Thursday, March 25, 2010

Since Arizona

Sorry It's been so long since I've blogged. Life has been a little hectic since Arizona.

Here is my grandma Arlen and I on the golf course. We just followed as Uncle David, Melissa and my grandma's friend, Frank, played.
This is a group of us out to eat.
Even my cousin Luc was able to make it down from school to hang out at my grandma's
I thought this cactus was so funny. Woodpeckers make these holes and people filled the holes made with golf balls.
Some of the girls hanging out at dinner.

All the ladies from my grandma's tap class got up and did a dance routine they knew at the resturant we were at.
There is a park close by that is absolutely beautiful. I sat by that waterfall and didn't want to move. The smell of the water and all the greenery was incredible and refreshing.
We hung out at the park for a while.
I wish this was in my backyard.
Arizona was a fun time. It was really cool that My Uncle David, Melissa and my cousin Luc also were able to make it out there while I was there. I spent a lot of time laying in the sun. I had some fevers and some really bad abdomen pain, so I really couldn't walk around much and do many things. My grandma and I went to a beautiful park nearby. We went golfing (well, we watched everyone golf and we cruised around in the cart which was good enough for me). We went to watch my cousin Luc and my Uncle David play hockey up at Luc's college. It was pretty low key, but the trip was just what I needed. The good thing about having all this time off is that I am really able to spend a lot of quality time with my family and friends, getting to develop much better relationships with everyone. All and all I love Arizona and it was a fun time.

What has happened health wise since my trip:
When I got back from Arizona I was so incredibly weak. I literally could not walk on my own. I got my bloodwork and my hemoglobin was 7.5 (which is the lowest mine has ever been). Normal is 12 or higher (I forget how high it goes). So I got another blood transfusion the day after I got back from Arizona.

I went to the Pain Clinic the next day because I was having the awful pain in my abdomen and nothing was working to get rid of it. Their recommendation was to take more pain medicine. I got a PET scan done the following day to see how things were going inside my body. So, I was in the hospital 3 days in a row after my Arizona trip. Fun! At least I got a weekend off before I started my new chemo, Ixempra, on Monday.

I had to take the Neulasta shot the day after chemo, which is for having low white blood cells. The terrible thing about this shot is that it causes the worst bone pain in the world. One week later I was getting my blood counts checked and at the same time I had the worst bone pain that I literally could have cut off parts of my body it hurt so bad. My red blood count was down to 6.3 (lowest ever yet and of course I couldn't walk on my own) and my platelets were super low at 11 (150-300 is normal). So, of course I needed to go to the hospital to get a hemoglobin and platelet transfusion. I actually wasn't that upset to go, because I knew I could get IV Dilaudid all day and night which is about the only thing that will completely take away my bone pain. I even decided to stay the night when the transfusion was done, so I could just get IV Dilaudid all night long. Now that's when you know I am in bad pain.

So now, the pain has started to fade. No more abdomen pain. I think I have enough blood cells now. I think they might give me a lighter dose of chemo next time... I hope. Why???????? Because Kevin and I have booked a vacation to Puerto Rico mid April. I am so excited to be able to go on a vacation WITH KEVIN. We're staying at a really nice hotel that has it's own private island that has the whitest sand and the crystal clear bluest water. I cannot wait to go.

I also booked a shorter trip with my mom and sister, Stacie, to go to Marco Island, FL in early May (right after my 30th birthday). That place looks equally unbelievable. I cannot wait to spend some quality time with them just hanging out on the beach. It's not like I'm all better or anything. I might be sick or in pain while I am on vacation. I understand there are people who think I am crazy, but I am not going to stop living. I might not do much there at all, but all I am really interested in is the weather and the beach. I think I will have a great time and I'll make sure to bring lots of medicine.

Well, that's about all for now. I'll blog sooner next time. Life has just been really crazy and when I am not doing all this stuff I am sleeping because my new anti-nausea medicine makes me sleepy all the time.

Thanks everyone for your support.
Lots of love

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I'm in Arizona

Here is me and Kevin at my grandma Arlen's birthday party. This is my new wig and Kevin has his new glasses on. He's worn contacts for about 6 years and finally got a couple pairs of glasses. I think he looks cute with them. My hot husband.

Uncle David and his girlfriend, Melissa, came into town and were able to be at grandma's birthday party. This is the very talented Melissa who took the pictures when I was in California. Think Uncle David is doing Blue Steel.
Kevin got me flowers for Valentines day and man, they were beautiful. I loved them.
This is our niece Riley at her 1st birthday party. She got the biggest smile when we put the birthday hat on her. She should be a baby model. I call her Smiley Riley.
Well, surprise...I'm writing from Arizona. Yep, my grandma Arlen decided to go out to her Arizona house and open it up for a couple weeks, so I decided to come out with her since I am always searching for a way to get away from Michigan weather. I'm only staying a week though. I just got here today so my next blog I will be writing about Arizona. Uncle David and Melissa and my cousin Luc will be coming out here this weekend, so it will be a nice family get together. I'm excited.

I can tell you about my travels out here though. A while back I got bad bone pain again. Once that went away I got bad liver pain. Once that went away I got really bad pain under my left rib. We did a CT scan to see if it was a blood clot in my spleen, but nothing showed up. So, it's a mystery pain, but it is intense. I cannot stand up straight it hurts so bad. My doctor told me to use the Fentanol patch which is a pain relief patch you put on your arm. If I still have pain I'm supposed to take Dilaudid. I did that this morning, but I think the two combined are way too much for my stomach. My in-laws, Roger and Edie, took me to the airport. I was throwing up in a bucket the entire way to the airport. It was rough and I felt bad for them. I kept asking them to pull over so I could dump the bucket, but then I would throw up again. Luckily, I got it all out in the car and I didn't have any issues on the airplane. I did get a compliment on my puking skills though. Roger said I am really quiet, so that's good. : )

I've adjusted to being bald and I do like my new wig. I still have another wig on its way but it's on backorder in Germany. I can't wait to get it. The chemo I am on now does not really seem to be working because my liver tumors have grown since the last scan I had. Next time I get chemo we're switching to Exempra. I need to look it up and see what side effects to expect. I've only had one transfusion since the last time I wrote in the blog which is an improvement. I just wish we could find a chemo that worked and didn't screw with my body so bad.

I am so glad that everyone liked my idea of the indoor water park. I guess there are two already in existence, one in Japan and one in Germany. Now, we need one in Michigan. It's fun to dream.

I'm happy to tell you all that we have started planning the Bras for a Cause show for 2010. It will be at Royal Oak Music Theatre again Saturday, September 18th. We're going to have way more food and a lot more seating. We learned so much from last year and I think this year will be incredible. I hope to raise between $75,000 - $100,000. Last year we did $50,000, so I think it's possible.

Well, we all know I don't do much because I sit home all the time and have family and friends come over and take care of me, so there's not much more to write about. I appreciate everyone's help. I also have people cooking for me and that has been a huge help to Kevin and I. I am so lucky to have so many caring people in my life. THANK YOU!!!!! I love you all!

Take it easy. I'll be soaking up the sun and I'll tell you all about it.
Lots of love and sun

darker pink dots