Thursday, June 23, 2011

So, I went to see my Colorectal Surgeon today....

I had actually made the appointment to see him BEFORE my clean scan and I was hoping to get out of the exam, but to no avail. I was undressed from the waist down with the "drape" over me when he came in and he said, "So, what are we doing today?" and I explained that I had made the appointment before the clean scan, and I said, "So I could do without the exam, but I am thinkin' since I am here you want to see me, right?" He nods. I continue with, "All I really want to do to you is hug and kiss you, but I think that is probably inappropriate with my pants off." The nurse in the room BURST out laughing and my doc laughed and shook his head, "I agree will all that, so turn over and then you can put your pants on." He said that everything was great. I put my pants on and he came in for his hug. "I just reviewed your scan and everything looks good. What are you doing now?" he drilled. "I have three more treatments of chemo and then I am done." I replied. Then, he takes both of my arms and he says, "Not from the clutches of your doc (meaning Hank)." "No, of course, not. I have never been without seeing him every month since this started." "You know Angie, there are no guarantees. It could come back....." Okay, so clearly this is the "I don't know if I am going to see you ever again because some cancer patients don't ever come back and then...well, it is too late" speech. Remember, he was the optimistic one on the last appointment and now I am all happy and joyful and he is all, "You better come back and see me in three months or I will hunt you down like a dog." He didn't say that, but it was kinda like that. In his defense, he doesn't know me in remission. I am VERY obedient, but only to those that I need to be. Seriously, who calls and schedules there own colonoscopy three times without being reminded. Yep, me. I'll learn him. As for now, I am on cloud nine. My bum is a one way for THREE WHOLE MONTHS!!!! Number two of four chemo appointments on Monday - love, Ang

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Big 5 Kid

People keep asking me, "Is it easier to go to chemo now that you know you only have three more." Answer - yes and no. Yes, having a number and date FINALLY is amazing, but no when it comes to things like the following....On Wednesday, I was scheduled to unhook from my friendly pump. I literally was green, my pee was red, and I didn't know if I was sick or tired. Mom stops by after dropping the kids and says with a sigh, "I don't know if I should tell you this, but Mason is getting an award today at 2:00." worried that I was going to feel bad for not being there. I said, "For what?" She replied, "For being, like, I don't know, a good citizen." "The Big 5?" I respond. Mom, looking a little shifty, says, "I guess." And then I got quiet. It is 8:50am. My pump will be done around noon, then I have to get unhooked, get fluids which takes 2 hours plus waiting time......I will never make it. Mom looks at me and says, "I can have Dad (my Dad) be there." I reply with, "Mom, I am just sad. He has wanted this for months. Last fall when the first "Big 5 Red Hawk Award" came out he told me about it and only one kid per class per trimester get it. We have a magnet on the fridge that has all the "Big Five" things - 1. Keep our school a safe place 2. Make responsible choices 3. Obey all reasonable requests 4. Respect yourself and other and 5. Use good manners. I am just sad." Now, keep in mind, when you are a Mom and don't know if you are going to see your kids grow up, you do things like, scrapbook like crazy, and you have goals like, "If I can just make it to Kindergarten, then his personality and how he treats people is set (things I learned while working at Childhaven) and he will be okay - no matter what happens." So, Mom in Mom's way, said, "Okay then, Dad will go!" I surrender to that and eat my breakfast that she made me. Karissa calls later and I tell her what is going on. Man, she is like balls to the walls, "Well, if we don't do fluids, we can get up there in back in time, I will drive you, stay for the ceremony, and you will be there." "What about the kids?" "Quinn likes being in charge of his sisters after school - they will be fine." Thank God he is old enough now. "Okay, I guess, let's see how it goes." I reply weakly. She arrives, I pump empty alarm goes off, we get there, and the waiting room is PACKED. I say, "Debbie, I need to not do fluids today, and I need to get out of here ASAP." She looks at me and says, "I don't think you have an option." So, I tell her about the award ceremony, Karissa goes to Rite Aid for Gatorade, and Debbie says, "Let's see what we can do." The charge nurse come out and says, "Sounds like you have an important appointment. We will advise your doc that you are drinking what appears to be a lot of Gatorade and if you need to you can come in tomorrow for fluids." I want to cry with gratitude, but I hold it together and I am out of there is 20 mins. I look like CRAP - I am serious - GREEN, PALE, NO MAKEUP, BASEBALL CAP, CLEAN BUT THREE DAY OLD CLOTHES and I show up to the school. Dad and Nolan are there. We sit together and the kids start filing in. Mason sees me immediately. He doesn't know he is getting an award, but he also knows that I am usually in hiding until I look and feel better. He knows something is up. Then, the awards are announced. "...and for a student who acts in a kind, caring, careful and cooperative way....Mason Hainsworth." I hold Karissa's hand and lean on my Dad and then....there it is my moment......Mason turns around and looks directly at me and smiles. So proud. Goal achieved for all of us. I made it - to the assembly, to kindergarten, and to this - a kind and caring kid. Now, if I wanted to leave you with a nice story, I would stop there, but in reality, I should tell you the rest. So, the next night the boys come home from Grandma's and Grandpa's and Mason is showing Daddy his award. I take it from him when he is done to put it in my office so that it doesn't get destroyed like my boys do to things and as I am going up the stairs, Mason says, "What does cooperative mean?" I cross my eyes and tell him and say, "Do you know what 'kind, caring and careful' are????" "Yes MOTHER!!!!" Just then, Nolan passes me on the stairs pushing me out of the way, and proclaims, "I am cooberadive!!!!!" I don't respond, but my eyebrow goes up because I can't ignore that. Not in my nature. I guess I still have some work to do........Love, Ang

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

So, when Hank called tonight.....

I said, "Hankster." He said, "Angiesan - Clear." I said, "What?!?!?!? I wasn't expecting that. I was expecting, 'It is getting smaller.' " He said something like, "Well, that is what the scan said. (Like, you want to go with what you believe or the scan???) You are in complete remission." I reply with, "So, I have four more treatments on my back and I am done." He said, "Yes. Congratulations sweetie." "Thanks Hank. I will be there tomorrow and I am coming to give you a hug." "Sounds good to me." "See you tomorrow." TOMORROW AND AND 10000 more after that.........REMISSION.......Love, Ang

Sorry it has been so long....

Here is the reason I have not blogged in a while - my little computer that we used to have downstairs got a virus and died - I mean DEAD died! So, because my big computer is upstairs and because I am too old/too lazy to 1 finger type on my iPod OR go up the stairs and sit on at my computer (rather than the couch), I have not blogged as much. Now, before you start a pool to buy me a computer, my Mom, because she is my Mom, has an extra little computer that she is getting updated for me and I will be, again, in business. So, let me catch you up...this could be long so get comfy.... First, from last post, I was TERRIFED that I was dieing of liver failure before my May 31st treatment. Go to treatment TERRIFIED, tell them to knock me out first, and getter done. Almost have a panic attack at the end, but I am walked out to the car by Elaine and the nurse, Elaine telling me to do yoga breathing, get home, and I am fine. In fact, it was probably one of my better treatments. Go to unhook on June 2, my birthday, and I am a little down because my birthdays lately tend to stink. So, far I have not had them many "good Junes" or good birthdays - chalking getting a chest tube yanked out of me on my 40th as one of the worst. Then, the nurses circle me, sing "Happy Birthday", and give me a card and cupcake. WOW. I have always felt amazing care at Swedish, but that literally takes the (cup)cake! Totally changed the day for me and Grant and I enjoyed the cupcake that night. Had an okay weekend. I sent Grant away for the weekend, but I didn't schedule correctly, and I had the kids by myself for one night. I was fine psychically, but I barfed up everything for dinner about being nervous if something happened by the time Auntie Donna got here. Exhausted, hungry, and defeated I saw her. Took Mason to swim lessons, had to make and "emergency" stop at McDonald to use the facilities, went to Fred Meyer, and exhausted I got home. Dinner, bed and finally I slept because now my back up was in the study on an Aerobed. Monday I had to prep for my PET/CT scan on Tuesday. Protein and fat ALL DAY. NO CARBS. NO EATING FOR 12 hours before the scan. So, I show Donna the drill of dropping off and picking up kids on Monday for Tuesday and I leave for my scan at 7:30 for an 8:15 appointment. No food for more than 12 hours which does do well for me anyway. I get to Tukwila and it says on the reading board 94 mins to Seattle via I-5. 94. OMG. I have 40 at this point. Do all you all remember traffic on Tuesday????? There was a motivational conference at Key Arena and apparently someone decided to break down in the slow lane of North I-5 at I-90. I bail off to 599, but the junction to 99 is backed up for miles, and then I take a chance, up West Marginal to West Seattle hoping that the Harbor Island bridge is clear. It isn't. At this point, there are cars EVERYWHERE. NO ONE IS MOVING. Now, normally, I would be like, whatever, but with a PET scan they pull your meds early and they are time sensitive meaning they expire and then Swedish is out the $$$. I call and tell them I am going to be late. I ask how long do I have. Well, it will expire at 8:45. It is 8:20. Stuck with no where to go. I started to shake and cry. Slowly I get to 1st Ave. I call Grant probably 47 times thinking if I can get him into the car I can have him drive me up and then park, so I can save the time. It is 8:40. The phone rings every time, but goes to VM. Grant calls as soon as I am turning into the parking lot. It is 9:00am. His help is void. Mom was trying to help me, by looking at the cameras and watching the news during the drive and just kept saying, "Just keep going." I get to the desk and there is a new girl....great.....the security guard that I know says, "Angela, want is wrong??" I tell the new girl my name and say that I need to reschedule the scan. I am defeated. She takes my name and goes in back. I exhale thinking I just wasted VERY expensive meds, my Aunt came to watch the kids during my scan and I missed it because I was stuck in traffic. I would have rather had a heart attack. That would be a MUCH better excuse for missing it. Then, little Doris from Costa Rica comes out and says, "Anye, we can DOOO et! Do no worry! Here - sign, sign, initial, initial, sign, date, date. OK - we are done!" I ask, "How is your mother doing?" She says, "She is doing okay, now go....." (Like, she is WAY better than you are - GO!) Anita sees me on the way back and says, "Aren't you supposed to be in there?" I reply with, "I got suck in traffic..." "Oh, that motivational thing..." "Yeah, I was motivating them in my car all the way here!" She laughs. I finally sit down and my tech says, "Angie, someone showed up early and your weight was close enough so we switched the draw knowing you were late. Don't worry. You are always on time. We gotcha. What I need to you know is calm down. Like really....calm down." I said, "I could kiss you right now." She said, "That is not necessary." Did she not want a kiss or did she think I was serious??? Anyhoo, scan done. During these scans, they make you drink sugar and then shoot you up with radioactive dye. Then you sit a room by yourself for one hour - no iPod, no computer, nothing. I just sleep. Then, you get to be in a tube for 40 mins with your hands over your head and do not move AT ALL. You then get a 2 min break and in the tube again for the CT. They shoot you up with more contrast which blew out on my arm the first time and back in the tube. At 11, I get out of the tube, IV disconnected, I haven't eaten anything since 7:45 last night. I feel awesome. I just want to get out of there. I go upstairs to the pharmacy, get my shots which I have to do twice a day. THANK GOD for Rx insurance because that is $4000 dollars a month. In the car and out of there. I think I need to eat, but I don't want Starbucks. ARBY'S! I so go to Arby's get my standard order, but this time WITH fries. I stick my tougue out to the place where the old man works that didn't like me eating in my car, and say after I get my order....."Hey, old man, I am going to EAT IN MY CAR WHILE I AM DRIVING! HOW Y'LIKE THEM APPLES!!!!" Got home, collapsed in bed, and took a nap while Donna helped with Nolan. Donna went and got Mason. I just laid there. Nolan napped. Then, Grant got home. He had switched cars with Donna yesterday because she brought her truck and couldn't take kids in that and he just had to park at the train station. She had some snow tires with beautiful wheels in the back canopy which I told Grant to back into a space so that it would be to "hard" to steel them at the park and ride. Well, they didn't steel the wheels, but some three punks tried to steal her catalytic converter. They where interrupted by the security guard. They didn't get it, but we had a fair amount of work to do to rig it up so that she could get home. Grant was off to Shuck's or O'Rielly's or whatever the name is now. Dinner is late. She was supposed to go home. But by that time we were pouring a martini. My liver is apparently great, so what the hell? She stayed until today. Oh, you want the results of the SCAN???? Still waiting. I know that I will be doing chemo next week regardless, so it is not like I am sitting by the phone and Hank knows I am up to see the shrink on Thursday, so he may just want me to stop by, and OMG, without an appointment. What a day. May you all have your catalytic converters. Love, Ang