Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 2010: John received his PET scan results back, HE IS STILL CANCER FREE! It is amazing! Thank the good Lord above! He gets over one hurdle there is another one waiting for him. He had to go for hernia surgery on Monday. He was so nervous. I think more nervous then when he had his bone marrow transplant. The surgery went great, he is doing fine. The doctor said he is healing as normal. John still has so many other issues to deal with besides his illness. I am sure if there happens to be a cancer patient, friend or family member of a cancer patient reading this blog, you will understand what I am talking about. John now has to deal with his employer, and his health insurance. John was diagnosed one year ago with this horrible illness. From what John and I understand, after one year you have to either go back to work or you will be terminated. The health insurance runs out and you are forced to go onto COBRA. Which we all know is expensive. I would like to know where companies expect people who are ill to get the money to pay for the insurance. If you don’t have a job, then where is the money coming from? Is there a magical money tree in our backyard? I just don’t get how they justify what they do. It just amazes me, and then I get angry and sad. I can only do so much. I am trying my absolute best to keep John’s small business going. It’s hard. He is going to have to sell it. I need to get a real job to pay for health insurance. It seems to be, or to me it does anyway, that people these days young and old are working so they can have health insurance. How sad. I will get off my soapbox about that issue.

Back to John, I know we can get threw this. We have weathered worse storms then this. With the strength and our love for each other, I think we are going to be ok. I have to say a big thanks to all our family and friend’s; it helps to know there is always an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on. PS - And the best doggie in the whole wide world!! Oliver Thomas Ferreira Parillo!!! ROCKS! He is the bestest. He always knows when Daddy doesn't feel good.... :0)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 2010

Spring has finally come, and we have so much to be thankful for. John received the best news he could have ever received....CANCER FREE! He will still have to see the doctor to have a PET Scan done to be sure; "it" is truly gone! It has been one bumpy and amazing road. I still to this day cannot believe this happen to John. I guess it will be something I will truly never be able to wrap my head around it.

John has become, John again. He looks normal and is so acting normal. The only thing different is he cannot return to work at Coca Cola. The job is extremely physical and his body just could not take it. There are so many side effects, still, from the chemo that his body just couldn't keep up with that kind of labor, so John is out of work and at home driving me crazy. He has started to attach himself to Ebay. Selling. He has picked up this hobby if you will, it all started with a small tin can of old coins he found in our basement. He was thinking perhaps we had hit pay dirt and one of the coins or maybe some of the coins would be worth something. To his dismay, they were not. However, as he started to research and learn the history behind the coins, it brought up other interesting objects we had in our basement, which created "John the Antique Guy". He has been researching all kinds of stuff. He actually found some of his childhood toys in his Mom's attic. He did some research and found there are collectors for these toys and started selling all of his childhood toys. I will have to say it is interesting the history behind the toys, and how much they are worth to collectors etc. However, he has turned our living room into Ebay central! I feel for John I really do. I know it is hard, being at home, bored, not be able to work. There is only so much one can do during the day, especially if it is a rainy day! Yikes! Then what. You can't go outside and play. Well you could, but it wouldn't be much fun. Thank the good Lord above the good weather is on its way! I don't know what to suggest to him to do during the day when I am at work. I feel bad, but there is only so much one person can do and can take.
I am going a little crazy myself. It is hard, I can only do so much, I know it is hard on a person when you go from being ill, (I am speaking of John), being home bound and then being hospital bound, to coming home and having to adjust to being "normal" again. What an adjustment it takes on a person, mind and body.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Beyond Boston

I apologize for those who have been following JohnnyP's Journey with Cancer. The last time I blogged was when we were in Boston. John had a stem cell transplant on Nov. 9th, it was a success!  What an amazing process. The body is such a unique piece of machinery. John had his transplant, and never skipped a beat. The nurses and doctor's were simply amazed by John. Honestly, they would come into his room to check on him and were just amazed at how much strength he had, he had such a positive attitude, which helped the process. The nurse had told me, without a positive attitude it is so difficult. It also helped that I was there. I stayed by John's side every step of the way. I was in a hotel for 21 days. The Hampton Inn in Boston. Just 15 minutes away from Brighams and Women's Hospital. I could have never stayed in RI. God forbid something ever happen to John and I was miles away from him.
John spent 21 days in Brighams and Womens' Hospital...what a great place. The nurses and doctor's are the best. The nurses and doctor's  took to John like everyone else does (of course), became instant friends with each and every one of them. I know people say, it's their job. However, this group was exceptional, anything, at anytime. Some of the nurses knew what John needed before he asked for it. Made me speechless.
Time in Boston was stressful, it wasn't always a sunny day. There were days where I just wanted to go home. I can't lie. I missed our lives back in Cranston. Me, my JohnnyP, and Oliver. A small but happy family.  Speaking of family. John and I are extremely lucky to have such a great family and friends in our lives.
John's Family, there are no words. His Mom, held up, I really thought she was going to break-down somedays, but she held it together. It must have been hard, watching your son lie in a hospital bed, unable to do anything. There was no magic wand to make John better. Sickness takes a toll on all family members. My sister. Dear God, I thank God I have her. I don't know what I would have done without her. Speechless. I can't thank her enough. She stayed/lived at our house for almost an entire month to take care of Oliver. She drove back and forth to Boston, I can't count how many times. Thank you God for my sister. Our friends. We truly were blessed with a great group of friends. Grant it there are a couple, that don't even deserve a mention in this blog. USELESS is a word for them. They know who they are. Friends, friends, so thankful for our friends. You find out who your true friends are when something like and illness happens. They either retreat, or come out in full force. I am so glad the real friends came out in full force. Dorothy, my dear friend Dorothy. Took my place at the tanning salon, ran it for me while I was in Boston. Kelly, always on email,whenever I need to laugh. Kathleen. My long lost friend. Always on Facebook, chatted with me almost every night on Facebook. Claudia. My oldest and dearest friend, even with her illness, always manage to find the time to call to see how we were doing. John's friend Jeff, another one, has so many things going on in his life, still always managed to call John. Almost everyday. Even came to see him in Boston!

I have to stop and take a deep breath, close my eyes and say to myself "did this really happen to us?"
I am looking forward to 2010....leave behind 2009...and everything that went along with more sickness...all we ask for is a happy, healthy and wealthy 2010....

Monday, November 9, 2009

Day 7 in Boston

Today is Monday, it will be 1 wk tomorrow that John has been in BW Hospital. He has been so extremely lucky he has not been sick,sick. He did have a touch of the "poopies", and threw up 3x's. The doctor
came in this afternoon and told John he is doing extremely well taking into consideration the amount of chemo he has had. He told him he looks better than some of his patients.

John's stem cells will be reinfused tomorrow, and Wed. because he had so many cells harvested they need to put them all back in. His first infusion will start at noon tomorrow, another one at 4 pm, and then on Wed he will have his last one at 4pm. His recovery process will start from there....he may have all good days or a mix of a couple of bad and the remainder good. The doctor and nurses stated the same..."everyone is different", each body reacts differently to the medication and the reinfusion process. Since John has done so well so far, he may not have a bad ride. The doctor said to John "ride it out", he is doing great.

The scary part is gone for the most part, now we just need to wait it out after the reinfusion is  done.
It will be a waiting process from here on out...there is a light at that end of this dark tunnel...I knew it! I am keep the faith, praying and holding strong...14 days and counting......

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wed Afternoon

Day 3, Wed. Afternoon;

It is about 10 mins to 5 pm, John has just started to feel really tired and the nausea is setting in big time.
It kills me to see him this way. There is only medication that can help  him now. I feel so helpless. I ask him if he wants water or something to eat, I know that is not going to help, but it just sounds and makes me feel better to at least try to help. The nurse just left to go get him some meds to see if that will help. Hopefully it will. He needs to try and get some sleep.

I hate to leave him this way. I wish I didn't have to go back to the hotel, I will stay until he feels better. Last shuttle leaves at 8:30 pm.


I haven't blogged in 2 months!! Shame on me. So much has been going on, I just haven't had the time or the energy to sit and blog.
John is going to have a stem cell transplant done. He went to Dana Farber for a consult and to schedule a date of admissions for the transplant. All this took place the end of Sept. He was told in Sept. he would have pretty much the month of Oct. to get his affairs in place, for he would be gone to Boston  for the month of Nov. (well pretty much the month of Nov.
It all began on Oct. 26th, John would need to have his stem cells harvested to be reinfused. He was lucky enough to be able to have his own stem cells reinfused. Some people are not so lucky and have to find a donor. Which makes everything much worse for the patient and family. When you have your own cells reinfused, there is less risk of infection and rejection, since it is your own.
John starting his harvesting on the 26th he would need 2 million cells. Either he would get them all harvested in 1 day or 2, we of course were hoping for 2 days, however as our luck would run he would have to harvest for  2 days. Which is fine, it is just a pain in the butt. We had to get a room in Boston for 2 nights. It takes 7 hours a day to harvest. By the time John is done he is so tired, and who feels like dealing with anything.
He did it! 2nd day!!!! Harvesting done!! WHOOOH!!! We get to go home for 6 days to turn around and come back so he can have the transplant done. Which brings me to present day....
Day 3, John had his first round of chemo last night (he will be getting chemo 2x's a day for 4 days), today will be his 2nd full day of chemo, they will start his 1st dose at 11 am, he will get his 2nd dose at 11 pm.
He did extremely well last night, he didn't get sick at all! Whew! He looks really good today, a little tired, but that is to be expected. Two more days of chemo and counting.
John is very strong willed, this surely will not get him down!
I will try my very best to give updates daily as I know all of you are concerned about John and his condition.
Thank you all!

Love and Hugs,

Cathie & John

Friday, September 25, 2009

Week of the 21st

I haven’t blogged since the 16th; it has been about a week.

Each time the phone rings, your heart sinks, is it the nurse, and what is the news going to be? John had his bone marrow test done last Thursday, he was suppose to have his results back this Monday, I knew he was worried, no call from the doctor’s office, it is 3:45 pm, they close at 5:00 pm. I ask if he wants me to call for him, answer is no, so scared and nervous, don’t know which way to turn. My theory is “no news is good news”. Tuesday morning, waiting for the phone to ring, jump at the sound of it, run to it with a ton of questions running in your head. John picks up the phone call, doctor states “your test results are CLEAN!!” “Everything is CLEAN” “There is no sign of cancer in your body at this time” Oh my God! Thank you. John was so excited he actually told the doctor “I love you man”. Really cute! WHEW! And a big WHEW! at that.

Dear God, you  gotten us this far, please, just be there for the bone marrow transplant. Please.

Now the gammet of testing begins for John. His body must be in prestine condition before he has the bone marrow transplant done. Head to toe! He will be going for all sorts of testing at the hospital, series of blood work, a pulmanairy test, and a few other I fail to remember at this point, there are so many. He also has to go to the dentist to have his mouth completely clean. John cannot take the chance of infection. He actually went to the dentist on Tuesday, all day affair. He started off with a consult at the dentist, and he was told he needs to have two teeth pulled and two root canals. John is not a big fan of the dentist - at all! He has to get all these procedures done by the first week of November.

The nurse at this dentist office was great! Got John in at the oral surgeon for a consult the same day, he will be having his teeth pulled on Wednesday. And there was one other dentist he has to go to for the root canal, which will be October 5th. Then he should be done with the dentist.

Next step getting all the paperwork completed for Dana Farber. He actual received a binder,  inch thick, with all sorts of information on the hospital and his procedure. Dear God.

I tell myself one day at a time. I am actually in awe of John’s courage, and strength. To be hit with this disease and have to fight all the punches, no matter what comes his way.

I admire everything about him. His spirit is so strong, it helps me to be strong and keep up my spirits. I have to, he is my love…now and always….his “babe”