Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Cancer Dog

January is Leu's birthday. He is one this month. I made cupcakes for Wendy (who was also born in January) and we decided to let Leu have one.

We learned 2 things doing this:
  1. Leu is afraid of fire.
  2. Leu loves cupcakes.

Hunting Cupcake

Licking Cupcake

The first 2 weeks of work have been pretty good. Trying to figure out what's happened in the last 5 months has been slow going but I'm starting to get back into the swing of things. My co-workers threw me a "Welcome Back" lunch the second week. I was very touched.

My fatigue level is much better now than even a month ago. If I can get up and get going I do pretty good all day. As soon as I relax though, I crash. I slept all but 4 hours yesterday. Leu kept me company for some of those.

Sleeping With Leu

Wendy basically woke me up for meals, after which I would promptly fall right back asleep.

In the interest of full disclosure we haven't made any "tangible" progress on the baby front. We lost another very early pregnancy over the Christmas holiday. It lasted just long enough for us to get excited about it. That made the holiday a little bittersweet, celebrating the progress my treatment has made while trying not to feel kicked in the teeth by the loss of another pregnancy. We've still got our chins up and we're hopeful though. It'll happen.

My next appointment at Stanford will be March 3. Till then, it should be steady as she goes....

Happy Birthday

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Back In Action

I'm back at work as of yesterday. My company has very generously held my position while I was out. I'm lucky to work for such good folks. This should be a good change, I definitely need some structure in my life. A regular routine will do me good. I'm also hoping that some activity and socialization will help reduce the fatigue. Luckily my job has no set hours so I don't get too many frowns when I walk in at 11am. By next week I hope to have adjusted and be in at a regular time.

On a touchy feely note, the hardest part about going back to work has been leaving Cancer Dog at home by himself all day. After 5 months of non-stop, daily contact, I feel a little guilty leaving him alone and honestly, I miss him a little bit. I never thought I'd get so attached to an animal.

As things begin to return to normal for me I'm constantly reminded of how easily they can go awry. Sadly, Dawn passed away last week due to complications from her bone marrow transplant. She fought quite a battle and my heart goes out to Mike and her family.

I've also been talking with a young woman from Washington for a few months who was diagnosed with CML in the fall of 2008. She was doing well on Gleevec until they found leukemia cells in her Central Nervous System a couple of weeks ago. Gleevec doesn't work when the cancer invades the CNS. Consequently, she has been switched to Sprycel and will go through 3 rounds of radiation over the next month to kill the rogue cells. I'd never heard of CML invading the Central Nervous System. Apparently, that's why the doctor always asks me if I'm getting more headaches than usual.

These kinds of things remind me not to get complacent about my treatment and that it's important to continue supporting the causes that make that treatment possible.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Years Resolutions

If you haven' t made a new years resolution yet, or if you have but want to go for the gold, please consider making or adding the following to your resolution(s).
  1. Join the National Marrow Donor Registry. There are people all over the country who need a transplant who will die this year because they can' t find a suitable bone marrow/stem cell match. Joining only takes a few minutes of your time and a few dollars. If you're cheap (like me) you can find a local bone marrow drive near you where the cost will be covered. (Light the Night is one such event.) If you can't find an event near you contact the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and they should be able to find a way to help you. Wendy joined at a Light the Night walk this past summer.

    Wendy Gets HLA Typed

    You're under no obligation to actually donate even if you're registered. If, at some point, you are matched and do choose to donate however, you will literally have saved someone's life. Please, please, please register.
  2. Donate blood, often or even just once. This helps a lot of hospitalized individuals, not just those with Leukemia or other types of cancer. People undergoing radiation or chemotherapy treatments are often in need of blood. Recently, Dawn's hospital almost ran out of her blood type and had to ration her transfusions. Donating blood costs you nothing and you usually get a cookie! You can contact the Red Cross or most any local hospital to find out how to donate.
These are really easy things to do that will directly impact someone else's life.

Happy New Year to you all.