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Sunday, April 18, 2010

An overdue update.

It's now the middle of April, and I am long overdue for an update.

Carl last got treatments from March 1-March 5, 2020. At that time he had inpatient chemotherapy. Then the Doctors suggested it might be a "good time for a break". Anthony and Carl had birthdays, on March 19 and 25 respectively. Easter (April 4) and Easter break for the children came and went from April 1th to April 11. Miranda turned 11 on April 11, 2010, and we went to Chicago for the weekend to celebrate her "Golden Birthday". School resumed for the children, and our oldest Tom turned 16 on April 14, 2010. On Friday we celebrated my nieces 16th birthday (She's 16 today, April 18th), and today we celebrated my father's 89th birthday, which is tomorrow, April 19th, 2010. [Deep breath here...]

I have pictures and photos from these events, and while I someday may post them, the idea of keeping this blog "chronological" at this point seems daunting. (I still haven't posted Carl's birthday photo yet, either. I'm not sure it's been down loaded from the camera!) I can't always play catch up, I'll just jump ahead.

Medically, Carl enjoyed a long break from the hospital. So the last month he has been healthy and active, able to eat salads and from salad bars, deli sandwiches and all sorts of other treats forbidden when the white blood cell counts may be low. He has been driving himself to work everyday. He's started to grow fuzzy hair. On April 8 he had to get his port "flushed", a procedure to clean out the port when it hasn't been used for a while so that protein deposits don't build up and block the tubes. On April 12, and April 14th test and procedures started for the next treatment phase, which will be radiation to the leg area for 15 days with concurrent chemotherapy. We have enjoyed a sort of respite from the cancer treatments, which will now start again with a vengeance.

Tomorrow, Monday, April 19, 2010, Carl will get a short chemotherapy dose, and then starting April 20, 2010 and for the next 15 successive weekdays Carl will be getting radiation doses to the leg to attempt to kill the tumor there. The chemotherapy drugs selected will interact with the radiation to maximize the effect of the radiation, as well as treat stray cancer cells. I so hope that Carl's cancer is miraculously sensitive to the radiation, and that the cancer cells die at a rate, and so completely, that the Doctors are astonished. Wouldn't it be great to astonish the Doctors with a miracle? We pray for this.

The Doctors don't rule out miracles. This is a step in a treatment series that will continue throughout 2010.

That idea I find a little exhausting. I find the weekend and day before treatments begin highly stressful. I want everyone to be having a great time, when I am still dealing with 6 personalities and (effectively) 4 teenagers [OK, so the children are 16, 14, 12 and 10. I exaggerate...] I find it a little hard to be happy and sparkly, or even relaxed and enjoying the good moments. I want to celebrate, have the children have friends over, and keep everyone happy, because the treatment weeks get a little rough. And this three week radiation will be another new challenge, slightly different, with different possible side effects and dangers.

Carl, my amazing guy, has a great and remarkable calm as my stress levels start to jump... Good thing I married him!

I am finding it hard to word this blog post elegantly, or even well, so I guess I'll just send it off into blogland and get on to the next task. Thank you so much for your prayers, your thoughts and your support, the meals and treats. I will need them again in the weeks (and months) ahead.

Smile, God Loves You, and Peace.


Bridget said...

Carl IS such a calming person, I know that is going to help him fight this. Stress just doesn't help. (Are you listening, Jean?) Take it easy and don't worry about keeping up with your regular routine for the kids. They'll understand and might even need the break, too! Thoughts with you, as always, and looking forward to seeing everyone this summer!

suelmayer said...

Just breath Jeanne, one day at a time! I'm not going to tell you to let go of the stress because I know you too well. I would be stressed out right there with ya. Just take it day by day, Sam's numerous illnesses have taught me never to plan too far ahead or make promises to be somewhere or go somewhere. I'm usually kinda flying by the seat of my pants and I know you can do that too. Hang in there, our thoughts and prayers are always with you!!!