I love to brag about my gorgeous girl, my life as a teacher and the wonderful things my darling husband does that amuse and amaze me everyday. Please comment if something appeals to you, amuses you or inspires you.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Hippity hoppity...

Happy Easter
I am so glad that Easter is finally here this year for a special reason.
In January, my husband, Dan, began a second line of treatment for Aggressive Hodgkin's Lymphoma. This treatment involved much harsher chemotherapy than the type he had last year for 6 months and it concluded with a stem cell transplant.
It was our hope that Dan would be completed his treatment and would feel somewhat well enough to enjoy the Easter break with Isabella and I.
We got our wish!
Although Dan is still often feeling unwell and very lethargic, and will probably continue to for some time, he has made a great recovery so far. I am so very proud of him and in fact all of us for making it through a pretty tough 3 months. I needed to take a 2 week break from my job as a Prep Teacher as the emotional and physical strain of caring and working began to take it's toll on me. Our Isabella also has had a few tough weeks as she is very close to her Dad and is always quite distressed when he is unwell.
We hope to get some good news when Dan has his scan in about a month from now. If all goes to plan, the cancer will be gone. We hope the spot in his lung at least will be gone. Anything more than that will be a bonus. Fingers crossed.
This time the toll on our family has been emotionally, physically and financially extremely difficult and continues to be so, but we know we can do it together. If not for the love and support of our wonderful family, friends and work colleagues I'm not sure we would have got there this time. Thanks and love to all of you.
Now Easter is here I am beginning my favourite thing to do, decorate and party plan. Although our celebrations this year will be low key it will still be very special as Dan likes to prepare most of the family lunch.
Please enjoy some photos of our Easter preparations.
Til next time
 Choc egg in felt sunflower, under glass cloche on footed antique, glass plate.
Bunnies from Woolworth's


Our gorgeous girl at the school Easter Hat Parade

My pretty Easter Wreath

Happy Easter to all!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Dan Update

Post Stem Cell Transplant

Gosh, it's been an age since I last posted. I apologise for my slackness however, life has been a bit hectic since Christmas.

We found out before Christmas that Dan had unfortunately not gone into remission as we so hoped for. At the end of his ABVD chemo treatment there were still 2 very small, almost negligible spots that had not gone. BUGGER!

We spoke to doctors and they told us that in the New Year Dan would begin a new regime. This one would entail 2 cycles of ESHAP chemo followed by collection of some of Dan's own blood stem cells and then a chemo treatment called BEAM which is then completed with a transfusion of the stem cells being transplanted back to his own body. This treatment would be much harsher for Dan and he would not be able to work through the duration of this treatment.

Fast forward 3 months.

Dan had his stem cell transplant last Thursday and is currently home with me awaiting the crash of his bloods. The side effects of the BEAM involves ulceration of the mouth and lining of the digestive tract and gut, severe diarrhoea, nausea, fever, acne and skin irritations...you get the picture.
The doctors expect he will be re-admitted to hospital sometime this week due to fever or generally unwell. So far, he's doing ok. We have to attend 3 clinics a week so they do blood check, and then off to day care for top ups of any fluids or blood products, or possible admission. Yesterday it was a 10 hour day at the hospital, NOT FUN! It ended with him requiring some fluids and potassium. His bloods have begun to drop significantly but not dangerously, yet. Throughout all of Dan's previous chemo treatments he has been extremely lucky that he has not experienced any fever or dangerous neutropenic (low blood count) episodes. If he gets through this one he will become one of a very small number of people who have escaped.

Dan is still able to eat quite well and he is still giving me cheek, so he's not too bad, yet.

This treatment is now complete and he will have a follow up PET scan in about 6 weeks. We hope and pray for a good result this time. Fingers crossed.

I could go on about how this has affected our whole family, emotionally, physically, financially etc. It's sure not fun. I can say, it's an experience I will be glad to be at an end, however, we have done it together, all 3 of us! I'm so, so proud of my husband and daughter. Each day they inspire me to forget how tired I am and just get on with what has to be done.

I am on leave from work at the moment. I have taken 2 weeks off from my Prep teaching to concentrate on Dan's recovery. It's truly been exhausting and I'm not ashamed to admit I hit the wall a few weeks ago. Every one kept telling me how strong I had been, but I knew differently. I was crashing, and fast! I was having head spins and heart palpitations at school and was crying every 5 mins, or so it seemed. Taking leave was certainly difficult for me but it's been good for me. I am still tired but at least all I have to concentrate on at this time is my family, til next week.

All the best to you and yours.

Isabella enjoying some fishing while we were away for Christmas relaxing before Dan's treatment began in January.
 Dan and Bella enjoying the pool at Christmas!
 Christmas lunch, Queensland style.

We look forward to getting away again soon to our favourite family destination, Gemini Resort, Golden Beach.