I actually got to come home on Halloween afternoon and went with to take the kids trick or treating. I was so tired after that walk around the block. I think I need some conditioning to build up my endurance a bit. I was ONLY in the hospital for 57 days (or 8 weeks and 1 day). I guess I could cut myself a little bit of slack.
Ava as a Pirate Princess
Grady as a Pirate
Since I have been home, I have really been taking it easy. I went with for swimming lessons at Lifetime on Saturday morning and I have gone along to drop off the kids at school and pick them up. I have even taken some pretty good naps.
(By the way, Grady WASN’T TIRED and he was WASN’T going to take a nap. Ahh…4 year olds…)
So, you are probably wondering how all of a sudden I got to come home! It was mid-morning on Thursday (Halloween) that my oncologist came into my hospital room and told me I could go trick or treating that evening. I was really in shock. We had gotten the results back from my bone marrow biopsy and they were pretty good. My blood count numbers were also high. The doctors’ goal, in general, is to not keep you in the hospital. Sometimes your house can be cleaner than the hospital. Imagine that.
I had an office visit with the oncologist on Monday where she did more bloodwork. She was still pleasantly surprised that my body is making its own platelets and my white blood count is over 3.0. (My WBC was down to 0.2 at one point during my first round of chemo.) I am still at a risk for catching something (having a somewhat depressed immune system) but my body is in a better position to fight off a cold now than it was before. I am still a germaphobe and use Purell on myself, Dave and the kids non-stop. Better to be safe than sorry.
The plan is to do more bloodwork tomorrow and I will have another bone marrow biopsy on Monday. The results of that biopsy will tell us if there are any leukemia cells left. This determines whether I will continue on with maintenance chemo or if I will have to get a second opinion at UCLA. These treatment plans are all up in the air until we see the results and we see how my body continues to react. I am lucky right now because I have had no other side effects other than being tired. (And who wouldn’t be after coming home to a 4 and 6 year old and 3 dogs?)
It does feel great to be home. I am getting back into the routine and starting to begin to help around the house (laundry, helping with homework, and I am thinking about doing some cleaning today.) It just feels nice to have a purpose instead of being stuck in a hospital bed all day and night long.
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
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!
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.
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.”