Thursday, December 5, 2013

So.

Ok, I have written this post so many times now.  It never sounds quite right.  I think that's probably because I'm not all sorted out about what's been going on.  I've written this story from a very positive point of view, I've written it all gloom and doom and everything in between.  So, let me try and write this as objectively as I can.


Today, Mr. Jane and I celebrate four years of marriage.  As cheesy as it sounds, J is my absolute perfect match.  The yin to my yang.  The peanut butter to my jelly.  The cheese to my macaroni.  He balances me out, keeps me grounded and makes me want to be a better person.  He has a heart of gold.  I am total crap at verbalizing these things in the everyday, which is why I'm writing it here instead.  I love you more than words, J.

J was diagnosed with leukemia this summer.  It started with an unexplained mass in his abdomen that ended up being an enlarged spleen.  It was the same weekend baby Jane turned three months old.  I remember it all very vividly.  I wasn't sure I was going to write about it at all, being such a terrifying and personal experience.  But over the last month I decided I really wanted to make some mention of what is going on, even though this is just a silly old sewing blog (I don't really mean the silly part ;)  It is part of our life now, whether we like it or not, and I know it will pop up in posts and projects from time to time.  So. There it is. 

The type of leukemia that J has is probably the best case scenario.  He has a type of leukemia called chronic myelogenous leukemiaIf you have to have cancer, this is the type of cancer you want to have.  That was what his oncologist told him.  Ha.  It sounds like a crazy statement to make, but she is right.  J jokes that this was like winning some sort of terrible lottery.

The treatment for CML is pretty amazing.  J takes a pill a day.  A cancer pill.  No chemotherapy, no radiation.  If this doesn't convince you of the wonders of modern medicine, I don't know what will.  A little wonder drug called Gleevec came on the market in 2001 and was used to treat CML.  It was the first of it's kind and paved the way for similar treatments for other types of cancer.  J takes a different generation, but a wonder drug no less.  The most sobering piece of information we read during all of this was this little fact- that before this drug was available, the lifespan for people with CML was three to five years.  Now his doctor tells us that she sees no reason he can't live out his normal life.  Albeit with more doctor visits and awareness of what is going on in his blood and bone marrow, but still, a normal life.  We are so thankful.

So far, so good.  J is responding well to the medication with no major side effects.  He has hit enough milestones that I feel like I can exhale now.  When it comes to the future we know nothing is for certain, but nothing is certain for anyone.  These past few months have been a roller coaster ride.  Lots of ups and downs but we are starting to settle back in to a routine.  I am finding a lot of comfort in that normalcy.  You know, as normal as it gets with an almost eight month old baby.  We have certainly gained a lot of perspective.  We know not to take any moment for granted.  I have recently started yelling at J for leaving his shoes in the middle of den again, so I'm taking that as a good sign that things are getting back to the way things were.  Ha.  I'm only human :)

And of course this post would not be complete without a link to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  The LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research, as we have experienced firsthand.  It is an extremely worthy cause.  There are many, many ways to donate and support the LLS.

48 comments:

  1. Oh man, what a reality check! Thank you for sharing your story - I can't wait to give my own husband J a big hug when he gets home! I'm so glad to hear that your J's cancer is treatable, and that you are passing good milestones in treatment. Big, big, big hugs to you all!

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  2. Thanks for sharing that with us and I'm so glad that Mr. J is responding well to the meds! I'm also happy for you that life is returning to a semblance of normalcy - or your new normal. I'm also thrilled that Baby Jane is doing well. Life is all about change and I'm happy that this change has brought your family closer together and made you realize the wonderfulness of the life you're sharing together. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers!!!

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  3. I thought I was having a bad day, then I read this. Reality check indeed.

    I am glad things seem to be getting back to normal. I have read your blog long enough to know that Mr. J really does seem to be your perfect match and you are very lucky to have each other and baby Jane. I hope the road keeps heading towards recovery, and I will keep you all in my thoughts. Best wishes.

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  4. Oh my goodness, I was in shock reading this post; but so happy that Mr J's cancer is responding so well to treatment. And that you are settling back to "normal". Your family certainly has had a traumatic year. I'm thinking of you (hugs)

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  5. I'm with T Sedai. I thought that I was having a bad day, but then you changed my perspective. I am glad to hear that he is responding well to the treatment, and that--for cancer--he's got the best case scenario. It sounds like you'll have many more years of yelling at him to get his shoes out of the den...and for teaching baby Jane that it's somehow OK to do it too. ;-) Sending hugs your way!

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  6. I lost my dad to cancer just five days ago and I'm so glad to hear that your husband has a good chance to live a long life with you and your child. Good luck and don't wait to do things that you want to do, life's just too short sometimes!

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  7. I am so sorry to hear about your beloved J's illness while thanking goodness for that pill. You have reminded me that Life Is Now for any of us. Sending hugs and prayers your way.

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  8. I'm so glad and happy for you that he has a treatable cancer! All great news!! So true, you know when you start settling back to normal when you call attention to the misplaced shoes! I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the beginning of the year and getting through treatment as well. Here's to a better year to come, for all of us!!

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  9. Thanks for sharing this I think pretty much everyone can relate to scary health news and people are always happy to rally around anyone who needs support during these times. It's wonderful that this miracle pill is available and is working for your husband. I'll keep you in my thoughts. :)

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  10. It is true that none of us is guaranteed tomorrow, but sometimes things happen that give us a heightened sense of the truth of that. I am so relieved that your husband has a very treatable form of cancer. Wishing you a happy Christmas with your adorable baby!

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  11. Thank you for sharing the story! I'm so glad to hear that the treatment is going well. Wishing you and your family the best :)

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  12. It is very brave to share your story. I wish you all well and yes, no one is guaranteed any sort of future. Best wishes for you and your family.

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  13. Thank you for sharing this. A reminder to us all to hug tightly those we love. May god bless you and your family.

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  14. My heart goes out to you all. Normalcy is exactly what you want!

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  15. I've been visiting a hematology/oncology clinic every few weeks since May. I've got low platelets, and they have to keep an eye on me. I guess it could always be worse... but thanks for sharing this, I am SO thankful that your hubby is going to be okay. So glad you can enjoy a meaningful Christmas with Baby Jane and normalcy for your family! :)

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  16. Good luck and I hope it all works out in the long run. Enjoy the big things, the little things and the annoying things. Let strength come from within and from the experience. Best wishes to you and your family!

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  17. So glad to hear J has access to such brilliant treatment and that things are going well, despite what must be a big shock. Like most people, my family has been shaken by cancer, tis a reminder that we must live our lives to the fullest. Sending you and your family lots of positive vibes x

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  18. Oh, Liza Jane, my heart goes out to you guys! What a rough go of it you've had! I'll be praying hard for your family! I'm so very happy to hear that J's responding well to treatment. Thinking of you!

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  19. Thank you so much for sharing this with us Liza Jane. I know its often very hard to talk about the personal side of things on a blog, especially when they are as traumatic as having to face cancer, no matter what kind. I'm sending you all my good thoughts, and wishes, and am so thankful to hear that J's doing well with the medication (and that such a drug even exists!) Your sweet family will be in my thoughts!

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  20. Oh my goodness, when I started to read this post I really didn't know where you were taking us - I wasn't expecting that at all!!!! I can't imagine what you and your family have been through, but I just wanted to comment to say thank you for sharing such a personal story with us and to let you know that I feel for you.
    I didn't know that some cancer could be controlled by a 'simple' pill - that is amazing! I'm glad that it has been helping you all get back to your 'normal' routine.

    xxxxx

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  21. Thank you for being so brave and sharing a very personal story. It is a great reminder for all of us to be grateful for the good things in our lives, something that is so easy to lose track of. I am grateful for all three of you that J got a type of cancer that is so easily treated.

    PS-tell J for all of us to put his shoes away :)

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  22. My thoughts and prayers are with you guys - and I'm so glad you won the cancer lottery. I don't know much about this cancer treatments, but that pill sounds magical. Take care.

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  23. I mean glad as in not getting the bad one - you know. :)

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  24. wow....I'm thinking good thoughts for your family.......keep posting!

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  25. All my love to you and your family! But, I'm so thankful that the outlook is good. I trained for my first marathon with Team in Training, the LLS's athletic fundraising arm. I met some wonderful people who were all running for different reasons - from getting in shape, to remembering a family member, to supporting a friend recently diagnosed. The most influential of the people I met were those who were training while in remission. I remember one vividly who was in the first clinical trial for Gleevec. Her family moved clear across the country to get her in because they needed something, anything. And, it worked. It was so moving and powerful to hear their stories. It really made you realizes miracles are possible. And, while I'd much rather it if you and J and Baby Jane weren't having to go through all of this, I'm so thankful that there are little miracles out there that restore normality to life.

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  26. what a year you had, a rollercoaster ride indeed.. i'm so happy to hear there is that magical pill, though.. thank you for sharing your story, liza jane

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  27. The big C is really scary. My husband was diagnosed with skin cancer early in our relationship. He was cancer-free after a surgery. I hold my breath every time he goes for a checkup. But he's still healthy and happy. Wishing your husband a healthy new year and more!

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  28. oh gosh, what a year you have had. i'm so glad to hear that he is responding well to treatment, what a blessing! sending you many hugs, will be keeping you in my prayers.

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  29. sending you good vibes for countless shoes in the den, coats unhung, covers hogged, all that extremely. awesome. crap!!!

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  30. Massive hugs Liza Jane, what a rough time it's been but so glad that you are out the other side. I whole heartedly agree with Oona, bring on the shoes in the den!

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  31. I'm so glad things are looking up for J. My thoughts are with you three!

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  32. Oh wow, what a scary thing to battle with a newborn in the home. I'm so happy to hear that he's doing well and that the prognosis for this type of cancer has improved so dramatically with the development of this new treatment. May your family have many long, happy days ahead of you! Take care, family Jane. xoxo

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  33. I'm so pleased there is treatment for your husband...I can only imagine how rough the last few months have been. I'm also glad you spoke about what's happening - it must have been difficult to write, but now you have you have the added love and support of your internet friends:) I'm wishing your family a wonderful holiday period and lots of love for the coming year xx

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  34. I'm at a loss for words. Your story pulled on all my heart strings - your perfect match, a young family....I can relate to this bit. So glad things are feeling normal again.

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  35. Oh my goodness, I can't imagine the roller coaster you've been on since Baby Jane was born. I'm so glad that the prognosis is good and your wonderful little family can expect many more years together!

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  36. I am so sorry to hear about J's illness and I guess happy for you that he has a treatable cancer. Wishing J, you and your babygirl all the best.

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  37. Very brave for sharing. All my best wishes for your husband and your family.

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  38. Thanks for sharing. Stay strong. Wishing you and your little family all the best. L x

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  39. Lots of love to you, J and Baby Jane! What a heart-wrenching but ultimately hopeful time. Warmest wishes for this extra special holiday season. xo

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  40. Sending all of you my best wishes, and I sincerely hope that the wonder pill will do the trick. Thank goodness for the wonders of medicine! Take care and thanks for sharing.

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  41. I can't imagine what a roller coaster these months must have been! Wishing you and your wonderful family all the best. Take care!

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  42. Wow! I can't even imagine what life has been like for you lately. I will be sending loads of positive vibes your way from here in Australia. Loads of hugs to you and your family xx

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  43. Oh, Liza Jane, thank you so much for sharing this. A medical diagnosis can sure rock your world. So thankful that J is responding well to treatment, and that the future looks relatively bright. Lots of thoughts and prayers for your and your beloved darling family.

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  44. I'm so sorry to hear this Liza. My heart goes out to you and your family. xx

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  45. Thanks for sharing about your roller coaster year. You both will be in my thoughts and prayers. Have a wonderful Christmas!

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  46. Oh goodness me! Life is nothing is not... eventful! Hugs to you and yours this Christmas.
    So glad to hear it is the good sort of bad, if that makes any sense. I know what I mean.
    Roo

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  47. That is so much to deal with even if it is the best case scenario. I'm glad you shared with us, and that you are adjusting to your new normal. I hope you had a fun first Christmas with the little one.

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