Yessiree we are looking at the home stretch and it is feeling good!

First however, my apologies for not posting sooner. We all got sick. One by one we fell, Mathew first then me followed by John and finally Kristen. A nasty late in the season cold consisting of sinus pain, fatigue, sore throat and coughing. Even though we tried to keep our germs away from Kristen she caught it within 24 hours of coming back from a little vacation in PEI. She started her summer job last Thursday and went in sick the last 2 days.

We are slowly getting better but I was tired and cranky so didn’t post. Mathew still has a bit of his cold left but our Oncologist was very thorough in making sure he could handle this round of chemo. Extra blood cultures were taken, sputum was examined and his chest was x-rayed. This occurred Monday night after his blood work came back in the afternoon with a blood platelet count of 104 – above that magic number of 100.

The call in to the hospital was last minute and we were all stressed. The in-patient routine is no picnic and we dread the frantic pace running to and fro plus the sleeping arrangements. This time however the Oncology ward was overfilled so patients were sent to other floors. Mathew ended up going to the Pediatric ward and once he settled in there he decided that was the place for him. There is a large tv on the wall and a PS3 attached to it; the wall murals and favourite cartoon characters in the hallways and on the glass panels brightened him right up. The ward is empty right now and it is so very, very quiet. The quiet after the storm so a nurse explained today; a week or so ago the place was packed with plenty of sick children with the flu. Fortunately that phase passed and Mathew has a cheerful yellow room to himself.

The only downside are the sleeping arrangements. There are chairs that fold down/out into a sleeping cot of sorts. They are rather bumpy and quite narrow with the hand rests acting as side rails. John’s first night there left him lacking in sleep so he brought some foam to set on top of the chair/bed tonight. I figured if I was tired enough I would sleep and sure enough I did. We are still thankful to not sleep in a chair sitting up so I’ll take whatever they offer!

The chemo girls come down to Mathew’s room to administer his chemo. The Pediatric staff handle the rest of the routine. Mathew is done 2 out of 5 chemo days….only 3 MORE DAYS BEFORE TREATMENT IS OVER!!

THREE. MORE. DAYS!

Oh the excitement! Oh the scared-shitless-I-hope-it-worked feeling! Oh to feel that sigh of relief that the last 10 months of treatment are D-O-N-E!!!

Mathew is cruising on happy right now seeing the end coming right at him. He is in great spirits so far and given his amazing recovery after the last chemo cycle this one should be a piece of cake for him. It’s that last one that is hardest on him yet he did so well he barely had any side effects. Maybe this final one will be like that and aside from the ever-present fatigue and maybe a platelet transfusion…well, we’ll just sail off into the horizon quietly!

What about that horizon you ask? What happens next? Good question and one that preyed on our minds as well. Tonight we chatted with Mathew’s Oncologist about the “after” life and basically Mathew recovers for the next 4 weeks after which a CT scan and PET scan will be done to see what the final tally is. If there is any cancer activity remaining well then we will reconvene to discuss what happens next. If all systems are go and the cancer is dead then Mathew starts back on track to his pre-cancer life. Mathew will continue to have twice weekly bloodwork until the scans are done plus his blood thinner will go on until his counts recover from this treatment. Once he is deemed to be “green light” back to ordinary life then he will slowly meld back into his old life.

Mathew now will start slowly building up his strength and endurance again; mostly just walking. As his body recovers and he exercises then his stamina for everyday activities will increase and the process of doing old routines will kick in.

Dr. Burnell, the Oncologist, wants Mathew to recover and not return to his work until the scans are done and reported.

So our crazy life continues. Kristen is working in the same building as I and is starting to train for her job. Fortunately…or not… depends on whose view point you are looking at… I can train her in parts of her job. We travel back and forth in one vehicle which frees the second one up for John, Mathew and running the roads for his appointments, etc. Me? I am just trying to not cough to death at work; my cold is at the stage where it attacks my asthma and allergies ~ you know the insane tickle at the back of your throat that turns into terrible hacking and retching. Kristen is also hacking up a fur ball on and off so we discovered you can purchase cough syrup with codeine if you ask the pharmacist for it (I had no idea you could be codeine without a prescription but shows you what I know at the ripe old age of 50!). With bottle in hand, off we trotted to work and gulped down the advised dose and settled down to a busy work day. Well… that was the intention which quickly got shot to hell. Turns out a side effect of codeine for her and I is drowsiness. Although we both tried and tried to wade through some semblance of work Monday afternoon not much got accomplished. Apparently I rambled on about dreams and fairy tales while trying to prepare invoices while upstairs Kristen had her own personal nightmare going down.

Yes a lesson hard-earned. No codeine products at work (at least not the sleepy kind. The funny ones….well, maybe. Lighten the mood a little in there!).

I am so tired right now the screen is moving around a little and the keys are hard to tap correctly. I do have some thoughts to put down but no more tonight. This princess needs her beauty rest in her awesome bed…soft, fluffy with puffy pillows. Truly there is no place like home!

Now that I remember my password to get into this blog I’ll be back. You can’t keep a gabber like me down for long!

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