Natalia's journey

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

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Yes, I am finally done with the drips for pneumonia treatment and today my PICC line was removed at MD Anderson. I saved the catheter as my little trophy (this was a long one - 44 cm, about 1.5 ft and in case you are wondering what this catheter is like check out the pics from a fellow warrior Cliff who was brave enough to document his allo transplant). Gosh! These little milestones make me feel so good, and I can't wait to take a real shower and even a bath :)

Even though we will not know the results until the scans are complete in two week I feel very positive that we've knocked the pneumonia off. After all, we've done 2 extra weeks - it should be gone, right?! I feel like I really deserve a break before I move on to radiation - I was just too tired from the constant medications; and so tomorrow my dad and I will come by my office so he can see what my life was like before cancer and meet some of my co-workers :) It's kind of funny, he just arrived but he is already invited for New Year party while we will most likely stay home and take it easy. So Happy New Year everyone - it sounds like a very promising one!

Friday, December 22, 2006

100 days and still Cancer-Free!

Isn’t that the fabulous news for the 100 day survivor ready to celebrate the holidays?!
It does not matter that I’ve been having liver and stomach issues, diarrhea and body cramps topped of with extreme fatigue because it’s a small price to pay for being cancer-free. I still remember the silent horror thoughts of not being able to get into remission and not making it for my family and in retrospect my current physical issues are nothing compared to the mental scare just 6 month ago.

I’ve been so drained with the scans and other tests that I didn’t even get to share another sweet piece of news: my dad got a multi-entry visa last week and safely arrived this Wednesday. It’s amazing how dreams come true once you are detached from them. 7 years ago I really wanted my parents to come over and see how I live and how we’ve come along; now both of them came over without me begging them about it :)

And so I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year! May all your wishes and dreams come true (just be detached), and may you be blessed with health and love, good friends and family in abundance! The rest – prosperity, peace and happiness will naturally come along :)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Moving along

So the results are in … pneumonia is going away and my lungs improved about 50%. My onc feels good about it – he says it takes about 6 weeks for CMV to go away and I did about 3 weeks now so I am on track. It’s good I don’t have fevers or other symptoms though my chest hurts a bit and my body aches a lot while my digestive system is being worn out a great deal from all the medications; so I still need to go on with the meds but at reduced frequency which is wonderful. We’ve been pretty stoned last few weeks and are looking forward to more rest. My extreme fatigue showed in my counts, which plunged down again so they monitor me closely (full blood work every other day). Other good news, my hair and eyelashes started to grow – it looked really light at first but it’s now starting to show some color. I don’t really care what color or shape it will be as long as it’s hair! (though some curls would be nice :))
And it’s hard to believe but the big 100 day mark is fast approaching. I will be having full body scans in about 10 days and the bone marrow biopsy. This time it will be under full anesthesia as I don’t have any pain tolerance left (I still remember limping for about 5 days as my hips were recovering from all the “drilling” in my bones). So wish me big time luck – I am confident I am still CANCER-FREE, I just pray for no more new surprises/issues. That would be the best gift for the holidays!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Not much news

Sorry for not posting for a while… I usually try to update once a week but not much new has been happening for the last 10 days; we are pretty tired of antibiotics I am getting for pneumonia as they don’t let us sleep well and I still drive every other day to MDA so all in all it’s taking a toll on us. Even on Thanksgiving day we were at MDA for about 3 hours or so. Tuesday I will be doing scans to see if pneumonia is gone so I will give an update Thursday or so. Apparently my type of pneumonia (CMV) is pretty rare among autologus transplant patients and among allo patients it can be deadly; so we definitely pray to be relieved of this test. Besides, it’s so cold now I have to be extra careful to not catch any cold or inflammation of some sort.

Other than that, we are doing ok – Andryusha amazes us with new things every day, he can mimic words pretty well (does that count for talking?!) and a few days ago he learned to walk backwards and to walk uphill and downhill – he seams to get very happy with every new accomplishment and so are we! Oh, and he loves to walk, I think yesterday he walked at least half a mile all by himself! No wonder he knows how to say in Russian ‘go for a walk’ – ‘gulyat’! Next time, I’ll try to post some fresh pics of Andryusha as a polar teddy bear :)