Chad and I both consider ourselves from the South. Not long ago we were talking about this with the girls and their response was "Hold on! You are both from Virginia - that’s not in the South! That’s a Mid-Atlantic state." While their geography was right, we seized the teachable moment to talk about the Civil War and the Mason-Dixon line, and where their grand-mothers grew up. Chad's mom grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, and my mother grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, and Knoxville, Tennessee. So kind of similar to "mother tongue" we feel more Southern in many ways even though Virginia is in the Northern part of the South.
If our mothers are very Southern, their mothers were even more so, never living outside the "deep South". When Chad and I got married only our maternal grandmothers were still alive and they were both in their early 90s... Anyway, we soon realized our grandmothers had more in common than age. They both grew up on dairy farms and both had passed along to our mothers (who in turn passed along to us) the idea that “food is love”.
Breakfast at our both of our grandmothers always included biscuits and sausage (yes, that is right - included - but there was always more). I was glad when we went to my grandmother's that Chad knew that it was polite to not only eat some of everything, but to over-eat the biscuits and sausage in particular.
We so appreciate the meals that people have already made for us and those people are planning to bring. To us it is a huge sign of your love and support for us. It will also practically be a big help. I am the one that usually does the cooking and having been so sick have not felt like doing much of anything, much less cooking. Huge thank you for this!!
As for my weekly health update, yesterday I got my weekly treatment of rituxan plus a unit of blood. My hemoglobin was about the same as last Wednesday which was good news. We were expecting it to fall so I was technically above the limit where I had to get blood but still 25-50% below normal range so they gave me blood to help give me a little boost of energy. It has definitely helped and I can walk a flight of stairs without needing a rest at the top. My platelets were also up slightly which was good, but my neutrophils dropped by 50% again so they are getting to be near non-existent. My already bad immune system has gone from bad to worse.
Unfortunately the rituxan flu like symptoms are the same. The first week by Friday I did not feel nauseous. Last week it took until Sunday... hopefully I get at least a day off before my last round!
June 2 is when I tentatively will meet with my doctor to agree on chemo course of action. I was asking the nurses in the infusion room if since my counts had dropped with ritux would they wait until they rebounded to start chemo. They said I was the only person they had ever seen it have that effect on (great), but they thought no chemo would start right away. Right now Chad and I are still leaning towards inpatient and another round of cladribine to get it done with versus stretching chemo out over 6 months. This one month of every week feeling like crap and getting a few days of feeling okay and starting over has not been fun. If we do in-patient it will likely start the day after Katherine’s 5th grade graduation so we’ll have a day to celebrate that milestone before going into the next phase…