It's been five years. That seems like a milestone, but I don't know if it's really any different. It still hurts. I still think of what she would look like now. I still think about what she would like, not like; do and not do. I still wish she was here. I still wish for her to be a brat to me. I still wish she was playin with her friends. I still wish that her stocking would be opened on Christmas morning.
I've had two Nivolumab infusions since I last wrote. So far, they are going very well. My blood work FINALLY has made some positive changes. My anemia is better (that hasn't changed much in AGES!) and my white count continues to come down (had been up to 43k before my first Nivolumab). My doctor is extremely happy with my physical examinations so far, and I have a CT scheduled for right after Christmas to see how things are going elsewhere. Fingers crossed!
I have actually been feeling quite well. I've gained about 4 pounds (yay 114!), and I'm feeling much stronger. I've been able to get around without pain, and I've actually been able to entertain, play with and even CARRY Lochlan! He has been really loving spending time with me, and I've (for the most part) been loving spending time with him. We baked a batch of cookies yesterday, and he and I have had some great outings and fun times. I'm feeling quite normal most days - a stark change from before. Of course, I still have days that I feel tired and sore. This medication makes me sore for a couple days after the infusions, but also I'm doing more and being more active, which really adds to muscle soreness. And then there are the pangs that come when nodes are shrinking.
I've been able to help more around the house, which has been a huge help for Mike. I'm able to do some things related to CareAline, but I'm still a bit limited on what my brain will keep up with. I still have some chemo fog in there, which is frustrating. I also still have a hard time holding onto things with my hands - it's like there is a delay between when I think I will grab something, and when my hand actually closes around it. I'm hoping that with time and with exercise (and physical therapy) I will regain my muscle control. It's nice to feel more usefull, and to get out of my bed for most of the day!
I'm still resting each day. My body still has a lot of healing to do and a lot of catching up to do from the past year. We are going to be traveling a bit in the near future, and I'm feeling confident that things will go well. Peds2040 is in Miami this year, and I'm super excited to be doing the kids innovation workshop again. We are doing some really fun things with virtual reality, and I'm excited to let the kids play with some fun, new technology! Plus, who could resist Miami in January?!
Another big project I'm jumping into is finally starting in earnest to write my book. I started this book a long time ago, but wasn't completely sure of it's direction and tone. I think I'm ready to go at it full force and give it a go. I won't yet reveal what it is, but I will in time. I may even seek some of you all out to help me and contribute. This project could be exactly what I need. I know it's something that is needed in the world.
This post is a little disjointed, but that's kind of where my brain is. Getting better is fabulous, don't get me wrong, but it has given me the crazy, all over the place, mind that I used to always have. A thousand things in there and a thousand projects going on, and I'm not really quite able to process it all. I've noticed that while I physically am feeling better and able to do more (which makes me want to try and do all the things!), my brain has not caught back up yet. I have to remember to slow down and "divide and conquer" a bit better. One thing at a time! (Button my pants first, then walk down the stairs). Multitasking is not yet back to normal for me. I will be relying a lot on lists and notes and reminders if I'm going to be working on all these things at once. Forgetfulness was not really part of my life before cancer, but it sure is now. One of the downsides to conventional treatment. I can't wait to start some physical therapy (hopefully right after the holidays) and start to build up my strength and flexibility physically, and hopefully then I can focus on also working my brain back to normal. I still have a long road ahead, but I am feeling like I'm finally starting to walk down the road rather than sitting looking at it in front of me - waiting for the signal to go.
Thank you to all who have supported us through this journey so far. We are so greatly appreciative. We are not quite out of the woods yet. There is much to be done to build back me, as well as build back the business since it hasn't been the first priority for the past six or seven months. We have a lot of irons on the fire, but we have to make sure each is ready for forging. Please continue to share my story and my blog - I want to be an encouragement to others as much as I can. And if you can donate, or have friends or family who may be able to donate, we greatly appreciate it. I still pay out of pocket for various parts of my treatment, and our private child care assistance will be ending in January (our state vouchers have not yet come through), and we are still not taking much or a salary for Mike as we build the business back up. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you!!!