Monday, June 30, 2008

The Old Pro

Justin had his 10th treatment today. We felt a bit anxious during the treatment and it took us some time to identify why our nerves were more elevated than usual. Justin's favorite nurse, Claire, had the day off. It is funny how one little thing can throw a person off. Well, I guess it isn't a "little" thing. She has offered great comfort to both of us during treatment and I never have second guessed her. But today I found myself double checking everything his nurse did. And there were some changes in his treatment. For some reason Justin did not receive one of the anti-nausea drugs he usually does. After questioning about the missing bag several times, it was explained to us that the insurance companies were giving our oncologist a hard time about their frequent use of a drug not necessarily needed for all patients. No biggie. Justin actually has extra medicine since the last few treatments he has skipped some of his pills since he says they make him too "out of it" and he doesn't feel nauseous. Nevertheless, the two changes made me infectiously nervous and overly cautious. Glad it is over with and Justin can look forward to his very last treatment exactly four weeks from today!

Today a man getting his first treatment sat near Justin and they spoke the entire time about a whole bunch of things, treatment and non-treatment related. Justin was trying to give him some advice about what to expect. I have noticed he has done that lately. I am sure he remembers the nerves he felt during his first chemo treatment and wants to help others to feel a bit better. He's an old pro.

We had a great weekend too. Justin managed to get a surge of energy early Thursday and attended a few Tiger baseball games. My brother and Marissa came into town and we joined them at the game on Friday night, went to the pool Saturday, and of course ate some great food at my parent's house. It is getting crazy with all the grandchildren. But of course it is great fun!

Well, we have some big baseball games to watch this week. I guess I should say that Justin has some to watch. I told him I am too nervous to watch and will just wait for his report. Anyway, the anticipation of this upcoming series is keeping all of our minds busy! Eat 'em up Tigers, Eat 'em up!!! And can someone jinx those darn White Soxs, please???

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"Off" Week

I like to refer to this week as the "off" week since these are the weeks when Justin doesn't have treatment. This week isn't as enjoyable as some in the past. The energy level seems to take longer to come back for him than it has before. It might be because of the steriods. Even though it seems that steriods haven't been in the picture for a while now, side effects can linger for three months. Justin's fatigue could also be from chemotherapy. The doctor told us a while back that the more treatments increases fatigue. It seems that fatigue is side effect everyone suffers from while undergoing treatment. That is the first question the doctors ask Justin when going over any symptoms.

Other then the fatigue, all is well. Justin had a checkup this morning with Dr. Fata and he referred to Justin as a champion. Compliments are always good to hear.

When we were leaving the doctor's office today, we heard a women say to another woman, "You know, I have one good day: the day before I get chemo again!" They were chuckiling about it and Justin chimed right in. He laughed because he feels the same way, just when he starts to feel good, another treatment. We did hear a story about a man who had Hodgkin's 24 years ago, had the same treatment as Justin, and is doing very well today. Justin's spirits seemed to have lifted when he heard that this man feels his treatment is a distant memory and has to actually think before he is able to describe what he went through.

We are getting ready for a visit from my brother and Marissa this weekend. We plan on going to the Tiger's game and hanging out at the pool. We are spending the 4th of July weekend in Lima. We are very excited to see Justin's uncle Mike, Kati and Tori. And of course Mamu and Pa!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Hope all the dads out there enjoyed their day! Justin was greeted first thing this morning with a gift made by Jackson. He really wanted to make his dad's first father's day a special one, so he customized a picture frame with a picture of the two of them. Justin loved it! We also were able to have a delightful dinner with Justin's family and show off the new landscaping we have done this week. It was quite a mess and I was glad Justin had enough energy to help me with it. Justin also went to two, yes TWO Tiger's baseball games this week. The best part: the games were back-to-back, both Thursday and Friday. I am so proud of him and so glad that he is feeling so well. I hope it continues for him because he is getting antsy and for anyone that knows Justin that translates to BORED!!! He barely listens to my bossiness anymore, which must be the true indicator that he is feeling much better and things are looking like they were before all this began. So I don't mind. I still worry silly, but we have such a great support system from our families that they keep me in check. Thank goodness.

We have a busy summer ahead of us. We are joining the Methodist church in Birmingham and will be baptising Jack in late July. We are also planning his first birthday party. Good things to keep both our minds busy and focused.

Tomorrow Justin has his 9th treatment or the beginning of his second to last cycle. And even though we are dreading it a bit with all the fatigue it brings, there is a bit of excitement, actually relief, that the end of treatment is near.

At Justin's last check up it was pretty much confirmed that Justin will receive radiation beginning in September. We haven't discussed too much at this point what it will all mean. We definitely will have to jump back into research and find a doctor that specializes in radiation for lymphoma patients. I have read that finding a lymphoma specialist is key since the area of radiation is a bit more complicated. We'll have to enjoy our summer first!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Good News, Again!

The MRI looks great and Dr. Junck doesn't want to see Justin again until late August! What will we do with our free time???