April 2016 Update
I posted on Facebook throughout all of February while Ana was getting radiation and pretty much not at all in March. I kept meaning to post some of the February updates here, but there never seemed to be enough time. Then radiation was over and it was March, and it seemed too late to post anything.
So, in brief, radiation went well. Jim took Ana all days except for one and they got into such a routine that there were some days that they made it to the hospital in under two hours. It helped that Ana’s cousin Chloe went with her 3 or 4 times and a friend went with Ana one day too. There was a glitch on the very last day of treatment which was supposed to be 2/23. The machine broke and Jim and Ana had already left for the hospital when they called. So, they had lunch at a mall in New Jersey and came home, then Ana got her final radiation treatment on Friday 2/26. We won’t know if it worked until her next scan, or possibly even the scan after that. She hasn’t had pain or any alarming symptoms either with her breathing or in her pelvis, so I’m hoping that means she’s stabilized again.
Oh, and I almost forgot, we got a puppy! It’s something Ana’s been asking for for months and we’ve always said no. But after this latest progression – with surgery that kept her in pain and debilitated through most of December and January, followed by three weeks of daily trips to the hospital for radiation, well, how could I say no? Our puppy won’t grow to be much bigger than 5 or 6 pounds. Currently he’s about 4.4 pounds and 20 weeks old. His name is Roo.
March has been good to Ana. She’s back in school and playing lots of guitar. The puppy is (slowly) learning a few things and seems to be getting the hang of potty training. He sleeps through the night – which helps a lot. He makes the girls (and me) very happy. I think Jim is still on the fence about this whole dog thing though…
And since I’m trying to get back on track with updating this blog, here’s my latest update on Facebook which I posted on Friday.
Posted on Facebook 4/12016 @ 10:50 p.m.
Happy Friday, everyone. I’ve been meaning to post an update for a while, but life is hectic and there hasn’t been much news (which is a good thing, I suppose). Ana’s been feeling well and going to school and Rock Academy as though she didn’t have a near-death experience in December, which is great and does my ancient heart good, but…
Her next scan is scheduled for next Friday, April 8th. (I have to warn you, I’ve had two and a half glasses of wine tonight and I’m a bit emotional).
The first two months of 2016 weren’t great. Ana was recovering from her crazy invasive surgery in January and most of February was consumed with her daily radiation treatments (as you all know – thanks again for the delicious meals). So then we got to March and it was just really strange getting back into an actual routine of school, work, Rock Academy, karate (for Emily) and living like we are normal people.
I’ve realized at some point in the last couple of weeks that I don’t even know how to get back to “normal” anymore. It will be five years this August that Ana was first diagnosed and, well, that’s a really long time to be riding an adrenaline roller coaster.
So April 8th…will that change our lives? It might. What if they see tumors everywhere? What if her lung tumors have grown again? What if they want her to start chemotherapy – the real stuff, the kind of chemo that requires a port and hospitalization and hair loss…
Ana has been at this for years. What if she says she doesn’t want the treatment this time? I can’t underestimate how hard this latest progression was for her. So much pain, such a long recovery. She dropped to 93 lbs (she’s 5’2″) and is currently taking a prescription drug that makes her hungry – at her request – because when she looks in the mirror, she hates how thin she’s become. She hates her body.
Jim and I walk around in a constant state of dread. When you look at us, when you look at Ana, it doesn’t seem that bad. But the fear is constant because she’s not in remission and because the day after Thanksgiving she stood up and screamed in pain and it wasn’t nothing. It was 16 cm of new tumor growth in her pelvis. So, next Friday is another scan day. I’m supposed to keep functioning like a normal person until then, I suppose. But it’s hard. And that’s where we’re at this April Fool’s Day.