Sunday, September 28, 2014

Test this Week

Chad was in Geneva for work all last week and felt like a big test for me being back at work full time and then having all the home front, children responsibilities as well. Since I get to self grade, I am going to say I did really well.  I felt almost like myself which was huge given it was a pretty busy week at work with a generous mix of both early morning calls and late night calls, the girls had lots of evening activities and we had multiple contractors coming and going.

While I was tired by Friday, I would say I was more working mom tired vs cancer tired.  I was not begging the girls to go to sleep at 7 every night (or any night). Now we did all go to sleep by about 9, except for the nights I had late work calls with people in Asia, but that is par for the course for me.

I also made the girls do a list of what they wanted for breakfast and to pack for snack/lunch for school last Sunday. I do the same thing for dinner all week so I know I have the ingredients. This way there was no waking up moaning they were too tired to tell me what they wanted for breakfast. (Don't worry we sprinkle in spontaneity so everything in our lives is not planned out!!) We were up and ready for school early every day. Poor Margaret was getting to school about 45 minutes before school started but she did not seem to mind. There is some work that can start 30 minutes before school and she was actually happy to be early.

I did have blood work done last week and those results were pretty good as well. They came down a lot as expected post steroids but they were good for me. My immune system was back to about half of normal but good enough they finally let me drop a lot of the meds. After over 4 months on antibiotics (and many other drugs) it  is nice to have my daily pill popping done to just a few "basics".

I go back in about a week for another round of blood work then assuming there is nothing shocking in my results I will get to wait a month before the next round. My bone marrow biopsy is already scheduled for Wed, Dec 10. It will take about a week to get results and then if they are okay I might be able to get my port out.

A sign of how well I am doing was a short family conversation Saturday morning. I was trying really hard to sleep in. Katherine came in and crawled in bed between us about 8am. We heard the dog let us know she had slept in late enough and needed to go out. None of us wanted to get up to let her out. Chad was talking about how tired he was, I whispered to Kath to remind Chad that I had cancer so he really should get up...and what did she do? She burst into laughter and said, "Dad, mom is trying to play the cancer card." So I am feeling good enough that when I remind my family I have cancer I get laughed at!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


While much of the country is going gluten free my family has discovered the wonders of Blue Oven Bread and we are "going gluten".

For those of you not from Cincinnati, or not familiar with this local bakery, it sells its goods at markets around town. The lines are always long - so long it looks like something from the Great Depression or a food ration line. For a while the lines deterred us since there are lots of good local bakeries. Then a few weeks ago Chad came home with a loaf of "Bad Boy" bread and our weekend mornings have forever been changed (or at least they've been changed for now).

So now either Chad, or I, get to Findlay market on weekends about 20 minutes before Blue Oven opens to be at the front of the line. After usually 20-30 minutes (and as many $ later) we can stop to pick up coffee for us and then head home to feast. We have been working our way through what they have to offer. We really like their English muffins, fruit croissants and raisin-pecan bread for breakfast. For lunch, the Bad Boy bread with avocado and other veggies and cheese or ham is a family favorite, as is the Country French bread with aged cheddar for fancy grilled cheese. Turns out all you really need for gourmet sandwiches is some gourmet bread. So if you like good bread and you are in our 'hood on Sundays let us know - we are usually making up fancy sandwiches on really good bread.

I've also been on steroids for 2 weeks trying to beat back my poison ivy. They are working slowly for the poison ivy, but have been great for my aching knees. Luckily I have been doing more running to balance out my bread and steroids consumption.

I'm still getting tired by the end of the week. I am batting zero so far for making it to my Thursday and Friday night plans. I just am too wiped out and have ended up with headaches that have bordered on migraines.

Fatigue and headaches aside, I have been feeling great - really better than I have in a very long time. My numbers are finally starting to sync up with how I am feeling. My lab results this week were literally the best they have been in 4 years. Normal across the board which is a first for my white blood cells and neutrophils since I was diagnosed 2 years ago. While this seems like great news, I haven't entirely ruled out the possibility that they mixed up my results in the lab...  I'll really believe it and celebrate in 2 weeks if my counts are still good once I'm off steroids (and double sure it is my blood and it did not get switched!!). Obviously great news though and we are really excited :).