Monday, July 18, 2011

Update - following round 6 chemo

  • It has been 4 years since I was hit with a baseball that led to the discovery of my brain tumor. (It was in June or July but I don't recall the exact date)
  • It has been 3 years and 9 months since I completed External beam radiation.
  • It has been 4 years and 1 month since I had a partial resection (more partial than we realized at the time)of my grade three tumor.
  • It has been approximately 9 months since my second resection, 8 since my shunt insertion, and and 7 since the start of a month of chaos.
  • Completed round 6 of Temodar Chemo.
Medically - The shunts still seem to be working and I've tolerated the chemo well. I am probably due for another MRI since it's been 3 months but will need to discuss that with my NeuroSurgeon.

Emotionally - I'm managing to keep my head up despite getting really frustrated at the lack of ability to do what I could after my first surgery. I'm adjusting to a "new normal" yet again. This time being on disability and therefore not working is slowing me down quite a bit and I think that is taking an emotional toll. I'm just not one to be completely stay-at-home when I only have a 14 year old. (I considered being stay-at-home after we had our second child but that was never meant to be. At least with a baby there's always something going on. With just my son, there isn't, he doesn't want to do anything with mom so it puts a huge limit on things.

Mentally - I'm fair. I don't think I will ever be even half of what I used to be mentally but I think I can adjust to what I am now. My short term memory is horrible (I told John my brain is about 64 now so all of you that are near that age and have short term memory issues, think of getting there overnight instead of it gradually declining...) I can't do some of the things that used to come so easily to me. I can't calculate in my head... even simple things. I can't figure times (such as when to leave to get to a certain place) so I'm always late these days and that is very unlike me.

Physically - I think I've done more this week than I have since I had surgery... and I'm paying the price for it. I think I'm learning my boundaries on what I can do without affecting the shunts. This is going to be a long, slow process though.

Chemo - Well, round 6 of chemo went pretty good although it gave me a scare on the second day. I thought for sure it was going to be a rough round when I woke up queasy on the second day. Luckily I got through it with nothing more than being very tired.

Family - I've been running my son to Lincoln a lot lately for band practice. He has a practice once a week and marching practice as well. He seems to be enjoying it and likes the conductor so it's a good thing. He is also playing the baritone again instead of the Sax. He says he thinks he's mastered enough of the sax to still list it as an instrument he can play. School will start for him in about a month. He has 4H shows in two weeks so he is finishing up his projects.

I think the reality of what is going on has hit John. He's been very moody of late and is focusing very hard on redoing out sidewalk. (I had an idea, we tried it, found out it didn't work well, so going for plan B. It looks nice and will be really nice when it is all finished.)

Play - I've been reading a new series about Vampires, Supernaturals, and other things along that lines. Fantasy is definitely my favorite genre. If anyone has watched "True Blood" on HBO, I'm reading the books that it is based off. Well, I've finished the last book I currently have and next two in the series have not been delivered yet so I am going to use my decent brain day to try some brain games while the guys are out working on my son's woodworking project. We saw Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part 2 at the IMAX yesterday. It was truly an awesome experience and I'm glad we went.

Well, better get started on exercising my brain before it gets too tired to try.