THE BONE MARROW BIOPSY

The plan was to have my bone marrow biopsy on Monday, Oct. 28. For unknown reasons, other than that hospitals are on their own time schedule, my biopsy got pushed to Tuesday morning, which turned into Tuesday afternoon…you get the picture. I finally was in the procedure room around 1 in the afternoon on Tuesday. It wasn’t my doctor doing the procedure and they gave me different medication than what I had received last time. Needless to say, I was a bit apprehensive. There is something to be said about intuition because it didn’t go as smoothly as I wished it had gone. Oh well! Remember that book I told you to read, Zen: The Art of Happiness? Yeah, I am sure you all went out to get it and you’ve already read the whole thing. Okay, I know that’s not the case, but it still should be on your “To-Read List”. One of its main points is how to find the positive things in crappy and even terrible situations. I’m sure it is something that each of us can benefit from in our lives. So…the bone marrow biopsy was not the lovely event that I thought it was going to be, but at least it is over with. And now we await the results. It probably won’t be until the end of the week or the beginning of next week to find out what our next step is in my treatment plan.

In unrelated leukemia news (other than the fact that I am hospital-ridden, so I actually have time for these things), I have been sucked in the world of Game of Thrones. Thank you once again Steve Jobs and Jackie. I have season 1 of GOT under my belt and will start season 2 when I know I can keep my eyes open. Its not that the show is boring, it’s the darn meds that I am on. Promise! I also started a new book today called Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter. It’s a fiction book based on a woman who lives in Oakland, CA and makes her backyard (well abandoned land right next to her apartment) into a garden and mini-farm. I’m only a fourth of the way through the book, but its light reading, interesting and humorous. Its giving us all the message that its not that hard to grow vegetables and raise chickens for our own consumption. I guess Carpenter didn’t get the message that I’ve killed every houseplant I’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong, I do think buying local and pesticide/hormone-free products if possible is the way to go. I just don’t foresee gardening or plucking turkeys in my near future.

Today was really a quiet day. I am still battling headaches. The spot in my lower back where the doctor hammered a big needle into it is quite sore. Imagine that. I plan on going on a walk before I settle in for a night of Modern Family…and whatever that new comedy is that’s on afterwards. (Not sure if it’s a good sign that I can’t remember the show’s name, but I find it somewhat entertaining.)

Be looking for tomorrow’s blog – my brother Braydon is organizing a benefit concert for all of you Chicago people! I will be giving you ALL of the info tomorrow! And just another thank you to everyone that follows the blog and to all the people who have given such awesome support. It means the world to me.

FINISHED WITH 2ND ROUND

I finished my second round of chemo Friday night around midnight. I was glad to have that over – not that I got sick or was uncomfortable but its more of a mental accomplishment. I am one step closer to getting treatment over and there is something about being CONSTANTLY hooked up to a machine. During chemo, I was only unhooked for about 10 minutes a day so that I could shower. I would get clean and change my clothes and then Mr. Buddy Braun was my pal once again.

Everyone keeps asking, “What is the plan?” Good question. This is what I know so far – and remember things can always change. My oncologist, Dr. Wareman, will do another bone marrow biopsy in about 2 weeks from now. The biopsy entails her literally hammering into my back above my right or left hip to get samples of my bone marrow. All I have to say is THANK GOD for morphine. She will get the results back from the biopsy 3-4 days after that. If there are no blasts (leukemia cells) then I believe I just go onto maintenance chemo and may have an opportunity to go home at some point. (I’m not sure how that all works.) If there are blasts left, then we consider a bone marrow transplant. Transplants are actually pretty common and sometimes the preferred treatment option for leukemia patients. They would clear out ALL of my bone marrow through a super-charged type of chemo then give me new bone marrow from a donor. Its kind of like wiping the slate clean and starting all over. So, for now, I’m just dealing with lovely little side effects that come with having chemo and waiting to find out how my body responds to this latest round of chemo.

Speaking of bone marrow transplants…when you get a transplant, you obviously need a donor. The best chance of finding a match is if you have a sibling. Lucky for me I do! My brother, Braydon, who is 4 years younger than me, agreed to donate his marrow if we are a match. (He better have said yes or I would have kicked his you-know-what like I did when we were little. We played a lot of WWF Wrestling.) Testing for a match and the actual donation process is basically painless. I think back in the day it was a lot more involved, so we are lucky to have made such strides in medical treatments and technology. Braydon got to hear all of this information straight from my oncologist because he came from Chicago this past weekend to visit. I was glad he got to meet Dr. Wareman firsthand and hear how the procedure would go if he is indeed a match.

Uncle Braydon & Grady

Uncle Braydon & Grady

The visit with Braydon was great. He and I stay in touch through talking and texting but I hadn’t actually seen Braydon in about a year and a half. He came up to the hospital for the majority of the three days he was here. He got to enjoy the super comfy hospital lounge chair. (I go all out for my visitors!) We just chatted, went for walks and enjoyed multiple episodes of mindless tv, such as American Restoration on the History Channel. (Its actually an interesting show. It is set in Las Vegas and is a spin-off of Pawn Stars. We learned a lot about old Harleys, Coca-Cola machines and trains.)

Just a quick reminder, t-shirts are now available for order again. Many people missed the ordering deadline the first time around and wanted to know if they could still get shirts. Well, here is your opportunity! You have until November 11th to order and they will be delivered straight to you by Thanksgiving. Thank you in advance for all of your support.

Kiddos supporting their momma!

Kiddos supporting their momma!

Click here to order your t-shirt!