Tag Archives: DC

A Lot To Be Grateful For!

24 Dec

Well, right now I am in Australia, celebrating the holidays with my extended family, and I think it’s safe to say that I have a lot to be thankful for. Since my last update, I’ve completed another four rounds of chemo. One of the things that I’m thankful for is that my treatment continues to be smooth sailing; my counts have steadily stayed high, no signs of growth or swelling and remarkable recovery times after infusions. This means that in total I’ve now completed twenty-five of my forty-one infusions. Because of my trip to Australia I did one treatment two days early (moved from my normal Thursday to a Tuesday) and actually skipped one round of chemo. Interestingly enough my doctors felt as though skipping one treatment out of an originally planned forty-two wasn’t a big deal; especially considering that my treatment has been so successful. I think there’s something to be said about the fact that I don’t really have much to talk about in terms of my treatment. It’s been so uneventful and “regular” that to write everything out again would just be repeating myself. I now have roughly a month off before my next MRI and then hopefully starting my next maintenance round. Due to the uneventfulness, I’ve decided instead to talk about some of the things I’m grateful for.

I’m grateful that my Grandfather’s chemo has been so successful. My Grandfather is fighting T-Cell Lymphoma and after having a few unsuccessful treatments he’s found the chemo that’s doing the trick! He’s quite an inspiration and together we’re the Chemo Company! Love you, Grandad! It’s a blessing to be over in Australia celebrating Christmas with my grandparents, cousins, aunt, and uncle.

I’m grateful to be so fortunate as to go to an amazing school and to live in an incredible place in an amazing city. Moving this year has been quite a change in lifestyle; not only did I change schools but I also changed cities! I went from living in a house in the suburbs to an apartment in the city. Living in DC has been quite a change but it’s a welcome change! I’ve met so many new people and made many new friends. I look forward to continually establishing myself in an amazing new place. I’m so very lucky….. except that I’m not living in Nationals territory. Go Phillies, regardless of the fact we’re kinda terrible now.

I’m grateful for an amazing set of doctors and nurses. I hope that all of my doctors and nurses know how amazing they are and that I owe them big time. I imagine that what they do everyday has many challenges by their amazing attitudes every time I walk in the hospital makes all the difference.

I’m excited to be launching The Bear/Bare Cupboard (punny, right?), my fundraising effort to fill the outpatient chemotherapy pantries at Children’s National Medical Center. I hope to establish an amazing set of donors who are willing to help make a change in a hospital that helps so many kids and families. More information to come later.

I’m grateful for everyone who is following and supporting my journey. Your support means and does more than you can imagine.

Finally, I’m thankful for my health and my family. It’s been a turbulent year, but I’m so thankful to be where I am now, not only physically but also mentally. More than anything, I’m thankful for the immense support of my family. Without them I don’t know how I would be where I am today. They’ve sculpted me into the person I am today and I am forever grateful.

I hope that you all have an amazing holidays and enjoy so much needed (at least much needed for me) time off. Again, thank you.

-Josh

 

Advertisements

Chemotherapy Rounds 14 through 18….. The joys of school and chemo!

13 Oct

When I told people I was expecting my new school to be very busy and chaotic… I was never expecting it to be like this! I apologize for not posting for a few weeks. I’ve been looking for the opportunity to update everyone on my journey for a while now and it wasn’t until this long weekend that I found that opportunity.

I began school on September 3rd, and began chemo again on the 12th. The really good news is that my chemotherapy has been very uneventful! As I said in my last post, the biggest differences between chemo in DC and Philadelphia is that in DC I see three doctors each time I go in for an infusion and that my Vancristine is done through a push instead of a drip. Otherwise the process is almost exactly the same.

I love my new doctors and nurses in DC. They’re very friendly and obviously really know what they’re doing. One thing that I noticed that’s a little different between DC and Philly is that things are a little cleaner in Philly. Also, things like pantries and activities for kids who are doing infusions are much less well stocked in DC. Frankly, often the pantries and activities for kids in DC are just empty, which I find somewhat sad because I have a laptop but little kids often have much less to do. I’m thinking about starting a drive at my new school to collect snacks and activities for young kids.

The biggest difference in my recents treatments has been doing chemo while going to school. School and chemo together have actually been very manageable. My school was amazing and set up my schedule so that my Thursdays have a very light work load and I don’t miss any classes for treatment. Friday mornings are also light meaning I can sleep in rest before going into school for the afternoon. My new school never sleeps, which at times can be exciting and at other times its really exhausting. On Tuesdays I don’t get home until 8pm because of debate. I’m really loving debate as an activity (I’ve never done it before). On Wednesdays I don’t get home until around 9:15pm because of choir. As I said the school never sleeps; I’m sure there are kids who are at school that late every night of the week.

My next MRI is on the 20th and then I’ll start treatment again on the 26th. On the 26th my parents and I will be meeting with the infamous Dr. P again so review my MRI… so that’ll be interesting.

I hope I get the opportunity to update the blog more regularly than I have over the past six weeks, however I can’t make any promises. As always if you have any questions or things in particular you’d like to to talk about, please just let me know . Thanks again for following my journey. I really appreciate the amazing outpouring of support and sympathy.

-Josh