April's Cancer Blog

Three Years Later

Hello everyone!   Our dear friend John had suggested a while ago that I write about how things are going post-chemo.   I decided that my three year anniversary of my first chemo would be a good day to do it.    I reread my posts last night and today and I had forgotten so much about that "adventure".   Chemo sucks!   Anyway, I have a great ability to live in denial so my life is pretty much back to normal.  Every now and then the dark thoughts creep into my mind but I push them away quickly.  Another nice thing is that people have forgotten I had chemo so I don't feel awkward because they don't ask how I'm doing or tell me I look good (I mean look good in terms of having cancer haha).  

 Anyway, my hair is absolutely fabulous!   I will repost a picture of it soon.   It's long and the baby curls that grew in are still at the bottom and because of a self-induced mishap (due to my vanity) I've been getting it highlighted by a professional.   I've had the opportunity to tell a couple of women I have meet who will be getting chemo to look at my hair.  It grows back beautifully!     I've also been able to eat almost everything that made me nauseous during chemo.  The only thing I still have a problem with is ginger ale (which is crazy). Also, the only smell I can't stand is alcohol hand sanitizer.   

There is a bit of tenderness where my picc line was inserted which I only feel if I'm out in the cold and don't have enough layers on... and the scar is minimal.  I've been lucky to have had a trip to Finland and Scotland and a few other places in Canada with no problem.    I also realized about a month ago that I no longer get weird hives hatching on my body.  These seemed to have disappeared once maintenance finished.   

At my last oncologist appointment he told me all my blood tests were good and I didn't need any more CAT scans.  Just a blood test before the 6 month check ups.   He did say I had one slightly enlarged lymph node in my neck but not to worry about it (haha!- I did worry for about 2 hours).   

Unfortunately, my mom has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and my mother in law is in palliative care at this minute (she's almost 93).    They are both 7 hours away from us but we are able to get down to visit.  I'm so glad that I am healthy enough to be able to help out however I can.  

I have to say though, I haven't been active in the cancer community locally.   I don't belong to a support group, I don't do cancer walks/athons (except for the Terry Fox walk at school), I don't arrange fundraisers or wear t-shirts.  I think it's a fabulous outlet for people but I found for me, at this time, diving right back into work and activities is what helps me get through the scary times.  I am so grateful for the services provided by these groups and people though so I make sure I donate money or buy whatever they are selling.  I think when I retire it may be my time to help out but for now, I want to be surrounded by young people and their crazy energy.  

Anyway, I hope everyone is finally enjoying spring!   We had sooooo much snow this winter.  I loved it but I'm regretting cozy evenings indoors all winter as I try on my spring/summer clothing!     Take care of yourselves!   Love April

 

 

 

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Thank you April! And let me just say that there are other ways to give back..caring for your mother and mother-in-law will take some emotional energy..volunteer groups are everywhere. The focus here is mostly on breast cancer and there is a huge turnout for those events, so I'm working on other issues.
Please keep in touch!
3 people like this comment
Great hair, that's amazing. I love to play with my hair and you seem to like the same. So glad it's back beautifully and giving you pleasure. I totally get wanting to leave anything cancer behind. We all find our ways to give back and I have no doubt with your heart you are giving plenty in other ways. Keep in touch and it's just fine if it's not often, but do remember us. 😍😍
April, Thomas like this comment
April, you sound wonderful! You know I feel the same way; I know tx is brutal but I don't think about it much anymore. You don't have to be active in cancer world if you don't want to. Being a survivor and letting others, especially the newly dx'ed see how well you are and how great you look, actually IS being active in cancer world. As for the Alzheimer's, my Stepfather passed last year, April 27, 2018. I joined a private Alzheimer's Facebook page that helped a LOT. I had to place him three weeks before he died because he was hallucinating almost constantly and walking into walls and injuring himself. I'm sorry about your Mom. Please check in when you can, love hearing from you.😘
April, Stefanie like this comment
Thanks for sharing your story. Learning about Alzheimer's has been so eye-opening. It's a crappy disease. At least I know what's happening to me and I have some control over it or how I do my treatment. For patients with Alzheimer's all that is gone and they are at the will of the disease.
Marcia likes this comment
Yes, it's frustrating and I'm sure you know that there is NO telling them; whatever they say, AGREE with them. Nod your head and say "you're right". It's going to save you much frustration. They like to eat an assortment of stuff. I used to get Pete the lil bags of chips, pretzels, corn chips; I'd put a few Allsorts (he loved them) in a zip lock, Hershey kisses in another.... they're not into meals. Sorry, Sweets, I'm no expert but I learned quite a bit and I want it to be as smooth as possible for you and your family. I'm sorry, I think I'm also telling you this because its cathartic for me. You're an intelligent person and your hubs is an md; I'm sure you know all this.😘
Those are GREAT ideas! I LOVE hearing all the different ways people have worked with their loved ones. It's kind of like getting advice about toddlers. The more information you get the more tools you have to work with.
Marcia likes this comment
This is the perfect way to give cancer the middle finger. Going back out there and living your life to the fullest. Can't wait to see a pic of your hair!
April likes this comment
Good for you!! Happy to hear that you bounced back with vigour and great attitude. I have to say, may hair was the Best after it all grew back after Chemo too. Thick and really curly, before it was just a bit wavy.
I am 8 years past Chemo and no longer need to see the oncologist. I am so thankful and full of gratitude. Have a wonderful Summer and enjoy those highlights, eh!
April likes this comment
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Catching Up!

Hello everyone, it's been so long since I've posted.  I write posts in my head then I never seem to actually type them in.  This has been a fantastic summer!   I had my infusion in July and I will be seeing the oncologist at the end of August. The weather has been amazing and I've had a tonne of relaxing time.  Almost too much haha!    My husband and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversay today and I started the celebration a week ago.  I've had so much fun planning surprise things for him.  One of the surprises was a glass blowing class.   He had previously mentioned that he always wanted to do it so I booked it and planned a getaway this weekend around it.  I'm really trying to live by the "life's too short" rule.    I was talking to someone the other day about chemo and I was telling him to reach out to this community.   When I reflect back to two years ago, the advice and support I received from people got me through some of the hardest days.  Thank you all again!     Anyway, I'm going to go ice a "silver" cake for after dinner!   Hope everyone is keeping well!  Talk soon! April

 

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WOW!!! Celebrate!!!
April likes this comment
Lots of great news in this update. Way to celebrate by making a cake. Yum! Happy Anniversary!
April likes this comment
Hi April, Congratulations! Happy Anniversary! Bill
April likes this comment
That is awesome, Happy Anniversary!!!
April likes this comment
Thanks for posting April; I've been meaning to write a big giant post since April (the month, not you) and haven't had the two hours to put aside yet. New job, granddaughter, long commute, doesn't leave enough hours in a day. Anyhow, you are a dear for coming-up with all of those Silver Anniversary specials for your hubby! He's lucky. I hope that upcoming school goes well for you and the kids. By the way, if you're ever down this way, the Toledo Museum of Art has a glass-walled building across the street from the original museum for their glass collection only, and - it has a couple of glass blowing furnaces too! Glad you posted to let our new and returning members know that there is light at the end of the tunnel! Glad you found the 'silver lining' in life- enjoy the moment and the adventures. So happy to hear how well things are going - 2 years NED? Two is the new 5 for NHL, so enjoy! PS: Tell hubby he owes you a silver necklace!
MGBY,
John
April likes this comment
When I wrote my post I my husband was still at work however, when I got home he spoiled me like crazy! One of the other things I got for my husband (well for both of us) was a beautiful painting by a local artist. While I was there they told me they do paint nights but they actually teach techniques. I told my husband about it and he said he was open to doing it. It's funny because we both have such scientific backgrounds but we have always enjoyed art. Now it's time to express our artistic side. So.... I'm going to put that museum in Toledo on my "things I will do" list. I hope you are taking good care of yourself.... that commute sounds tough. I hope you can retire soon so you can enjoy that granddaughter!
John likes this comment
Happy Anniversary - 25 years is fabulous! Glad to hear you are doing well and living life to the fullest!
that is awesome, have fun celebrating
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Vital Info

Posts

May 24, 2016

Ontario, Canada

Cancer Info

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Indolent B-Cell Follicular Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

Stage 4

Yes

Rituxan

Take care of your health and the health of your family.

Swollen lymph node on jaw in front of ear and swollen lymph nodes on neck

May 26, 2016....itchy ears, eyes and throat. Quickly controlled by intravenous Benadryl.

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