Monday, February 22, 2010

The Time Has Come

Tomorrow starts my first round of pediatric high-dose ICE chemotherapy. It'll require 3 nights and four days in the hospital, but Dr. Dailey tells me that it should be "uneventful" and that I'll do well with it. Being in the hospital will allow me to receive the fluids that I'll need and the pre- and post-chemo meds plus super anti-nausea blockers. It's important that I'm monitored for side effects. I'm told that I'll be able to unhook from my port for periods of time so that I can walk around (plus apparently the steroids will make me very restless). I'll have my own room and Dr. Dailey has already told the nurses that I'm coming, that I'm "really nice" and that I work there at Hartford Hospital, so that's a plus! I'm just trying to think of it as a little spa retreat for a few days - on demand cocktails and all.

These past two weeks have been full of preparation. First and foremost was the embryo preservation and the final count is 3 healthy, growing embryos that are now being cryopreserved on a shelf in a secret location until we are ready to use them. We are thrilled at the outcome and so happy that we went through the process. It makes our future even brighter.

I've been walking every single day. Luckily it's been beautiful out so I've been able to get fresh air. On the days when I don't get out before nightfall, I now have a fabulous treadmill on loan from a very generous friend! I've been upping my calorie intake trying to put on some pre-chemo pounds and eating lots and lots of fruits and veggies and au natural foods. I've been reading up on stem cell transplants, watching video blogs and reading about other's experiences, researching my chemo regimen, visualizations, and coping mechanisms. I digested another Dr. Bernie Siegel book and am just about done with Lance Armstrong's "It's Not About the Bike" - very, very inspiring and the book I've most been able to identify with. We share a very similar coping style and mentality and hearing his struggles and triumphs really affirms my beliefs as to the best way to take cancer head on.

Craig and I took a road trip over the four days that we had post-IVF procedure and pre-start of chemo. We went to Philly, a city to which I've never been, and I got to run the actual steps that one of my idols, Stallone, climbed as Rocky, we ate cheesesteaks and explored the Franklin Institute. Then it was on to Virginia/DC to visit my college roomie and her fiancee - two of my favorite people in the whole world. We had a fabulous time just hanging together eating good food, playing Wii, exploring Georgetown, watching the Olympics and marveling at all the spandex over a few beers. They're the kind of friends that you just automatically fall back in sync and comfort with as soon as you see them no matter how long it's been. That was exactly what both Craig and I needed. Plus, I got to fulfill some Matron of Honor duties and help pick out wedding invitations and weigh in on tux choices for their wedding in May, which makes me so happy. We came back recharged and sore from all the belly laughs.

I feel ready for this - as ready as I can be, I suppose. I've packed a bag of comfy clothes and another bag of healthy snacks to counteract the hospital food. I'll be arriving with a little mini cooler and another backpack full of books, magazines, card games, laptop, iPod, crosswords, word searches and various other distraction paraphernalia. I think I'm covered.

Now it's time for what is hopefully a good night's sleep then check-in under "Diamond" at 8 a.m. Maybe there'll be a towel sculpted into the shape of a swan waiting on the hospital bed to greet me.


  1. Good luck, Rocky. We're with you all the way!
    xoxo Judy

  2. Good luck. I'm pulling and praying for you!

  3. Good Luck from the Virginians! We love you and had an amazing time this weekend! You are so strong...XOXOXOXOX ~S&F (& Bogey)

  4. god bless you, precious girl. Praying for you and your wonderful family, as you embark on your journey. May the time go quickly, and as easily as possible for you. You are in our hearts and prayers. Much love, Irene

  5. Thinking of you, Kar! Hopefully you are as comfortable as possible and have plenty to keep your mind occupied.

    I am so pleased to hear about the positive news with the eggs! (I liked your "Marvin Gaye" comment.)

    Sending love and prayers your way...