Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sunday check-in

It's been a little over a week since I had that strange procedure. I've really bounced back. Sure, I went through some ups and downs. The first several days felt like a whopper of a flu, then there's been fatigue, and a fair amount of vomiting, even now. But my energy is back, and I'm happy, social, and feeling the familiar cozy, autumnal feelings that one feels when fall arrives. I want to bake hearty dinners, wear boots and warm scarves, relax around Neil's fireplace fires, snuggle with a book and the kids on school nights, all of it. I don't know what's ahead, or if that procedure worked (I have an appt this Wed morning to go over "next steps", which I'm dreading, because I so much prefer living life in this current blissful, treatment-free mode), but I know I have to go back and face the music. I know that I don't get to continue feeling worry-free for much longer. And I know it's unfair. But I can't focus on any of that. Because in the end, it just does my soul NO GOOD. You simply have to focus on this day. Do what you can with today. And don't put off for tomorrow what you can or should do today.

It's funny, I have developed a real lack of sympathy and, I suppose, respect for people who refuse to live courageously. What does "living courageously" mean? I will talk about that in my next post. (Wow, THAT sermon sounds like something you're going to want to read.) It's Sunday afternoon, and by golly, I have stuff to do.

Sorry I haven't checked in in a while. I appreciate all the thoughts you've been sending my way. And food! I really, really have.

And if anyone knows what to do with the 50 or so green tomatoes I've got staked up out there in the rain, I'm all ears. I'll be damned if the slugs are going to be the sole beneficiaries of all that hard work.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

There. A sphere.

At 10 PST on Thursday morning, I'll be getting my big Therasphere radiation procedure. If unfamiliar, google it. It's crazy.

Guys: I'm nervous! This is a big deal. Please send us all your best thoughts, prayers, vibes--whatever you got, we are accepting.

I will be a big ol' tired mess for at least a week after this. Pardon the lack of correspondence in advance. Come play with my kids. Be nice to Neil. Bring me milkshakes and smoothies and magazines.

Catch you later.

ps- Also send me good skin vibes. That last procedure gave me the nastiest hip rash in all of dermal history. I believe they scrubbed me pre-op with Clorox and a wire brush, then they sealed me up with duct tape. I am still peeling.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday the 13th: A great day for surgery!

This morning I underwent an ERCP (full anasthesia, scope down your throat, messing around in your liver) to add a second stent. It will help clear out the sludge that had accumulated recently and caused me to turn a winning shade of yellow. The procedure was a slam dunk, and now I'm on track for my big one next Thursday--which happens to be my dad AND Neil's dad's birthdays. Another auspicious sign.

I am feeling great, and all is well. Neil and the kids just biked down to the store and made giant milkshakes out of some of the glorious peaches and blackberries they found. Yu-um. I love Friday afternoons. The weekend is upon us and we have nothing scheduled.

We're really glad to have had such strong support from all our friends lately. You know who you are. It's been a rough few months, for sure. And I have lots more work to do. But once again (for the hundredth time. The thousandth?), we are ready.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Procedure scheduled for next Thursday

My theresphere procedure (liver radiation) has been scheduled for next Thursday, the 19th. It's supposed to knock me out from fatigue for at least a week. I'm going to miss an award ceremony at Kenyon as a result. (Oh, did I mention that? I'm getting inducted into the Kenyon Athletic Hall of Fame next weekend. Kind of a big deal, and kind of ironic to be celebrated for my physical prowess at a time like this.)

I'm slowly turning yellow again, so I'm waiting to hear back from the gastroenterologist, to see if I need a new stent, or what...

I have a huge red rash on my upper thigh. Turns out it's just a little residual internal bleeding from my femoral artery, which they opened last week when they did liver planning session. Why not.

Argh. I am completely, totally, utterly sick of this.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Change of plans

I haven't posted in many weeks. I have had some major ups and downs during those times. Too much to re-tell, and so I'll just focus on the latest.

I spent this past Tues-Thurs in the hospital. I admitted myself because I was having completely awful, unmanageable pain, particularly at night.

While at the hospital, we developed for me a pain management plan (drugs) that I can follow for home use, from here on out.

Also, I had a CT scan. The results showed significant growth in my liver tumor. It's the first time any of my tumors have ever grown at a significant rate. In the past, they've just sort of sluggishly increased in size. So we know that the DTIC chemo isn't working, and we are stopping that. Because my doc feels 95% of my real problem stems from my liver, we are focusing on just the liver for now. I am going to receive "theresphere" radiation directly to my liver. It's cutting-edge and cool, and they tend to get good results from it. I'll be starting very soon, within the next two weeks.

We've really been through the ringer lately, and so now I'm going to focus on being home, getting back on track, and living life. School just started back up this week. (In fact, I barely got the kids off at school before collapsing in the car en route to the hospital with Neil. It was as if, once both kids were safely away in elementary school at last, my body finally held up the white flag, saying, "Ok, Shelly, your work here is done. Go get some help.")