Monday, January 28, 2008

Good News?

I think that the results of the CT scan might be good news. (Part of me is still scared, though.) If you read my post from October 20, 2007, you can see the description of the results of the PET CT scan I had before starting chemotherapy. The results of the scan today are being compared to that scan. That scan showed 2 nodules in my lung, which my oncologist said were probably not cancer. Today the scan results say that one of those nodules has gone from being 7 millimeters to being 8 millimeters. My oncologist does not seem concerned by this, since the difference is so small and it is so difficult to get scans that are exactly the same, so the difference could be more due to just being two different scans rather than being a nodule showing growth.

But, it could be, so I am scheduled for another CT scan in 2 months. If that one comes back ok then the next CT scan after that will be 3 months after that. If it does show growth, then I am looking at more lung surgery, more chemotherapy, and maybe some radiation. Scary scary stuff. I hope that the next scan shows no growth, just a harmless nodule.

Goodness gracious, the realities of my life expectancy are coming back to the forefront of my mind. I cried a lot last night and I cried at the hospital today too. The idea of dying is not one I am at peace with right now. If I am going to be alive for 10 years then I want to live my life in a different way than if I only have 5 years left. I would prefer to live for 10 or 20 or 30 years, obviously, but the odds are against me...of course, I am not a statistic. I am a bit of an oddity, being so young and all that, so perhaps those statistics (only 14-15% of people diagnosed with lung cancer are alive 5 years later) do not apply to me, or to put it another way, perhaps I have every expectation of being part of the 14-15% of survivors.

So, if I am only going to live for 5 years or less, I am not sure I want to spend 9 weeks of that time studying for and taking the bar. If that's all the time I have left, then I want to spend every minute with my son.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Everything Went Well

Dinner last night was fun! And Captain Adorable went to sleep for my Mom! It all worked out and I did not need to worry as much as I did before hand, thank goodness.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Still Feeling Sick And Bedtime Worries

I still feel sick. I threw up last night, after feeling like it was going to happen all day. A whole day of feeling like I was going to blow was not pleasant. Anyhow, when I finally did pop, I did not make it to the bathroom in time, so I got vomit all over the floor. Captain Obvious cleaned it all up--even washed the clothes I had to take off because they were covered in vomit--and I went to bed, where I lay without sleeping till after 12:00. So, I did not get much sleep last night. I feel headachy and tired today. But at least I do not feel nauseated.

Captain Obvious and I are supposed to have dinner out with some friends tonight. My Mom is going to try to put Captain Adorable to bed tonight so we can go out. I feel a little nervous about this. I mean, Captain Adorable knows her and loves her and she has given him his bedtime bath plenty of times, so it is not that far a stretch for her to put him to bed after she gets him out of the bath. But of course I worry that he will cry, and not be comfortable, and just not be able to fall asleep easily, like he normally does. I guess you could say, oh, it is only one night, what does it matter, but it matters to me. One night of not sleeping well impacts my week, surely it will impact him as well. Still, we are planning an early dinner (meeting them at 6:00), so maybe we will be home in time for a parent to put him to sleep at 8:00 and none of this worrying I am doing will matter.

Captain Obvious made cookies last night (in the oven of our new stove). I did not have any last night since I felt so bad...but this morning I did eat one. Captain Adorable came over to me and looked at me eating it with those big beautiful eyes until finally I gave him a little piece. He yummed it right up and I had to give him 2 more pieces before I could finish the cookie. I did not want to give him sugar-laden foods like cookies this young, but I guess a rare little bite is ok. Plus, now I can tell him that the first cookie he ever ate was made by his Daddy. :)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Complaining About Feeling Sick

OK, I am going to complain a bit. This morning I felt bad. I woke up for the first time at 5:44 because I heard Captain Adorable's voice from the master bedroom. I decided to try to go back to sleep. I woke again at 6:15 to the sound of my son's voice, again. I decided to try to doze a bit more. At 6:45 I woke up because my husband yelled "Mommy Pants!" (He calls me Mommy Pants as a little pet name sometimes--really only in the morning when he wakes up and he wants me to come get in bed with him and Captain Adorable.) My cough is still with me. This morning every time I coughed it caused me to throw up a little. There was nothing in my stomach, so I just threw up stomach bile (nasty). My nose was all dry and bloody, so every time I blew my nose the tissue was all red. I am still sick with the little cold Captain Adorable brought home from the library, and this morning I had to blow my nose often. So, picture it, there I was, sitting on the toilet trying to answer the call of nature, coughing and throwing up in the trash can, with a bloody nose. Pleasant way to greet the day. On top of that, the vein that has been hurting (phlebitis, hope I spelled that right) in my right arm was still feeling bad.

Fortunately my sweet husband agreed to work from home this afternoon. That meant I would have the opportunity to take a nap. Heavenly. I only slept for an hour and a half, but I fell asleep as soon as I got in bed, so I guess my body really needed that nap.

Captain Adorable has not eaten well today. I do not know why he has been so uninterested in eating, but even getting his breakfast into him this morning was harder than normal. Usually he hungrily eats 1 and a half to 2 four-ounce yogurts but this morning he was not even interested in finishing one! I managed to feed him the other one after his morning nap...but he did not eat a good lunch or a good dinner. He did have his quota of four servings of yogurt, so I know he got enough protein today...he wouldn't eat any of the butternut squash puree I made last night (he liked it and ate it happily last night) from baked butternut squash and milk. I hope he will eat better tomorrow.

He went to sleep easily tonight (just like every night) but he woke up at 9:45 and now, at 10:05, he is still being helped back to sleep by Captain Obvious. I hope he is not awake because he is hungry. If so, Captain Obvious is not going to have a good night...

My Mom and Dad are arriving on Saturday. I look forward to seeing them both. They are going to care for Captain Adorable while Captain Obvious and I go to the hospital for my CT scan and appointment with the oncologist on Monday.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Journey Back To Normal

I am still close enough to the most recent chemo treatment that I feel somewhat sick and tired (threw up yesterday morning) but I am far enough away that I am starting to think about when I will return to the family bed. I have a CT scan and an appointment with my oncologist scheduled for the 28th, so I guess on that day I get to find out the answers to questions like how long till all the chemo is out of my body and when can I drink alcohol again...(not that I want to get drunk, but maybe some weekend night it would be nice to have a glass of wine with my husband).

Captain Adorable is learning new skills all the time. He plays (our version of) peekaboo now. Very cute! Earlier today I was doing laundry (in the basement) and he figured out a way to squeeze himself in between the railings protecting the stairs going to the basement. His efforts scared me because if he is successful, he could easily accidentally throw himself down the stairs. Captain Obvious is going to have to do some work on that railing tonight to make it impossible for the little one to squeeze through there anymore.

I still have no decided what, if anything, to do about employment and the bar. I do not want to have to put Captain Adorable into daycare. I feel that I can take better care of him than anyone else and I will cherish every little moment, every little development in a way no one else will, so why shouldn't it be me who cares for him? On the other hand, that does limit me and our family quite a bit...and Captain Obvious asks me if I don't think that it is possible that Captain Adorable could have fun being in day care, with other kids? I do not know, never having gone to day care myself...anyhow, no real conclusions, just thoughts.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I Don't Believe It, But Last Chemo Was Today

Well, I still can't really believe it, but today was supposedly my last dose of chemo. I still feel like they've got their hooks in me and I will have to go back somehow or another. I have an appointment on the 28th for a CT scan and a visit with the oncologist and I am scared of that day. In anticipation of today, I've been throwing up and crying and freaking out since yesterday. I don't want to go to that building ever ever again. But I have 10 days. And I will keep on having to go back for the next few years. I guess what I am trying to say is I have no celebration or sense of happiness about this. I am relieved that I do not have to go back in a week or two, but not more than that right now.

Now I've got to start worrying about whether to take the bar in July (and find childcare so I can study) or if I should try to find a job (and find childcare). I can always take the bar in February (or never, if I so choose) but I am not ready to give up on it yet! It just seems so stressful, such a big thing on my plate again and I am not quite up for it yet...maybe in a few days/weeks my mind will be changed. Right now I feel just weak and I want to sleep and sleep and sleep for a few days. I want to go back to hanging out with my son a normal amount instead of being in bed, napping all the time. I want to see my friends without the fear of getting sick.

In more happy news, Captain Adorable has started doing another new thing. He is now putting his wooden blocks in to the container. He loves to empty the container, but this new putting them into the container is just too cute! He also will hand you blocks that he has. I love to see his changes and I look forward to lots of emptying of containers and putting blocks back in them in the next few weeks.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Pic From First Birthday

This is a pic of me and Captain Adorable on his first birthday (Jan. 6, 2008). Aren't we cute? It was a good day for both of us, even though he was not interested in sticking his hands in his cake (as previously discussed).

He has been working on a cold for the last 3 days including today. I think he is getting over it now. I guess the kid with the pacifier at the library did have a little cold even though he didn't look sick (as previously discussed).

Anyhow, I have been having a bit of fever this time (nothing higher than 99.4) but no vomiting. I have been doing my usual thing of sleeping a lot, and I can almost always go to sleep again after only an hour or so awake. It is tiring to be tired all the time. Thank goodness that my Mom is here to take care of Captain Adorable and give him all sorts of good Oma love and tenderness. If not for her extra care I think his cold would last longer. She so devotedly makes sure he gets good long naps by putting him in the Ergo and walking him around the living room for hours so he can get his rest! He is a lucky baby.

Friday, January 11, 2008

At The Hospital

Johns Hopkins has a wireless network that patients can connect to when they are here for chemo treatment (and who knows what else). I figured since I could post from here, maybe I should, just to get the full experience in the blog.

After Captain Obvious and I put Captain Adoable to bed last night, we were sitting on the couch to hang out a bit and I cried some. I wish I did not have to be here today. Captain Obvious held me in his arms and my tears fell on his face and chest. A loving hug like that really goes a long way to comforting me, and I was able to stop crying in a little while. Captain Obvious got me an anti-anxiety pill and a milkshake to make me feel better. It did make me feel better and I slept well. In fact, I was awakened by two people (one large and one small) getting in bed with me! It was nice to cuddle my baby in my little bed.

I tried to hold him and interact with him as much as I could this morning because I know that for the next few days I am going to be too tired and sick to give him the attention I would like. I know my Mom takes excellent, gentle care of him and I know he loves her, but I wish I could do it myself.

I took 2 of the anti-anxiety pills this morning before leaving the house. I am siting here in the chemo ward typing and crying because I am waiting for the IV...and maybe also because I am feeling a little sory for myself. I know this is part one of the last chemo (I pray this is the last chemo) but oh my goodness how I hate all of this. I hate the way it smells here. I hate the sound the IV machine makes. I hate the color of the day bed I am sitting on. The nurse just arrived to put the IV more in a few minutes. I've got Keb Mo on the iPod, so hopefully that will help to keep my mind relaxed.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Fun At The Library

We went to the library for the story time event and we had a good time. We got there early (earlier than I intended--the drive was only 20 minutes and I expected it to be 30 minutes), so we killed time in the children's section until story time started.

There was a little area with some toys (a few puzzles, a basket of wood blocks, and a bead-and-wire table) so we sat down there. I tried to interest Captain Adorable in the puzzles, which he did like but mostly he liked taking the pieces out and was not so interested in putting them back in. There were some other kids there, one much older (probably 4), but they left and I let the little Captain down from my lap so he could investigate. He immediately went for the bead-and-wire table and started pushing the beads up and around the wires. Then he pooped! I was surprised because, well, I guess because I don't poop in public so I was surprised he did.

So, I changed that diaper and we went back to the play area. There were more kids (and their moms) there now, all waiting for the story time to start. It was cute to see Captain Adorable interact with these other children (all older than him). Then we went in to the story time room. Once everyone came in, there were probably 30 people, including kids and parents, in the room. The librarian passed out papers with the lyrics of the songs we were going to sing. Of course Captain Adorable wanted my paper (to play with and eat) but I needed it or else I would not be able to sing along, so I tried to keep it from him.

Captain Adorable was not too into sitting and singing, so I let him walk around a bit, and of course he got someone else's paper and ripped it in half! Oh dear! I got up and re-captured him, of course. Once the songs and the books were done, the librarian brought out a big box of toys. All the children gathered around and took toys out of the box. Captain Adorable sat next to the box and watched all the big kids. Once they all left, he got up and tried to get the toys at the bottom and when he couldn't reach them, he turned the toy box over, dumping all the toys. Almost exactly what he does with his toy storage boxes at home (of course here the boxes are much, much smaller).

A little later, he got close to a 15 month-old boy (who does not yet crawl, otherwise Capt. Adorable could never have reached his face since he was so much taller). The other boy had a pacifier in his mouth. What game do I play with the little Captain and a pacifier? That's right! Capt. Adorable pulled the boy's pacifier right out of his mouth! Several times! I was watching this interaction along with the boy's parents and they did not mind at all. The last time Capt. Adorable pulled the pacifier out of the boy's mouth, he stuck it in his own...I did not like that too much, but the boy did not seem sick so it is probably ok.

Captain Adorable had a good time and I had a great time watching him. All in all the experience was worth the sacrifice of his morning nap. He did nap, but only for the 20 minutes it took to drive home. He had an afternoon nap, but it was short (only an hour) because once he fell asleep in the glider, I lay down on the couch with him so I could nap too. I guess being without the rocking of the glider caused him to wake up early. However, he made up for it tonight when he went to sleep in bed in only 11 minutes. I am going to join him now. I am very tired.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Tired Of Being A Hermit

I am tired of being a hermit. The only places I ever go are the grocery store and doctors' offices and the hospital. I have been cautioned not to go out much because my immune system is weakened by chemo but I am bored of being at home all the time. I have chemo again on Friday and then a week of being sick. Then chemo again the next Friday. I want to go out and do something with my son before I have to go through that again.

I've decided to go to story time at a local library tomorrow. I took Captain Adorable to it once before, but he was only 6 months old and really too young for the event. In fact, he cried at it--I think maybe he got overstimulated. We will see how tomorrow goes. I think he will really enjoy seeing other children and goodness knows he loves books and music, so hopefully he will really love the event.

In other news, I have an impacted wisdom tooth (ok, actually all four of them). It hurts and I think it has to come out. The problem is that I cannot have any type of surgery with chemotherapy, so I guess I have to wait till chemo is over to have this thing removed. Meanwhile, it hurts.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Birthday Boy

Today was Captain Adorable's first birthday. I think he had a good day, though honestly it was not that different than every other day. I don't think it was a different day for him. He made a giant mess in the living room byt getting out all of his toys and dumping them all over the floor. I videotaped most of this activity because I thought it was cute...

This afternoon I made a carrot cake (from scratch). I got the recipe online (want to check it out?) and I used a lot of modifications listed by someone who wrote a review. It turned out great, even though I forgot to add the crushed pineapple. It is very moist and flavorful. Captain Obvious made cream cheese icing from scratch and dang it is delicious. I cut off some of the cake (it was baked in a 9"x13" pan) and make it into a small layer cake for Captain Adorable.

After dinner (tacos), I took off Captain Adorable's clothes and we placed the cake in front of him (he was on my lap) on the kitchen floor. We both expected him to, I don't know, jump on the cake and tear it up, but he did not do that. He did not seem to want to touch it--almost as if he was shy or scared. We both encouraged him to touch it and gave him finger-fulls of icing and little bites of cake, but he did not want to touch the cake. Before he got too cool, Captain Obvious took him upstairs to a nice warm bath. I mopped the floor. :)

When I put him to bed after his bath, he was (as usual) so sweet and cuddly. It is a pleasure to put him to sleep. We read a book, and then turn out the light and I sing to him and cuddle him till he falls asleep. While I am singing, he twitches around, trying to get in a comfy position or maybe just trying to get out the last of his energy (?). I know he is asleep (the light is off so it is hard to see him) when he lies still and his breathing rhythm changes. I sing for a few minutes more, then put the monitor next to his head and go downstairs to hang out with Captain Obvious. We listen to him on the monitor and if he wakes up, one of us goes running upstairs to him, but it is rare that he wakes up. When Captain Obvious goes to bed, he gets in beside a warm, cuddly, sleeping baby. I am lucky to get to put my little son to sleep at night!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Pediatrician Visit

Well, the visit went well, as usual. Our pediatrician is wonderful. She is crunchy enough for me to be comfortable with her and she is very gentle and respectful with Captain Adorable. She spends tons of time with her patients, and she makes me feel like my darling son is perfect. Her office is in her house, so the place smells nice, instead of like a doctor's office, if you know what I mean. We are really lucky to have her--she is no longer accepting new patients and from what I hear on the local parenting group, she's got a waiting list a mile long.

Anyhow, the good news is that Captain Adorable has grown taller and his head is bigger--still up there in the percentiles...but he lost weight. At 9 months he weighed 22 pounds and today, his 12 month visit, he weighed 21 pounds and 8 ounces. Now, he does move a lot (he's always busy!) but I can't help but think that this weight loss is due to him no longer being breastfed. Oh how I wish I hadn't had to wean him. :(

So, we're going back in 6 weeks (normally we wouldn't go back until 3 months from now) just to weigh in and be sure that he gains that weight back. I don't think I can feed the child more, but I will now try to give him more calories in each bite. Butter on everything! Lots of good fats!

He already eats 16 ounces of yogurt per day but maybe I can add whole cottage cheese as well. I think it is higher in fat than tofu and still is high in protein. I will have to look up the nutrition information. I do not think that organic chicken is that much more fatty than non-meat sources of protein, but perhaps fish would be a good one to try. I think Captain Obvious would like to share fish with his little boy, seeing as I know he wishes he could share it with his wife... I guess I need to research which fishes are safe for the babe to eat.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

On Our Own Again

Captain Adorable and I drove my Mom to the airport today. She went home and we are on our own again. Of course she coming back in about a week, so I will not have to miss her for long, and I know I am perfectly capable of taking care of the captains and myself by myself, but oh I will miss her constant help and support. Of course, her return means more chemo (dread) but this next chemo treatment will be the last chemo treatment (hopefully).

Captain Adorable has been doing another new thing. He looks at his "Touch and Feel" books by himself now! I think this is really wonderful. I know he likes books, but to have him initiate looking at books by himself is just great! He turns the pages (they are board books) and touches the different animals all by himself. Very very cool.

I played trains with him and he was very interested in grabbing the train cars and taking the tracks apart. Hehehe. I guess he is not ready for the trains quite yet. Still, I will continue to try and one of these days he will be ready and he will push those cars around the track himself. Which is good, because Captain Obvious ordered more train stuff for Captain Adorable's first birthday.

Captain Adorable had a hard time going to sleep last night and tonight he woke up after only half an hour. I wonder what could be giving our excellent sleeper such trouble. Perhaps teething? He does not seem to have teeth trouble during the day...maybe just a development phase? I am not sure. My poor sweet baby; I hope we get this figured out fast.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Doing New Things In The New Year

Captain Adorable has been doing some cool new things and he started doing them on January 1, 2008. He is now tall enough to see what is on the kitchen table and yesterday for the firs time, he put something on it. He was carrying around the tv remote and came into the kitchen and just placed it right on the table top. Then he took it off again and proceeded with his walk. He also played "I'm coming to get you" with me and laughed and laughed while being chased. It was delicious fun!

Today the little Captain explored his new sorter for a little bit--it is still definitely beyond where he is, developmentally, but he is quickly catching up. As my Mom said, he is making huge leaps and bounds in consciousness on a daily basis. It is an exciting time to be around him.

The only word he says on a regular basis is "mamamama" and I am not sure that he means me. Sometimes it means me and sometimes it means Captain Obvious. :)

In other news, I went to a head, neck, ear, and throat specialist today. He said there's nothing wrong with me :) :) :D My decision to ignore the advice of the nurse practitioner and not to take the antibiotics I was prescribed on Friday was correct. I guess my face is puffy because of the chemo and the steroids and not some mysterous infection. It was weird and very unpleasant to go to the doctor today. Even though the appointment was in a different building than the one where I get chemo, I was still nauseated and felt shaky and bad.

On Friday Captain Adorable has a well baby visit at the pediatrician's office. I am really looking forward to this visit because I want to know how much he weighs and how long he is and all of those measurements. I know he has gotten a lot longer, but I am curious to see if he has gained any weight--what with weaning and moving so much more...he's thinner than he was...