26th November to 2nd December 2011
Summer commenced this week but our weather was certainly nothing like Summer, on Tuesday night we had a massive storm with fierce, rumbling thunder and jaggered fork lightening that lit the entire darkened night sky, the winds ripped through the air and bent some of the trees almost in half and the rain tumbled down in what seemed like bucket loads. It was extremely humid and difficult to sleep, the rain and storms continued into Wednesday, then on Thursday and Friday we experienced cool, overcast conditions.
School this week has not involved any exams, we have been finishing off tasks. In Maths we worked on probability which is quite enjoyable. In English we worked on different languages used in text; formal, semi-formal, colloquial and slang. Then we had to do our own dialogue based on the novel Lochie Leonard, the dialogue was a discussion between two of his teachers in the staff room at lunch time. In Textiles my felt piece was finally finished and then I had to design a pattern and cut the felt out. We are making a mobile phone/ipod pouch. We then sewed the two pieces together using blanket stitch, all I have to do now is the finishes touches and write up the assignment sheet. In Science we were using the microscopes and looking at living creatures from swampy, foul smelling water. There were various types of worms that you could see their digestive system working, tadpoles and little insects.
Jarrett went back to running training this week and was running like he had never had an injury, Nalani also is back training again, although she feels a little unfit she is running well. I did some throwing practise on Thursday, my hand is still a bit weakened from my seizure so I found my throws a little more difficult than I had been.
Nalani is doing an Introduction to Massage intensive two week course, she loves it and we have been lucky enough to have her practise on us. One night I fell asleep because it was so relaxing, she is going to make a terrific sports/remedial massage therapist in the future.
The big event this week for me was my visit to the Hospital for my growth hormone education session. My growth hormone is called Genotropin. Hormones are chemical messengers that circulate through your body. Hormones do many different things, some control how much sugar is in your blood and others control how much calcium is in your bones. Hormones are made in your body by special glands, these are called endocrine glands. Endocrine glands are found in different parts of your body and are like hormone factories. All of your endocrine glands form your endocrine system. The pituitary gland is the main endocrine gland, as well as producing eight important hormones it also controls many other glands in the endocrine system. The pituitary gland makes growth hormone and releases it into your blood where it is carried through your body. Growth hormone helps you grow properly, it tells your liver and kidneys, muscles and bones to produce growth factors and controls how much muscle you have, it also has a lot to do with how much energy you have and how you feel.
Normal growth stops for girls when the growing ends of the bones close which is usually at the age of fifteen to sixteen and for boys it is seventeen to eighteen. So Genotrophin is a synthetic version of a growth hormone, it is produced in a laboratory by a process called genetic engineering. Genotrophin helps to promote the growth of long bones in the body, it affects how your body deals with carbohydrates, fats and proteins, it helps keep the body healthy, it helps grow good strong bones and it helps build muscle. It can only be given by injection because it is a protein and would be destroyed by the acids in the stomach if it was swallowed. So every night I have to have the injections because the human body makes growth hormone mainly at night the injection is given then to copy the process.
At the education appointment Mum and Dad had to practise injecting it into a practise rubber piece of skin. Mum has done it all before with my GCSF injections that I had to have following my stem cell transplants during chemotherapy so she was really comfortable doing it. She is the one that will give me my injections every day. Mum even had to inject an injection without any medication in it into her leg so she could see it was not painful. She said it did not hurt going in however a little while later the area around the injection site was a little sore. I am not worried about injections at all, I have been through so much already they are a breeze. I am on a high dose, surprise, surprise, I also seem to have to be on a high dose treatment, because my growth hormone levels are very low. As with all medication there are side effects and the higher the dose the greater chance of effects. The effects are headaches, nausea, vomiting, visual problems, limping, swelling of the arms or legs, extremely painful joints or muscles, unusual muscle stiffness, tingling or numbness in the fingers, hands or feet, extreme tiredness, a change in thirst or appetite, curvature of the spine (which I already have due to radiotherapy) and of course there is a high chance that it can stimulate tumour growth. If I experience headaches then I will have to be checked immediately in case it is the residual tumour growing or new tumours growing, so they would do an MRI quickly to check that possibility. I also have to have regular check ups to be measured as well as blood tests as part of monitoring whilst I am on the growth hormone injections.
I was supposed to have a dietitians appointment today but it was cancelled, I now have to wait until January to see her again. She is going to put me on a different elimination diet then as it could make me not feel well if I am eating mainly the additives and preservatives that are causing me problems.
Today is also Nalani's Year 12 Formal, she has been busy attending appointments. it is so very exciting, and I know that she is going to look just like a princess out of a fairytale tonight, she and some friends are going to be arriving in style because they are going in a white stretch Hummer.
On a sadder note a couple of people we know of have passed away this week from brain tumours which they have been fighting for quite some time. Hearing this news makes me more determined to continue to try to raise as much awareness as I possibly can and also those much needed funds. So many groups of people and charities ask for money but I feel that this cause is one that really needs the support because it is the most devastating cancer, a cure has to be found.