Saturday, August 27, 2011

Almost 3 weeks ...

Sorry it has been so long, not much to report on the Kel front, since we are just waiting for more bloodwork.

But for those who don't know, in those 3 weeks we packed up the house and moved across country to Oxford, Mississippi where I have a new job as an Assistant Professor at Ole Miss (you know, like in the movie 'Blindside'). I officially start the new job on Thursday 9/1. We got here just fine and are settling into a new routine, new home, new school.

Kel drove out here with David, the dogs, and I, and stayed for a few days before returning to Tucson. He does not have a job here yet, and hasn't really beed applying because 1) he has been too ill and 2) leaving TPD is going to be hard.

He went back to a mostly empty place on Wednesday, well, actually after a bear of a trip home he got there on Thursday night. In 2 weeks Kel will come back to Oxford for our 11 year anniversary (for those who were there at the wedding, yes, it actually was 11 years ago!) and a quick visit before returning to Tucson.

I wanted to name the post 'Trial Separation', in the literal sense that we are apart, but Kel wasn't a fan of that. It is hard being apart with the kid, after the last 8-9 months, just in general. I keep complaining about unpacking, or David being a handful, and it must be hard for Kel to hear that and not be able to do anything. I just have to learn to not complain about the little things.

Oxford is a MUCH smaller place than Tucson. There are basically 2 main streets, but I have yet to learn where everything is (just found food shopping today!) I am happy with smaller, LOVE the yard space in the new house (2 acres), and can't wait to start at Ole Miss. We just miss Kel.

On the cute side, David has started playing soccer here (great way to let him run out his energy) and his first game will be on Thursday. I am definitely going to videotape it. :)

I am exhausted from the moving and unpacking, so for tonight's SUX section, going to have to go with this time apart from Kel. We are both fiercely independent people and definitely able to survive on our own, but after all the downs and ups and more downs this year has brought, being apart is difficult. David and I miss Daddy.

From the deep south of Mississippi, good night.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Still not in 'Remission', but heading there

Kel has officially had 'cancer' for 224 days - diagnosed on 12/30/10, and continued through today. We were hoping to hear the all clear after his blood draw last week, but alas, it was not to be.

His AFP (that all important marker in his blood) has gone down, which is GREAT news, but only to 12.5. Remission officially occurs when the # is below 7.5. The protein has a half-life of ~1 week, so we expected it to be closer to 6 based on the last results, but as my dad pointed out (damn math expert that he is), the # 6 was assuming that Kel's AFP will get down to 0. That might not be true. His baseline may be at the higher end of normal at 5 or 7.

So fancy math ... if we assume that his 'normal' is 5, and his last draw had the AFP at 48.5, then 3 weeks later it should have been ~10. And that is just me picking 5 at random. It may be 7, or 2. We won't know until it gets there. So really, the progression of AFP is decreasing from before as it approaches normal, and remission is not yet official, but Kel is getting closer and closer every day.

Our oncologist referred to this time as 'nothing to worry about', but 'not yet in the clear' ... it is a holding pattern with cancer. A prolonged slow dance. Oh, joy.

I think knowing one way or the other would be better ... knowing he is in remission, at least for a while, or knowing that the tandem transplant is imminent. But the in between not knowing crap? That sux (sorry, doing the sux section early here).

I don't think I could figure out how many of these last 224 days have been spent waiting. Waiting for chemo, for results, for magical 'remission', for the elusive 'all clear', for surgery, for appointments. Waiting and worrying and not knowing and fearing (I know, that sentence needed commas). Oscillating between hope and faith, and pessimism and tears. Doing something 'active' helps - scheduling surgery, or doing chemo. It is the in between that is hard. This whole 'hurry up and wait' thing? SUX.

More fancy math now ... let's stick with my same assumption of a baseline of 5 for Kel's AFP. The next blood draw is in 4 weeks, and from 12.5 it should be down to 5.5-ish. The next blood draw appointment is 9/2 with results on 9/7. Let's GO remission! please?!

Thanks for all of your prayers, thoughts, hopes, and love. It helps us feel the love and keep hope high.

With love (and fatigue),