Saturday, December 29, 2012

One would think that getting six bone marrow aspirations is hard, but today I had to do the hardest thing since being diagnosed with ALL. Today, I had to shave off the curls I’ve had for years. I knew this day was coming, but it didn’t make it any easier. I feel like I’ve just been avoiding the inevitable. Of course there were tears, but I don’t ask “why me”. It’s the quintessential part of getting chemo, right?

There’s two things I’ve realized since shaving my head:
1.     It’s COLD without hair! I’m sure I’ll get used to it, but I do have a wide variety of hats to put to good use.

2.     Looking in the mirror is going to be a tad different for the foreseeable future. When I see my reflection, I expect to see curls not a bald head. While I see someone different, I have not changed.
This is just another part of the journey. I will continue to take it one step @ a time. In a couple of days it will be 2013 and I have big plans for this coming year!

Till next time…KMS

Friday, December 28, 2012

So…I got good news! I have 0% blasts in my bone marrow! Which means all this crazy chemo is really working. I continue to feel good. I’m keeping busy reading and eating myself out of house and home. I started a book since I’m done with my school work. I’m sure I will be reading quite few over the next couple of weeks. In addition to my eating and reading I continue to try out new recipes. Tonight I made Ina Garten’s lemon chicken breasts. It’s definitely worth a try J  

Till next time… KMS

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend the holiday with family J

Believe it or not today was day 29, the last day of induction! The days have been flying. Today I had a bone marrow aspirate and lumbar puncture. I cannot believe I am done with induction. When I first started this process all I ever said was “I don’t look past day 29” and here I am.
While it is day 29, we do not know where the road will take us from here. The official lab will read the results in 3 business days. With the holiday and all, the appointment is not until next Wednesday. While it feels like a long wait, I have become accustomed to waiting. We will continue each day one step @ at time.

Till next time…KMS

Friday, December 21, 2012

I am happy to report I had a good week! I was able to finish up my Fall 2012 coursework. I just emailed my teacher my literature review, so I am official done! I set my goal for before Christmas and I did it J I am off from school for a month. While I am excited for the break I never know what to do with myself as I have been in school for so long. Besides working on my paper this week, I have been busy this week experimenting with some new recipes. Tonight I was craving Chinese for dinner so I made fried rice with chicken and broccoli. Since I can’t eat out I decided I would make my own! Chris reported the rice to be a success, but I think I need to work on my chicken and broccoli.

I had a lab check today. Everything looked good, so I don’t have to go back till 12/26 if all goes well. That is day 29 believe it or not!? I will have a bone marrow aspiration and lumbar puncture and we will then find out what is to come. The results will go to the study lab and I will be placed into the risk group. So soon enough we will have a better idea of what is to come. But for now I continue to take it one step @ a time. I am just happy and thankful to be home.

Till next time…KMS

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sorry I haven’t blogged! Much to my surprise, I was discharged home on Saturday afternoon! It was a very pleasant surprise because I expected to be there until today. I had a relaxing day at home yesterday with Chris and Subie. Today was a long day of treatment (8:30am-5:00pm), but I cannot complain because I get to come home J I do not have to go back until Friday for a lab check. I am hoping to finish up my literature review for school so I will be done for the semester! I also have some Christmas presents to wrap and thank you cards to write. It is hard to write the thank you cards, because thank you doesn’t seem like enough for all of the thoughts, prayers, love and support I have received. I am truly lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people in my life.

Till next time…KMS

Friday, December 14, 2012

Well tonight I am blogging from the 12th floor of Smilow. I am just getting settled into my corner suite. I did not expect to get admitted today, but that’s what this crazy journey involves—the unexpected. It is just precautionary to monitor my labs. I am hoping for a short and uneventful stay. As always, I will take it one step @ a time. Chris and I will be enjoying our Friday night movie on a much smaller screen J I will blog tomorrow to keep everyone posted.

Till next time…KMS

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The one month mark:

Today is exactly one month since my diagnosis. I can honestly still sit here and say I am not sure it feels real. What makes having cancer feel real? Is it the bone marrow aspirations, lumbar punctures, or long treatment days? I am not quite sure I have figured it out yet. I am waiting for that “a ha” moment, but it is yet to come. I get out of bed every morning and pretend I am going to go to work or school. Like I might have woken up from a bad dream and everyone will look around and say “Wow Katelyn handled that really well”. But then I stop in my tracks to remember to take my laundry list of 9:00am medications. I still have not had a “why me” feeling. Yes there have been some tears, but those are expected.  I feel like I just push forward taking this on one step @ a time. Honestly, who has time to ask “why me”, I have things to do. I am sure there will be some days to come but for now I hang in there and just push forward, wondering when it is going to hit me.

I had another bone marrow aspiration yesterday. It showed 1% blasts in my marrow! I was shocked to hear this as just the week before I had 43% blasts. I guess this crazy stuff is working J Although I question them every time because I still have my hair. (They say this week…or next. Or who knows maybe never.) While I jump for joy at 1% blasts, I still sit here and think 2 years and 1 month to go. It’s a little bittersweet. I will continue to go day by day till day 29. That is the end of induction therapy. I will then be broken off into a risk group for consolidation. I will have a little bit of a better understanding of what the next phase entails.
I was able to complete my final exams over the past two days. All I have left to do is my literature review and I am done for Fall 2012! I cannot wait. Just one semester left till graduation! I am pretty sure they are going to have to hold me down from running across that stage J
Well off to enjoy some dinner with Chris…

Till next time…KMS

Monday, December 10, 2012

Today was day 15. Believe it or not half way through induction! It was another bone marrow aspiration and treatment day at Smilow. It was a long day because I also had to be transfused. Everything went well for the most part. Dad was there to keep everyone in check today. I am now home eating some ice cream J I still have a pretty good appetite. I am feeling tired but will head to bed shortly.
Tomorrow I will be sitting for one of my final exams. I am almost done with the semester! It will be nice to have a month off from school. I am sure after about a week I am not going to know what to do with myself since I can’t venture out. But, I will be starting the consolidation phase of chemo so I am sure there will be much to learn. I continue to take it one step @ a time, so I don’t look that far into the future. It is too stressful to speculate.
Everyone is surprised I still have my hair. I am surprised too. I keep telling them that it isn’t working. (although my labs are going in the right direction). Some people say this week (week 3) is when you lose it…I don’t think they really know. We will just have to wait and see.
I want to thank everyone for the thoughts, prayers, comments and cards. I am lucky to be surrounded by such supportive people.  

Till next time…KMS

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The past couple of days have been pretty uneventful. I have been hanging around the house with Subie doing school work. I continue to feel good, just noticing I am more tired.

Tonight, 10 years after I gave my parents approximately 20 gray hairs each I had to remove my belly button ring per MD orders. One would think “She still has one of those!?” Yes, yes I do. It has just always been there. I never changed the ring; it was just a part of me. I got my belly button pierced on my 15th birthday; the day I thought I might give my dad his first of many heart attacks. It was something every girl who danced got. You had to have your nails done and belly button pierced. No ifs, ands or buts about it. I somehow convinced my parents that is was necessary to my survival and they caved! I now look down at my belly button and laugh. I remember telling them how necessary it was for me to have it, carrying on and on. After weeks (of course I started in early J) of nonsense all but 10 years ago, it is gone and we laugh. Now I send them a picture of the ring that once was. It is just one of the many things I will have to deal with on this crazy journey which we have embarked upon. A simple one, but oddly enough important to me to write about.

Well I am of to bed, I have a date with Smilow tomorrow.

Till next time…KMS

Monday, December 3, 2012

Today was a long day at Smilow (7:30am-4:30pm). Today I had a lumbar puncture with intrathecal chemo, bone marrow aspiration and 2 rounds of IV chemo. Overall, everything went good. I am tired now, but still feel good. No nausea or vomiting (and I hope to keep it that way!). I do not have to go back till Thursday for lab work, so I have a couple of days off. I am hoping to get some schoolwork done. Tonight I was able to Skype my case presentation to my seminar class. It was nice to see everyone and to be part of class!

The weekend was nice and quiet. Subie came home which was exciting. She is back to running the house. It will be nice to have her home with me during the weekdays. Kelly and I got some serious studying done on Sunday. It truly felt like a “normal” weekend. Notebooks, whiteboards and a little Nora Jones on Pandora J
While I did not get all of the news I would have liked to receive today, I have to look on the positive note. The blasts (aka: bad cells) in my bone marrow have decreased since I started treatment. I was being overly optimistic that they would be much less. But like my APRN, family and friends say they are decreased after just one round of treatment. I had another treatment today so hopefully they will continue to decrease. My dad just told me “Slow and steady wins the race”. Well as much as I would have liked the number to be less, I am happy it decreased and I will continue to go on one step @ a time.
Well, I am off to bed early tonight. I am beat after all of those crazy chemo medications. Thank you again for all of the thoughts, prayers, and support. I am surrounded by many amazing people J

Till next time…KMS