I am alive and well and so sorry that I haven’t posted in a while for those of you who I am not in touch with regularly. I will pick up where I left off from my last post. My two children and their families came to visit me that next weekend; my son on Saturday and my daughter on Sunday. Oh what a joy to see them! They were all well so we hugged and just chatted for about an hour or so. The grandkids weren’t bothered by my bald head – I love that about kids, they see you for who you are and love you no matter what. It really lifted my spirits to see them all and especially my son and daughter. They had been so supportive and caring with their texts and calls and cards etc through my whole ordeal.
At the time of the visit I had been going back to Hopkins 3 days a week to get fluids because the antibiotic I had been on for the infection I had had in my catheter had caused my creatinine to go up, creating a potential kidney problem. My brother and I would trek over there those mornings, I would get blood drawn and then go to the outpatient clinic for oncology patients to get my fluids, which took two hours. We did that for 3 weeks and finally the number came down! That was Friday, April 17th and what a great day because the pic line came out of my arm and for the first time since September I did not have a catheter or line in my chest or arm – wow, talk about freedom! That weekend I realized that I could actually plan to go home. I still questioned myself on whether I was strong enough but once I made the decision, each day seemed better. We had one more appointment coming up on April 28th for a bone marrow biopsy but my brother said he could just come and get me for that. So I decided that Wednesday, April 22nd (Earth Day) would be “go home day.” As my brother and I were pulling away from his house I said how I just couldn’t believe I was really going home. He put his hand on mine and said it was real and look at what we’d been through. I choked up as we recounted the days from February 12th and the many, many trips to and from Hopkins. And it was all behind us now. It’s still hard to comprehend all that time away from home and everything that I experienced – kind of surreal.
My first night home and by myself, I laid on the floor in front of my fireplace and just looked around at my surroundings, so grateful to be there, so grateful for my beautiful home, my cat, and just all that was there – it just felt so darned good! It’s been over two weeks now since I’ve been home and it’s so interesting how I have felt better every day in some way. I’ve gained about 5 pounds which is a good thing, I’m stronger but still get tired and can’t climb big staircases without getting winded, but I’m getting there. The mucous situation is way better and my appetite is good. This past Wednesday I had an appointment back at Hopkins with my specialist. It was an interesting experience to be there feeling so well! My visit was very good. All my white and red cells and platelets are all up there again and my two bone marrow biopsies show no detectable myeloma. I am almost in remission and should be soon as this particular marker we watch drops a bit more. Due to my having been in a trial I will have biopsies at 6 months again and one year and will be monitored for I think 3 years. My “goal” in all this was to hopefully have years of remission so please keep praying that happens! I am back to acupuncture and some other alternative therapies and feeling so well, with the exception of my stamina, but I know that will come in time. I am reading a new book – Anticancer, A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD. I only just started it but the reviews were good. It’s actually a second edition and written in 2009. The author was diagnosed with a brain tumor some 17 years ago and through his research and experiences he shares with his readers how we can take charge of our lives, whether we have cancer or not, through exercise, mind/body therapies and nutrition. I haven’t gotten that far yet to get into those chapters but I am enjoying his writing and intelligence and personal experiences on this subject. And he’s still alive and well after all these years! After I finish the book I’ll have to report back on it here.
And so my friends, thank you for following my journey, supporting me, praying for me and, well, just caring. It all means so much to me – this love I’ve received from so many. Since my diagnosis – 4 years ago now – I’ve chosen to learn from all that I’ve experienced, to know myself at a deeper level, and to know what is most important to me in life. I don’t regret a moment! But now that I am done with the transplant and a life of less doctors and drugs, I am choosing to let go again of being a myeloma patient and even more letting go of a focus on having cancer. I am me and not the cancer and as much as it’s helped me grow, I want to get back to living a full and meaningful life and doing what I love with purpose and vitality.
Thank you for your love!! Sending love back to you, Kathy