Saturday, July 3, 2010

First Try

I am not shy. I'm sort of a loud mouth, actually. So starting a blog seems logical for me during this time in my life, when I'd like to be keeping track of every little miserable and inspiring detail. The plan is to update all of the people who care about me (which I've discovered recently is a LOT) and to document all of this ridiculousness for others going through it or for some later book deal :).

I am a mother, first and foremost, and aside from my treatment and healing, my 3 year old is my top priority. Judah will be going back to camp on Tuesday, despite the fact that he is still waking up every morning at 6 am, crying ("I don't want to go to camp today...") and needing reassurance that Dan (my husband) and I are still here. After a slightly traumatizing hospital stay (for Judah and me) last weekend, he is not convinced I'll be here when he wakes up each morning. Who can blame him? He's fantastic and I could devote many an entry to just him and how he's coping with all of this craziness. The last time he asked me if the boo boo was still there inside my body, I explained to him that I have to go back for more special medicine that goes in through the needle in my arm. He replied, "Isn't that annoying?? That's so annoying!! I can't believe you have to get more medicine!" The good news is that he loves doctors and medicine and even watching people (including himself) get shots, so he's been very curiously watching me get my nightly Fragmin shot (a blood thinner for the clot I developed in my left arm). He feels like a part of this process when he can help with a job (like going to the pharmacy to get my medicine) or do me a favor (he likes to pride himself on doing "mitzvahs"). He constantly entertains us with guitar concerts and jokes and I am loving the age of three if for no other reason than because he has learned how to play by himself!!

The past month has been quite a roller coaster ride. From my first xray to a CAT scan to an inconclusive IR (interventional radiology) biopsy to a PET scan to a surgical biopsy (did you know they serve scrapple to patients in the ICU??) to a biopsy reaction that felt like I was giving birth through my shoulder (Dr. Percoset, I thank you, wherever and whoever you are) to an actual diagnosis, it's been rocky at times. Oh yeah, and then there was Round 1 of treatment (R-CHOP) and my super-sensitive body's response to it (that's for another post). **Bonus points to anyone who knows what neutropenic means.** Luckily, this week I was able to have a massage (Bridget is wonderful) and acupuncture (Pam brought some color back to my cheeks).

I am so fortunate Dan and I chose to live near my parents, without whom I don't know where we would be. They have been an incredible support for Dan and Judah and Mooshu (our beagle/coonhound) and I - both physically and emotionally. I know we have all been pushed to our limits, but I think, as a family, we have been coping amazingly well. My husband is also a teacher and so has been able to be home to bend to my every whim and follow my every (parental, cooking, cleaning) direction. So far, he hasn't "fluffed my pillows" if you know what I mean, so I give him big credit for dealing so well.

Looking ahead, I am scheduled to have a port (Port-a-Cath - Implantable Venous Access System, so I don't have to deal with anymore IV drama) put in this Tuesday, July 6, and then Round 2 of my R-CHOP treatment commences at 9 am on Thursday, July 8. I am looking forward to meeting Wayne, the masseuse who will give me a massage during my treatment on Thursday (we decided Thursdays were the best day to have treatment for the reason only that Wayne works that day). I am finally starting to feel like the "hit by a truck" feeling is lifting and then I have the next one to hit me all over again...

A quick shout out to everyone who has thrown love my way - including my family, high school friends, old family friends, work peeps, camp friends, college friends, post-college friends - it has come from every angle (even the lady sitting next to me at the nail drying station a few weeks ago said a prayer for me) and I couldn't feel more loved or appreciated at this time. My white cell count is up and normal (as of yesterday's labs) and that feels good, too. Thank you for the love and support. Keep visualizing (white m&m's kung fu fighting the tumor) for me and check my blog for updates. xxoo


  1. Mia, you are completing amazing. Your strength and courage are truly inspiring. You have tons of people praying for you.

    My mother had a port-a-cath and it made her treatments much easier. I will be thinking of you each day. Love you!

  2. I love the name of your blog!! Oh, that Judah ... how precious is he? ("annoying"?? LOL!!) I agree with you that age 3 is just great. Infinitely better than age 2. My oldest just turned 5, and each age/stage is better than the last. I wish you lots of time at home so you get major snuggles with Judah. <3

    Nice job scheduling a massage on treatment day. I will be thinking of you this week as you take on Round 2.

    You can do it!!!

  3. Mia,
    Oh, this was such a fabulous idea. This is a marvelous outlet for your upbeat, creative and unique style. Remember it's okay to let people help out for whatever you(that includes Dan, Judah, your mom and dad even Mooshu) need. People wouldn't offer if they weren't sincere. Love the haircut. Keep looking on the bright side.

  4. Oh Mia,
    You are truly inspirational. You are amazing as your spirit is tested! The blog is a great idea!
    Stay cool,

  5. Excellent idea, Mia!! Love that we can keep up with you this way. Keep on kickin it!!!!

  6. Mia - all of Pittsburgh is praying for you and visualizing white M&M's Kung Fu fighting your tumor. (When I close my eyes I can see it clearly) Your blog is truly amazing and we appreciate knowing what is going on. We love and care about you, Dan & Judah.

    Good Luck this week - we are thinking about you.