Friday, June 10, 2016

More milestones

Today marks Taxol number five, total chemo number nine, and two weeks til induction.

That means that we are just two weeks away from meeting Baby B, and I am over halfway through chemotherapy.

That means today is a celebration.

A celebration for me these days isn't very exciting though...I would have considered trying to convince Kevin we should go get frozen yogurt except that I just took a nice, warm, bubbly bath and then put on my pajamas. Wait, wait, he just came downstairs and told me he wanted to make a run to Total Wine for beer. Now he can pick us up some sort of frozen treat, and that is even better. Thanks, love! (Update: he got black cherry chocolate chunk. It was a winner.)

So yes, a celebration. I have been writing this blog now for about three months. It seems weird that my cancer journey started just over three months ago. Sometimes it seems like it's been going on a lot longer than that; other times, like this moment, it seems impossible it's been that long. Kevin remarked while I was working on dinner that I've been pregnant the entire year. That too seems crazy, but not as crazy as the fact that I'll be holding the product of that pregnancy in my arms in under 15 days.

This week was crazy full of trips to GBMC. Monday was a non-stress test and ultrasound, where baby did great, as usual. Tuesday was an appointment with the oncology PA, where everything was fine. Wednesday I should have gone to get my pre-chemo blood work done but didn't because I couldn't bear the thought of having to be there every day this week. Thursday I had my blood drawn (fortunately, they had the results in time this morning), had my non-stress test and ultrasound, plus my weekly exam with the OB (where we lowered one of my insulin doses--yay!), and then an appointment with my asthma doctor, where he increased my daily inhaler dose since I've been having more and more trouble breathing lately. My spirometry test (a measurement of lung function) was good though, so he wasn't too concerned. He said it could be the acid reflux from pregnancy that is causing the asthma, on top of the baby running out of room. He gave me samples for the increased dose, which saves me somewhere between $50 and $150 on prescriptions. Have I mentioned how much I like him?

I was on my own for my infusion today, as Kevin's mother had another commitment and I didn't want to bother anyone else, particularly since I know how well I've been tolerating this medication. I missed the company and winning in Phase 10, but I used the time to cross off a bunch of items from my to do list and even shut my eyes for a few minutes. My oncologist came by to say hello, since he was out of town for a conference when I had my appointment on Tuesday. We talked a bit about how I was feeling, a bit about the Orioles, and a bit about the excitement of the coming baby. He told me he was impressed I was still wearing my Fitbit, but when I told him not to be and showed him my meager steps for the day, he said something about how embarrassing it would have been if I was ahead of him. I agreed and told him I'll worry about my step count when I'm not pregnant and undergoing chemo. Have I mentioned how much I like him?

As I was leaving the hospital, my phone rang, and it was one of the office staff whom I adore. She was calling to see if I'd left yet, because she came looking for me to give me a gift she'd picked up for me. It was a sweet picture frame that says "God danced on the day you were born." As I opened it, she said if I wasn't religious, she'd exchange it for something else. I told her it was all good; I'm a deacon. She also had a card that most of the office staff and nurses had signed for me. Have I mentioned how much I like them?

I'm feeling pretty good this evening, better than all week, actually, so that's nice. I was even able to run some errands on my way home from chemo, so we're stocked up on household supplies for a couple of months. I had energy to cook dinner for the first time this week, and it was pretty good, if I do say so myself.

We also got our maternity pictures back today, and we are so very pleased with them. They were taken by Kevin's sister's good friend, Douglas Crowther, and he is fantastic. We've already booked him for newborn shots. A few of our favorites:

Holding our favorite books from childhood.

Reading to Baby B, complete with Grover's voice.
This weekend will be busy busy busy again. We're meeting a friend in the morning to pick up a changing table, then going to buy a deep freezer, then coming home so I can rest before friends come over in the evening. Sunday, we'll meet my brother-in-law's cousin to pick up a donation of breast milk, then (energy hopefully permitting) go to a cookout with more friends, and afterwards meet Debbi the Car Seat Lady to make sure our car seat is safely installed for Baby B. At some point, we will also set up the new changing table, the playpen (so we have a place to change baby and for baby to nap when we're hanging out in the basement), and the stroller. We also need to find and hang curtains in the nursery, but that's a bit lower on the must-do list since we at least have blinds in there and the baby will sleep in our room for the first little while.

Oh, so my hair is growing back, but it's super weird. There are still a couple of patches where I never fully lost the hair, and those actually appear to be thinning this week. That hair is coarser and darker than the very fine, almost translucent peach fuzz that is now sprouting all over my head, on both the previously bald areas and the patchy areas. The nurse today said it was very normal, but she agreed it was kind of weird.

And my sister informed me the Bitmoji app finally has pregnant character options, and I figured out how to make myself bald, so my Bitmoji looks like me again! It's a little ridiculous how much this pleases me. But come on, look at it! The only thing is my eyebrows aren't nearly that dark anymore. They're a lot thinner, too. And my belly is a lot bigger. I'm still hoping my belly button will pop out. (Kevin's note: While Janet was writing, I saw her check her belly button to see if it had made any progress.)
 And on that note...good night! More soon, because there's a funny story I forgot to mention last week. And soon we'll take nursery pictures to share. Maybe I'll even share a baby bump picture.

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