Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blame the Occupiers

I would like to point out that the Occupy Wall Street protestors aren’t even ON Wall Street. I mean before they were evicted. Seriously, I had dinner with a coworker/friend last night who lives on Wall Street. We were walking to her apartment and I asked where the occupiers were.  She replied that they were camped several blocks away.  Apparently the 99% can’t afford a smart phone with GPS—or read street signs.
I’m hoping that if I distract you with stories of protests or maybe Penn State that you won’t notice how long it’s been since I updated on this blog.
Did it work?

The good news is that I have lots of updates. Let’s get started shall we?

Melissa had her check up with Dr. Tan last Friday. They did blood work to make sure she is healthy enough to continue with chemo. This all came out fine. (Yay!) They went ahead and ordered the medicine for the next round that will begin this Friday at 9:45 am. She also reported to the doctor that she no longer has to drain her abdomen (see the first post on this blog.) He was very encouraged by this news, as am I. The cancer causes the fluid in her abdomen. The fact that fluid is no longer being produced could mean that cancer has responded well to the first chemo treatment. We won’t really know just how well it’s responded until she has another PET scan, but I am cautiously optimistic. She is also not experiencing as much pain from the tumors, but admits her body is still feeling out of whack.

This is the week in the tri-weekly cycle when MJ (Melissa Jean-- not Michael Jordan or Michael Jackson) is chemo-free. She does not have to take the pills this week, so her energy and appetite are higher than before.  The upside of this is… well her energy and appetite are higher. The trade off is that she has the energy to miss the way life is when she is healthy.  The visits, phone calls, notes, and care packages sent her way definitely help.  They encourage Momma, Daddy, and me as well.  It’s odd to say at this time, but I’ve never felt so lucky or so blessed. I want to thank you all for that.

Finally, there are a few more contestants in the wig competition. I’m rooting for the long one. If she gets it, I just might try to swipe it. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I received this text message from my sister this afternoon:
Umm...I think dad and I are
going to get a philly cheese
steak. Is this the worst
decision ever?
To which I replied:
Yes. But do it anyway.
And she did! And she didn't get sick! Well, not from the cheesesteak anyway, but yay!

She's also been able to get up and walk around a bit outside the past few days, which is a huge improvement.  Here's hoping that the improvements continue.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wigs and Whatnots

This weekend I visited heaven on earth aka the Jim Henson exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens. Besides squealing with glee at the sight of an actual Kermit the Frog, and plopping on bean bag chair to watch some scenes from Sesame Street, I watched video of Jim Henson explaining the “Whatnot” muppets. They’re generic puppets that eyes, ears, noses, and hairstyles can be switched around easily to make new characters.

 While I was learning about Whatnots, Melissa was getting to experience the real life whatnot-ness that is wig shopping. She hasn’t settled on a style yet, but this is the front-runner.
I think she should get a blonde one, just for fun.
Other than that she’s been experiencing some ups and downs. She’s had a few visitors over the past weekend that have helped pass the time, but then nature told the wild child to stop partying so hard and hit her with some major fatigue yesterday. The only thing she wanted to do was sleep.  Today she was feeling better, so she and dad went for a ride in his convertible. That’ll pick anyone up.  
(Someone please tell my dad that… and maybe mention that he should let me take Melissa for a drive when I come home for Thanksgiving.)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

More Deer Dating

For those of you following this blog because you’re intrigued by the deer situation at my parents’ house, I have good news. A buck--we can only assume it is the same buck who had a late night tryst with Deer de Cheliras-- was seen romping through the backyard chasing a live doe.  A few hours later, the same buck was seen again chasing a doe. I’m normally a fan of monogamy, but considering the shock this fella must’ve experienced the few times he tried to chat up Ms. Plastic, I think he deserves a few live ones.

Several people have inquired into Melissa’s chemo regimen.  It is a combination of three medications and goes in a three-week cycle.  She began last Friday with a visit to the oncologist where two of the three medicines were administered through her “faucet.”  This process took several hours. She receives the third medication daily in the form a pill. Two weeks into the cycle she goes back to the oncologist for a check up— I think this will happen on November 11. The doctor checks on progress and orders the drugs from the next round of chemo, which will begins a week later on November 18.

Hopefully she’ll be on the mend from the second round by the time we’re all together for Thanksgiving. Either way, it’ll be good to be with her again. 


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sunday and Monday were pretty trying for Melissa. Dad was originally not going to let me speak to Melissa on Monday night because she was feeling so ill. She did pick up for the phone for literally a few sentences to simply say I love you.

Tuesday night she claimed she felt “almost human again.” She’s been able to get out of the house and go for drive with Dad for a bit. Her appetite has also returned to pre-chemo status, including a resurgence in her craving for a Philly cheese steak sandwich. That doesn’t mean she’s actually eating Philly cheese steak sandwiches, just craving them.

This will be the dinner I make the next time I come home (I may substitute American cheese for another type. American cheese is icky.) Any other suggestions?

Cheesesteak Soup on the Food Network

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Better the Deer You Know Than the Flamingo You Don't

Our Uncle Kevin suggested replacing the fake deer with fake flamingos. This may create a whole new set of problems…

I spoke briefly with Melissa. She’s definitely starting to feel the effects of the chemo. Fatigue and nausea are the words of the day. It’s expected, just praying that it passes sooner rather than later.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Deer is Down Again

My parents have a fake female deer in the backyard.  I believe the theory is the fake deer will attract the wild deer in the area, and there is nothing my parents love more than watching deer in their backyard.
Lately the fake deer has been a little too good at its job. (I should mention that it’s mating season.)  When I was home last weekend we woke up to discover the deer had been knocked over by a frustrated male suitor. Melissa and I found this hilarious and sad all at the same time. I began to argue that it was almost mean to leave the fake doe in the backyard at this time of year, but mom and dad weren’t hearing it.  This morning, I called and spoke to Melissa who said, “I was just about to call you—the deer is down again.” Apparently the downed deer explains some weird noises she and mom heard in the middle of the night last night.
Despite being woken by strange deer noise, Melissa slept really well last night. She also got some good sleep during the chemo treatment yesterday thanks to the magic of Benadryl. Other than that the treatment was fairly uneventful.  She read a magazine; she hung out with dad.  She is still feeling pretty fatigued, but the doctors say that should improve once the chemo has a chance to take care of business.  As far as side effects from the chemo, she is okay today. The doctors said to expect “a good day” today, to be followed by around three “bad days.” Obviously each person reacts differently. 
So, we’ll know more tomorrow.

*While signing in to post this, my sister called me for a video chat to tell me what channel the Va Tech game is on.  Video chat is the coolest thing ever.