I continued to work on my attitude of gratitude through out the month of November. On November 18th I posted, “I am grateful to all my friends and family that voted for me in the “Attitude of Gratitude” contest. We won!! They will be shipping my chicken fountain next week. I am really excited to have the chickens get fresh water all the time!” I posted a picture on The Chicken Chick website of me wearing my chicken hat and Kathy re-posted it with my entry blurb. 266 people liked the picture and 36 people commented to offer support, well- wishes and prayers or to say that they are survivors and I will be too! Some people really wanted a chicken hat! It was really exciting to win such a useful prize!
On Tuesday, I had a breast sonogram to see if my tumor had shrunk at all after 3 rounds of chemo. The breast sonogram is the easiest of all the tests I have had. You just have to lay there and let the radiologist put gel on your breast and then she moves the wand over your breast and takes measurements. She was checking the measurements from last time and comparing what she saw that day. She said that she didn’t think there was a noticeable size difference. She also said that she didn’t think it had grown. So I was at least grateful that it hadn’t grown. She said that she would look at my breast MRI and give a report on her findings to Dr. P.
On November 21st, I had my blood levels checked and met with Dr. P. My white blood count was down to 3400 – but it was good enough to do chemo the day after Thanksgiving. Dr. P told us about the sonogram results. She said that since there was no noticeable change in the tumor, the Tumor Board would meet to discuss what my next step should be. Since my body was having a hard time dealing with the chemo (white blood count staying low), they would discuss if I should continue with the AC or switch to T. Then I got to go to Relexology with Melinda. The best part of my week! I am supposed to rest and relax but we end up talking the whole hour! Then I went to work for a few hours. I left work and went to the bus station to pick up Katelyn – yeah! Thanksgiving had begun. We stopped at the grocery store and shopped for the things we needed to cook the next day. As I posted that night, “I am grateful to have my two daughters home tonight!!!” So much to be thankful for!
On Thanksgiving morning I got up relatively early and then started to watch the Thanksgiving parade. I posted that morning, “I am very grateful that chemo was postponed for one day so that I can enjoy a yummy Thanksgiving dinner with family and I have an appetite to eat!!! Can’t wait until the last two family members get here – missing you Rebeccah and Earle!!!” I baked a Pumpkin Pie (Mrs. Smith’s!) and then made an Apple- Cheese Pie – my husband’s favorite. I started to work on the Sweet Potato Casserole but realized that we didn’t have enough sweet potato!! Oops! Doug to the rescue! Good thing the stores are open on Turkey day! In the afternoon, we headed over to my sister’s house to help put the finishing touches on our dinner. I was so grateful that I felt strong enough to help make the stuffing and potato dressing. My brother-in-law Neil cooked the turkey to perfection and everything else was delicious. My son and his wife made it just in time for dinner and it was a relaxing and delightful meal.
After dinner we watched as the Redskins beat the Cowboys – HTTR!!! Then I got a big surprise – my family put a deposit on a Great Pyrenees puppy that I had my heart set on!!! He is so cute and eventually he will be a guardian to our chickens.
The next morning my daughters and I headed to the Infusion Center for my 4th round of chemo. I enjoyed showing them off to the nurses! We passed the time by playing Family Feud and chatting and joking. The time passed quickly and then it was time to get on with our lives. Time to go Christmas Tree shopping! It was nice to do something fun and normal.
On Saturday, Katelyn and I went hat shopping in Annapolis. We tried to go to A Special Touch but it was closed for Thanksgiving. We went to Kohl’s and Target. There was nothing at Kohl’s but we found a few things at Target. Then we went to my sister Laura’s house to see the progress she and Mike were making on their baby’s room. They had new carpet and new paint. It is looking great! I am so excited to be an aunt again. One bright spot in this crazy time. While we were there my best friend called to say that her Mother had passed away suddenly. I was devastated for her and her family. Her Dad has been struggling with lymphoma since the summer and was very weak. He had just started to get his appetite back by Thanksgiving. Dana and I headed over to Maureen’s parent’s house, which is in our old neighborhood to lend our support and to try to comfort them. They were in shock of course. I was very grateful that I was strong enough to be there for them. I know I really needed Maureen when my Mom passed away suddenly in 2010. We told them to “Just keep swimming!” That is what got us through the first year after our Mom died. On Sunday and Monday I had to rest.
On Wednesday, November 28th I had my blood levels checked and then Earle and I met with Dr. P. First she told us that my White Blood Count was 24,000! She said to wait until Saturday, Sunday and Monday to take the next Neupogen shots. Then she dropped the bombshell – the Tumor Board decided that since my tumor hadn’t noticeably shrunk, I should have surgery in the next 2-3 weeks! Yikes! I knew I was going to have surgery in the future, but I wasn’t quite ready. I was starting to get nervous. Then I went to work for several hours and then met Dana, Laura and Tina at Chick-fil-a for a quick dinner. That night it was Maureen’s Mom’s viewing. The funeral home was packed. Many of our Seton classmates came to lend their support to Maureen and her family. It was heart warming to see so many of our friends. And best of all, Maureen’s Dad looked so much stronger than he did on Saturday. Our friend Tina B. had just lost her Dad – she said that we have to stop meeting at viewings and funerals. She said that we have to get together even if it is just for a “Happy Meal” before I have my surgery! Definitely have to schedule a “Happy Meal” real soon!
The next day was the funeral. It was very beautiful and touching. She had touched so many lives in her 80 years. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends. The burial was at Resurrection Cemetery. My Mom, Uncle Joe and Grandparents are buried as close to Maureen’s Mom as our houses were when we were growing up! After the funeral, burial and repast I went back to Maureen’s house to visit with her family. I enjoyed hearing the childhood stories of Maureen, her siblings and her cousins. It was a long day, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else.
On the last day of November I posted, “I am grateful to have made it home after a 2 hour commute tonight!!! I am also thankful that I wasn’t in the accident that caused the back up! ” I hope to continue with my “Attitude of Gratitude” through out my whole treatment. I really think the positive attitude is helping me to cope. Just have to keep swimming!