Thursday, August 5, 2010

R is for Reactive

It's dinnertime at the Blitstein house and I'm finally feeling better. Sigh.

The past few days have dealt a few new cards our way because of course, we wouldn't want things to get dull around here. The first fairly new arrival is my acid reflux! Rockin. My very own case of GERD arrived on Day 8. The nurses at the doctor's office noticed my belching and we had a long talk (yes, they lectured me) about taking better care of my bowels, and about how all the anti-nausea meds in the world weren't going to make the acid go away. So. Add a little sour stomach to the mix and it's just lovely. I starting taking an acid reducer yesterday for that. Hopefully it will take effect one of these days.

Then we had a bit of a Prednisone issue that was causing difficulty swallowing yesterday and this morning. Prednisone is the P in R-CHOP, so it is an essential drug in my treatment. I get it through IV on Day 1 and then I take it in a high dose orally (in case you forgot about the yuckiest tasting pill EVER from a few posts ago) for Days 2-5. Unfortunately, it appears I tend to respond negatively (for a change) to the drop off after Day 5 with some additional nausea and then some swelling (of the tumor) which affects my swallowing. The solution to this is a more gradual decrease of the Prednisone dose after Day 5 = a double edged sword. It helps with the swallowing, obviously, but does a number on my already misbehaving stomach. Each day that I'm still on the pukey P, my tummy rewards me with additional discomfort.

For some reason, it has seemed like an especially long 10 days. Some nights, the sleeping pill doesn't do a good enough job of knocking me out and so I resort to reading depressing things (in print and online!) and eventually plugging into my guided imagery to soothe me to sleep. Bright and early (seven-oh-oh), the light of my life comes charging into my bed requesting a yogurt shake and an hour of On Demand Sesame Street. So although I'm resting a-plenty, I'm probably not getting as much actual sleep as would improve my overall health.

No complaints on the Judah front, though. His snuggles are the best in the world (sorry, Dan) and I would suggest that the SU2C scientists try to find a way to bottle his laughter so others could also benefit from its magical effects, but I can't afford to let him go, even for a moment. We are planning to take him to stay at a very gracious friends' house in Bethany Beach (or as he calls it, "Bethany's Beach") next week, which means lots of my favorite DB's french fries (screw the acid reflux) and soft serve and breezy ocean air for us all.

Upon our return, Judah will have a renal scan to check up on his kidney function (he was born with a mild condition - hydronephrosis - which is monitored yearly by his pediatric urologist). He is blissfully unaware of the pending trip to St. Christopher's, however, I am certainly not looking forward to it (although I will not be going with him to the procedure due to risk of infection) as it includes sedation and IV. We have promised him a trip to Sesame Place when we get back from the beach, the day before my next treatment, and he is ecstatic to meet all of his monsters in person. Yes, posted photos are guaranteed.

The only other ongoing major issue is, oh yes, our kitchen. For anyone who has visited Chez Blitstein, you are familiar with the fluorescent blue situation. For the rest of you, I am posting a before picture (just from one angle - it's a small kitchen). The kitchen is the last room of our house that remains untouched by fresh paint and/or contractor hands. Aside from the appliances, which were almost new when we bought the house 4 years ago, the rest of the kitchen needs to be replaced. Our faithful carpenter, Terry, will be working with us crazies to make it into a room we can a) actually put stuff away in, b) cook in, c) enjoy looking at, and d) sell for more money.

Generally speaking, I am not an indecisive person. I know what I want and I want it now (oh yeah, I'm also not a patient person - yes, you all have permission to laugh). So me being stuck in the house AND trying to re-do the kitchen exactly the way I want it has been a bit frustrating. Just ask Dan. Sadly, I was not able to make it out to Home Depot to check out cabinets, but their overall incompetence has taken them out of the runnings for our business anyway. I have a lot to say about our kitchen remodel, so for any of you out there on cancer overload (like I am), hopefully this will be a welcome diversion.

Finally, another big thank you for all of the endless dinners, surprise care packages, cards in the mail, encouraging comments and positive thoughts. Aside from the immediate members of Team Mama Mia, who are nothing short of relentless in their 24/7 dedication, these are the meaningful reminders that I am not alone.



  1. I love the picture of you and your cute snuggler! Have fun at the beach and keep kicking ass!

  2. I'm sure you could arrange some kind of extreme makeover and get your kitchen done while you're away. You'd just have little say it how it went. Maybe that's better?

  3. Sweetheart,
    That's some good writing, now
    I'M nauseous AND desirous of
    french fries at the same time!
    Now that's sympatico. We love you
    and Dan and whatshis...oh yeah,
    Judah. Enjoy Bethany and Sesame!
    GG and Uncle Larry

  4. Mia,
    There is nothing like a snuggle with your child. Enjoy the beach.

  5. Children are the best medicine...even though I was 12, they (Temple) never denied my visits to my mother even in ICU, because they knew (she told them) that the one thing in life she had to live for was me (her child). No matter how old you are or how old they are; they are the drive behind our fight... And at this age they are just so sweet and innocent.