Well, today as I was preparing and doing my platoon duties, I have also done a lot of soul searching. I'm not sure why God continues to bless me so, but I am grateful.
On last report in with my oncologist, I am proceeding as well as or better than it was anticipated that I would. I can barely wait for my next month's appointment to see how my blood work has been doing the past few weeks. I just love that I am getting to be seen here locally instead of having to make a 3-hour drive to Kansas City and back.
The goal is to get me well enough to go back to KU hospital in KC, and have the benign tumor removed from my brain stem that has been growing considerably in the last 6 years. If I don't get it removed, one of these days I may lose muscle control and not be able to take care of myself or even be able to walk. So I am making getting healthier a priority in my life right now. Hopefully, the leukemia will go into remission and then I can have the surgery (although it is a very delicate surgery).
I am also waiting to hear the results of the rest of my siblings testing to see if any of them will be a match for bone marrow transplant in the future. It seems as though the doctors are wanting me, if at all possible, to have the brain surgery completed and me back on my feet and doing well again prior to the transplant. So, yes, I have a lot on my plate right now. One brother is not a match. It is my understanding that the chemo therapy should take me into remission but the only way I can even hope of a cure is by having a bone marrow transplant. (Incidentally, the benign tumor on my brain stem has absolutely nothing to do with my leukemia except that the leukemia hinders getting the brain tumor removed even though is need to be, and the brain tumor is a concern to all the doctors including my oncologist in case I should need a spinal tap in the future--as it stands right now a spinal tap is out of the question unless it is a matter of life or death as it could cause the brain tumor to cripple me in an instant.)
However, through all of this, it is my plan to stay as positive as I can, to exercise when and as much as I can (right now am recovering from a broken toe due to fall on my icy front porch concrete steps), so it's almost going to be like starting over for me. I have tracked my food to a certain degree but not been dedicated to it since getting out of the habit while being so ill. I have done so little intentional exercise since becoming so ill as well. But too shall change.
My goals at this time for SSS are:
1. Track all I eat.
2. Try to maintain between 165 and 169 p0unds where the doctors are happy as they do not want me "dieting" right now but I do have some limitations on what I can eat--just not how much. A nuetropenic diet is a real pain but if it keeps me alive and well so be it.
3. Get busy exercising where and when I can for at least 20 minutes x 5 days per week.
4. Do my best to encourage and support my teammates for the next 12 weeks.
5. Keep my sense of humor alive and well, keep a smile on my face, and remain gratefulness in my heart.
6. Drink more water. I am pretty much limited to water or weak tea (never did like full-strenght tea). I like a little lemon juice or lime juice in my water for a change of pace, but I do love my water these days. I just need to drink at least the 8 minimum cups per day and I haven't been succeeding at that the past week or so.
Anyway, I am ready to put on my fatigues, stand up straight with shoulders squared away, and march right into this next round as any good soldier would.
Here's to us, our team, and may we do well again this round.
Last, but definitely not least, a big thank you to my team for caring and being so supportive! I love you all and I want to also say thanks to everyone who is wearing the orange bands showing their support.
And thanks to all our leaders for making this team a good one--I appreciate your hard work.