Monday, December 28, 2015

Recovering from ... the holidays!

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!  Yesterday we basically just sat around, catching some rest after a VERY busy Christmas.  We enjoyed having family in town and then the extended family over for Christmas dinner, but whew(!), lotta work to get the house in order, gather groceries and supplies, and serve the big meal.  As late as just a couple of days before the arrival of guests, we actually still had boxes stacked in the dining room of the new house!

It's amazing how having people over can motivate you to get the house tidied up and clean.  I'm sad to admit that most of the remaining boxes were simply moved to the garage attic.  Temporarily, that is.  That's the plan, anyways!  Said boxes hold home d├ęcor items that have yet to be put up.  I just don't feel comfortable hanging things and decorating until the new furniture and rugs are in place.  That won't happen until the other house is sold.  Yes, the old house is still out there, hanging over us like a dark cloud and under us like a money pit.  Dang, the buyers these days are demanding!  It's under contract (for the 3rd or 4th time) and we are due to close on January 21st.  Seems so far away!!!  And I can't help but think that it's more time for something to go wrong.  SO ready to be done with it!

Overall I'm doing well, and I'm really thankful for the energy I've had to accomplish what I have.  Ironically, however, I don't look as healthy on paper.  Last week my blood counts (H&H) were lower than ever, and they recommended that I receive a blood transfusion.  I said "No thanks."  Who has time for that on the week of Christmas?  Not me.  Also, my platelets were dangerously low (17, normal range is 140-400.)  I'm having everything re-checked this week to see if anything has improved.  If the counts haven't improved adequately, I will get 2 units of blood, and possibly platelets, as well, on Thursday.  I may or may not get chemo on Wednesday depending on my labs.  The last time I had to get blood was last May.  At that time, I was experiencing shortness of breath with only the slightest exertion.  This improved dramatically after the transfusion.  Right now, I'm not having that, even though the numbers are actually worse than in May.  Who knows why that is exactly.  I can only speculate that I have less visible cancer and a lesser tumor burden than before, so I'm able to tolerate the anemia better now.  The only thing I've noticed is that my legs feel "heavy" when I try to walk fast or far.  It's an odd feeling.  It's not soreness, and it doesn't even feel like I've worked out too hard (which is a wayyy distant memory now that you brought it up).  The best way I have to describe it is that I feel like my legs just don't have the power to move me at any kind of clip.  Which makes complete sense, because what my blood is lacking is oxygen carrying capacity.  So, slow it is!  Works for me.  I can still drive and be supermom and superhost, and even go for short walks on the greenbelts in our neighborhood.  Can't complain!

I continue to gain weight, which I have to admit is starting to bother me a little.  Enough, already!  I've been eating whatever I want and however much I want for quite some time now, sooooo ... that might be why I'm heavier!  As you probably already know, I love to eat.  I may have to make some changes.  Ummm, I'll have to think about that some more. Maybe later.  Like, for the new year.  Yea, that's it, a New Year's Resolultion.  Possibly  :)

In early December, I had my every-3-month CT scans of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis, which showed slight growth in some areas, stability in others.  Could be worse, could be better.  I could tell some things were changing.  A little cough coming back, the positional nature of the coughing, and I don't know perhaps just a gut feeling that the chemo isn't working as well as it did initially.  I no longer feel "great," only "really good."  Then again, when I did feel great, it was in relation to the "awful" that I experienced for several months earlier this year.  So maybe it's that.  Anyhoo ... sticking with the same treatment until the cancer's growth is more significant than slight.  My tumor markers are slowly climbing, so evidently something is happening.  Treatment only gets changed if the cancer's change is greater than 20%, OR if the side effects of the chemo are too severe or intolerable.  Dr. Coscio says that she is beginning to look into what my next options will be.  To prepare for the eventual inevitable.  She doesn't say it like that ... she is much more professional than that, but I get it.

Hey, guess what!?  Last week, I GOT A HAIRCUT!  AND highlights!  Geaux me!!!  It had been over 3 YEARS since my last haircut.  Wow!  Yea, it wasn't that long, but I needed a shape-up, for sure.  Sooooo happy.  Love it.  I've been using shampoo for a while now, but today I even bought hairspray.  Fancy schmancy!  It's the little things, people, it's the little things.  Appreciate them.

Here are some pics from our family's Christmas.  Enjoy.
Christmas in the new house.  LOVE Christmas!

Me & my mom.



Me & my dad.

Love this one of me & Christa & Bethany.

Christa, Bethany, David & Me.


The gang on Christmas Day.  Me, hubby, 4 kids, 6 grandkids, parents, parents-in-law, bro-and-sis-in-law, aunt, nephew, niece, & nephew-in-law

Me & my three girls:  Christa, Bethany & Shea.