07- Back to the Grind!

Hopefully I will stay on top of this one better!

Sunday, Sept 23rd… was a special day for church.  Every one in Utah was able to attend a meeting where we got to hear the dedication of the new Brigham City Temple.  It was a lovely meeting and made for a short day in church for most people.  Much shorter than the usual 3 hour block.  I was glad we decided to attend.

I forgot to mention in my last post that I was able to attend the Jordan River temple on Wednesday, Sept 19th.  I went during the AM shift…. since that’s the shift I normally work but am currently on hold.  I wanted to see some of my peeps I work with.  I decided to do some Initiatory work since I figured I would probably see more of them that way.  I’m so grateful I did… not only was it a reminder of the verbiage, but it was tender too.  Those sister who served me while I was there got to ‘see’ my bald head since I took off my turban for the annointing.  Some of them had a hard time with it…. meaning, they were touched I would opt to do that.  It was a special day.  I was able to speak to many of the sisters that I have come to love and even had a chance to speak to my Coordinator at the end of my day there.  She happened to come down the stairs in the area where the workers come out and I saw her in time to go chat.  We talked about my hopes to come back soon, but I expressed my concern that I wasn’t feeling as good as I had hoped.  I was hoping to come back on a work as needed basis on my good weeks.  So far, I haven’t had many of those!  Except for the few weeks I was feeling good during my show…. but I felt I needed to save my strength for the show instead of getting up at 5am on Wednesdays.  She said we’d just play it by ear.  I’m hoping with the fact that they are now giving me that expensive shot after treatments… that I will be doing well enough to help a little on my off weeks.  I can’t be on hold for much longer or they will have to release me!

Other news that I forgot to share in my last post.  On September 7th my oldest son attended my show.  My daughter was there too.  We all went out for ice cream after the show and I got a report about a doctors appointment my son had been to that week.  I knew he’d gone in to check out some pain he’d been having.  It started in his back and traveled to his groin.  He thought he might be passing a kidney stone, but when the pain hadn’t gone away in 24 hours, he knew he better get it checked out.

After we finished our ice cream and had to leave Dairy Queen because they were closing, we stood outside and I persuaded him to give me the results there.  He wanted to wait till Sunday… our scheduled family time, but I told him I didn’t want to wait.  I think he was a little apprehensive about sharing right there because Mandy had a friend with her we didn’t know well.  Fortunately, he stepped away to make a phone call, so he decided to let us know the result.  It wasn’t something I wanted to hear.

They found a lump in his right testical and wanted to remove it.  He was scheduled for surgery the following Wednesday morning.  He was told it was testicular cancer.  How fun!  Two of us going through cancer at the same time!  The CT scan he had gone in for also showed a lump on his kidney.  This wasn’t good news either!  Particularly since the kidney is not typically connected to testicular cancer.  Now we had to figure out what the puzzle was.

I will just update you here on this whole saga so I won’t have to keep coming back to it in this post.

His surgery went fine.  They removed his testical and sent it off to the lab to be analyzed.  The doctor came into to speak to Ali (his girlfriend) and her Dad and I after the surgery.  He spoke to us of the two different kinds of cancer it could be and was encouraged that he thought it would be seminoma, not non-seminoma.  Apparently, Seminoma is the better of the two to get.  Much easier to treat.  He did mention the kidney lump and said that it would be very rare for him to have two different kinds of cancer at the same time.  So now all we could do was wait for the results.

OK…. now here’s where I got very frustrated with his doctor!  He told us that he might have the results back by Friday…. but it would most likely be Monday before he’d know anything.  OK…. so on Monday, he and the doc played phone tag.  Here’s the thing that gets me.  The doctor KNEW he wouldn’t be available to talk the next day and he KNEW he’d be in surgery all day on Wednesday…. so WHY didn’t he go out of his way to make sure he talked to Jon on Monday!  I mean really!  He can’t make an after hours phone call when he had time and Jon was off of work to give him the news?  He’d rather make us sit around and fret for two more days waiting for results!  NO!  This is not acceptable!  The patient needs to know what they are facing and it’s VERY unfair to make them wait that long when you know the results!  NOT a happy camper with that doc!

Anyway…..  He finally talked to him on Thursday.  He was told that it IS seminoma…. the good kind (if there’s such a thing).  He was told it could be easily treated with just radiation…. however… because of the kidney, they had to figure some things out.  So Jon had a meeting with 3 different doctors on Tuesday morning, September 25th to discuss the plan of action.

He actually finished up his meetings just as we were getting there to start my next treatment.  So we talked for a few minutes of the plan.  They want to go in and remove the lump from the kidney.  They said it’s very small and are hoping that it can be removed and he won’t need treatment for it.  In fact, they are hoping that they won’t have to do treatment on either.  Just have him come in every 4 month for a CT scan to make sure everything is alright.  That would be a blessing!  We don’t have his time for surgery yet… but hopefully it will be within the next few weeks.

So there you have it!  Another exciting thing facing our family!  But we will get through this together!

Monday of this week, Sept 24th…. feeling really good since it’s been 5 weeks since a treatment…. I took advantage of the day.  Did a little shopping…. finally was able to attend one of my hubby’s softball games.  It was great to see so many of the wives there that I know.  Not as many from our regular team… but several from another team that he has played with on out of town tournaments.  They were all very good to me and wondered how I was doing.  Well… Monday I was feeling great!  It was good to see them.  I don’t know how I will be feeling next Monday… so I wanted to take advantage of seeing the game.  We also ran up to the other softball diamond in Murray to watch our son play.  John was worried they may be short players because Jon can’t play the rest of the season because of his situation… plus Nate was going to call backs for a show and was worried he wouldn’t make it in time.  But he did, so we just sat and watched the second game they played.  It was good to feel good enough to do that and to visit with some family members.  We have several that play on that team… in fact… the are the team managers/owners.  The team is named after their business, Community Chiropractic… so we have lots of family on the team.  It’s fun.

Tuesday was back to the grind!  Treatment day!  Honestly…. knowing how good I’d been feeling….. I really wasn’t looking forward to going back.  But it has to be done!  As I mentioned above…. we talked to Jon and Ali about his situation before we went in to see the doc for my appointment.  We discussed with Dr. Litton, my oncologist,  the plan of action for me now that my show was over.  He asked how I had done with the last treatment after getting a Neulasta shot the day after.  I really think it made a difference for me.  I’m not sure I would have made it through my shows without it!  So the plan now is to receive a shot after every treatment.  We also discussed the fact that since I had 5 weeks off, he wanted to do 2 more treatments before we measured my markers for improvement.  I kind of expected that.  He wants to push forward with treatment every two weeks now.  He says with the shot, it shouldn’t be a problem with my white blood counts.  Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on your viewpoint…..) we are headed out of town the 7th – the 14th for the Senior Games, so that will make it 3 weeks before my next treatment.  He didn’t seem too concerned but we set dates out for future treatments and for the next PET/CT scan.  No appointment set yet, but the scan will be scheduled for the 29th.  Ironically…. one of the alternative things that was recommended to me was to write out a 90 Health Goal Statement that I’m suppose to read everyday.  My 90 days for that will be up on the 28th.  Part of my goal statement says how great I feel and that I know my body has healed.  It will be interesting to see the imaging taken the day after.  The mind is a powerful thing!  Just saying!  I told the doctor I planned on kicking this a lot sooner than he expects!

The treatment went fine.  I actually wasn’t bothered by the last of the 4 meds they gave me this time.  It made me feel a little sick the last time I’d had it… but it didn’t seem to bother me this time.  Maybe it’s because I was preoccupied making a loom hat.  Here’s a little info for you…… I have decided my next project is making and donating hats to the Cancer Center.  They let their patients have them for free.  I actually took one the first time I went in an thought it was a great idea.  They haven’t had many hats there as of late, and the ones that I’ve seen are ones that I personally would never wear.  Meaning, the color or the style was not something I would want to wear.  I went to Hobby Lobby looking for some different yarn to remake a crochet cloche pattern that didn’t turn out with the thick yarn I used.  While there…. I looked through the crochet books and came across a book called “Chemo Caps and Wraps”.  There are some cute patterns in it so I decided to get it.  After bringing it home and looking through it…. I felt inspired to try and make one of each of the hats in the book to donate to the cancer center.  So that is my new project!  For some reason, I’ve decided I want to donate 100 caps/hats, but I’ve realized that’s a lot for just me to take on….. so I have asked some friends, via Facebook….. to help me!  It will be fun!  I have made several hats so far and look forward to making more!  It keeps my mind and my brain active in something worthwhile!  But boy do I need more yarn!

So…. back to the treatment….. I didn’t seem to be bothered by the meds this time and felt pretty good afterward.  Later that evening I  felt a little icky…. but not terrible.  The next day we came back for my shot and I was feeling pretty good.  For some reason, the day after doesn’t seem to bother me much.  We had tickets to go see the MWF cast of 9-5 at Hale Theater that night.  Ali was in that cast and we hadn’t seen them because obviously…. I had shows on the same nights until this week.  I felt pretty good all night long and enjoyed seeing several friends that were there, including cast members.  It was a great show.  Though I had wanted to be a part of it earlier in the summer and things didn’t work out…… I know I couldn’t have done that particular show right now.  All I know is, it was meant to be for me to be a part of ‘Little Women’ instead….. for many reasons.  All of which I’m grateful for!

The next few days were just spent chilling around the house, crocheting hats  and feeling alright!  I wasn’t sure what to expect for the weekend.  Based on my past experience….. I thought I would feel pretty crappy.  But things have been different this time!  I was worried for Sunday, because we were going out to see Mandy in Frightmares at Lagoon that night.  We don’t normally do that kind of thing on Sunday, but Mandy could only use all her discount passes on the same day and that was the only time the rest of the family could go at the same time.  Anyway…… usually by Sunday, I don’t feel great, so I was worried about getting there and making it through the evening.  I had even talked to my sister about possibly borrowing my Mom’s wheelchair to get me in and out if I felt yucky.

Come Saturday…. I was still feeling pretty good, so I decided not to worry about getting the wheelchair.  Saturday morning, we went to the Farmer’s market for a while.  Then we stopped in at Cafe Rio and shared a salad….. just cause I was in the mood for one!!  I did enjoy it.  I spent the rest of the day again just chilling and improving my crocheting skills.  I think I have a half a dozen or so hats ready now.  Well… almost…. I need to sew on some flowers on a couple of them…. but the hats are done!  It’s been fun.  I plan to take pictures of as many as I can…. particularly the really cute ones!

Sunday, we went to Sacrament meeting.  I started to feel a little yucky just before we left, but we went anyway.  I’m glad we did!  It was the Primary program and I love being there for that!  The kids always make me happy!  I especially loved it when the little kid on the front row knew every word to almost every song and was singing the loudest….. but not even close to on pitch!  It just makes me smile!  Those kids bring such a great spirit!

After Sacrament meeting, we came home and rested a while then fixed dinner so we wouldn’t be hungry at Lagoon.  (Which didn’t work for me….. I was starving all night…..)  I was feeling a little better than I had earlier, so we got ready to go.  We met the rest of the family at the mall since Jon was just getting off work there and it was easier to meet there.  Paranoid Mom wanted to make sure we got there in plenty of time so we didn’t miss Mandy’s first show.  Well…. it worked out we were plenty early.  But you never know what you are going to run into as far as parking and picking up passes, etc. etc……

It was fun to see Mandy’s show again.  They were definitely tighter than they were on preview night the week before.  I would love to go support her at least one more time this season….. but we can only do it if she can work out another discount pass…. which is highly unlikely!  When Nate did Frightmares a few years ago, we went a lot but that’s because we bought season passes because he did the summer show too so we had used the pass all summer long.  I feel bad not to support her more, but they charge a ridiculous amount just to get in!  I think it’s criminal that they quit doing the entrance only pass.  Lots of people go with no intention to ride the rides…. just to be with family and watch the shows.

Anyway…. Mandy does a great job as the Bride of Frankenstein.  The show is not quite the same as when Nate was there.  Not just the cast obviously, but some of the music has changed.  Not sure we like it quite as well as far as show content.  I’m sure if we were able to go more, the show would grow on me.  Either way…. Mandy does well and it’s fun to see her doing something she’s wanted to do for a long time.

October!  How did it get here so fast!  I do love the fall!  The colors and the cooler air.  Though it’s still been pretty warm here!  All my Halloween decor is out.  Has been for a week or so if I didn’t mention that.  I wanted to get it up while I knew I would feel well enough to do it.

Monday, Oct 1—- Too much candy corn today!  I shouldn’t be eating sugar period….. but today, I over did it on the candy corn.  (It’s suppose to be part of the decor…. but someone just keeps getting into it!)  I mean…. really over did it.  I started to feel really yucky.  Maybe part of it was the chemo catching up….. but I think most of it was my sugar levels going nuts in my body!  I had to take a nap and hope it would wear off.  I felt a little better after waking up, but not a lot.  It was the last night for my hubby’s softball games.  Sorry Hon…. not going tonight!  I stayed home and groaned a little while I watched ‘Dancing With the Stars’.  That’s the first time I’ve seen that show in a long time!  I used to never miss it!  But then we just kind of quit watching TV much and somehow I didn’t miss it!  But this time…. with the Allstars….. I wanted to check it out.  Crazy competition!  It’s going to be interesting to see who wins!  Pretty sure a lot of it will have to do with public voting this time.

I’ve just been lazy the last few days….. crocheting and  loom knitting away….. but pretty much lazy.  I haven’t had much luck the last few nights getting to sleep right away….. so I lay there tossing and turning for half the night and then sleep in forever!  I was hoping to make it to the temple again today, but when I rolled over and looked at the clock and it was almost 9:30am….. I knew I wouldn’t make it in time to see the peeps on my AM shift….. so I just didn’t go.  Not a good excuse.

I’m pleased with how I’m feeling.  It’s going well.  We will be leaving in a few days to head to St. George so I’m glad I feel good!  It will make the trip much more pleasant!  I plan to go out to visit with my Mom for a while tomorrow.  I suppose if I keep feeling good, I’ll need to start taking a night shift to help with my Mom again!  We’ll see how the next treatment goes!

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