Favorite Quote

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
-Randy Pausch

Thursday, April 10, 2008

In Remission Thanx to My Mouse Juice

I am happy to say that after a seven and a half week relapse I have been in remission for an entire week!  I had my third Colonoscopy last Tuesday and my Remicade Infusion (aka mouse juice) the day after (Wednesday).  All I can say is, what better way to bring in the month of April then by getting your colon looked at?!  I have to thank my great friend Barb who actually made getting a colonoscopy fun!  She picked me up bright and early Tuesday morning and drove me to the hospital.  She waited for me while I was getting my colonoscopy, helped me walk when the colonoscopy was over (b/c I was still high from the anesthesia), took me out to lunch, and then took me to the mall!  What better way to spend the day and forget about the horrors of having a tube stuck up your rear?!  I have never enjoyed getting a colonoscopy, but Barb made it enjoyable.  I didn't dread getting my colonoscopy this time around, and I really have Barb to thank for that!  So, THANX BARB, you're the absolute best!  I've had three colonoscopy's in the past two and a half years, and this one by far was the most bearable!  

This is a pic of Barb and myself before my first ride after my awful flare...

My Remicade infusion went fine.  My hubby was there with me the entire time, so it definitely made the over four hour experience much better.  Usually it takes about two and a half to three hours for the infusion process, but the pharmacy was extra slow making my Remicade this time around.  This was my fifth infusion, and it does get easier each time.  

My first Remicade infusion was a very humbling, real experience.  I walked into the ambulatory infusion center and saw a woman who was completely bald.  She was standing at the desk, talking to her nurse, with her husband by her side.  I remember checking in and taking a seat, waiting to see what was next.  I was, by far, the youngest person there.  I got looks from the older patients, each of them wondering if I was a patient or a family member waiting for their loved one.  I briefly talked to an older woman who looked at me and said, "Are you waiting for somebody?"  I replied that I was there for treatment and her green eyes widened and in an alarmed yet soft voice said, "You're not here for chemo are you?!"  I replied that I was there for Remicade and she looked relieved but then went on to tell me that she too had Crohn's and had been on the mouse juice for years with great success and little complications.  My first sign of hope.  I was then called by my nurse and taken to my room.  The room had five oversized comfy lazy boy chairs.  My chair was next to a woman who was getting Chemo.  She too had no hair.  Her chest was covered up, but she was receiving her treatment via a port in her chest.  Her husband came in after her treatment and took her home.  I remember sitting there thanking God for all of my blessings.  I remember just being completely speechless and stunned.  These were real people...mother's, grandmother's, wives, sister's, etc.  They were going through probably one of the toughest times in their lives, and the rest of the world was just going about their daily routine as if this doesn't happen.  We can hear about Chemo and treatments and think, "Wow, how unfortunate."  But to actually see somebody going through that, though a complete stranger, had me speechless.  Sure, I have a chronic illness, but it could always be worse.  I will never forget my first Remicade Infusion.  It reminded me just how fragile life really is.  In our busy daily lives we often forget what is truly important in life.  We often get wrapped up in our careers, money, and materialistic "feel good" things.  Things that, when it all comes down to it, are meaningless and completely dispensable.  It often takes a life threatening illness or traumatic event for us to realize that God, family, friends, faith, and love is all that matters. 

This is a pic of me in my big comfy lazy boy!!

I have my first race of the season Saturday, which is a 12 mile Time Trial.  I'm not sure how I'll do, but am glad to just be out there racing.  I've only been able to ride my bike three times since being in remission, so tomorrow is definitely going to be interesting!  I want to gage my fitness and see where I am compared to the other girls in my category.  I will keep you posted!  Next week I will start training for my Get Your Guts In Gear (GYGIG) ride, and I will definitely update my blog with training info/pics!  I still haven't built my fundraising web-page (yes I'm a slacker), but will definitely do it this week (seriously)!

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