Johnny's counts have been great, chemo has been going well, no fevers, he even gained enough weight for the doctors to up his dosage of vincristine -- from 1.5mg to 1.6mg! WOO HOO! YEA! Report cards were great, Joey goes to D.C. with his class next week, Johnny turned 9 (4/23), Mike turned 42 (4/20), and Joey and Sophie are taking swimming lessons. Lessons really for Sophie, Joey is going to be the full on Olympic medalist someday. Johnny tried it, hated it, so we sit and watch the kids swim 3 days a week. Mike and I haven't really figured out Johnny's reasoning yet but our guesses are: He doesn't like to be told what to do, he doesn't like Joey being REALLY, REALLY better than him at something, or our favorite: he doesn't have the strength to go one lap, doesn't want special treatment or stand out and look different.
Mike thinks it is a mixture of all of the above. He's a pretty good surfer, but when doing laps for practice, he can't hop on a board and float for 15-20 minutes. The last contest he did well, but if you ask him, he was "robbed!". There was a pretty strong current racing down the beach, it was cold and rainy, and Mike had to push him into a few waves -- I think he got 2nd or 3rd, in the end he was glad to be on land, warm and dry. I didn't get to see anything. I was in the ER the whole trip -- don't worry it isn't terrible -- turns out after x-rays, MRI's and a second opinion I have a herniated disc (between C6&7). It is pressing on the nerves that go down my left arm so it feels like I just hit my funny bone REALLY REALLY hard -- all day long. Half of my left hand is continually numb, closes on it's own with random muscle spasms, loss of fine motor skills and all of the super-duper fun things that go along with pinched nerves.
Again, nothing life threatening (unless you are in my line of vision when things really hurt), life altering, yes (just ask me what's on TV at any given time during the day or night, or how about frosted flakes for dinner again?!?!), life threatening -- no. Because I never know what my left hand feels like doing, it makes it interesting -- wait, more like daunting, to blog or reply to email, and the phone is literally a pain in the neck.
I am in physical therapy (PT) 3 times a week, but none of the doctors seem to think that will help. The neurosurgeon on the Island, said "let's SEE if PT helps". We went to Methodist in the Medical Center for my second opinion (conveniently located across the street from Texas Children's..., and ranked 10th in the country for just such an aliment or surgery) and this doctor didn't even address PT -- wasn't even on his radar, and said I might get better on my own (35% chance), but most likely not (that's the same "vibe" Mike and I got from our guy on the Island too). This doctor said most people try to see how long it takes to get better (3 to 6 months or more), but then something happens and they are back in pain like they were day one, and call to schedule surgery the next day. Because of my symptoms and looking at my MRI, he pretty much just addressed what the surgery entails, and glossed over other options. There are a few different ways to do it as well as "patient factors" and I am, apparently, a candidate for going in from the back of the neck. I guess it's day surgery now, or at the most overnight. Recovery time between 4-6 weeks consisting of pretty much all I have done for the past month anyway, not a damn thing, which is fun for about 10 minutes -- but I'm not bitter... If you know me, you know I am pretty active and always have to be moving, even if it's mindless housework. Don't ask me where I put something, because I didn't touch it -- oh wait, that ...(hat, magazine, book, form, child, enter the object your looking for here)... hummm... oh, right here!
Anyway, it's been hard on all of us, Mike worrying about what was wrong with me before we found out what's going on, but mostly all of the wash and housework. The good thing is he found out how much the dogs actually shed and took them to get shaved. I think they look cute, everyone else just stared, jaws dropped, as they scampered through the yard and happily played. I think Mike wants to put a paper bag over their heads until it grows out.
What's our next move? We're not sure; I really want to do the rest of the PT, about 2 more weeks then wait and see how long I can go, heck, maybe I will get better! Then part of me kind of remembers the writhing pain I was in and thinks, I wonder if they do surgery on Sunday's too....
Like Joey said, "remember when I broke my arm and the doctors thought I would probably need surgery and pins? Well, they were wrong. They are probably wrong now too.." He's so SWEET! I wish I had his optimism... whatever we choose, we will let you know.