Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Home Again

My hemoglobin Saturday morning was 118. That's got to be a record high for me! (Okay so I did have 3 units of blood this week, which might attribute to the high number) Whatever the case, I was excited knowing I wouldn't be delayed by a blood transfusion Sunday morning. So yes, we are home again.
This week was...I don't know...decent, okay, average, pretty good...it's still chemo...but honestly pretty good. No crazy anxiety attacks which was awesome. I cut out some anti nausea meds which I really think helped. Thanks to all the prayers in that regard. Whenever I enter the hospital and get connected to my pole, I instantly have this background anxiety. It stays with me until I am disconnected and discharged. It's a constant battle to fight the feelings of anxiety. However, these feelings were just background this round and for that I'm SUPER grateful.
Here's the God story of the week:
Monday night when I was admitted I was told that I was in Room 34. For those of you who don't know, that's the absolute best room on 5B-it's the luxury suite. It's designed for palliative patients, but when it's not in use for that, the nurses are so amazing that they allow chemo patients to be in that room. I was excited but at the same time I didn't know if I could handle being in that room. That had been Andi's room for the last month and that's where I saw her for the last time.
After a mental battle I decided that the advantages of being in a private room were so great, that I would put forth a real effort. I entered the room and forced myself to sit on the bed and almost immediately, it became my old room. Before Andi was so sick, I had been in that room numerous times and all those memories came back. Even though some of Andi's Halloween decorations were still dangling from the ceiling, I was okay with it.

Tuesday afternoon one of the charge nurses comes into my room, has a seat and asks if it would be okay if they would move me. What can I say? Of course I don't want to move, but they already know that and they wouldn't move me if they didn't have to. So I agree to it. Apparently I'm going to move to a nonprivate room and it's going to happen around supper.
This was super hard for me. I had just finished telling Earl how amazing it was to be in a private room and now I had to move. I just felt myself getting really discouraged and down and so I suggested that we pray. We prayed that some crazy miracle would occur and that somehow I wouldn't have to move out of my room.
The evening nurses come on and I ask the charge when I'm going to be moving. She doesn't know what I'm talking about. I tell her that the other nurse had told me that I'd have to move because they had to accept a patient from emergency. Apparently they were not accepting this patient anymore and I didn't have to move. Wow-I prayed and God directly answered my prayer; how awesome and exciting!

For those who are asking how I'm doing. Relatively well. I've been having some ankle/leg pain that has Dr. Wong clueless. I've had it for about 2 1/2 weeks and at times I think it's getting better and then it comes back. Today has been pretty good and I'm once again encouraged that it's getting better. I don't believe it's anything serious. I had an X-ray to rule out tumors and an ultrasound to rule out blood clots. Now we just wait for it to completely disappear.
Thanks for your prayers and support

Monday, November 10, 2008


Today I went to my friend Andi's funeral.

Andi was an incredible fighter. The bravery that she fought this horrible disease with was amazing.
Andi was also hilarious-she had a great sense of humor and was cracking jokes even while she was in horrible pain.
Andi, you were such a welcoming person. There was never a time that you felt too miserable to visit with Earl & I. Even in your final days, you smiled when we visited and I knew you were glad that we were there.
Andi, you were so brave. When Dr. Wong told you that you were going to be transferred to palliative care, you still were able to put on a smile and come tell me about it.
Andi, I'll miss you.
Tonight when I go in for another round of chemo, I'll be looking at your room and be hit with the fact that you're not there. I'll miss not being able to come visit you whenever I'm lonely or bored.
I'm so glad Andi that you're not suffering anymore. Most people will never even come close to experiencing the kind of pain that you went through. You fought hard and I'm so proud!
Earl & I chatted with Bobby for a long time today, Andi. He was sitting with us during the meal. He's a great man and he loved you so incredibly much.
And so Andi, I now say good-bye.
I'm so glad we were able to meet and become friends. I can't wait to see you in heaven.
I love you

Earl Cooke, myself and Andi Jan. /08
All diagnosed with sarcoma and all having chemo at the same time
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

This is kind of fun, getting people to guess what kind of food I chose for my birthday!
None of you got it bang on, but the Mennonites were the closest! I had a pretty big list of things that I was debating about. Good old homemade cottage cheese perogies covered in white onion gravy was high on the list. This wouldn't have been complete without farmer sausage slathered in ketchup on the side. So good...maybe next year. :)
So the menu was as follows:
Lunch: Chili & Greasy White bread garlic toast
Dessert at Dairy Queen -Reese Twister (Only was able to finish a third of it)
Supper: (Don't laugh too hard-I know it sounds childish, but what can I say... way too normal)
Taco Salad with that amazing white sauce and New Bothwell cheese, Juicy sausage burgers with all the works including processed cheese, and Spinach salad with bacon
Dessert was this amazing Pistachio Poppyseed Dessert.
Thanks to both Moms who made such a delicious supper!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

25 Years

First of all, thank you to all of you who wished me a happy birthday. I truly can say that in spite of everything, I had a good day.
Yes, I got out of the hospital early Sunday morning. I've felt pretty good all week. Of course I'm super tired and weak, but I think I'm doing a lot better than last round.
All week I was hoping and praying and wishing that I would feel good this weekend. I really wanted to have a special birthday but I knew that Friday would be the beginning of my 'bad weekend'. (About a week after I come home, my white blood count always drops and I usually develop a fever. This has often resulted in me spending some quality time in emergency.)
I know there were a ton of people praying that this weekend would be different. I'm so excited because I am not writing this blog from the hospital but rather from at home! Yesterday I felt super weak and tired all day. I could tell my body was really fighting. I tried to rest a lot and drink lots of water. Usually the fever spikes in the evening. I decided that I was not going to check my temperature unless I felt really bad. As the evening progressed, I knew I had a fever but I felt okay so I just kept enjoying the evening with my family and Earl's family. Once everyone was going home, I checked my temp. It read 38.3. Not a good sign but I decided to wait it out to see if it would go down, or if I'd start to feel bad. (I'm kind of used to these things, so I know how to read my body) Just before my brother left, he prayed for me and a few minutes later I felt my body cool down. I really believe that the accumulation of many of you praying kept me from entering the hospital. I haven't checked my temp since last night-I can tell I don't have a fever. I've been exhausted today as my body is still fighting but I am so super grateful that I am doing as well as I am. Thank you everyone of you who prayed that I would have a special birthday.


....so I get the task of proofreading this and I find nothing here about Ramona's food choice for her birthday...I'm curious if any of you guys could guess what kind of 'normal' food she would choose after having gone almost a year with extremely limited amounts of red meat, dairy, white flour and white sugar....