Monday, March 30, 2009

The Latest

From Melissa, cross-posted from Livejournal.

So I've been at home a week, today. I'm getting stronger as time goes by but it's still a rough road. I'm not done with treatment yet, either. I have two more rounds of consolidation chemotherapy, one lasting a week and the second four days. I should expect them to be considerably easier than the first, because I'm starting them considerably healthier. On Monday I have my second (third, if you count the first failed attempt) bone marrow biopsy. Those aren't fun by a long shot, but they're not as bad as you might think. They numb you up pretty well and it's just... uncomfortable. Not really painful. Of course, it's hard to get around afterwards for a couple days as I recall. But I wasn't in much of a position to move about last time, either. I'll let you know how it goes, but I'm not terribly worried. Well, except for the bruise that was JUST starting to fade... I'm of half a mind to post a picture this time, you have NEVER seen such a bruise as the one I have on my ass. Hehehe!

Anyway, that's the update! I'll try to keep you up with everything going on after this and when I'll be back in the hospital for extended stays. What's everyone else been doing?

Friday, March 27, 2009


I haven't updated in a week. Whoops! Mainly because things have calmed down, for the most part.

Melissa went to the doctor on Monday for a little post-exit checkup. The doctor was very happy with everything and, to our surprise, had us schedule her next appointment for 2 weeks from that day. We had been told earlier that Melissa would have to see the doctor twice a week for a while, so that was a tremendous relief.

Unfortunately, we also were told earlier that she might be able to do her follow-up chemo treatments out-patient, but it seems that she'll have to actually stay the whole time. The first round will start in a week or two, and she'll be in the hospital for only 5 days. The second will be a few weeks after that, and will require only a few days in hospital ( I think).

Even so, the outlook is pretty sunny! Melissa is feeling great and getting her strength back. Our friend, Vanessa, stopped by for a couple days & we all went out to dinner last night, and then out for ice cream. Mostly, we've just been taking it easy - which is what we really need.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A light?

From Melissa, cross-posted from Livejournal.

Is there a big bright light at the end of the tunnel? They're talking about sending me home... as soon as tomorrow or this weekend. I'm not sure I can actually get my hopes up. It's just so big.

I'm feeling great, other than these nervous butterflies of hope.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Waiting Game

From Melissa, cross-posted from Livejournal.

Right now it's all about waiting for side-effects and potential infections to clear before I can go home. Specifically, there is a large lump under my right armpit that is not availing itself to diagnosis; this one is driving me crazy just from not knowing. Anyway, I feel pretty great and most of the really unpleasant stuff seems to be going away. Day by day I am a bit restless but having fun with Teddy and Mom.

Insurance seems to be taking care of me well, so far. I don't have all the info yet, of course, but it looks like most of everything is covered. That was a real concern to me, of course. I know health insurance can get... picky. But I feel better about it looking at my claim status.

What's new with you guys? Anything fun going on out in the real world? Hospitals are only so interesting.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Reindeer Flotilla

At the risk of renaming this blog "I'd Like To Buy a Bowel," the following will be one more, and hopefully the last, update on Melissa's tummy issues. The message is as follows:
It's getting better! Woo!

End of Line.

Okay, actually, things are going pretty well. As I said, Melissa's tummy has decided that being possessed by Satan is no longer a good idea. She finally got a good night's sleep last night, which always helps, it seems.
She got tired of her hair falling out and had it shaved. As promised, I have pictures!
Here are the lovely wigs that Zoe, Erin, Elaine and I picked out a couple weeks ago.

Click on the images to links to full-sized. I'll put more photos, as always, on our Flickr page.

The last picture is of Melissa, head freshly shorn, and Mary, the LPN who shaved it for her. Wednesday night, we gave Mary some of the pizza we ordered and so yesterday she brought us some Harold's Chicken. (A local, south-side chain that Melissa had never had before.) Melissa has finally had a good appetite, so I let her eat most of it - so I think I might be stopping by Harold's for lunch today.

Quick Edit: I almost forgot to mention, the lovely scarf that she's wearing is from our friends in Florida, Michelle and Eric.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

a thousand years with robots

Sorry that I haven't updated in a while, it's been a busy couple of days.

Melissa is still in the hospital. She had some stomach troubles & they discovered that she has a little infection so they're getting that cleared up before letting her out. So she's getting some antibiotics, which doesn't make her stomach troubles much better.

She has had an appetite today for the first time in days, so we capitalized on that and brought in lots of yummy food. We ordered pizza from Renatti's for dinner and Melissa ate a good bit of it! (it was delicious too!)

She's finally starting to lose her golden locks of hair, which doesn't seem to phase her much. She even finds the aspect of shedding like a cat to be humorous. Although I have a feeling it's because she's always wanted to shave her head, and now she has a reason.

Monday, March 9, 2009

TO almost even Rhymes with Buffalo

Melissa might be released from the hospital today, but more likely some time in the next few days. She is done with what I like to call the "scorch and burn" phase of chemotherapy. Next, they send in the infantry to clean up the stragglers. From what the doctors say, she'll be going in twice a week to check blood-counts and to receive these "touch-up" chemo treatments. After that, I think it's just pills for a couple years. Have I made this analogy before? I'm too tired to go back and check.

Melissa has been experiencing some, let's say, intestinal discomfort. Other than that, she's in pretty good spirits. She's excited to get home and see the cats, and generally to get the heck out of the hospital. I plan on spoiling her with anything she feels like eating for the next few weeks. (read: asparagus and cheeseburgers, 24/7)

You'll all be glad to know that we bought Melissa some pajamas and she has been wearing pants for the past few days. This has done worlds to improve her hospital cred.

Friday, March 6, 2009


From Melissa, cross-posted from Livejournal.

So sitting around the hospital isn't great fun, but I'm taking it in stride I think. All the friends and family support really makes it easier - thanks, everyone!! I'm on my last few hours of chemo, so hopefully it's all downhill from here. Just watching for infections, then waiting for my body to recover from the cure.

I've gotten a few tubes removed from various parts of my body, and I'm moving around way better. The most irksome thing about this, possibly, is that they're accusing me of not eating because I have lost some weight from the treatment. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I eat like a horse - I have people bring me food all damned day! GRAAAAHHH!! Of all the stupid things to accuse me of. Surliness? Sure. Abusing visiting hours and guest limits? Ok. Being too damned cute? Well duh! But not eating...? The nutritionists strategically stop by at mealtimes now. Grrrr.

In the long run, though, I'm doing better than can be expected. I said it before but I'll say it again - it's because of all your warm wishes and support. Thank you all for everything.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

After watching an episode of Stargate SG-1, I took a walk downstairs to grab a couple sodas. As I walk back into the hospital room, I see Melissa curled up on her side, snoring softly into her pillow. Of course, I am now wide awake and couldn't fall asleep if you paid me. I've been tired so early on nights I sleep at home, but if I stay the night here, I can easily stay up all night.

Melissa got her "good friend" taken out today. The difference in her movement these past few days is remarkable. It's refreshing to see her up and about.

The nurse just hooked up her last bag of chemo. In 24 hours, she should be done. Then we just have to wait to make sure it all worked.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Berry Pickin' Time

Ever since the doctors installed the central catheter in Melissa's chest, we've been trying to get them to take out the Quentin catheter in her femoral vein. They were afraid of bleeding and so wanted to leave it in until they felt a little safer about it. Yesterday, they finally took it out.

Melissa should be able to get up & walk around a little more easily now. She has been moving about & sitting in her chair for a few days, but it wasn't the easiest or most comfortable thing to do. Now, they just need to remover her "good friend Foley," as she likes to call her Foley catheter, and she'll be dancing.

She's been getting a lot of cards and gifts from friends and family & loves when I stop in before work with the pile of mail.

I should get back to work. Just wanted to update.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Casimir Pulaski Day

No new news yet today. I stopped in around 7:30 and Melissa and Amy were sleeping so I dropped off a thermos of coffee, kissed Melissa’s forehead, and walked to work.

Today is my first day back since this whole thing started. It’s a little odd. I won’t be able to grill the doctors on any little thing that pops into my head. I won’t be able to annoy Melissa constantly with “Are you sure there’s nothing I can get you?” I won’t be the first line, like I’ve grown accustomed to.

I suppose I feel much like many of you do, receiving secondhand information and feeling a little helpless.

But really, it’s not so bad. The hospital is about 2 miles away from my office building. I can hop on a train or jump in a cab and be there in a few minutes. I’ll be spending the evenings with her, and might spend the night a couple times.

And I know that Melissa is in good hands. Her mom, Erin, and Zoe are taking good care of her. I am so thankful for all the support they have given to Melissa, and to me. And continue to give.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

There's a kind of hush...

We had a pretty full day yesterday. In the morning, our friends Tim & Kim stopped by the hospital to visit. They brought Melissa all kinds of fun Hello Kitty things. She also got a package from Eric & Michelle in Florida, full of stickers, colouring books, crayons, fun scarves... and bridal magazines (you can't see it, but I'm rolling my eyes right now, Michelle.) Other friends, Brian & Vanessa, spent the rest of the day visiting. It was good to see & hear from friends; I think it really helped Melissa's spirits.

She's been getting up a little each day and has been in much less pain lately. Her mom says that she had a really good sleep last night, and she's taking a little nap right now.

I'm out of vacation time, so I think I'll be headed back to work tomorrow. Luckily, I work about two miles from the hospital, so I should be able to come here right after work each day. I wish I was able to stay with her all the time, but I know that Zoe, Erin, and her mom will take good care of her while I can't be here.