Tuesday, June 24, 2014

delayed intensification

On Friday, June 20, 2014 I packed what I thought would be my final bag to Cottage Hospital. After a tearful breakdown that morning I arrived to my home away from home, Cottage Hospital's five-south. It's not so bad. Being there brings a sense of safety for me and knowing it would be my last time checking in brought much excitement and peace.

However, as I rolled up with my six-weeks of luggage (backpack, duffel bag and roller suitcase) Mary the secretary at the nursing station said, "did nobody call you?". Apparently my orders had been rearranged and I wasn't staying. Not yet, anyway.

That Friday I checked in briefly and received my last intrathecal (methotrexate) chemotherapy along with a dose of Doxorubicin and a dose of Vincristine via my port. What I thought was going to be a six-week stay turned into a brief and almost painless five hours. With very few questions asked I was out of there and on my way to a ceviche dinner.

Now, this is my last round of chemo!!!! In the pediatric protocol that I am being treated with this round is called "delayed intensification". Basically what that means is these next 59 days are going to be brutal! Much like my first round of chemo, I'll loose all my hair again, fall ill, throw up most of what I eat and spend the majority of the next two months as an inpatient at Cottage Hospital. Right now my blood counts are good and holding. Thankfully, I'm able to stay at home until that changes or I spike a fever. Whichever comes first. Fingers crossed for a couple more weeks in the comfort of my cali-king.

The drugs that'll be rotating my system over the next 59 days are: Vincristine, Doxorubicin, Decadron PO, Pegylated asparaginase (my least favorite), cyclophosphamide, AraC (my second least favorite) Thioguanine, and Methotrexate.

Day one began on June 20th so assuming there are no major set backs 59 days would come to a close on, or around August 18th! PAAAAARRRRTYYYYYY! After about a month of healing of course. :) Then off to Thailand September 23rd, 2014.

I'll be sure to post updates on how I'm doing and feeling. I always seems to be more attentive to The Dawg Blawg when I'm cooped up, not to mention a little loopy and drugged up. Those make for the best posts anyway. As of now I can be found rockin' in the free world receiving treatment as an outpatient every four days.


^rockin' in the free world^

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

power of the mind

I always knew the mind was a powerful thing. Believing that a single positive thought could go a long way, and that positive energies led to positive manifestations has always been my mantra. 

Whether I was laying motionless for days on end, going completely stir-crazy in my hospital room, ranting to myself about what a joke "neutropenia" is, or enjoying my boyfriend, friends, beach, dogs, drinks and eats I couldn't have gotten through it without positivity. 

Your mind must believe that it can do something before it is capable of actually doing it. I think this is particularly true of patients with cancer and other terminal illnesses. On several occasions, in my mind I picture the cancer cells literally leaving my body. I imagine what they look like and everything. I meditate and express heaps of gratitude for my strong and resilient vessel that I dwell in. I imagine my body healing itself from the inside out. In addition to that I do my best to remain positive, trusting and hopeful of chemotherapy treatments and Dr. Greenwald. 

I think it's helpful and important to remind yourself that you will get through these hard times and they will make you stronger. Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones is key. When things are hard and you're feeling down look for those distant glimmers of hope. In my case, dreaming of Thailand is what has gotten me through these past eight gruesome months. Not only is cancer hard on the body, but it messes with you mentally as well. From day one I've said that the mental battle is at least half of the battle. The daily thoughts I have of Thailand keep me hopeful and fighting for the life I know I deserve and will attain. I'm getting lost in travel books and even dreaming up my outfits. In fact, my trip has positively been manifested and I leave San Fransisco, CA on September 23, 2014.

Your question probably is, will I be done with treatment by then?
My answer is, I BETTER BE! 
Shooing for mid July 2014.

 *One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.* 

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