Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Just walking the dog....

Today Karena walked the dog (Sam)...that may not sound particularly interesting or remarkable...but for her it was the first time since before Christmas that she has been able to do so....she saw a friend at the park and burst into tears - because it was just such a 'normal' thing to be doing.
She DEFINITELY has more energy, she managed a trip into town yesterday for a couple of hours, and has been doing stuff around the house and with the children....oh normality, how we love it ! She isn't on full form, but there are big improvements in energy levels and general well-being and she is sleeping well. All good stuff.
So I think we can confidently say that Karena has improved. It's 11 days since chemo #2 so her blood count will be about as low as it's gonna get right now and she should be on the up-slope until chemo #3 a week on Friday (6th March)

Stuff we're grateful for today :-
  • E N E R G Y
  • The dog (never thought I'd say that !)
  • Normality in all it's forms !
Stuff to pray for :-
  • Resistance to infection, cold, flues etc
  • Increased strength leading up to chemo #3
  • Cancer to continue to shrink

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Quick update...

Karena has done very well since Friday's chemo....and best of all she hasn't been sick at all....last time after coming off the steroids (on the Tuesday), she was really sick on the Wednesday - so today arrived with some trepidation - but thankfully, after some early anti-sickness pills, she has been just fine.
Children have been looked after by grandparents and by friends for the last 3 days. Tomorrow Karena will have them home alone which she is looking forward to.
Overall she is doing really well - her wrists, ankles, knees and elbows all ache (apparrently this is normal with the chemo) and she has some tummy twinges but nothing like as bad as they were....and she is very tired....but as of this evening, is starting to feel a bit better, like she's turned the corner on chemo #2.
Tonight's mindless therapy consists of watching our secret service MI6 chappies in Spooks series 4...whilst eating chocolate covered raisins....we're loving it !

Stuff we're grateful for today :-
  • Baby Rachel who we've not seen yet, but who is nonetheless vey special !
  • Our parents
  • Chocolate covered raisins
Stuff to pray for :-
  • Continued strength and good health
  • Karena to NOT pick up our daughter's cold
  • Karena to enjoy the rest of half-term at home with the nippers.

Friday, 13 February 2009

A ray of sunshine....

Chemo round #2 is over....the day is drawing to a close.....so an update on the babe......she got to the hospital with her sister and there were a few mix ups with appointment times etc but eventually got to see the consutant. He was 'surprised' and 'amazed' at how much of an improvement there had been in terms of reduced swelling, pain, and lack of sickness. Karena was chuffed (hooray !)....we were told previously that she probably wouldn't see any noticeable improvement until after at least 2 or 3 sessions of chemo. So the consultant chap was pleasantly encouraging - it feels like the first medical ray of sunshine we've had since the whole saga began. Karena phoned me around 11am to tell me the good news....I cried (just for a change!) At lunchtime I walked around the building in the sunshine and cried some more, and thanked God for answers to prayer, and that he hasn't in any way left us, even tho it's still really hard. I know it's still early days, we're not out of the woods, and there's a long road ahead - but just knowing that the chemo is having a positive effect is wonderful. We got home around 5pm to a house that had been cleaned top-to-bottom by friends who insist on treating us like a King and Queen. We do not deserve such treatment and are quite overwhelmed.
This week, in truth, I've found it difficult to pray and feel 'carried' by God, and by the prayers of so many good friends who continue to lift our family to the throne of grace.

Stuff I'm grateful for today :-
  • Session #2 is over and Karena is much improved
  • Sunshine
  • A clean house
Stuff to pray for :-
  • Tumour to shrink, shrink, shrink
  • Strength, strength, and more strength
  • Karena's mum and dad who carry the emotional burden more than any other
  • Karena says "Pray I don't go off coffee!"

Have a great weekend....we plan to !

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Seconds away, Round #2....

There's not been too much to report over the last week - Karena has been really well (compared to how she was just a month ago) - no painkillers, some energy and sleeping well. It's been a wonderful taste of normality.....

Friday she is back at the Royal Berks for Chemo session #2....this time she knows what to expect so is taking the DVD's with her!! She has an appointment with the consultant early and assuming blood count is back up and no other problems then she should be back on the chemo ward for another 5 hour intravenous drug session. Once again her sister will stay with her and be a great companion for the day.....I will be texting like a mad thing all day to keep up with all that's going on....

The big change in the babe as of today is the look -her hair was falling out like nobody's business for the last 3 days so rather than let if go all patchy, she's had it all shaved off ....but she's still a babe ! For the very first time in our married life I now have more hair than my wife ! I have also seen for the very first time the 3 inch scar she got from her horseriding accident back in 1992 - it was always below the hairline before !

3 things I am grateful for today :-
  • My children who continue to run through the whole saga with confidence
  • Doctors who know what they're doing
  • The understanding of my work colleagues and boss
Stuff to pray for :
  • Quick recovery from chemo #2
  • Tumour shrinks further (Karena reckons it's definitely done down, but no idea how much)
  • No sickness (this happened on the Wednesday last time around)
Now for a glass of wine before bedtime......x

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow !!

News from the hospital - confirmed test results from CT scan last week - is that the main tumour has grown from 10cm x 8.5cm before Christmas to 15cm x 9cm (less than they thought last week) - so not good that it's grown, but good that it's not as big as they thought!!
....the great news though is the change in Karena.....Saturday was really rubbish (ground down by pain and frustrated with non-activity)...but Sunday was considerably better, and then yesterday and today have been a transformation - the first days since before Christmas that she hasn't had codeine as a painkiller throughout the day (just paracetamol now!) - and she slept well last night without anything extra... In herself Karena is amazingly bright and feeling generally well - she's even cooked dinner tonight (a big hooray for that !!) so not confined to the sofa or bed where she's spent so much time recently....the gynae cancer nurse I spoke to today was really impressed with her progress....... and the children had a fantastic day in the snow as their schools were all shut !

Things I'm grateful for today :
  • A fresh taste of 'normal' family life
  • Internet shopping
  • Snow
Things to pray for :
  • Continued strength for Karena (blood count needs to go up so she can have her next chemo on 13th Feb)
  • Tumour shrinks
  • Continued pain 'free' like the last 2 days
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow !