Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Merry Christmas

Christmas has come and gone. We were down in the city on the 23rd to see the Oncologist. I had a bit of a rough cycle and I was not prepared to undergo another. I ended up with my hands burning. They looked like I dipped them in boiling water. I couldn’t close my hands to make a fist without feeling lots of pain. I was so exhausted and fatigued that I was coming home from work and was in bed by 8 PM for a couple of weeks. The doc told us that it was caused by my liver not being able to keep up with its job of cleaning the chemo out of my blood therefore the stuff was hanging around longer than necessary and hence the side effects. We decided that it would be best to reduce the dosage so I don’t get so fatigued. It’s a quality of life issue. The doctor gave me a script for some medicine to boost my liver which seems to be working. I declined the treatment that was scheduled because wanted to feel good for the holidays and the doctor said that it would not be a problem and wouldn’t hurt anything. He told us "Big picture your doing great, this is typical and you should not worry about it." They filled my HAI pump with saline as scheduled and off we went. We had record time in out in less than 2 hours. We had lots of time before our train home so we went up to 5th Ave. to check out the window displays and to shop some. We stopped at St. Pats and ended up staying for the noon mass. We said a prayer at Ann Seton’s shrine and made our way over to Rockefeller Center to check out the Christmas tree. The tree was very beautiful and it looks much bigger on TV than in real life.

The whole area was decked out with great displays of the Christmas season.

We continued our adventure and found ourselves at the Stage Deli which is one of our favorites in the city. We had a hot coffee and a corned beef sandwich that was delicious. It was around 4PM and we thought we’d try to see if we could catch an early train home. No such luck all the train are sold out going to Albany. Oh well… We ended up at a bar in Penn and sat down to kill 2 hours before our train departed. Sandy had some drinks and I drank water. We met and chatted with lots of other travelers. It was nice to meet so many friendly people. We made it home without any issues and started getting ready for our big Christmas dinner party.
We have been hosting Christmas dinner for family for a couple of years now. So we had lots of prep work to do and by we I mean Sandy. She is the best and really did a great job putting it all together. Olivia was looking forward to the arrival of Santa Claus and her gifts that would be under the tree. We spent Christmas Eve setting up and getting ready for the next day. Olivia was in bed by 8:30 anda slept right through the night. She woke up around 6:45 and wanted to come to our bed and snuggle with us. This is her morning ritual. I asked her a couple of times if she wanted to go down and see if Santa came and she would reply “no not yet, maybe after Blue’s Clues”. Eventually she hopped out of bed and ran down stairs to the tree. We were hot on her tail but she made it there ahead of us and all we heard was “ooooooooo Santa came”. She opened her gifts and liked each one better than the last. She is such a happy kid. We got ready for our company to arrive. Uncle Jim and Aunt Lisa (Olivia’s God Parents) came around noon time. Aunt Lisa had to work so she wanted to see Olivia open her presents. Everyone else arrived shortly thereafter. Olivia took her nap as scheduled and woke up right before we all sat down for ham dinner Christmas feast. We said grace and then went around the table stating what we were grateful for. I started by giving thanks for Sandy and Olivia and all the joy that they bring me. I am thankful for my care team that they are so smart and have the knowledge to lead me to a cure. I gave thanks for my supportive family who is always there for us no matter what. Dinner was delicious and everyone enjoyed the sweets for dessert afterwards. Christmas day was a great time for all.

We are now awaiting the New Year which I pray will be filled with healing and good health. I hope your New year brings you all you ever wanted and lots of good fortune. Until next time.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Off to Sloan in snow storm...

This past Wednesday we had our first (well second) snow storm. We knew it was coming so we got up extra early to get the train. We left our house at 6:50 am and didn't arrive at the train station until 8:15 am. The driving conditions were horrible and subsequently we missed our train. Next train at 10:15. The ticket agent was very kind and gave us the same price for the reissues tickets. He could of charged us and additional $40. Good things will come him I'm sure. So we waited in the train station. Thankfully they have wireless access and I was able to work while Sandy facebooked. We called the office and let them know we were going to be late due to the storm. We arrived in the city at 12:30 and jumped in a cab over to the the office. They quickly drew my blood and then shortly there after I saw my oncologist. "Everything is going along great" he said "from our perspective you are doing great and have nothing to worry about". Nice news to hear. Chemo was prescribed and I was off to see the surgeon for a follow up. She was happy to see the wound and its healing progress. She mentioned that I could consider thinking about the reversal of the ostomy. This is something that I'm anxious to do but I'll have to talk it over with my oncologist. I think that we'll wait and see what happens with the current chemo regimen and if I get to resection then we'll do both procedures in one shot.
I'm back to work now and its been Ok so far. I am very tired by the end of the day and usually I'm in bed shortly after Olivia (9PM). This past treatment was little rough and I spent most of the weekend in bed. I worked from home on Monday. I'm hoping I feel up to going into the office on Tuesday.
We also got our bill for the copay from Sloan today complete with a 20% discount. Totally unexpected and certainly welcome. Cancer is expensive to treat and to live with. I thank my lucky starts that I have the means and a good job that enables us to afford it. I can't imagine what it would be like if we didn't have insurance.

Thanks to everyone who reads my posts. Sometimes I feel like they are so self centered but I guess you guys want to know what's going on in my life. So with that thank you all for your support and encouragement. Have a happy holiday season!