Monday, November 03, 2008

It was a good Halloween

I feel like a boob for not posting anything all weekend, but the news I got on Friday wasn't good. The blue chemo was a modest fail; it destroyed the blast (leukemic) cells in my blood, but only reduced the blasts in my marrow by 20%. In order to be considered in remission, I need a lot more than that. My marrow's still got 70% blast cells. While it may not be considered a full success, the blue chemo did have some effect on the leukemia which means that it isn't completely imperious.

What really disturbed me is the statement my oncologist made, "We are starting to run out of options." The cancer has already proved resistant to chemo (or similar forms of chemo) that I've had in the past. There's obviously a finite number of types of chemicals used in treatment, so I can't get brand spanking new stuff but for so long.

I've always said I will fight this thing until the docs tell me there's no more weapons left in the scientific arsenal. To actually face a dwindling supply of ammo is very disconcerting.

Guess it's time to start researching clinical trials and start getting serious about a macrobiotic diet.

But there was a bright spot on Friday. Because my white counts were still fairly low, my doc let me put off my new treatment until today, meaning I got to go trick-or-treating and enjoy the weekend with my family.

It's funny how things change when you've got children. There are some things about your life (sleeping in on Saturday, making last minute plans) that vanish, and you feel the loss. Then there are are other things that change, and owing to the love you have for your child, you embrace the change.

Halloween is a big holiday for me and The Mister. We used to put a lot of effort into planning our costumes, decorating the house, and throwing our annual bash. This year, Little A cooked up his own costume idea (Puss in Boots from Shrek 2), and even dictated what mommy would be (a princess). We decorated the house, but not party level. Of course, we didn't have a shindig either.

And that was just fine. In fact, I wouldn't be too upset if we never hosted another bash. The joy in Little A's face while we went trick-or-treating is enough for me.

We started the evening having dinner with my folks, then we all (yours truly, the princess) donned our costumes and went to a few houses on my parent's street. Since spending so much time there, Little A has gotten to know the neighbors, especially two boys across the street who are his big buddies. From there we went home to hit our own street. Little A took to trick-or-treating like a champ, marching up steps, exclaiming "Trick or Treat!", and making his exit with "Thanks" or "Happy Halloween". The Mister and I were there behind him, Princess and Race Car Driver, loving every minute of it.

Now, even three days later, he keeps asking if Halloween is over. To get a piece of candy from his stash (one or two a day), we play trick-or-treat in the house where he knocks on a door and one of us opens it to distribute the candy.

I'm overjoyed that my kid loves Halloween as much as I do.

Well, currently I am hanging in room 122 of The Big House and waiting to get started with this new round of treatments. It's three chemicals I've never had before, nor have I had a chemical closely related to them. The hope is that these poisons will squish this cancer crap into remission and get us back on the bone marrow transplant track. The fellow, a nice young Southern guy, will be bringing me up some literature about the chemicals I'll be getting. That ought to be interesting.

Otherwise, I'll be here, trying to be productive and working on my writing, my reading, and my cable television viewing.

Prayers and supplications requested. And if anyone wants to dance around shaking a chicken and spitting rum into a fire on my behalf, I won't turn that down.


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you guys had fun on Halloween. And it's good to know another kid thinks Halloween continues on. When waiting for her birthday party yesterday, Paige said, "I can't wait to open the door and see everyone in their costumes!" I know the news Friday wasn't what you were looking for. We're praying for you and your family daily!
The Coppedge's

Pea said...

You probably already know this, but you can look up clinical trials here ( or here (

Lots of thoughts and prayers going out your way.

Marissa said...

I'm so glad you guys got out for Halloween. I am working the prayers hard for you. God has also been hearing from me regarding the election, but I made it clear that you are the priority (and that means a lot coming from me!)

Anonymous said...

Get on it with that macro diet, girl. I love me my macro diet. You really ARE what you eat. Maybe you should start eating some whoop-ass.

Ammo dwindling, but not gone! I expect you to shoot every bullet you've got, and we'll be sending you reserves of support along the way.

All stupid jokes aside: You literally are always on my mind. I hope this energy is reaching you, and I hope that it is helping to sustain you through the incredible shit you face every day.

You Princess you.


Ranylt said...

I'm fresh out of chickens and rum, but I'll go right ahead and light up my little Dionysus candle I been saving for a worthy wish. Sounds like you need the special kind of love only a god of contradiction can provide--he's the kind of berserker deity those asshole cells in your marrow won't even see coming.

Marra Alane said...

And if anyone wants to dance around shaking a chicken and spitting rum into a fire on my behalf, I won't turn that down.

Done and done.

Also, my roommate has lyme disease, and she swears by the mac diet. She recommends "The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics". It's a little heavy on the 'you'll be beautiful if only you eat this' yin/yang stuff, but the recipes are really good.

lordhelmet said...

Prayers and supplications continuing for you here. I'm thrilled you enjoyed Halloween, and am very much hoping for the best with your treatments. Stay strong!

Anonymous said...

Sending you good vibes! Hoping that the new chemicals make the cancer their b*tch!

Girl With Curious Hair said...

I have said it before and will say it again: your boy is brilliant. I love how he is extending Halloween. Why didn't I ever come up with that? I'm glad you had a nice Halloween. And now onward. One day, you'll look back and have proof that you were stronger than this.

And until then, you have my prayers and thoughts everyday.

cindy said...

Sending all my good thoughts your way. You need many more Halloweens with your boy.


scott said...

I have been a silent observer of your blog for some time and I just want to speak up and let you know that my thoughts are with you and your family in this fight. I have a friend whose mother has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and he is staring into the abyss of the unknown. I passed along a link to your little site and he read through the whole thing one morning, thanking me for pointing him in this direction. Stay strong and I am sure I don't need to remind you that we are all hopeful that you will beat this.

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