Finding Hope, Redemption, Courage... from Cancer

"(At one time) my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend." - Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Thursday, July 22, 2010

That's it, I'm moving to Hawaii

Do I even have to explain why?

Yes, I know you've heard me say this before, but I need to say it again: Hawaii would make everything better. How do I know? Putting aside the amazing smell of island air - just one breath of which, even from the plane, is enough to bring me down ten notches - and forgetting the stunning beauty of the beaches, the soothing repetition of the waves, or the feeling of pure serenity that I have while sipping coffee on the lanai, it really boils down to one thing.


No surprise to any of you out there, of course. I've often suspected that I've been a victim of seasonal affective disorder, just like each of the millions of people living in the lower mainland of B.C. I just didn't know it for sure until these past two weeks of warm sunshine were met with even just partial clouds today. It's not cold, or rainy, and yet I feel absolutely exhausted.

Of course, there are other reasons for that.

Some of you have messaged me to ask how Sprycel is going. Today I went to the doctor to answer that same question from him. Apparently my CBC blood work is good (it will be a few months before we do another MRD analysis). And really, I feel so much better on Sprycel than I did on Gleevec. I am way, way, waaayyy more tired than before, but have far less pain. Somehow the intense bone pain was way more difficult to cope with than fatigue. There's some other exhausting side effects (I won't mention those, because not all of you reading this are my mother or a nurse), and some potential for dangerous side effects (neutropenia, pleural or pericardial effusions - fluid around the lungs or heart), but really, this is much easier to manage than before.

Especially when the sun is out. Drinking my morning coffee on our deck with sunlight warming up my face is just like magic, and I have energy for the rest of my day, for my kids.

But I live in B.C. And I love living in B.C. And I just spent the last two weeks celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and hey-guess-what-we-actually-have-some-time-together parties with friends and family. My family and friends blessed me with multiple 30th birthday gatherings. My brother and his family came for a week and we laughed so much, little Amy making me laugh so hard my sides hurt. I know I'm dreaming to hope for the past two weeks (weather or otherwise) to continue on a regular basis. Because, really, who gets that?

Unless we moved to Hawaii...

No, I won't kid myself. Even Hawaii gets rain. The rain there is different, of course. It's almost a relief, a breath, and it only lasts ten minutes. And Hawaii doesn't have all of these amazing people that help me keep going - including those of you so good to read this blog - and especially our extended families.

And then, there's one really big thing Hawaii doesn't have...

Free Sprycel.

Walking through the basement halls of Royal Columbian Hospital today at noon, waiting for them to fill my new Sprycel prescription from my oncologist (yes, isn't it lovely that the drugs are kept in the dungeon of the hospital?), David says casually, Did you know Sprycel costs more than Gleevec?

Those of you following my story for awhile know that Gleevec costs upwards of $36,000 USD for a year supply. In Canada, its nearly $50,000. Without the BC Cancer Agency paying for every penny (yes, absolutely amazing, I know), we would be in serious trouble.

And without all the prayers and support of such awesome family and friends, including those of you good enough to read my thoughts here, we would be in even worse trouble.

So, Hawaii would fix everything - except give me the one thing I need to stay alive, while separating us from the one thing we couldn't live without.

That's it, I guess I'm staying here.

1 comment:

  1. Lana, Ive been wondering how you were doing. I found out about the cancer when I was in the hospital having my third. I hadnt heard anything since then. Im so glad you have a blog, now I will know how to specifically pray for you. Im sorry you have to go through this friend. So glad you have a loving husband and your girls to keep your spirits up.