Monday, September 29, 2008

Still on Hold

Radiation hasn't started yet. Justin went for his appointment this morning and they realized that things weren't lining up the way they should. He was sent to a new facility in Farmington for another CT mapping session. Hopefully it will be correct. He is set to start on Wednesday morning. I think we are just anxious for them to get it right, then when Justin actually begins.

Justin's radiation appointments are Monday through Friday at 7:00 am. Yes, in the morning! Justin actually wanted this appointment so that his work day wouldn't be interrupted. For all of us that know Justin, getting up early in the morning isn't the easy thing for him to do! But hopefully this early time will work for him.

I promise to keep everyone posted once radiation begins.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bike Rides

Radiation is set to go this Monday. We hope. There have been some scheduling conflicts. It's no big deal, but we keep "preparing" for it to start, and then the time or day gets changed. Oh well. Justin is glad to have an extra weekend.

I just have to report! Today Justin took an 8 mile bike ride. Last week it was 10 miles. How many of us can honestly say that we have done that? So I guess it is accurate to report that Justin is feeling well. He says this is the best he has felt in over a year. So great to hear that.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Swing of Things

I feel bad I haven't updated our blog in a while. Really a lot has been going on. But all good things. We have been trying to adjust to getting things in our life back in order. I decided not to return to teaching this year. It wasn't an easy decision. Thanks to all that listened to me go back and forth for about the last 6 or 7 months. I think I was just finally relieved to have made a decision and didn't have to think about it anymore.

As sad as it was to leave teaching, I have had another opportunity bloom that really has been there my entire life; cheesecake! Yes, I am doing some part time work for my dad with his store. Justin has always wanted to get into the "cheesecake business" [and me, for that matter], but we just didn't know how to take the leap. We felt this was the best time for us and are excited at the possibilities down the road. For now, I am grateful that my dad [well, and my mom too!] have given me this opportunity to make it possible to breathe. I was feeling very suffocated by trying to balance work, Justin, doctors, scans, insurance bills, referrals, Jackson...the list continues. Once the summer hit, I felt a bit of relief and knew that I needed to make a change. Teaching is way more then "getting your summers off, plus holidays," and my heart was just not in it anymore.

Justin is quite the opposite of me. He has jumped into work and hasn't missed a beat. Jackson and I barely saw him for dinner this week he was working so much. And he loves being able to give 100 % again.

On Monday, Justin will have a special CT scan and a simulation with his radiation oncologist to get ready for radiation. We are still not sure when he will start, how much radiation he will get, nor for how long. I am sure we will have answers on Monday. We are also hoping that radiation is a "piece of cake" compared to chemo. Everyone keeps saying this to him, but we have heard of some unpleasant side effects. Deep down, I think we just hope that Justin will continue to feel great like he does now!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Light the Night

The Leukemia-Lymphoma society holds an annual event titled "Light the Night Walk." The walks take place in pretty much every city throughout the year. Feel free to check out the links for more information.

The reason I bring this up is because our friends, Maureen and Stephen, are participating in the walk in Raleigh Saturday, September 13th. I met Maureen through an online support group for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. She and Stephen have been a great source of support! Stephen was diagnosed around the same time as Justin. He just finished his last treatment of AVBD today. Go Stephen!

Maureen and Stephen have kindly made a ribbon in honor of Justin, as well as other family members they know who have been diagnosed with a blood cancer. The gesture has completely blown our minds! So I am putting a link to their website and hoping that if anyone had thought about possibly donating money to the Society, this might be a great way to do it.

Keep posted. Justin and I plan on participating in the walk here in Michigan next year.

The Fun Bunch

And thanks again to the Ragons! It is really difficult to put into words just what this has meant to us!!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Rollercoaster of Life

Oh boy! We were blessed with some great news this past Friday. Justin received a call from U of M. After careful review of his initial PET scan, mid-way, and last scan, they have concluded that the uptake is NOT in his original mass. All of his masses show no uptake. This is a good thing. They will still keep an eye on the area and whatever it is will hopefully resolve itself by his next exam.

So what this means is NO MORE CHEMO!!! Again. It was a bummer that he did have a #13 treatment. I don't think Adam Hubner's wedding was as fun as it could have been, but we had a GREAT time. And his energy returned by Monday. We were able to enjoy a MUCH needed vacation. Once Justin got the call on Friday, I really saw him back to 100%. He said he feels 90% because his upper body doesn't feel as strong as he would like it to. Maybe he'll start lifting weights.

Onto the plans for radiation. We are not sure when he will be able to begin since he has had chemotherapy recently. They usually say 4 weeks to let your body heal. We will find out more this week.

I will post some pictures of our excellent vacation soon!