The last 6 days were fun and wretched. The fun was seeing Mathew liven up and eat again. The wretched were two weather systems! But first, an update on Kristen’s fundraising efforts:

Kristen has already reached her first goal of $500 raised for Ewing Sarcoma research (way to go!). There is now an interesting twist to the “shave her head” goal in the initial write-up.  You can vote to keep her hair short rather than go bald. This came after many expressions of interest in donating to KEEP her hair rather than her shaving it off. If the hair voting doesn’t appeal to you please know you are welcome to donate for the research itself rather than the little contest she devised.  Remember that blood donations count too! Even if you go and attempt but ultimately fail we will still put forth $10 on your behalf ~ we love your effort and willingness to try (one poor girl passed out cold trying to give blood a few days ago; rest assured it matters!). You can also vote for the hair with that blood donation folks. For the earlier donors, please contact either Kristen or I and let us know how you want to vote for her head!

…and… she added one final challenge… if she reaches $1,000  then she is going to shave her eyebrows off too.

On the left sidebar there is a countdown to the big day of “go short or go bald”, below that shows the latest update on her fundraising effort. Final monetary tallies of voting won’t be announced until March 4, the day either the scissors or razor are taken out for the reveal.

Thank you to all of you wonderful people who stepped forward so quickly. Kristen thought the initial goal of $500 was impossible to obtain and figured she might raise a total of $300. She is so excited about your enthusiasm and participation. Mathew’s cancer is tough on her and she is dealing with her third year of university on top of that. She wanted to do something that made a difference and counted in the end; raising money to go towards research for this rare and aggressive cancer was the best fit to support her brother.

The wicked weather this way came. As my brother-in-law fervently stated, “God bless whoever invented the snowblower!”.  After missing the bite of the first storm last Friday morning we got walloped on Saturday night. Even that only turned into 27 cm of snow in our area but I swear ALL the snow piled in our driveway! I have proof too; check out the photos below.

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So much for driving out of the garage!

Being oh-so-Canadian the snowblower broke down shortly after the photos were taken. I plugged away with the mighty shovel and pushed snow across the road and into yonder ditch.
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I couldn’t swing the snow shovel high enough to throw the snow over the snowbanks in our driveway. My piddly efforts were hardly noticed once John improvised a temporary fix for the snowblower and finished the driveway.
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The gusty winds were the compounding factor in drifting snow and visibility.
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Did I mention is was COLD? Biting cold with that wind.
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What passed through our area was nothing compared to other areas so I’ll keep the whining to a minimum, except to say I.am.sick.of.winter. REALLY.
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Hubby sure is handsome, isn’t he? Even bundled up against a great Canadian winter.
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I received a bouquet of bright, colourful flowers from a coworker & friend while Mathew was still in the hospital. It was such an unexpected surprise that boosted my spirits and tickled me pink. The colour brightened the dullness of Mathew’s hospital room and put some spring/summer into our house. See for yourself:

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Thank you Sally, I LOVED them!

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Mathew is recovering very well since Dr. Burnell gave him an additional week “off” before cycle 9 of chemo next week. His energy and appetite picked up and he is enjoying this time immensely. There has been the odd shopping trip, eating out and playing his beloved video games at home. The taste of food is an explosion of flavour for him as he subsisted mostly on Ensure for a few months. He is tentatively trying some of his old favourites although salty foods are high on his list of “LIKE”. His sense of smell still acutely detects odours I can’t smell. Mathew’s weight remains the same for the last few weeks which is a relief to everyone in the radiation and oncology departments. He needs to maintain his weight to handle the treatment the best and we noticed he only needed 2 units of blood and 1 platelet transfusion the last round of chemo! He is now more than ½ way through his radiation and only has 14 doses left! The radiation staff are awesome ~ I will miss them but NOT the daily hospital trips! Mathew moves very slowly and some days I’m losing my hair in frustration, trying to get him out the door (Kristen might not be the only bald female in this house by March 4th!!) in a timely fashion.

Once radiation is over then Mathew will finish the outpatient chemo cycles and that treatment is the one that packs the hardest punch for him. It makes him the most nauseous and wipes him out the worst. He will be back on Neupogen then however, which should bring his white blood counts up faster after chemo.

Mathew’s Poppa (John’s father) was admitted to the hospital Friday (the day after Mathew was released). Poppa is suffering another bout of pancreatis and the fastest and easiest cure is to put him on iv fluids to rest his pancreas. We visit him on our daily Radiation run and it is strange to visit someone in the hospital rather than be visited ourselves. Poppa has 14 grandchildren plus his 6 children; sometimes there is quite the party going on in there as we jam into every nook and cranny!  Nana is at the hospital with him constantly and I know how tiring that is. Yesterday Poppa was looking and feeling so much better and we hope he is discharged soon so he can return home to rest in comfort. Some of Mathew’s cousins were visiting when we stopped by yesterday so I invited them to Mathew’s radiation treatment. The department is very accommodating and joke that I will be starting regular tours through there at any time! A picture paints a thousand words and it helps our relatives understand what Mathew is enduring if they can see it for themselves. It is one thing to see something in photos and quite another to stand in front of it and watch it operate. I hope, so hope, that no one else in the family ever has to go through anything similar to Mathew but if they do, then perhaps it won’t be quite so scary by seeing procedures first hand. Thank you Meaghan and Connor, for accompanying us to yesterday’s treatment. Mathew and I appreciated you taking the time to stay with him.

For now I must go and clean the G-tube site (2-3 times daily) and then bolus his antibiotic through it. For someone who has problems eating did the pharmacy think that horse pill was going to do down easy? He has gagged and vomited that thing up so often that I won’t let him swallow it anymore. His precious food comes up with the pill and he needs the nutrition. So I grind it up, mix it with water and push it through a syringe into his stomach tube.

Oh, the fun we have!

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