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Thursday, May 31, 2012

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post.

Oh hi there.  What's that?  You have something to say to me?  You say you think I haven't been blogging enough lately?  You are at an utter loss for words regarding my complete disregard for your need to be supplied with a constant stream of adorable little girl photos?  I see.  You're right.  I've let you down.  

Hey I have an idea!  I bet you'd love to hear some excuses!  Boy, I've got this covered.

Ok first, my camera's memory card funked out.  And I lost a bunch of pictures because of it, including most of my Easter pictures.  So then Sad Panda.  And I got all bummed out about it.  So then I decided that maybe I'd feel better about losing so many photos if I just pretended that my blog didn't exist. 

Plus also, I've been trying to adjust to all these new medical treatments and I've just been figuring out what living with arthritis in my spine for the rest of my life is going to mean.  I guess you could say I've been focusing on me a bit.  

I also haven't been blogging lately because... well frankly... I've been too busy enjoying myself.  Ellowyn is getting to be so much fun, now that she's really truly not a baby anymore.  And Mira and Ellowyn are in this groove lately where they are actually getting good at being sisters, which is so amazing to observe.  And now that Mira's out of school for the summer, we are staying busier, seeing friends more, doing more playdates, more crafts...  Which is awesome, but it also means that by the end of the day I am often too tired to drag mildly entertaining words out of my brain for your enjoyment.  

But now I do have some catching up to do.  And I have a series of posts in mind that should get us up to date.  I hope to have them up in the next week or so.  And rest assured, I got a new memory card for my camera so there will be loads of photos.  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Weigh in - 7 months (plus a health update)

This month, I've been continuing with the group fitness classes at the gym.  I'm doing a class called "Strike".  It's like kickboxing, except they give you a weighted staff to wield like a weapon.  Pros: feeling like a total badass butt kicker. Cons: If you don't keep up with the choreography, you're likely to get clobbered.  The class is really fun, and I frequently feel like my arms are made of jello, so that's always entertaining.

I lost 2 pounds this month. Since I started 7 months ago, I've lost 18 pounds, putting me 12 pounds away from my goal of losing 30 pounds.

While we're on the topic of me, I'll update everyone on my psoriatic arthritis.  I started treatment about 2 months ago.  I take a chemo drug (methotrexate) once a week.  It makes me feel a little nauseated and headachy, but I've discovered that if I take it at night before bed then I sleep through most of it.  In addition to that, I also get IV infusions of immunosuppressant (Remicade) once every 4-8 weeks.  That has to be done in the doctor's office and takes about 2.5 hours each time.  So it's a bit of a time commitment.  

So far, I have not had any adverse reactions to the immunosuppressant.  I haven't gotten sick at all, despite the fact that both girls have been sick since I started taking it.  So I am hopeful that that will continue.  

Especially since I feel SO GOOD!  I can't believe how much of a difference this is making for me.  My pain is about 99% gone.  (Every now and then I'll feel a little stiffness in my hip area, but nothing even remotely close to the crippling pain I used to have.)  I feel better than I have in years.  And not just physically.  I feel happy.  Part of that, I'm sure, is the fact that I'm no longer in chronic pain.  But another big part is because of the many many people who have come forward to be supportive and helpful as I go through this.  Every time I have an infusion, I have to get a sitter for the girls and so far, every time I ask (on Facebook), I have had an overabundance of friends chiming in saying they'd happily take the girls.  It's really taken a load off my mind, knowing that I will never have to struggle to make this treatment plan work.  And it's also made me realize how extremely lucky I am to have so many wonderful people in my life, stepping up for me and asking nothing in return.  I am so thankful for all of you.  

So... we still have to monitor my liver (because the chemo drug I'm on can cause liver toxicity) but barring unforeseen complications, my treatments are going wonderfully well.  This is a medical regimen that I will likely have to be on for the rest of my life, but as of right now, saying that no longer intimidates me.  I feel like this is very doable, especially for the results that I'm getting.