Long Time No Blog

Yep, it’s been awhile.  Again.  At least this time I have been super busy and have lots to share.

Health update:  While I’m done with chemo, I am starting to see the impact of having poison pumped into my body for 3 years.  Nothing too serious, just lots of little things that add up to still too frequent trips to the doctors office.  I have osteoporosis and just had a bone density scan;  I have a fatty liver and out of control cholesterol, which is most likely hereditary, so I see a lipid doctor next month; The chemo causes pap smears to come back abnormal so those have to be repeated a few times a year;  Still seeing Dr. Ellis every 3, last time all of my counts look great;  I had a CT scan a couple weeks ago that found some nodules on my spleen that Dr. Ellis isn’t worried about, but I have to repeat another scan in 4 months… You know, just to keep me on my toes.

Family Update:  We are doing great!  Ryan did some art classes this winter and will be starting t-ball again next month!  We’ve been practicing and he’s fielding and throwing a lot better this year.  Now let’s just hope he wants to stay out on the field by himself now 🙂

Work Update:  I have accepted a position with Cancer Research of the Ozarks/ Cox as a Regulatory Compliance Coordinator!  I have orientation this Saturday and start one week from today, 4/22.  My job will be to review cancer research trials, meet with the review boards from Cox and Mercy and draw up contracts for the patients to sign to participate.  At least I think that’s an accurate description, I can update you after I’ve been there for a few weeks.  I think it will be awesome to get to see research at work!

What’s been occupying my life update:  Charities!  My last blog post was about the ACS and Relay for Life.  It’s just a few weeks away and while I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to speak about for almost a year now, today I started putting it on paper.  I’m not nervous about it… yet.

And my Woman of the Year campaign for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!  See the next blog post for details!

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Just a Year Ago…

It’s crazy how much things can change in a year, I’ve been reflecting on that a lot lately.  A year ago today I had a job, my health and a routine which I was very comfortable with.  I had been with I.H.S. for 4 years and 7 months when I was let go on October 9th of last year.  I’ve have not been working for a year.  That is insane to me.  I’ve had a job, sometimes two jobs at a time, ever since I was old enough to work.  7 months of that year I’ve been undergoing treatment, which in itself is like a job… a job I pay them to go to.  I am glad somethings haven’t changed in that year, like the friends I made at I.H.S. I am still very close to, they are like family.  When I was in the hospital they gave me a new laptop, a TV so I could watch movies through said laptop and a $200 iTunes gift card.  Doug, the president, and this wife Erin have been very generous.  They are living part time in Florida and are having their housekeeper come to our house to clean while they are out of town.  It is a tremendous help and one I am very grateful for.  She has come a few weeks now and it’s just wonderful to have my whole house clean without wearing myself out in the process.  I haven’t mentioned it on the blog before because they are not the type of people who do things for praise, but thinking about the company and what it means to me, I had to mention it.  I attribute much of who I am and the skills I have to all of the experiences I’ve had through working there.  My world is completely different now, but I still think about it often and wanted to share.

I saw Dr. Ellis yesterday to discuss my treatment plan going forward.  I’m finally ready to start maintenance!  Well, not quite yet, we have to wait for my counts to come up before we can start.  I have this week off… no treatment, no transfusions, he just wants to see what my counts do on their own; they were still really low when I went in yesterday.  I go back in on Thursday to check them again, then next Tuesday I have a bone marrow biopsy.  They always make me nervous, not so much the procedure (although a giant needle in your hip isn’t fun), but waiting for the results.  Dr. Ellis thinks my crappy counts have to do with all of the chemo I got in the last round, the “intensification round”, but there is always the chance that my counts aren’t good because the leukemia is back.  It takes a few days to get the results so by the end of next week I should know whether or not I’m still in remission.

If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them.  When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope?  We have two options, medically and emotionally:  give up, or fight like hell.  -Lance Armstrong

This past weekend John & I took Ryan to the Rutledge-Wilson farm, one of our favorite fall activities.  They have a barn with farm animals and this time of year they also have a pumpkin patch, bon fire and a hayride.  We have our own pumpkin patch, started with 3 seeds which now takes up a whole side of our house and has a dozen or so small pumpkins, so we skipped that part of the park.  We did go on a little horse drawn hayride, which was fun.