Sunday, March 15, 2009

Done Done Done!!!!!


I can not accurately describe how it feels. Tears come to my eyes often thinking about what I don't have to worry about - as odd as that sounds. You often hear the term "weight lifted off your shoulders" - doesn't do it justice. I have a new step, brighter eyes, bigger smiles, bigger fight...just an amazing feeling. I was able to go out Saturday and not worry...
I'm an Uncle! Or, more importantly, Val and John are parents! Beautiful baby Hallie Veljanovski was born Wednesday, March 11 at 9:30pm! She was 5lbs 15oz - sooooo tiny. So beautiful! An interesting coincidence...Isabella was born the day before I was diagnosed and Hallie was born the day before I was done with chemo.

So, last Thursday I went in for my last Lumbar Puncture and the 8th round of Rituxan as part of my 8 cycle chemo plan. The LP was booked for 9am and Dr. Hamm was called for an emergency and I didn't get the LP until about 11:30am - kind sucked, but at least I got it done...and I almost didn't. It started with the usual injection of freezing and then she inserted the needle (which I found out is a 20 gauge 3.5 inch needle - WOW) to start collecting some fluid (she collects every time to test the fluid) but she wasn't getting much - a little dry (I think she was joking??)...So she pulled out. She said that she will try again in a different location and that if she wasn't able to get any there, that she wouldn't do it - and that she was ok with that. After all, it is just prophylactic anyways. Didn't matter, the second one worked. But man it sucked getting 2 done.

Then on to the Rituxan...I normally get this drug over about 3-4 hours...We decided to push it and see if we could get it done in 90min - which is normal. We did it slower because of the reactions I had in the past. Anyways, they loaded me up with Tylenol and benadryl and then started the problem. As soon as I was able to get up from the LP I went to the bathroom came back and Joanne was there to visit and try some therapeutic touch. Within 2min of getting back in bed I was asleep! Fantastic!

On my way out a few nurses got together and sang a bit of "Happy Last Chemo" hahaha ... and gave me a little bottle of champagne blow bubbles. It was cute.

My plan was to go visit little Hallie (and Val / John) in the hospital attached to the cancer center...walking out of the cancer center I was overcome with emotion and I cried a little and impulsively, I shot the cancer center the finger! hahahah (nobody saw this - but it made me laugh and still does). I wanted to collapse and cry - but I wouldn't let myself - it was harder than I thought.

I've got a few more posts to write specifically about this journey so I will continue on with the blog...

I couldn't pick a favorite....



Anonymous said...

Wow ....
You will be remembered at the centre by many many people, just so happens all of them are women ....
Keep on laughing about the finger ....
and next time you drive by the hospital do it again and again ....
Your Mom
I am so so proud of you but not at all surprised at who you are

Anonymous said...

Hooray for you Jeff!

I can totally relate to how you are feeling - beyond words!

Have fun celebrating each new day and keep up the great job you do at living life to the fullest!

Hope to see you and your beautiful family real soon.

Viva La Cure


PS - I STILL shoot that same finger every time I leave my clinic ;)

Dora and Dave said...

Hi Jeff,
Given what time you guys came home on Saturday night I would say you are well on your way to getting back to normal ;).

Really cool coincidence about Isabella's and Hallie's birth. It's like you had one angel on earth and one in heaven looking out for you.

You're journey has been so amazing to us and really made us appreciate how blessed we are. Thanks for sharing your story with us through this difficult stage in your life.

Love your friends Dora an Dave.

KJR said...

Jeff, I can see you giving the finger to the cancer centre as you left. That is so great!!!!!

Phewffff. Amazing. A big sigh of relief.

Can't wait to see you and give you a huge hug!!!!!

I am in Vegas right now and maybe today I will play a little. And yes, if I win, no I will not share 50-50 with you.