Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's been a while...

From Melissa, cross-posted from Livejournal.

And yet I'm still just posting leukemia-related chatter! Here's the scoop. You may or may not know that today I had another bone marrow biopsy. If their fancy tests determine that I am in complete molecular remission (yes, not even a trace of cancer in my molecules) then it will have been my last. You'll be glad to know that it was as easy as the last one was difficult. Just one stick and a fantastic nurse doing it!

Also important, I'll be going into the hospital again on Monday for my last round of chemo. The idea is that I will be released on Friday and get to deal with all the side effects at home, under the care of my wonderful fiance and mother. I'll have my cell phone as per usual if you feel like calling. I'll be sure to let you know if, as usual, they decide to keep me longer for whatever reason.

Today has been a good day. Sure, biopsies hurt, but I'm a little more OK with them since I agreed to give a butt-load of bone goo to a research study each time I have it drawn for my own purposes. Maybe 20 years down the road someone is going to look back at the barbaric things I've had to go through and sudder. Maybe 5 syringes of bone aspirate per draw from me will help that along somehow. It makes my mind easier, anyway.

On a side note, after the procedure and a quick pit-stop to get a hug from Teddy at his office despite his busy workday, Mom and I went out for Thai. I haven't had much of an appetite lately, but I ate my entire plate of glass noodles, veggies, and shrimp in a delicate sweet sauce. It looks like an utter dive here on 41 in Highland, but sometimes they really hit the mark. It was delicious!

Box of crayons

Melissa's bone marrow biopsy went off without a hitch today. They had booked the Hematology Clinic's Head of Nursing to do the procedure. She's the same one who did her first biopsy at Rush. A big, burly, irish woman named Sharon. After the last mucked-up biopsy, we made sure to get someone with fantastic forearm strength - and Sharon did not disappoint. I'm afraid I don't know any more of the details; today was the first day of our "Creative Summit" at work and I had a presentation scheduled for the exact time of Melissa's procedure. So, I'm typing this on the train after 13 hours at work.

Melissa stopped by to see me after she was done at the hospital and had nothing but good things to say. Said it hurt a bit more than before but it was worth it to get it done in one try. She was also pretty drugged up when she stopped by, so she didn't say much else. It was fantastic to see her, though - it was hard not to be by her side the whole time. That really calmed my nerves for the rest of the day.

She's scheduled to go in to the hospital on Monday for her final round of consolidation chemo. Hopefully, she'll be getting out on Friday.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Back in Black

Modern medicine is a hell of a thing. It seems that everything that makes you better causes problems somewhere else - and then you need something else to get rid of the bloody side-effects.

Chemotherapy is the most obvious example, but there are so many more. It seems like every drug you take has the potential to make you sicker than the disease you're treating. This is, of course, where the countless amounts of clinical trials and case studies come in, with a med-school training that helps you learn the balance of treating disease.

In the end, we do a heck of a job making sick people better. But the more we learn, the more we must realize that we barely know how the human body works. Sure, we can fill volumes on how the Lymphatic system works - but there are so many more things that we haven't even scratched the surface on. Western Medicine is only now starting to accept some of the thoughts crafted over a couple thousand years by Eastern Medicine. Why must they be exclusive?

I'm not sure where I was going with all of this, but I'll give you a little update before I go.

Melissa is doing well. She's having some bad headaches, but is feeling good otherwise. It's so good to have her home. The cats are loving it.

Erin & Elaine visited for a week and we had a fantastic time. Nothing too exciting - we just hung out, played Rock Band, ate a lot.

Melissa and I made butterscotch caramels for our moms on Mother's day and they turned out pretty darn good. I had never made caramels before (though I have watched Melissa and people on Food Network make them) so I was really worried that they wouldn't turn out. I guess my nervousness manifested in paying extra attention to everything so that I didn't screw up!

I wish I could do more for Amy. She has been a godsend these past few months. I'm pretty sure that I would be sitting in a padded room somewhere if it wasn't for her being here. She's been supportive, caring, helpful, good humored, and generally wonderful (though if she asks, tell her that I said she's a meany-head). I hope she knows how fantastic it's been to have her here.

My mom, also, has done so much for us. From small stuff, like picking up my laundry - to big stuff, like listening to my endless ramblings when I just need to talk but haven't had enough sleep and don't have the good sense to just shut-up and go to bed (which is about how I bet any of you still reading this are feeling). I took her out for lunch yesterday, and it was just nice to sit and spend time with her for a while.

Okay, this post is threatening to go on forever if I don't stop now. Stop sitting in front of a computer screen and go enjoy this lovely evening.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ups and downs

I just got back from picking Erin & Elaine up from the airport. They're here for the whole week, which is fantastic.

Melissa was feeling lots better today, but it looks like she has an infection in her intertines, so more antibiotics and a few more days before we can go home.

It's been 3 weeks. I'm not sure if it feels like the time has passed quickly or has dragged on slowly. Both, I guess. Sometimes the hours last for days, but the days pass in a wink of the eye. Every few days, the doctors tell us, "just a few more days."