Like a solider going to warby Kyle & Vanessa on 11/04/11
Things have been pretty quiet around here, although I've had a good week filled with lots of naps, good food, tonnes of visitors, anti-nausea meds and unfortunately, painkillers. The effects of the chemotherapy were well managed by the drugs, but I did have one really bad night last Tuesday thanks to our nemesis, Neulasta. Since this drug stimulates white blood cell production in the bone marrow, it caused lots of aches and pains in my large bones, especially in my back and hips. I was in excruciating pain, but it was a small price to pay compared to the large benefits this drug provided me with.
Although we were hopeful that the chemo would start to shrink the main tumour in my lung after the first round (tumour is 5.6 cm x 3.4 cm), a CT-scan that Dr. Blackstein ordered on Tuesday showed no changes as of yet. Dr. Blackstein said he's neutral on the results. Although it would have been encouraging to see that the tumour was shrinking, he anticipates that the tumours have been there for a long period of time, and therefore wont't disappear as quickly and easily as we would have liked. He decided to add another round of chemotherapy to the treatment plan and mentioned he has a backup plan in his back pocket if first line therapy is unsuccessful. I have officially been diagnosed with Stage 4 Osteogenic Spindle Cell Sarcoma.
One major change for me this week is that I started to lose my hair. I woke up Monday morning to what I thought was an exploded pillow; it turned out to be my hair. I decided to go see my man Daniel Fung to get a shave and got the kind of cut a solider going to war would get... thought I should look the part!
Those of you that have seen me speak know that I set some strange goals in my last conquest. Most evident was to not lose my hair, a goal I set after Dr. Blackstein told me this was a side effect of chemo. I challenged myself to set this goal in response to my brother saying "You will look pretty funny with no hair." Since of course I did lose my hair then and again now, I have learned to set realistic goals. Knowing the hair loss was inevitable, this time around, I have been in search for the perfect winter hat for some time now. My quest has taken me from sporting goods to designer and specialty stores to Wal-Mart and even a trip to across the river to Target. We've searched high and low and I've tried on several, was even close to purchasing a few, but can't seem to find one that works.
I have decided in the few short weeks we have left before snowfall, I will design my own! I have been in the designer mode after Brandon asked me to help design his goalie mask for his upcoming NLL season. I have a few ideas but would love some input from others if you have any. I want my hat to serve as a symbol of inspiration for me every day, not something I could find on a store shelf.
I head back into the hospital on Monday for Chemo Round 2 and will be in there until Friday. It may sound strange, but I am looking forward to it; I enjoy the battle. I will continue this fight and stay open to all of Dr. Blackstein's recommendations for treatment. Our trust is 100% with him and his team at the Mt. Sinai Sarcoma Cancer Centre.
Updates to my blog will be coming much more frequently now that we have gotten our routine down. The last three weeks have been a whirl wind and I appreciate all of you for helping make our lives feel 'normal.'