Monday, July 13, 2009

The Difference A Year Makes

Wendy and I made the trip up to Lake Alamanor for the Fourth of July holiday weekend again this year to go camping with my family. Last year I had the unfortunate duty of informing my family that I had been diagnosed with cancer. After breaking the news last year I said that my goal was to get together again the next year for "Remission Party".

While I'll never get to have a remission party, we had the next best thing. I'm doing fabulously on Gleevec and my PCR results have come back twice in a row as "barely detectable". I'm not sure if this qualifies as PCRU (no detectable leukemia cells) but I'll take it. In addition to that I'm really enjoying my new job even though the demands are much higher than my previous position. I've finally beaten the remaining causes of my fatigue into submission and have almost as much energy as I did before I was diagnosed. I have a ways to go before I'm back in shape again, but I've got the energy to actually attempt getting into shape again.

Friday night we all gathered in the same campsite we had last year and sat around the exact same table where 365 days earlier I'd told them all I had cancer. This year I started out the conversation exactly the same:

"Anyone have any announcements they'd like to make?"

There were a couple of uncomfortable laughs and a couple jesting remarks about that "not being cool." But I was serious. I had news to share this year almost as momentus as the news last year. And given the news last year, perhaps more momentus.

Wendy is due December 31.

After 2 years of trying, cancer, 3 miscarriages and 4 months of being told we would not be able to have children in the "normal way" we're going to be parents. Wendy is 14 weeks pregnant as of July 4th and so far (knock on wood) the baby is growing, healthy, and progressing perfectly. We've had 5 ultrasounds, 3 dopplers and a CVS test in those 14 weeks. We're afraid to get too excited for fear of having this ripped out from under us again, but with every passing week and every visit where the heart is still beating we allow ourselves to get a little more excited.

Recently we've gotten a little giddy walking through the baby section at Target and shopping for maternity clothes to fit Wendy's burgeoning belly (she's actually starting to show a little bit!). We cherish every "morning sick" moment, every emotional outburst and every sleepy afternoon. We feel so fortunate to finally have a pregnancy that might make it.

So what difference does a year make? In our case, it's made all the difference. We can't wait till the next Fourth of July, where hopefully, we'll be celebrating with our first child.


Jeff & Aleigh said...

I've been following your story for a few months now and I can't tell you how excited I am for you & Wendy!! You guys deserve this addition to your family more than anyone I know!! CONGRATS to you both!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Matt and Wendy,

Great news all around. I am so thrilled and happy for Both of you! It is amazing the difference a year makes.

Congratulations and hugs to both of you!


Mountain Mama said...

Arrrgh!!! I knew it! I knew it! I knew it! I didn't want to say anything because, well, it was kinda rude to ask a lady if she's pregnant or not...!! But from the moment I saw her, all the decaf coffee, the lighty touch on her belly from you, I knew it!! Well, the detour to the baby store kinda give it up too.. :)

I'm SO happy for you!!!! Congratulations!!!!


Kelly said...

Woohoo!!! Congrats to you two! Let us know when we can help with the baby shower!

Aloha from Waikiki!

katy d said...

I have been following your progress since Sept .when I found out I too had CML. The log of Your journey through this has helped me so much.
I have experienced great results on
Gleevec also. I am so happy for you and Wendy. What a big difference a year makes.
God Bless,
Diane Casey
Sugar Hill,Ga

Kerry said...

Congratulations, that's wonderful and I'm so happy for you. I've been following you blog as my son Matt ( dianosed with CML in 2005. He now has a gorgeous, absolutely perfect 21 month old daughter.

Best wishes,

hockeychic said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! This is absolutely fabulous news! What a difference a year makes. I was wondering when I hadn't seen a post for a while. Just wonderful!!

Lisa Smith said...

Congratulations on a great year! I'm pleased to hear your exhaustion is subsiding and the news about your new addition in Dec!

About a month ago I came to your site as a result of doing a google search on "gleevec and pregnancy" or something along that line. :-) My 36-year-old husband has CML. He was diagnosed in Nov 2004. He's almost to his 5-year mark and is in complete cytogenetic remission. He takes 600 mg of Gleevec daily.

We've been struggling getting pregnant for over a year now and we're currently undergoing assisted therapies, starting with IUI.

Just wanted to let you know that I found your news encouraging and uplifting!

Take care and CONGRATS again!

Lisa (from Iowa)

Anonymous said...

Yahoo!!! Yes, what a difference a year makes. A year ago I was sick, just getting started on Gleevec. Now I too am excelling at a new career and really beginning to understand what it means to enjoy life.

Bravo Matt. And congratulations to you both!

Ms. Mattman

the moore family said...

Congrats Matt & Wendy! Yahoo! What a celebration. T&P for you both.

Annie - Steven's mom said...

ooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhh AWESOME!!!!!!! 10 more fingers and ten more toes, what they'll get up to, nobody knows! :)

Oh Matt and Wendy, I am absolutely totally thrilled for you. This is really exciting news!


Love and light

Anonymous said...

Matt and Wendy:
We are so happy for you and wish you and the "little" one all the best. Time for some happiness for all of you!!
Sheryl and Rick Ponciano

The Ramseys said...

I am soooo happy for you. I teach with Norm and have been keeping up with ur life since the day you began your blog. I have cried many tears for you and today tears of joy!!!! We have been trying for almost a year... and no luck yet!!!