Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tabby Update: 10-25-2012

I'm running out of clever pictures to put at the top of these posts...

Tabby did round 10 of chemo this week, followed by Nulasta (the evil, evil drug) on Friday, more lab work, and more hydration next week.  She's been very ill lately, with severe migraines and nausea beating her into the ground.  Last week, the migraines got the worst they'd ever been, to the point that Tab did something she didn't want to do...  She took liquid morphine.  Yes, the doctor prescribed it specifically for her headaches, but because it's so addictive, Tab was wary about taking it.  After three days of being unable to tolerate even the dimmest light, she took a dose.

No effect.

One hour later (as per the instructions), she took a second dose.  The result was the best nine hours of sleep Tabby's had in years.  She woke up without a headache, without nausea, and feeling almost like her old self again.

Tuesday, she saw the doctor, who said her kidneys are functioning perfectly, which is wonderful.  When she asked if Tabby felt strong enough for another round of chemotherapy, I half expected her to say no.  I've sat up with her many nights and heard her say that she's tired of feeling like shit and watched her cuddle Rudy (her little stuffed elephant I bought for her at the circus) and Cthulhu (big stuffed plushie from our friends Ward and Nikki), and it's obvious she's miserable.  But she said yes.  She said she was strong enough.  Later when I asked her why, she said this:  "I want this shit out of me.   I'm not quitting."

That's my girl. And that's why I love her.

Again, thanks to everyone for all your love and support.  Tabby needs to hear how loved she is.  Your messages give her strength.

As an aside, I'm sure everyone is aware of all the pink running amok in our country, as it is "Breast Cancer Awareness" month.  I have nothing against it... I'm quite fond of ta-tas in all their many shapes and sizes.  But I don't wear a pink ribbon.  I don't wear a pink gum-bracelet either.  I wear an enameled teal and white ribbon pin and bracelet.  Those are the colors of cervical cancer awareness.  I'm all for breast cancer awareness and education, but why is the month only dedicated to the one specific type?

On the campus where I work, there are many folks who mean well and who are selling pink ribbons and gum bracelets.  One of them approached me, and in her snottiest possible voice informed me that I was wearing the "wrong colors" and I needed to swap out my ribbon and bracelet for the pink ones that they were selling.  I, of course, bristled at miss Hairbow, and calmly explained to her that I didn't want to exchange them.  She asked why.  I replied "because breast cancer isn't what's trying to kill my wife."  The look on her face, though priceless, was indicative to me that, while breast cancer is terrible, people should be reminded that it's not all there is.  There are people suffering from every kind of cancer, and their voices deserve to be heard.

So here's the obligatory plug for DROPLETS, the short story collection which is helping to pay for my wife's medical expenses.  If you've bought one, thank you.  If you haven't and you want to, thanks.  And if you don't want to, don't buy it.  Thanks for just reading this far.  And for those who wish to show support for a victim of cancer of any type, head over to choose hope for ribbons, pins, and all other forms of stuff.  The good thing is, these people actually do donate enormous sums from their sales to research for finding a cure.

Again, thanks for reading.  Love you guys.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

TABBY UPDATE - 10-03-2012

Yesterday, we got the results of Tabby's latest CT scan, and it showed shrinkage in almost all of the tumors!  The ones that didn't shrink were stable, so we're very happy.  Some shrank by only .1 centimeter, other shrank by a whole centimeter.  The point is, they're getting smaller.  And that's a good thing.  There is hope, and we will continue to move forward.

It's been taking her longer and longer to recover between treatments.  The Nulasta is the bane of her existence, as it is one of the most brutal drugs I've every seen.  And now, as a side effect, it seems to be leeching the calcium out of her body, which has resulted in horrific migraines and extended bouts with vomiting.  The pain, the exhaustion, the nausea, all makes it hard for her to keep chipper, but she tries.

We'd like to thank everyone who has offered assistance.  Our insurance is holding and helping.  The co-payments and our end of the treatments are expensive, and they are slowly building, but at this time, everything is manageable.  I need to send thank-you's to my parents, who have been helping on chemo days by keeping Zoe and sending dinner home; to my daughter Anna for driving when I can't; to Ruth (Tabby's mom) who comes down whenever Tabby needs her; to my brother and his family for their assistance whenever we ask; and to all of our friends for understanding why we haven't seen them for so long.  To everyone who has bought a copy of DROPLETS, you have no idea the difference you've made in helping pay our medical bills.  And to everyone else who has sent love, care packages, good thoughts and vibes, sent e-mails or called, thank you very much.  You are helping to keep our spirits alive and you are as much a part of the healing and recovery process as the chemotherapy.

We love you guys very much.


If anyone would like to purchase a copy of DROPLETS, it is still available.  Also, for those wishing to show support for ANY cancer victim, you can do so at Choose Hope.