Who’s In?

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk is on November 10 in Tempe.

This event occurs all over the country throughout the year to fundraise for families battling these cancers, providing support for research, educational materials, counseling and financial aid to families. The walk takes place at night to bring light to the dark world of cancer. Walkers carry illuminated balloons: white for survivors, red for supporters and gold in memory of lost loved ones.

I’m choosing to participate as a testament to my dad’s resilience and to help provide a foundation to other families supporting their loved ones who have or continue to battle.

I will be creating a team this week so if you’re interested in participating, please email me at lauren.hillery@gmail.com.

Stay tuned for a link to our team’s page.

Here’s the link to the event page if you want more information.


Half Way There

Dad completed his third treatment on Monday. As always, he was the patient any nurse would dream of. The infusion went perfectly fine, with no complications. And while Dad still keeps that smile on his face, his punny sense of humor and sharp wit, I can tell that this round was a little more challenging on his body than the rest. I see it more now that here with him every day.

The three days following treatment Dad takes Prednisone, which is a steroid, and while the drug gives him lots of energy, it doesn’t exactly have a shut-off button at night. Dad never sleeps well, but on these nights… I can put it this way; I’ve caught him playing Solitaire on the computer in the wee morning hours just a few times. He caught the bug I’ve had for the last week, so that didn’t make the days following treatment any easier. But amazingly, he’s gotten over it faster than I have. As I sit here coughing away he’s peacefully reading his Men’s Journal in the chair.

We’ve done quite a bit of research on dietary recommendations while he’s going through treatment. Some doctors recommend that chemo patients avoid fresh fruits and vegetables because it’s difficult to clean them well enough once his immune system weakens. A friend of mine recommended juicing along with the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (you can watch it instantly on Netflix). So watched it and got him a Jack LeLane juicer, figuring that a boost of antioxidants to help bump up his immune system couldn’t hurt. Some peaches, cauliflower, carrots and ginger root juiced down and combined with some yogurt and protein powder and he was a happy camper.

We have to be thankful that the wonderful world of science has close-to perfected the anti-nausea medication. Dad’s only mentioned twice feeling a bit queasy, and while food doesn’t taste the way it used to he plows through meals like a trooper. Sweet potatoes are his new favorite and he mostly asks for the delicious turkey burgers my Aunt Bonnie made him. She and Uncle Gary brought over a feast, to put it mildly, of soup, turkey, casseroles and much more. We can’t thank them enough for their thoughtfulness and support.