Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Round 3

On Thursday, April 1, I will be receiving the third round of chemo. It is hard to believe that nearly 3 weeks has passed already. I have been feeling so good and life seems so normal! I am trying to look at this round optimistically. I know that “my” nurse will be in Florida, so I will have someone new. I am sure it will be fine. I have great friends who are willing to give up the amazing weather we have to come and keep me company during the treatment. After this round, I will be half- way done with the nasty treatments! A supply of lemon drops and anise candy is waiting in the cupboard to help alleviate the nasty taste in my mouth following chemo. Keagan will be coming home on Thursday as well. What more could one ask for?

Easter, that’s what! Easter is truly my favorite holiday. Just think, Jesus was nailed to the cross, covering all of our sins with his precious blood. If we believe in him, accept his gift of salvation, then we too will see him in glory one day! Easter is a day to celebrate the victory of Life over death and declare that Jesus Christ is Lord indeed! May you all enjoy a blessed Easter!

The verse I will take with me to chemo treatment #3 comes from “Dude” – eronomy (that’s what fifth graders call it) Seriously, the verse is from Deuteronomy 31:6

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Please keep me in your prayers. I picture an inservice with a bunch of cell phone alarms going off at various times to remind you to pray for me! Can someone video tape it, please?

Enjoy this awesome weather!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Enjoying the Good Days

I have been enjoying feeling GOOD the past few days! Things are going well at school, at the doctors office, and at home. My coumadin level checked out in the "therapeutic" range, so I stay on the same dosage of that for another week. I was able to attend a breast cancer support group on Tuesday night. I met some great people and got a lot of my questions answered. Keagan flew to Florida yesterday and will be spending the week with my mom and dad enjoying the sunshine, warm weather, and best of all, her grandparents. Kylie and Randy are busy with tennis practices. I stay plenty busy at school and most days I come home and take a nap!

Thanks for checking up on me! I am happy to write such a happy post!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

How Are You Feeling?

If I had a dime for every time I have been asked that question the past few weeks, I'd be a rich woman! The problem is, I don't have a consistent answer. I feel really good physically and emotionally one minute, and not so good the next! I think it is fair to say that I assumed I would suffer side effects for a few days after a treatment and then gradually feel better with time until the next treatment. This doesn't really seem to be the case for me. I am tired beyond belief, but I don't sleep very well. I was completely whipped after vacuuming our lower level today. It took me about 15 minutes to catch my breath after doing a 5 minute job. What's with that? In addition, my emotions are pretty much out of control. I cry a lot and most of it is for no reason at all. Once I start crying, it takes a long time for the tears to stop.

I hesitate to post this because I don't want you to think that I feel sick, tired, and unhappy every minute of every day. That is certainly not the case. I enjoyed shopping with Keagan yesterday. I drove the van for Kid's Club. The Briarwood kids made me smile when they started singing VBS songs from last summer. The NCAA tournament has gotten a lot of our attention this weekend. (Go Spartans!) We were reminded at church this morning that we have a God who is full of grace! I hope you have enjoyed your weekend!


Thursday, March 18, 2010


Where are all of these tears coming from this morning? I can't quite seem to fiugre out what, if anything, is wrong. My throat is a bit sore, which makes me nervous about getting sick again. Part of me thinks I should stay home and rest today, but if I do that, then I will consider myself sick, but I'm not. So, I have been up since 5 crying over something as silly as a little sore throat! I need to get over it, so I am going to get ready for school, grab a latte and get myself to Hamilton El. As the day goes on, if I don't feel well, I will come home and take a nap. I promise.


Monday, March 15, 2010

"Class Party"

Last week Monday, my students surprised me with a party. We enjoyed delicious cake, pop, games and decorations. What a treat to teach such loving, caring tweeners! Thanks for the memories!

I have been feeling pretty good since I had treatment last Thursday. It was a nice, restful weekend. I was concerned that the neulasta shot might cause some aches and pains, but it didn't. Randy and the girls have been VERY helpful and encouraging.
I enjoyed being at school today. Kylie's tennis season started today and Keagan's track practice begins next week. Although I am rather tired, I am looking forward to a fairly normal week. (I don't really know what that feels like anymore!)


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Round 2 Complete

The chemo treatment went well today! Nurse Darcie had no trouble with the port for which I was very thankful. It was nice to spend time with my sister, even though the circumstances could have been better! I am feeling pretty good, just tired even after a rather long nap. I was told that I do not have to have a blood draw to check the coumadin level until next week Wednesday. Yea! I am hoping to teach tomorrow morning and then I have to get a neulasta shot in the afternoon.

Thanks for all of your support and prayers today and throughout this experience.


Verse of the Day

I am making 1 Peter 5:7 my verse for today: "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
God's promises are amazing!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I finally reached the magic number, so no more shots in the belly! YEAH!!!
I am scheduled for round two of chemo tomorrow morning starting at 9:00. My sister, Rhonda, will be taking me. Please remember to pray at your designated time. Knowing that certain people are sending up prayers at different minutes after the hour gives "watching the clock" a whole new meaning!

Things to pray for include:
* They will be able to use the port
* Minimal side effects
* Give thanks that around 2:00, round 2 should be complete!
* Thanks for awesome doctors and nurses

We are off to Applebees for dinner and then to do a little goodwill sale shopping at Younkers.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I was having a really good day until the 4:00 finger poke which indicated the blood count for the coumadin was only up to 1.8. It needs to be over 2.0 before I can stop getting the belly shots. After my visit to the cancer and hematology center, I had to go to the hospital for the shot of lovenox. As if that wasn't enough, they had to do a complete blood draw there too. I am getting discouraged with all of the pokes and not getting the results as quickly as I would like. In addition, school is busy, busy, busy. I find myself trying to catch up from missing a month, planning, grading, and trying to keep my room at least presentable all while having to fly out in a hurry at the end of the day.

On a happier note, I came home to a loving family, the smell of a delicious dinner from a friend baking, and a stack of inspirational cards that came in the mail.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Big Buzz

Here are some pictures of Keagan shaving my hair on Thursday. She did a great job and I didn't even cry :)

Two Weeks to the Day

Exactly two weeks after the first chemo treatment, I put on a ball cap to go out and take a walk (in the sunshine!) and noticed that my head felt a little weird. As I was getting ready to shower, I ran my hands through my hair and sure enough, both hands had clumps of hair in them. I pulled a little from the back just to be sure. I cried. Keagan was home with me, so I went downstairs to tell her. She gives amazing hugs. She went with me to the hospital for my belly shot and then to the cancer center for a blood draw. After those appointments, we went to my hairdresser's house. She started shaving my head and then gave the razor to Keagan who finished the job. So, I am bald and will be putting all of the headcovers to good use! My wigs came in yesterday too, so I will go pick them up sometime today.

And then there is the blood clot issue. In my opinion, my hand and arm look and feel better, but clearly there is still a problem. When they drew blood yesterday, I wasn't even close to "therapeutic" from the coumadin. So, they upped the dosage and I have to have another draw today. I am getting a little concerned about whether or not they will be able to use the port next week for my second treatment.

Enjoy the sunshine while we have it!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Great Day at Hamilton Elementary!

I got to teach today! All day! My class is amazing. Many of the boys are getting their heads "buzzed" in honor of me. Even one of the girls went out last night and got herself an amazing haircut! One of the boys got pink bands on his braces. I have a feeling they will remember this year for a long time, if not forever. Thanks fifth graders! I love you all!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Numb and Blue

This morning I got out of bed in a pretty good mood for a Monday morning. I was excited to flip the calendar over from February to March thinking this can only be a better month than the last one! I went to MVP to swim a few laps before going to school. While I was swimming, I noticed that my left arm was feeling a bit tingly and numb. I got out of the water and took a closer look only to find that my arm and hand had a bit of a blue tint. I felt fine, so I headed on to school. After showing a few people what I was noticing, I decided I better call the doctor. Dr. VanderWoude sent me straight to ER to have an ultra sound done, concerned that the port may be causing a problem. Six hours, an ultra sound, and a venogram later, it was determined that a blood clot had indeed started where the port is. I will be receiving Lovenox (a rapid blood thinner) for the next several days and will also start taking Coumadin tomorrow.

This was another discouraging day for our family. I think I was prepared for the side effects of chemo, but not at all prepared for the other challenges that seem to keep coming at me.

I leave you with this quote from the book "Footprints."

"Moments of darkness in our lives may be caused by a tragedy. Yet there is a greater darkness in the eyes of one who has not felt God's love, grace, and the assurance of his hope. There is hope for all of us. There is light. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our hope and light in the darkness."