Saturday, March 26, 2011
That's right, folks. We're taking a cruise to Alaska in August. No kids, just me and the Mrs.. Carla has had this cruise on her wish list for years. Thanks to her brother, it's happening. He's been trying to get their parents on a cruise for some time now. It worked out for this summer. Most of the siblings (Carla is the oldest of seven children) and many of their spouses are coming. We've booked six or seven cabins at this point. Little did her brother know when he made these plans that the cruise would fall on my one year cancer anniversary. So Happy Birthday to my mother-in-law, and Happy Cancer Anniversary to me!
Of course there's still a bit of chemo between me and that cruise, but why let a bunch of pink pills stop me from seeing some of God's beautiful earth. (Carole, you're my inspiration here. Rhodes is gorgeous. Oh, and Angela is going to Maui. I'm just jumping on the bandwagon.) And lest we forget, there's also a farewell party for Stanley before I get on the boat. (Tony, why change perfection? Stanley is the perfect name for a stoma. So I stole the name from you. :-)) My reversal is set for June, a month after finishing chemo. THEN I am getting on that ship with my wife. Together we'll celebrate the victory of our one year battle with rectal cancer. We're going to win the war as well. That's the five year cancer anniversary.
I'm doing all right as far as treatment goes. I decided last weekend that I wasn't going to play the role of cancer patient any more. None of this walking gingerly stuff and looking the part. I've been taking short walks at work and some in the evenings with Carla and the kids. After a week back on chemo I'm actually feeling better than the last round. The regular physical activity is helping. Nothing else has changed, but my body seems to be handling it better. That and I've gone through twice the lotion on my hands and feet this week. Just working harder to stay on top of the side effects. I'm liking the results this round. That's a good thing considering I really didn't want to start round four.
I continue to offer my thanks and gratitude for all of the support that comes through this blog. You all are simply the best. Maybe I should book a few more cabins for my cyber friends, eh?
Posted by Steve Chamberlin at 2:28 AM
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Steve and I are sorry we haven't kept his blog up to date lately. We have both been in survival mode and just been focusing on what needs to be done. The good news is that we are half way done with Steve's follow-up chemo. He starts his fourth round tomorrow. He has been able to keep working full time so far, but that takes every bit of energy he has. By the time he gets to the end of each day his body just needs to crash and sleep. The hardest part of the day for him is the morning. Getting his body up and going takes a lot more out of him than he is used to. Just getting up and out the door to work was exhausting him. Because of this and a few other reasons, I ended up giving notice to my work and just stayed long enough to train a replacement.
I just couldn't do it all any more. I have been burning my candle at both ends this entire school year. My work has been wonderfully supportive through all of this craziness, but I wasn't able to be as effective for them or at home as I wanted to be. It has been hard trying to stay on top of work, home, kids, paperwork, taking care of Steve, etc. As much as I loved working with the kids at the school, I couldn't afford to keep spreading myself so thin.
I have yet to feel like I am catching up on everything at home, like paperwork (ugh), but I have been more available for Steve and the kids. I'm hoping that once I'm not so tired, I will be able to get more done in a day. Sometimes I feel like I'm a zombie just going through the motions, but not getting much done. That has been a little frustrating. At the same time I realize that it is going to take a while for me to get caught up on me. I just have to be patient and give my body a chance to bounce back.
Steve is doing well. Chemo will never be fun, but he is hanging in there. His feet and hands are having the roughest time. The skin on the bottoms of his feet peels off in big sections about every three weeks. (I never knew that skin could replace itself so quickly in such large quantities.) His poor hands are just red, wrinkled and tender. Thankfully it is the top that is the worst, which means he is still able to type when he is working. Hopefully the neuropathy in his fingers will go away once he is no longer taking the zeloda.
Thanks for all your love and support. It is very much appreciated. Carla
Posted by Carla Chamberlin at 10:47 AM
Sunday, March 13, 2011
|A billboard on my way to work!|
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month here in the United States. Please take a few minutes to look over this Colorectal Cancer Fact Sheet. Early detection can make all the difference. And don't say, "I'm not 50 yet," either. I was 48 when I was diagnosed. Many are much younger. If you exhibit any of the Symptoms of colorectal cancer, get your butt in and get it checked out!
Posted by Steve Chamberlin at 6:31 PM