I feel like it’s been 75 years since I’ve written on here and there is a LOT to catch up on. #1 being Lindsay claiming I “ramble”…I don’t ramble, do I? 🙂 I warned you all in my very first post that I can be a bit wordy at times!
Anyway, let’s get back to it! Lindsay had left off talking about how reality had smacked us right in the face when we got back. As she said, the bills, schedules, housework and other chores to be done but at the end of the day, we laid down together in our room with our dogs in our bed and that was enough to put us both at ease.
However, with the good of returning home came some bad. Lindsay’s hair was falling out and there was no way around it anymore. She was having to accept that and watching how hard that was for her, the way she got emotional when she’d brush what seemed to be clumps from her beautiful, lush head of hair was incredibly heart-wretching. I really, really didn’t look forward to that day and it may have been harder when it got here than I ever anticipated. I’ve mentioned it about 5 times I think that’s the worst part of this entire journey; seeing her in emotional or physical pain. I wanted to scream at God again when she was brushing her hair and it kept coming out and she would cry a little bit harder with each stroke. Why would He want her to go through that? Why did he have to pick someone who, admittedly, was very attached to her hair? I remember it vividly, her standing there brushing her hair as I got of out the shower on the Tuesday morning after we returned from vacation. She was brushing and crying, brushing and crying a little more until she was overcome by it all and dropped the brush and fell into my embrace, both of us feeling lost and unsure about what to say or do. That was hard. That sucked for me, I can’t even imagine how she felt. Just like this disease has reminded us time and time again, life can only be handled one step at a time so that’s what we did, we kept moving forward one step at a time.
That week was difficult, as her hair continued to fall victim to the chemo and fall out. However, there is a lot of good to come in this blog tonight, so stay tuned. 🙂
It started on that Thursday, June 4th, when our daycare families decided to throw us a shower. I won’t name their last names to keep their business private but I will mention them all when I thank them. I’d like to start with Melissa as she was the lead “planner” in this baby shower and she did an AWESOME job! We had our Monsters Inc.-themed party held at our house with all the daycare families and kiddos and it was awesome. We got some amazing gifts, great cake and drinks and most importantly, we were surrounded with love and showered with gifts (pun intended) by some of the closest people in our lives. There is a special bond formed with all the daycare children, I truly love them as though they were my own, and days like last Thursday remind you why. The families that they come from, the parents we have for Lindsay’s daycare are great people and they brought a beacon of light to a dark week and they didn’t even know it! Thank you to Melissa and Evan, Rachel and Roger, Anna and Casey, Beth and Joe, Penny and Dave and Shannon and Joe for putting on such an awesome party for us and making us feel the love. Baby “Joey” is already spoiled and his damn book collection after the party is going to require 351 bookshelves! 😛 That’s my way of saying thank you, being the smartass that I am!
To show you how up and down this journey has been let me walk you briefly through the emotional rollercoaster of that first week back. Monday was a day of getting back into the swing of things and reality set in hard with all the mounting tasks and bills but we were glad to be home. Tuesday was one of the more difficult days we’ve had in some time, struggling with the hair loss. Wednesday was a relatively long day but nothing crazy happened. Thursday was a day of celebration and bliss, feeling nothing but love and happiness and then Friday came. Last Friday was the day that marked the forseeable future’s end of Linds’ long hair. We had her amazing friend and hair stylist, Joe, come to our house and cut her hair so she could do it in the comfort of our home, with the comfort of her friends doing so. Joe is an awesome dude and he of course agreed to cut her hair at our house because he knew what a monumental decision this was for Lindsay. The haircut went by pretty quick (Joe always does a great job) and it turned out to be a cute haircut but it would mark the beginning of the end for Linds’ hair.
We spent the weekend in together, the first in months, with absolutely no plans. It was glorious. 🙂 We didn’t get much accomplished outside of some more laundry and mowing the lawn but it was a great weekend nonetheless. Sunday evening was uncomfortable because we were both clearly thinking about the next day and what was to come. You see, Lindsay started chemo again on the 2nd Monday after we returned and we’d had it on our minds since we came back.
The day finally came and it started out rough. Linds’ hair was now falling out at a pretty awful rate. It was coming out in clumps at this point and we both knew the decision was coming. Her treatment started yesterday and it marked the beginning of Round 2. Again, in typical Lindsay fashion, she kicked some ass with treatment and I even got to spend my lunch hour with her and her Mom at the treatment center here in town. It was so nice having it here in town, versus an hour away in Peoria. However, we both knew there was an incredibly long day ahead today, Tuesday, in Peoria. Her schedule was pretty crazy for today but she had great company in Sam and her Mom. They met with Dr. Ladanyi and he wanted to talk to her about how she was doing and go over their findings regarding blood counts and other fluid test so far. The most important being her CA125 counts. What is CA125 you ask? Find out here. Basically it measures Cancer Antigen 125, which is a fairly reliable cancer marker for ovarian, endometrial, peritoneal and fallopian tube cancers. The higher the number, the more likely you are to have a malignancy of some kind.
Here comes the best news we’ve received in Lindsay’s battle yet, prepare yourself.
Lindsay’s CA125 count was at 100 before our first round of treatment.
Lindsay’s CA125 count was just 24 before our second round of treatment!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Normal levels of CA125 can be as high as 35 U/ml in the average, non-cancerous, person so her body is responding to treatment!! Your prayers are hard at work and have us headed in the right direction. We don’t know much about the current state of her cancer but we do know that such a significant step in the right direction is nothing but a good thing! The power of prayer is pretty amazing, keep it coming!
That brings us to even more good news! We met with Dr. Leonardi (high-risk OB) today and they did a full workup via ultrasound on little baby “Joey” and he is doing amazingly well! We started chemo after the baby’s organs were formed so the risk of defects were already avoided but the growth of the baby can be seriously effected by chemo so we were nervous about where he’d be, physically, at this ultrasound. Thankfully, by the grace of God and your prayers, he is measuring at 1lb 15oz of pure perfection (average is 1lb 6oz at this point so he’s 9oz ahead!) and he is even in the 60th percentile for growth at his age, which is awesome considering both Lindsay and I were smaller babies. Dr. Leonardi said our amniotic fluid levels and the baby’s development is beyond his expectations and he is incredibly happy with our progress.
One last thing from this appointment, my son is apparently a model already, check out this ham’s pose:
After our appointment, Linds, Sam and I left to head home to Bloomington and my Mother-In-Law headed back to their house in Fairbury. On the way home (apparently she’d toyed with the idea all day Sam and Deb said) Lindsay decided to shave her head. Her hair was falling out in clumps and she said it felt “dead” and “not like her hair anymore” so she wanted to just suck it up and cut it off. Part of me was excited, so we didn’t have to deal with the reminder of her hair falling out to remind us of the chemo effects but part of me was scared for her. It was a huge step for her, much more than it would be for me and rightfully so, and I was praying she’d be ok with it after the razor ran through her hair for the first time.
Sam had worked it out with Kendra, another great friend of ours, that when this day came, she’d let Kendra know so she could come up and partake in the beautification through baldification. 🙂 Needless to say it was a very difficult time and I know that Lindsay will be self-conscious and frustrated with it for the next few weeks/months but that’s ok. The big step was done and despite it taking time to come to terms with it, she will, because that’s the next step forward and she’s been a picture perfect example of taking it one day and one step at a time. When her hair came off, I was overcome with a new love for her. It was unlike one I’d ever felt before, not necessarily stronger or a “different” love, just a new one. You come to appreciate your significant other so much more when they are faced with adversity and come out of the rubble, head held high, smile on their face and ready to dust themselves off and keep on moving forward. She was visibly shaken by it and as she lay in bed now, I know she’s bothered by it but I love her all the same and so do all of you and that’s all that matters. Hair is hair, it doesn’t make a person whom he/she is. When she’s ready to come to terms with that, she will and I have no plans to rush that.
Her beautiful and unbelievably supportive and loving friends, Sam and Kendra, decided to show their support for Lindsay by shaving their heads as well.
HEY EVERYONE, COME SEE HOW GOOD WE LOOK! – Ron Burgundy (if he shaved his head with us 🙂 )
#baldisbeautiful #ovariancancerawareness #SupportLindsay #cancersucks
As you can see, our spirits are high and our support is amazing. We love you all and your prayers are working so keep them coming and make them LOUD! 🙂
Day 3 starts at 9am in Bloomington tomorrow and we’re still taking it one day and one step at a time…