Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Getting Better

I've spent two glorious (long) weekends with family this month. Last week was to celebrate Fall Break for the school kids; the week before was to celebrate the college break for a few days. We had so much fun doing autumn/Halloween outings. We did the Gardner Village witch walk, the kids & their mommies did the pumpkin patch, and us bigger girls had a cute craft-making afternoon (see pumpkins below). I loved every second, which also included snuggling my darling grands. I absolutely melt when Jane sees me coming & calls out, "Grammy!", as she runs to hug me around the knees. And that little tow-headed, blue-eyed Knox can be a wild & crazy 2-yr old one second & want me to snuggle with him while he plays a golf game on my iPad the next. It's priceless.
Last Wednesday was my 3rd IPI infusion. I also visited with Dr. G and staff before heading to the Infusion Center. Carolyn measured my tumors - both are shrinking, but very slowly. It's teaching me more patience & more trust in prayer. Dr. G said blood counts are basically the same & essentially "blames" them on the Whipple. That surgery, though it saved me from a life-threatening tumor on my duodenum, has changed my physical body. Nothing will ever be as it once was. Pain, digestion issues, weight loss (and yo-yo gain from doctor appointment to doctor appointment), weird blood counts, it seems to all go back to that surgery. I also realized lately that I have "waking nightmares" where I re-visit my ER & ICU experience after surgery complications that I relate to PTSS - post traumatic stress syndrome. Ah, me oh my! BUT, I do have to add that things are better: I'm able to digest most foods pretty normally now, I have no serious side effects from the IPI this time around (only fatigue, which usually wipes me out for less than a week), and my energy level is nearly normal. Those are miracles! I have no doubts Who is in charge of my life right now.
Fourth & final infusion is November 6, and then CT scans will be done the week before Thanksgiving. I'm anxious to see the results of the scans & how much the tumors have shrunk. I know it will be good news. From there, we keep going. Dr. G mentioned that he'd like me to see a hematologist to see if there is anything we can do about my blood counts. Comparatively, that sounds pretty mild, right?
I'm blessed and doing well. Looking forward to Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas...and then birthdays and new grand baby boy and on & on & on...