Natalia's journey

In reality our entire family news will be shared through this blog as our baby grows and as we fight cancer.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Light the Night Walk

We had a wonderful day today -- the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society was doing a fund raiser in the Woodlands today and thanks to a friend we got to know about it and participate in it. I was brave enough to walk without a wig and sevaral folks came up to ask how I was doing and cheered me on. And I was happy to see those who went through a tranplant and were now living cancer-free lives 7 and 10+ years later. It's sooo encouraging -- I am still very emotional yet very very happy! It's amazing how supporting everyone is to fight cancer! Please consider donating if you can. Raymond and I are now thinking how we can raise some funds for research once I get well ... feel free to e-mail us your ideas.

And, please say a little prayer for us on Thursday -- I will be doing scans again to see if my lungs have cleared. Those antibiotics were making me sick again and I am ready to be off of some of them. And finally, here are some pics from Andryusha's 1st B-day -- Enjoy!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Post SCT results

So today I got my results: the good part is that PET is still negative on the lymph nodes; the so so news is that the mass didn't shrink much more -- it's about 2.7 by 2.8 cm just as before the transplant; and the not so good news is that there is a low-grade uptake in both of my lungs ..."in keeping with an inflammatory process; nonspecific opacity in right one and stable nodule in the left one." PET people think it's infection; CT thinks it is infection but also stated it could be recurrent lymphoma ... my SCT oncologist thinks it's infection and started me on some antibiotics and we sure hope in two weeks when I am due for scans again it will be all clean and clear. He also stated that once I am stabilized he'd like me to go for radiation. So as much as I'd like to be done it looks like my journey is not yet over. Well, at least I know the hardest part is behind. :)

Other than that, on Tuesday I turned 29 ... the only thought that came to mind is 'Gush, I am ALIVE!' And then I recalled that exactly a year ago on my 28 b-day an ENT doc just plainly stated that he thinks I have lymphoma and that he wants to do a full biopsy the next day at 6 am.... and with a 2 week infant in my hands I was stoned to say the least and for the first time ever really scared. Now, a year later, I think I am very grateful that he took charge and was so proactive and did his best to diagnose me right the first time. Isn't this life amazing?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Recovery process...

is what my life is in a nutshell ... I drive to MD Anderson twice a week for blood work and visits with the APN (chief nurse). My counts were pretty good last week but this week they've been dropping (especially platelets) so they monitor me closely. I am back on some shots and drugs; my nausea is constantly there but vomiting seams to always come as a surprise (twice this week). Yesterday I had a CT scan and now my stomach is all upset again .... Monday I will have a PET scan and I should know the latest and surely gratest results next Thursday; so all in all I am better but nowhere near where I thought I'd be. It also came a bit as a shock to learn the lasting power effect of the transplant: it will take about 6-9 months for my counts to rebound and about a year for the immune system to get back to normal; as for fatigue ... well, that may take as long as 2-3 years; and I am not going to mention about infertility ... we'll just hope and pray for another miracle (my life seams to be one miracle after another so I count on God remaining kind to us).
Apart from that, Andryusha got a flu on Sunday and it took him a few days to get well so when we saw our pediatrician on Wednesday we were happy to hear he is still doing great and keeping up in the top 5% (that's 95th percentile all around - very proportionate :)
And oh yes, we've received an amazing number of birthday wishes (didn't count but looks like well over 50) -- they are all so touching and very special; Thank you so very much! This will be one fat time capsule :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What a special day Ocotber 3 is

Today is Andryusha's big 1st B-day -- but we aren't doing anything big. Only special thing is a time capsule -- we are collecting everyone's birthday wishes and congratulations and we are storing them till his 15th B-day. We want him to know what a year this has been so he can really appreciate it once he can understand... if anyone wants to send a birthday wish, please feel free to e-mail me ... I'll send you our address and you can just hand write something on a plain piece of paper (no need for a post cards). This is the best gift you can do for him -- THANK YOU!!!

Other than that, yesterday was a long but still a happy day - my blood work is pretty good and they felt confident that I no longer need the catheter thus I had it taken out yesterday!!! YEAH!!! You know, I kept my port and now I have a catheter - guess what I am doing with it? I am going to have it hanging around my mirror in the car as a reminder of how special life is and so I drive slower :)