Hello, dear friends! I’m still here! The good news is I’ve been so busy with normal, everyday life that I haven’t taken much time to sit down and write…scratch that – sit down and blog. I write every day because, well, I’m in grad school for a Master’s in writing. Oh, and I teach writing. So there’s that. But I’ve been composing blogs to you all in my head a lot lately, which means I need to sit down and get some of it out!
So here’s what’s been going on lately:
My monthly bloodwork has looked pretty good. Everything is back in the normal range except for my red blood cells. I’m still anemic, and a further blood study showed that my iron is really low. So now I’m on a supplement of iron and about a million other vitamins and minerals. Hopefully this will help boost my energy. If not, there’s always the option of iron infusions if this doesn’t work. Good thing I kept the port in.
Ah, yes, the port. The discomfort I was having around my port has gone away and all the other doctors and pathologists my doc talked to said we should leave it for now. So that’s what we’ve done, and it’s worked out fine. Besides, I’m not looking forward to another surgery, so I’m happy to put that one off for now.
What about that small area that was still lighting up on the PET scan? Well, that’s still there. There’s a hard lump in the right side of my neck which is most likely a swollen lymph node. It could be reactive just because my body’s still trying to get back to normal, or it could be a little bit of Hodgkin’s still in there, or it could be nothing. I’m not terribly worried about it, because at this point there’s nothing I can do about it anyway. We’ll do another PET scan in December, and if it is something, we’ll look at our options then. But I look at it this way: if having undiagnosed cancer for a few years didn’t kill me, I don’t think a couple of months with one swollen lymph node is going to make a difference. Besides, I wouldn’t be able to do more chemo right now anyway. I maxed out at the end of June.
So how am I feeling? Emotionally, I’m doing fine. I’m happy to be back in the swing of things and soooo happy to be done with treatment. Physically, things have taken a bit longer, which is of course to be expected. A lot of the soreness and body aches have started to dissipate and I can get around much more easily, which is great. I still don’t have a lot of energy and I’ve lost very little weight, but at least I’ve stopped gaining! Once I get some energy back, I’ll be able to do more physically. I just have to be patient, which we all know is a weak point for me. Oh, and I have hair now! Like, a full head of hair. You can’t see my scalp at all any more. I even got a compliment on my “haircut” from a stranger the other day. And I think it might be coming back blonde. Sort of a silvery blonde. It’s still only about an inch long, so I can’t tell for sure yet.
But yesterday I was able to go on a field trip with my daughter’s pre-K class to Pettit Creek Farms. I walked around and kept up with all the other mommies and was quite proud of myself! I even stayed outdoors the whole time and for the most part didn’t feel like the sun was scorching my skin off. That must mean a lot of the chemicals are out of my body by now. I did end up crashing on the couch for a couple of hours before class that night, but still, compared with where I was four months ago, yesterday was nothing short of a miracle for me.
And speaking of miracles, we’ve added two new tiny ones to our family! This weekend we adopted two adorable kittens. Yes, I know, that seems like craziness, and maybe it is a little, but so far it’s been really good for our family. The kids are learning responsibility by taking care of them, Paco is happy to have some little sisters (even if they are cats), and Bobby and I didn’t realize just how much we’ve missed having cats in the house. Plus, they are two adorable little fluffballs of love that purr whenever they are picked up, even by an overzealous five-year-old! So I’ve decided that the benefits of two new somethings to love outweigh the responsibility of overseeing the care of them.
This is Lily (top) and Violet (bottom). I told you they were cute!