Thursday, September 17, 2009

Random Thursday

Wow. That was a long radio silence. These last few weeks have been ... interesting ... in the Chinese proverb sense would be the easiest way to describe them.

The first biggest piece of news, and not good news, is that my elder brother has been diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma. This is a non-Hodgkins type and treatment is a real *itch. The last month has been spent waiting for e-mails with more news, worrying and praying for him. He has started treatment, as of yesterday afternoon, so we are all hoping that the newer treatments will result in a remission ... a very long remission. He has 6 rounds of chemo (parts A and B, thank you very much), followed by a bone marrow transplant. The doctors are hoping that he'll be able to transplant his own bone marrow (I know, that sounds so wrong, but it's the way these things are done) and achieve remission. Failing that, or sometime way down the road, they will be looking at his siblings, our father, and his daughter for a second transplant option. I now have a very impressive envelope with the necessary information. Living in Canada, however, I'm not real sure how the requisition will work with my local labs. Doug and I are contemplating a quick trip to Michigan (possibly staying overnight with Phyllis!) to have the blood drawn. Apparently there are places where you can register as a bone marrow donor; I encourage everyone to think about registering. The life you save might be -- yours, or my brother's!

I have finished the Botanical Medallion Cardigan from the summer Vogue. Unfortunately, I don't have photos yet. Something about dead/dying batteries in my camera, wrong clothing to model it, and a general failure to be my customary smiling self. Promise, though, that I'll get to it. Quickly.

I've also finished a hat which I'll be sending to my brother. Again, same problem with pictures, but I'll get one before I send it off. It is guaranteed to bring a smile to his face, which is the goal. There will be many more "chemo" hats sent to him. I really don't expect that he'll wear many of them, if any. What I'm hoping to do is to make him smile, or even laugh outloud. Laughter is the best medicine, and since I'm not local to him bringing a smile or a laugh from afar is the best I can do right now.

I've also finished an exchange gift for a secret buddy from Knit & Chat. Once again, problems with getting a photo, and even getting it mailed out. I still need to get a sweet treat to tuck in the envelope. Unfortunately, the really nice candy store in town here keeps the same hours I do. Makes it tough to get over there, ya know?

Carrie is off at University and enjoying herself immensely. The work is hard, and the schedule is far more intense than in high school. The good news, however, is that she feels really comfortable and "at home," which means that she'll do fine. She will be coming home next weekend to wrap up the details resulting from the fender bender in July; I'm looking forward to having her around, even for such a short time.

Speaking of the fender bender, the car is now repaired! Yippee! Now to start working that darn deductible back down -- I didn't know it, but my insurance company gave me a $50 reduction in collision deductibles for every policy period (annual) that there was no claim. We were down to $200 deductible when Carrie had her little accident. Hmm. Increase in rates AND a higher deductible. No one ever said having teens was going to be easy.

I'll try not to be so quiet in the future, and to get some batteries for my camera. Til then!


Michelle said...

I'm sorry to hear about your brother. My husband battled Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (large B cell) last year. This was his second time, with a twelve year remission. The second time around, he had excellent treatment from the Juravinski Cancer Centre here in Hamilton. We decided to go through the studies that were offered (even though he felt like a guinea pig) simply because with research, we found that these drugs were used as regular treatment in the States. It's offered as a study in Canada so you don't have to pay out of pocket for these drugs. Rituxan is one of them and this drug can apparantly destroy and eliminate the cancer around the blood cell. It gets complicated. lol My husband had a stem cell transplant (long procedure before collection, but worth it even though it was the scariest) as opposed to a bone marrow transplant. I think it was a study, also, but I'm not 100%. I'll have to ask my husband. Don't be afraid to ask if these options are available to your brother, even though his Lymphoma is affecting his mantle cells. My husband's lymphoma was pretty severe, with a massive tumour in the centre of his head the size of a fist and giving him double vision and he had several in his abdomen. After a scary misdiagnosis of pancreatic/bile duct cancer, major abdominal surgery, lengthy chemo/stem cell transplant, I'm very happy to say he is doing well today and back at work. We'll find out next month after another CT and MRI whether he is still clear. Sorry my message is so long, but I just felt the need to give some info and reassurance to you, knowing what it's like. If you ever need an ear, fire off an email to me.

Christy J said...

Will add my prayers for your brother. Darn list is getting so long that I have to go to bed as half hour earlier. I've been having trouble finding time to knit, photograph and blog too. So much for good intentions.