MIA...Still Am

Well, to say that I have gotten sick would be putting it mildly. This has been worse than anything I have ever had, and might I include that it has been worse than chemo. I went to bed almost right after I got home from work Friday, and stayed there until Saturday morning when I went to the ER. I got some medications and it was back to bed. I went back into the doctor today because I have progressed to coughing up a little bit of blood here and there. I now have 3 new prescriptions and also got a shot in the butt. And now I am going back to bed. This is wonderful.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Maybe

I have earner an extra 15 hours of comp time this week and it is catching up with me. My chest feels tight, I can't seem to be productive in my coughing all of the time, and I just want to sleep for about 3 days. Is that so wrong?

I have been doing a lot of direct care this week....probably why I am getting sick......and you may remember that my last post talked a bit about not enjoying being around the kids. I take that back. I have had a good time with them these last few days. I have laughed pretty hard at some things, been frustrated at other things, but all in all, I have had a good time with the kids, which is great. I was worried that maybe I had overdone working with kids, as I have been doing that for the last 15 years or so, minus a year or two in there. Maybe things will be ok.

My dad might be able to come home from the hospital tomorrow if his blood work and chest x-ray turn out ok. He had gotten pneumonia so they have to make sure that is cleared up. He is out of isolation which is great, but he is supposed to start his next round of chemo in 5 days. I am not so sure that is going to happen quite yet, but who knows? Stranger things have happened, right?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Work Work Work

One of my staff were sick yesterday so along with doing my own shift I had to cover hers as well. I had a pretty good group of kids and decided that we would go to the gym to burn off some energy. We started with free play in which I pitched Whiffle Balls to some of the younger kids while the older one threw the ball up themselves and hit them against the gym wall. Most of the girls were on the scooters. I see that free time is getting a little old and change to a group game called Medic. I love Medic and actually all of the dodgeball-like games. We have a few kids who go and take a break to get water or go to the bathroom, and then I am informed that one of our kids is sick.

The poor guy. I dug out some lost and found clothes for him and called his mom to be picked up. We sat for a while chatting about this and that and I was amazed. I know in normal situations this child is always happy, always smiling, and by God if his personality didn't stay the same even after being sick. He is such a nice kid, you know, one of those kids you will never forget.

For a moment yesterday I was watching some of the kids and thinking. In the past I would be so excited to be able to work hands on with the kids. And while I had fun with the kids, I didn't feel that burst of energy that they usually give me. That feeling of "I love working with kids" feeling I usually get. I can only chalk it up to what is going on in my personal life because I have never not liked working with kids, they have never not energized me, and I have never not been excited to be with them. I don't know how to fix that.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sigh

New update....he cannot have any more visitors as his levels are dropping more. Only my mom is allowed to go into his room and for a very limited amount of time. They are talking about a transfusion, but I don't know when that would happen. That's all for now.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

In The Hospital

Just a quick update. Like I said, things change day to day. My dad is now in the hospital fighting an infection he got from one of his IV sites. His blood levels have dropped to a dangerous level so he can only have one visitor at a time, no kids, and the visitors have to wear masks. More to come, I'm sure.......

Friday, February 15, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Dad

Oh boy, he is having a rough rough time now. He spends most of the time sleeping, and although I went through all the chemo crap, I forgot how much things can change day to day. I think it is like giving birth. Right after Claire was born (which was a hard hard delivery) I thought that I would never do it again. I thought the memory of the pain of that delivery would make it impossible to even think about giving birth ever again. 18 months later I did it again.

I feel like time is slipping away and there is nothing that can be done about it. I have a hard time concentrating on things and I know that I am not as pleasant to be around right now. There's a part of me that just wants to be alone for a while, to be able to digest all that is going on, but that is not within the bounds of reality. I still have work, the girls still have school and daycare, there's still snow to be shoveled, laundry to be done and a house in need of cleaning. The world does not, and will not, stop because I want it to.

I look back a few years ago at how my life was, how I felt, how I was dealing with things. Sometimes I am embarassed at the thoughts that went through my mind. Embarassed at the fears I had of my life. The doubts I had every time my doctor said that he was fairly sure that I was done with breast cancer. I look at what my dad is going through and find that it is nothing like what I went through. I was lucky. He is not.

I find myself being torn between my two families. I want to spend as much time with my parents that I can, but in doing so I miss out on my family at home. Things start slipping, like the laundry and cleaning. I know they will always be waiting for me, but with 5 people living in this house it adds up fast.

I know this post isn't flowing quite as well as it should as I am just writing things as they pop into my head. I don't really care much. Sometimes, for a moment or two, I forget that my dad is dying. Those are very limited moments. I find that things that normally wouldn't bother me too much are grating on my nerves, whatever is left of my nerves. I feel like I am so impatient with other things in my life, that it almost isn't fair to others. But then, on the other hand, I really don't care about that. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but guess what? I don't care about that either. That's a lot of not caring and as I re-read what I write, I better start changing things before I make it impossible for others to be around me. But then again, maybe I won't. I have to keep my priorities where they should be, but at the same time understand that there are other things going on in my life. Yuck. This sucks.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ok, I can't upload pictured right now, so it will have to wait until later. Those sneaky little Blogger Bugs!

I Don't Know What Name to Give This Post

Ok, so I am lacking in creative names this morning, but it has been over 600 posts that I have made. Today I am meeting my best friend Brandy in LaCrosse to do some thereputic shopping, hot tubbing, a little drinking, laughing, and whatever else happens night. We are staying in a hotel and it could not have come at a better time.

My dad is at home, he actually came home early because he was doing ok. He had his first round of chemo and seems to be tolerating it ok right now. The fluid in his body is accumulating more and more though. There is so much in his legs that he needs help getting into and out of the car, and he can only take steps one at a time. The plan is to try Rituxin again at his next chemo. Then before his third treatment they will do another PET scan to see if the chemo is working. So we are on a wait and see hold until that happens.

I had my 6 month check yesterday and everything came out ok (except the tryglecerides...again). We will be working on those bad boys in hopes to get it under control by my next visit. But my bp was way down from before, which is good. I was at 180/105 at my highest, yesterday was 100/60 so I have made pretty good strides at that, with help of medication.

Ok, so I think I willpost somw pictures since I haven't for a while. Later!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

More

After my dad ended up in cardiac ICU they decided that maybe the Rituxin wasn't going to work for him. He went back to his regular room and started chemo Thursday night. He seems to be doing pretty well with it, and they are most likely going to send him home today instead of Monday which is good. I am just waiting to hear from my mom if that is for sure going to happen today.

Wednesday night I took the kids to my mom's house and went to see my dad. We talked for about 3 hours and I got a good understanding of what his wishes are. I also learned more about what he had done in his life and that he has no regrets. He is right in the fact that you can't dwell on what you did or didn't do since that won't change anything. While driving home I thought to myself that this was the most encouraged I had felt about eveything since it had happened. But today, because I have been thinking about it a lot, I realised that this is not the most encouraged have felt about the cancer, I think, in reality, this is the most encouraged I have felt about my relationship with my dad. We laughed together, we talked about feelings, about family, for 3 hours that night, it was just us being us. We were watching Wheel of Fortune and he said that after it was over I should really get going so I don't have to drive too late. The final puzzle came and went (the girl lost), and then on came Deal or No Deal. We watched that together too. I went home after that, soaking in the night's events, so glad that I went there to see him.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Update #2

We know a lot more than we did a couple of days ago. Here's the break down of events...

We went to Mayo and the doctor showed us my dad's scans. While we knew that there was a lot of cancer in him, I don't think we thought it would be as much as what showed up. There's cancer in nodes in his neck, sternum, armpits, there are two ribs that have cancer destroying them, the outside lining of his stomach has cancer in it, his spleen has cancer in it and is very enlarged. His abdomen in general has a lot of cancer in it.

This is what the doctor told us about his cancer. In Non-Hodgkin's there are two cell types that can be affected, B-cells and T-cells. In NHL 80% of patients have the B-Cell affected and 20% have the T-Cell. My dad has both, and therefore has two types of lymphoma. The B-cell type can be treated and possibly cured, and is also the one that is causing all of his symptoms. It is an aggressive form that is fast growing. The T-Cell type is slow growing and cannot be cured but maintained basically. The T-Cell group can turn into the more aggressive type and that is what the doctor believes what happened.

Now for stats. The doctor said if my dod chooses to do nothing and let the cancer run it's course, he had weeks to live.....3, 4, maybe 5. If he decided to do the chemo treatment he could have years. I am not sure what that means, but to be honest, we were trying to absorbe all of the info and didn't ask. The chance of the chemo actually working is 45-50%. If he chose to do the treatment he would be admitted to the hospital and the treatment would start immediately. He chose to do that. The reason for being monitored for the treatment is because when someone has as much Lymphoma as he does, they want to monitor to make sure his kidneys and his liver is functioning ok as the chemo attacks the lymph nodes and they basically drain, making the liver and kidneys work harder. So he was to have a half dose of the first chemo (which is actually an anti-body) last night, the rest today and then the rest of the chemo drugs (5 different drugs total). They started his drip last night, and within 10 minutes he had a reaction. His bloodpressure spiked or dropped (I don't remember which), his breathing became labored, he got the sweats and the shakes, and his heart rate when up to 212. They stopped the drip, telling him they would give him more meds and try again at a lower dose the next day.

So today in the afternoon they gave him 1/4 of the treatment, and the same thing happened. He has been moved to the Cardiac ICU and they are now testing him to see if there has been any heart damage from the chemo. We don't know how long he will be there, but when he is done there, he will be moved back to his room to try the chemo again. And that is all I know for right now. He is miserable and understandibly quite crabby with the situation. Have I told you how much this cancer crap sucks?