Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

We had a fantastic New Year's Eve; Nana Noni took the grandkids for their annual NYE Sleepover.  Here's a pix of the kids at "midnight":


Since we were kid-free, we went to see The Hobbit at Cineopolis with Angela and Dan.  It was super swanky and we determined that we will continue to see our annual movie at this theater.  Those seats are awesome! 


New Year's Day was celebrated at THE BEACH!  Toni & Marc took their trailer down there a couple days after Christmas for an entire week.  They were so fortunate to have fantastic weather...the temperature was a nice 73 degrees when we were there!  The kids (as usual) had a blast and we had a fantastic time.  What a way to celebrate the New Year!












 In cancer-related news, I was supposed to have my second chemotherapy treatment today (Tzaddi's birthday) but it was cancelled.  Unfortunately, our insurance changed on 1/1 and all authorizations need to be submitted to the new insurance.  Hopefully it will get rescheduled for sometime at the end of next week, but this pushes the entire schedule out - such a bummer!  

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Holiday Celebrations!

Brixton had his annual Christmas program at Noah's ark.  His class sang a song and Brixton was REALLY into it!  Towards the 2nd or 3rd verse he really starts going to town and he was the ONLY one you could hear!  Please forgive us for the tortuous screaming from Sawyer in the beginning of the show :)
(Technical difficulties; I'll post the video later!)

The next day we went to Sawyer's soccer class...we've shown so many of those photos, but Brixton took this one of Tzaddi that I thought was too good to pass up!

We had planned to kickoff our holiday season with ROEL - celebrating Rowan's birthday (RO) and Christmas (NOEL).  Due to the whole cancer thing, we decided it would be better celebrated on a smaller scale with just the family.  Rowan would have been TEN this year - WOW!   


This is the first year where BOTH of the boys could sing a Christmas carol - and they learned Jingle Bells.  Here's a shot of them singing together...too cute!

video


The official Christmas celebration began with Nick's Annual Birthday Pancake Breakfast.  They had a great turnout and it's such a fantastic way to begin the Christmas festivities.  








Before bed, the boys put out cookies and milk for Santa.

We took a pic of the tree before the presents were demolished...after Santa dropped his off, of course :) 

We had an absolutely awesome Christmas.  The boys were so good all day long...we even slept in and probably finished unwrapping presents around 11.  I definitely think it was our Best Christmas Ever!  




After presents, we decided to let the boys watch their first ever Star Wars movie.  Santa brought Tzaddi  the entire series, so we started with The Phantom Menace.  Here's some video of the boys going insane during one of the fight scenes!
video

After the movie, we went over to Cannington Manor to finish celebrating with the whole family.  Opening presents is pure chaos!  





After dinner and presents, we took a walk down the street to look at all the Christmas lights.  And guess who was there taking a break???
SANTA!
The kids were ecstatic!


Tzaddi and I took the boys to see their first ever movie - in a theater!  We watched Walking with Dinosaurs and they had a great time.

We were lucky enough to get tickets to the Holiday Bowl (courtesy of Nick) and saw ASU get their butts beat.  It was quite a letdown for us (Dad and Angela are ASU grads) but we still had a blast!  Although it was FREEZING! 



Sunday, December 29, 2013

One Chemo Down...and a Mohawk!

I had my first chemotherapy treatment on 12/12.  The port was placed the day prior and that whole procedure wasn't too bad.  I just love being in the drug-induced twilight phase!  
Here's a picture of the port.  The bandage is covering up the incision and you can see the lump right under the bruising.  Basically, it's a catheter they put inside my vein so they don't have to stick me with an IV every time I go.  

My Oncotytpe Dx score came back on the low end of the high recurrence rate (score was 32).  So I have a 21% chance of distance recurrence without chemotherapy...so Dr. Saleh stuck with my original treatment plan and didn't make any changes.  Hopefully the chemo does it's job and my horrible little cancer cells stop multiplying and landing in other locations!

Here's the port in action.  All the nurse did was prick my skin (directly on the lump) with the needle and hooked me up to all the meds!  

The whole process took about 4 hours, they go a little slower on the first  infusion since they need to monitor any potential reactions.  Lucky for me, I'm pretty chill and didn't have any problems at all.  I had a Benadryl-induced nap for an hour or so, Tzaddi and I watched about 3 episodes of Friday Night Lights and he got me Subway for lunch.  I was pretty tired the first few days but VERY cranky (due to the amount of steroids they give).  The side effects for me started on Day 4 (12/15).  I had massive body pain due to the Neulasta shot and major headaches that lasted for 4 days.  It was rough, but I got through it - it's very doable!

I was supposed to go back to work on 12/17 but due to the chemo SEs I reported back on 12/19.  It was so nice to be back at work and see everyone!  It took exactly 1 week to feel well enough for work, and on Day 9 I felt completely normal!

Let the shedding begin!  
The nurses told me Day 17 and Day 18 would be hair-loss days.  They were pretty much right on.  My hair started shedding a little on Day 13...and got progressively worse as the days went by.  But I'm a picker - and every day I would sit with my head over the sink and see how much I could comb out with my fingers.  This was Day 16:


Once I realized the shedding was leading to bald spots, I had Tzaddi shave my head.  You can see that my hair has really thinned out a lot...and the back had actual patches of missing hair, depending on the way the wind blew! 


I wasn't quite ready to take my hair all the way down, so we went with a mohawk!  Well, I don't put any goop in it (since the goop just sticks to my hair then hand) so it's more of a Flop Hawk.  I figure I'll be lucky if I get a week wearing this style!


I must say, after rocking this look for a few days I really like it!  I feel a bit like a poser at times, but it's all good.  As long as cancer thinks I'm a bad ass, I'm cool with that!