Friday October 28, 2011

Yesterday was the pre-chemo week checkup for Shannon and for the first time in six months, the people at Mayo 16 were having a bad day.  Computers were acting up, physicians were behind schedule, and they were all stressed out.  It stuck with me because as I thought about it, it's amazing that it hadn't happened before.  I mean, who doesn't have a bad day at work at least once every six months?  Just another testament to the high quality of care we are receiving.

Shannon's counts are holding.  She's doing great - for a cancer patient.  I only mention this because it's easy to forget that she is in treatment.  You wouldn't know it by looking at her.  Shannon asked our nurse practitioner Donna, "Are my counts normal?"  The answer is yes and no.  For a non-cancer patient, no.  For someone who is about to start her 5th round of maintenance chemo, her counts are great.    But, what Shannon is really asking is, "Are my counts normal enough that I can continue to play hockey?" And we are grateful that the answer to that is yes.

We discussed what appointments are ahead this month. Shannon will have her bi-monthly complete neuro exam with Dr. Keating in two weeks and we will do the post-chemo bloodwork then as well.  At the end of November, Shannon will have an MRI to check the tumor.

We continue to try not to be overwhelmed by the big picture because the little picture looks good.  The girls are going to school, going to practices, hanging with friends, laughing and smiling.  We had a few tears this week, but they were Algebra related, not cancer related!  Even that makes me smile, because it's a normal struggle that has nothing to do with Shannon's illness.  I've come to appreciate those.

We're headed into a fun weekend.  Grandma Harkins returns to MN for a visit, we've got a late hockey practice tonight, and an early hockey scrimmage in Apple Valley tomorrow.  Then we'll have a quick visit with the Harkins cousins before finally heading to Grandpa Ed's 88th birthday party in Edina. We will be on the go ... and trying to remember to cherish every minute of it.

Currently listening to Jack Johnson's, Never Know:  "We're just human, amusing and confusing and we're trying, but where is this all leading?  We'll never know ..."