It has been a LONG time since I've written on my blog, and I have a LOT to say.
November 11th was the big Sketti for Nettie Benefit. It was a huge success. Sooo many people showed up - I was amazed. People I hadn't seen in years were there. I tried to talk to as many people as I could, but it was impossible to talk to everyone. I appreciate everyone who worked on the committee and put
everything together. The donations were overwhelming. The food was delicious. The prize baskets were outstanding. The music was perfect. And the MC was his usual silly self. I thank everyone who played a part in it. The "Be Brave" video was one of the highlights for me. I still watch it almost everyday, and it brings tears to my eyes almost every time. The video highlights special people in my life, including my family, my friends, my students, my co-workers, even my care givers. Here is a link to the video so you can see it: Kick Some Mass Video . The benefit really uplifted me and helped me get through to the end of the year.
As many of you know, my dad had a heart attack the early morning following the benefit. He had open heart surgery about 4 days later and died on November 17. I was so happy he was able to attend the benefit. It meant so much to him to see everybody there supporting me. He was soooo proud. I heard he even danced - I didn't see him, but I wish I would have danced with him. I think it was easier for my dad to let go knowing that I had so many people rallying around me. I miss him so much.
We made it through Thanksgiving, though it was hard without Dad being there. Dad had the whole meal planned by ordering it in advance - all we had to do is pick it up from the store and finish preparing it. We sure missed his presence.
Next up was another brain scan. It was a couple of days after Christmas. I felt very nervous this time about the scan. I think I held my breath for 2 weeks before it. I just thought I was being more forgetful than usual and that scared me. But when I look around and listen, everyone is forgetful. But when you have cancer in your brain and you forget I believe you are harder on yourself. The day of the scan I had my people rallying around me, as usual, which I love. The scan went smoothly. I always cry when I am in that big machine, thinking to myself, "What has happened to my life? My life has changed sooo much in the last 6 months...". When you cry lying down, your tears don't roll down your cheeks - they go right in your ears. And as much as I want to push that button and come out of the big machine and have them wipe my tears for me, I refuse to do it cuz I wanna just get the scan OVER WITH. The next day was my appointment with the doctor about the results of my scan. I am soooo thankful I don't have to wait longer than a day to get the results. The doctor was out sick that day and her way of saying "It is good news" is right when she walks in, she will say loudly, "YOUR SCAN LOOKS GREAT!". She doesn't like me to have to wait any longer than I have to. But the doctor wasn't there, it was her assistant. Evidentally, she doesn't have the same routine. She came in, introduced herself, and sat in the chair across from
me. And THEN announced that my scan looked better than it ever has. I wanted to scream, "LADY! You're supposed to tell me right when you come in the door!! You made me worry an extra 30 seconds!". I guess everyone has their way of delivering the news, I just was used to my doctor's way. So, since the end of radiation I've had 2 clean scans. My next scan will be at the end of February.
I am currently on another round of chemo, which is the same doseage as last month and it was dreadful then. I was out of commission for 3 days. I slept on the couch or in my bed for what felt like 72 straight hours. I told the doctor this at my last appointment and she recommended putting me on Ritalin. I couldn't believe my ears. I worked with kids on Ritalin, and they were the hyper ones. The hard to handle ones. But it worked for them. Did she not HEAR me right? I needed MORE ENERGY, or a lower doseage of chemo. But since my scan looked so good she really wanted me to stay on the same doseage as last month. She explained to me that adults that take Ritalin have the opposite effect than it does on children. So, last month on my 3rd day of chemo I don't even think I GOT UP. Now, today is my 3rd day of chemo this month (with Ritalin added) and I was out and about for over 7 hours! So YIPPEE RITALIN!
Every morning when I get up and every night before I go to bed I rub my bald head to see if I feel any fuzz. I thought I was imagining it, but by golly my hair is starting to grow back! I didn't lose all of it - I had my sister analyze the top of my head and she decided I lost approximately 3/4 of it. It is not growing back in the color I had wished for... But HAIR IS HAIR, and I am glad I am getting it back.
Ashlee and I decided we would hold the Thompson family Christmas celebration at our house on December 29th. It was a huge success. We had dinner. We played games. Opened stockings and presents. I couldn't believe what 2018 had brought us all. We always talk that 2019 has GOT to have some BETTER and HEALTHIER EVENTS for us.
The last 6 months have been extremely hard for me, but the last 2 months have been extremely hard on EVERYONE. We didn't expect to lose our dad in the middle of my illness. My sister Susan decided to "throw" together a "Breaking Sh#* Party". She gathered many breakables from the thrift store and Dollar Store including plates, vases, mugs, wine glasses, records, eggs, and a turkey we made of gingerbread. We threw them down to the ground and busted them in hundreds of pieces. It was VERY THERAPEUTIC, and I highly recommend it if you have a lot of stress in your life. No one was injured (except the breakables and the turkey...) and I can't wait to do it again. I think everyone really enjoyed themselves. We had a lot of laughs.
- drive now
- go up and down the basement stairs now
- go places on my own
- wait 3 months for my hair to grow back to a cute, short style
- believe my dad is gone
- believe this is only my 3rd round of chemo
- believe Ritalin makes me have energy
- believe I have a whole basket of hats, when 6 months ago I didn't even own one
- wait to pass my hats on to someone else in need of a hat