Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Living in a Post Chemo World

Hey guess what?!

You guessed wrong.

Nin doesn't have get chemo this week or any other weeks!!

Celebrating Bubba Dudey's birthday the day after chemo.  Nin looking fabulo per usual!

It's been a surreal few days knowing that Nin doesn't have to get poisons pumped into her body any more. Her hair has started growing back, her immune system has started growing back, and our normal life had stated growing back. Lots of good growth happening.

With all of this exciting news and milestone achieving, people have been asking what is next.  More treatment?  Tests to conclude all disease is eRADicated?  Disneyland trip?  Running for President?  Hopefully all of those things.

Nin will continue her Herceptin infusions every three weeks until sometime next Summer.  These shouldn't be a big deal at all. A simple thirty minute infusion with little to no side effects.  Every ninth week Nin will have an appointment at Big Huntsman in SLC with all the tests and meeting with her nurses, Doctors, and fan club(s). 

Just patiently waiting for Nin's autograph.

Nin will also be starting RADiation on November 16th. You will notice that I capitalize RAD in RADiation. If I make it sound fun, maybe it will be!  These will be daily (each weekday) treatments that will last somewhere around eight weeks or so.  Fortunately we'll be able to do these about ten minutes from our home. That will make it much easier with kids.  We can just turn on the TV then scatter some popcorn and Reese's Pieces on the ground like ET.  They'll never even know we're gone.

I'm joking. We would never do that.

We'd also leave them something to drink...

We honestly don't know much about RADiation besides knowing that it will turn Nin's skin into leather.

Not quite like that but kind of.  You now how your skin is stretchy and pliable?  Apparently radiation causes your skin to lose it stretchyness.  Nin should only need localized RADiation on/in/around/near (choose your adventure and pick the preposition of your choice) her right breast area as well as her right armpit.  So hopefully this won't wreck her skin too bad. We're fairly ignorant at this point because we've been focusing so hard on getting through chemo that we haven't even thought about RADiation.  One thing we were warned of by the Plastic Surgeon is that over time the RADiated tissue can/will tighten. You know how over time breasts stretch and sag?  If you don't, you have my permission to Google it for research purposes.  Well, her left side will follow nature's path but her right side won't. Or it could even be lifted up over time.  So that will be fun.  One day it could put her boobs "out of orbit".  Luckily, breast reconstruction is covered by insurance forever.  

That is what we know about RADiation thus far. Another big question we get is, do the Dr's give Nin a clean bill of health, cancer free medal, or "in remission" sticker?  Unfortunately I don't think she gets any of that.  I still don't fully understand why but these could be some reasons. I've heard the full body scan used to detect remaining cancer cells can cause Leukemia.  Yeah, let's check that you don't have any more cancer by probably giving you a different kind of cancer.

Nin will be monitored every few months with blood tests to make sure everything is functioning smoothly.  Besides that, since we haven't crossed the "end of treatment" bridge, we don't really understand that stuff.  Rest assured that when we learn more about it we'll most definitely probably post about it here.  Maybe. 

Well, I think I've rambled enough for one post. Just want to give a huge shoutout to all of our friends and family that helped us with the kids during the endless appointments and chemo days.  People have helped us in every way imaginable.  Mowing our lawn all summer, brushing our grumpy old man dog and picking up his poo trains (he walks while he poops, setting an intricate series of "poo train" landmines), cooking us fresh meals twice a week for six months, love letters, messages and comments on social media, letters in the mail, stripper-grams (alright, nobody sent a stripper-gram but now you have ideas for the future), helping us clean our house and yard, monetary donations, surprise house decorations, gift cards, hugs, tongue kisses, and endless support. 

We love you all with all our loves and we hope you know it. We aren't great are accepting help sometimes but please know that we've greatly appreciated it. 

If someone out there reading this and isn't telling other people that they are fighting cancer, consider sharing your journey.  You aren't alone and don't need to face this on your own.  Others want to lift you up and support you to courageously fight this battle.  Alone we are just us but together we are unstoppable.