LOVE YOUR MELON

I got an AWESOME gift today. And in turn, a child with cancer being treated with chemotherapy also got an AWESOME gift today.

Love Your Melon

Check out my new pink hat that says “Love Your Melon”! Our nanny, Hailey, got it for me as a gift after her and I saw these hats on The Today Show a few weeks ago. “Love Your Melon” was created by 2 students at the University Of St. Thomas in Minnesota. The non-profit donates one hat to a child going through chemotherapy when a hat is purchased through their site www.LoveYourMelon.com.

Click here to link to the story that aired on The Today Show.

Immediately after the story aired on national TV, Love Your Melon hats were sold out! Hailey ordered mine just in the knick of time! I am so happy she was quick on the computer. More importantly, I am happy to know that there are lots of kids that are going through what I am going through and they are going to have big smiles on their face as well!  My hat is super soft, will go with everything I wear (because I wear tons of pink) and certainly keeps my head warm without being suffocating.

If you’re interested in helping out such a great cause, like “Love Your Melon” on Facebook  and check out their website. As I mentioned, they are currently sold out of all hats, but you can be put on their email waiting list and they will let you know when more hats are available. I think its just such an easy way to help out and bring smiles to these kids’ faces. Its so unfortunate that we live in a world where kids so young and innocent have to endure and fight cancer. They are so brave and the least we can do is brighten up their day.

On another note, a hospital update: I am still here in the hospital. Today is day 25. I am still completely dependant on what my platelet counts wants to do. I still fluctuate quite a bit, so that is what is keeping me in here. I am keeping my fingers crossed and a positive attitude. I know that rushing myself home isn’t going to do any good, so I am trying to be as chill as possible. My new hat will help make that possible! :o)

 

 

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

It doesn’t matter if your attached, un-attached, single by choice, looking for love or already in a perfectly happy and content relationship. I don’t think there’s much of an excuse to not celebrate Valentine’s Day in one such form. In my daily tv watching today (of course every day time talk show was centered around hearts, flowers, chocolate and how to make this such a great memorable day), there seems to be a lot of pressure to “get it right.” I say screw that. If you don’t have a sweetie, remember there are lots of other people that you love that are in your life. I have sent and have recieved many messages today from good friends and family members. Its just a day to remind us to tell those around us that we love and appreciate them.  I’ve said it before, but it is easy to get wrapped up in our own chaotic daily lives that we forget to celebrate the ones around us. Imagine if they weren’t there. I am sure your world be dramatically different.

Small guesstures tend to make the world of difference and many things don’t have to cost a lot of money, or no money at all. I got fabulous Valentine’s Day cards from both my kids and you know for sure I’ll be holding onto those! They are taped up on my hospital wall. All I have to do is look up at them and it makes me smile. (A little bit of chocolate never hurts either.)

I checked back into Camp Summerlin on Tuesday morning and so I have about 1/2 week under my belt. I have finished my 3rd day of chemo and the chemo will go for 5 days. The plan is a stay of around 3 weeks again. Its easier coming into the hospital with at least knowing what to expect. This is my 3rd round of consolidation chemo and my doctors would like to see me complete 4 rounds. That’s what the crystal ball is telling me right now, so that’s all I have to go off of. Obviously my goal is to be cancer-free and the sooner I can get there the better!

On another note, The Villages in Florida, where my mom lives is having a great event this evening. Its too bad we are getting left out of the festivies but I am sure they will have a great time. Its a dinner and dancing charity event entitled “Its a Matter of the Heart” which is acting as a fundraiser to help raise awareness for leukemia and he need for blood and platelet donation. The Villages Sun doesn’t have the most update-to-date news website, so here’s the article regarding the event. I hope you can make the pictures of the article larger so you read it.

The Village Sun, Part 1

  The Village Sun, Part 1

 

The Village Sun, Part 2

The Village Sun, Part 2

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day and find someone today to at least tell them how important they are to your life. Just let them know you’re thinking about them!

Happy Valentine's Day

FALL

I’m going on my second month in Camp Summerlin (as my walking buddy Ilene called it.) I am going to be here for at least another month until we find out how my bone marrow reacts to the second round of chemo. Then I get to find out where my treatment and journey will take me. I am on Day 4 of chemo and that is going well. I actually feel almost too good. I feel like I could just take the darn port out of my chest and head on home – resume business as normal. (I actually almost did pull my port out yesterday by accident. It scared the $hit out of me. I’m always pretty careful because it is a needle that goes straight into my chest. I was getting up from my of-so-comfy hospital lounge chair and I stepped on my own darn lines that connect me to the pump.  That gave it a pretty nice tug. I pretty much freaked out but my nurse checked it out and it’s a-ok. Its just a little angled now but no permanent damage and it still works just fine.)

Anyway, back to the topic of conservation, we all know that I can’t just bounce back home. However, I am craving the sense of normalcy, having responsibility and enjoying the weather. I miss the everyday stuff with my kids, cuddling with my dogs and just having control over my life. Its now reached the 70’s outside – beautiful, perfect fall weather for Las Vegas. Its my favorite time of year and I can only see it from inside from my hospital room.

Gru the Bulldog

Gru the Bulldog

And...now Gru is tired.

And…now Gru is tired.

Fall and winter are also my favorite time of year because of all the holidays and traditions that Dave and I have put in place for our kids. Once I had little ones of my own, I found it very important to try and instill holiday traditions into our lives. For example, every year we go and pick our pumpkins at Gilcrease Orchard.  Gilcrease Orchard is great. Its been there forever and is very popular during the Halloween season. You pick your pumpkins off the vine, get all dusty and dirty from hiking through the patch and enjoy homemade apple cider and pumpkin donuts for your effort. Throughout the year they offer seasonal fruit that is all U-Pick. I know this is all normal for my Midwest friends and readers but its sure not the norm for here in Las Vegas!

Pumpkin Patch pic 1

 

The kids had a blast this year but I didn’t get to go. Dave and his dad took the kids. I was bummed because I couldn’t go but so glad we were able to keep up the tradition. I loved seeing the smiles on their faces from all the pictures Dave took. It made me feel like I was right there with them.

 

Pumpkin Patch pic 2

This is certainly a time of patience – something I haven’t always had a lot of. Its often said, but very true – “All things happen for a reason.”

WHAT THE HECK IS AML?

You’ve read my trials and tribulations of ths sudden prognosis and you’re probably still wondering exactly what is wrong with me. I was in the same boat. I was scared to look at the internet and the doctors are great but its hard to get a full handle on what is really going on in my body. Doctors just had such a sense of urgency to get my chemotherapy treatment and anitibiotics as soon as possible. It was a complete whirlwind.

This is is what I researched: AML stands for Acute Myeloid Leukemia. There are there 3 other types of leukemia and this happens to be the type that I have. According to The Mayo Clinic, AML is a cancer of the blood and the bone marrow. There is a rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells that accumulate within the blood marrow and interferes with the production of normal blood cells. Per the AML Alliance, AML is rare for patients under the age of 40, however it is the most common form of acute leukemia. There are more than 11,900 new cases of AML each year. Symptoms of AML include fatigue, shortness of breath, easy bruising and bleeding and increased risk of infection (all of which I had.) These are all symptoms that I contributed to have the flu or picking up something from the kids. And the bruising? Well I just figured it was from all the moving and upacking of boxes.

I have found many great leukemia support sites that give lots of good information and support and I am sure I will come across many more as do more and more research.

-AMLAlliance.com

-Bethematch.org

-DailyStrength.org

-Caring4Cancer.com

These are just a few that I have found great information from actual patients and survivors.