Thursday, May 20, 2010

How's it really goin?

Last week I had a CT scan - let me just tell you to start off that those are my least favorite. I have to drink only clear liquids for 4 hours before the scan, then 2 hours before my appointment I have to drink 10 oz of this yucky barium stuff. I have to drink 10 oz again 1 hour before and then again 30 minutes before. It is nasty tasting stuff. After drinking my stuff I go to the radiology department at Kaiser and check in. Then they have me lay on a bed and try to find a vein. In fact it is so difficult to find one of my veins that they have to go and get one of the ER nurses and it always takes more than one stick - this time it was only 2. Yay nurse!!! Following the stick they take pictures, which only takes about 30 seconds. Then they inject the iodine and take another 30 seconds of pictures. A lot of preparation and misery for less than a minute worth of pictures!

The last time I had the iodine I started sneezing and my throat got sore. At the time they said that I might have developed an allergy tot he iodine, but not to worry about it. They kept me for about 30 minutes afterward for evaluation. This time as soon as they injected the iodine my mouth started itching, my throat got sore, I sneezed and my eyes were itching so bad I wanted to dig them out! So this time they sent me to the ER. The got me on some meds right away and the symptoms subsided. I only had to hang around for about an hour, but COME ON!!! Really, an allergy to something else?!?!?! So frustrating. They told me that next time I need to let my doc know so that he can premedicate me so that I don't have the reaction. Good times!!

Anyway, I went to my doctor yesterday and had to have my "pre-chemo" checkup. They check my blood levels and just make sure that my body can handle the next round. The doc reviewed my CT Scan and according to the report and the pictures, my cancer is still stable!!! I have 6 months of stable scans and stable weight. That is HUGE!! He said that even though we have lowered the dose of the medicine, my body is fighting this cancer. AWESOME!!! I was so worried walking in there that the news was going to be bad, but at the same time I felt calm and peaceful - I can't really explain how that worked - feeling both of those at the same time, but I did and I was super relieved that everything was stable.

He did prescribe Morphine for all the joint pains that I have been having and I will be starting that on Saturday. You see I am not allowed to drive once I start on it for a few days while I see how my body will react. It wouldn't be safe and I could get pulled over and get a DUI - don't really need one of those. So, David will be done with school on Friday and will be available to be the chauffeur for next week so that I can just relax and try the meds. So, if you see me next week and I am acting a bit strange please don't hold it against me. Hopefully I will be able to tolerate the Morphine just fine and hopefully it will help to control the pain.

I started chemo today and, as is always the case, I am feeling great today. I always seem to have more energy and drive on chemo days then others. Maybe the nurses and other patients just inspire me. They all seem to be happy and have a good attitude. It really is a great environment to be in - crazy huh?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

On my mind...

As I sit here and think of all things that we have done lately - playing and watching baseball games, doing puzzles with kids, having Nephi, Gloria and Helaman cook me delicious plastic food in the Elmo kitchen, driving David to school when he missed his bus, driving kids here, there and everywhere, missing events and all the other things that I could be blogging about, and none of them seem really important at the moment. Don't get me wrong - it's not the kids that I am talking about, it's just all the "stuff" that has to be done on a daily basis.

We went to my brother and sister-in-law's house tonight for dinner. I was so angry before we went. I got so mad at the kids and by the time we got there I felt so horrible. I asked Kelli (my sister) to go inside while I talked to the kids. David had a meeting and was unable to go. I apologized to the kids, told them how sorry I was and asked for their forgiveness. They were so sweet and said that it was okay and that they understood and loved me. Do I have the greatest kids or what?!

We had a really good time visiting with family and watching family home videos that Jarrod took 5 years ago. It was neat to see Faith, Hyrum, Vilate, and Helaman, as well as the other cousins, when they were little. They were so cute!

On the ride home we listened to some church music on the way home and one song really struck me. Here are the lyrics:

I know that my Redeemer lives.
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, he lives, who once was dead.
He lives my ever living Head.
He lives to bless em with his love.
He lives to plead for me above.
He lives my hungry soul to feed.
He lives to bless in time of need.

He lives to grant me rich supply.
He lives to guide me with his eye.
He lives to comfort me when faint.
He lives to hear my souls complaint.
He lives to silence all my fears.
He lives to wipe away my tears.
He lives to calm my troubled heart.
He lives all blessings to impart.

He lives, my kind, wise heavenly Friend.
He lives and loves me to the end.
He lives, and while he lives, I'll sing.
He lives, my Prophet, Priest and King.
He lives and grants me daily breath.
He lives and I shall conquer death.
He lives my mansion to prepare.
He lives to bring me safely there.

He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
"I know that my Redeemer lives!"
He lives! All glory to his name!
He lives, my Savior, still the same.
Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
"I know that my Redeemer lives!"

Text by Samuel Medley

I have heard this song so many times before. I grew up with this song and had memorized the words while in High School if not before. It was a song that we sung often at church. Today, though, it struck a chord. As I was typing the lyrics just now, I thought, "I should mark this line as particularly special to me." The problem with marking individual lines? They all are so special to me. This is my testimony. I am so grateful to the Savior - to MY Savior. I am struggling with my health right now, but my testimony is growing in leaps and bounds. I know that my Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ have a plan for me and my family. I know that regardless of what happens with my life - whether I live to be 80+ or die in just a few months - the Lord will take care of me and my family. The kids will be fine. They will learn from this whole experience. Their faith will grow and they will gain testimonies of their own. David will also grow and become a better man. I will be a better mom and wife to all of them. There is a purpose for this trial and I intend to gain everything I can from it.

I know I have said it before, I truly appreciate all of your prayers and kind words in my behalf. Your kindness and generosity humble me and I am inspired by each one of you and your families. I pray that you will be blessed. Enjoy your week - we are busy this week, but we will get it all done and be better for it at the end of the week.

Love to all, Kaci