Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wasted Wednesday

Today was a total waste. When I went to have blood drawn the nurse told me my white blood counts would be at their lowest point today and for the next couple of days, therefore I should expect to feel pretty lousy. I feel as though the entire sunny day was wasted. I stayed in bed until almost noon. Other than a trip to cancer and hematology, I did nothing. I didn’t make it to Kylie’s tennis match or Keagan’s track meet. I didn’t get to school. It makes me MAD to have wasted so much time on such a beautiful spring day! I am SAD that I have cancer and it has effected not only me, but my family, my friends, and my students. I am DISCOURAGED thinking that the next few days may not be much better.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Update

The past few days have been fairly uneventful. Chemo round 4 went fine. As planned, my mom was there with me for the first couple of hours, and I was later joined by a couple of friends from high school. Once treatment was finished, they invited me to go out for lunch, but I felt the need to come home and take a nap instead.

On Friday I walked in the morning and taught for a ½ day. That was pretty much the extent of Friday. On Saturday morning I got up to help Kylie get off to a tennis tournament, which ended up getting canceled before she left. We all went back to bed! Later a friend came and picked me up and we went for a beautiful walk downtown. I pretty much spent the rest of the day lying around, napping, and reading.

Today was another big sleep in day. I think I finally rolled out of bed around 9:30. I have been able to get a few things done around the house today, and also went for a nice swim. Hopefully I will sleep well tonight!

Tomorrow morning Randy will be taking me to an appointment at the hospital for an ultra sound on the blood clot. This is just to make sure the clot has not gotten any larger.

Again, thanks for thinking of me. I expect this week to be challenging in many ways, so your prayers are appreciated!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Night before Chemo

I don’t have much to say other than that I am not looking forward to round 4. I’m getting pretty tired of the whole thing to be honest. My mom will be taking me to get started at 9:00 and two friends from high school will be joining me a little later in the morning. I am looking forward to visiting them, just wish it could be under better circumstances.
I know I can count on all of you for prayers through this treatment. Specific prayer requests:
• Good night(s) of sleep for all of us
• Positive attitude
• Limited side effects
• That we will all be able to laugh at “chemo brain” moments in the future. I don’t think any one of us will ever forget how badly our house smelled when I tried to bake a pan of brownies with the oven on the broil setting!

My verse for tomorrow comes from Jeremiah 30:17 “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord.”

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Good News!

School went very well this week. I taught in the afternoons only. It was very strange, but good. The fifth graders are in great spirits these days and they keep me on my toes. Next week I plan on teaching a full day on Tuesday so that I can be gone all day on Thursday for round 4 of chemo.

I have been sleeping much better this week. Thank goodness for good sleep!

I had been to Dr. Hoberman during Spring Break and she had noticed something suspicious in my armpit (surgery side). She ordered an ultra sound, but we had to wait until this past Friday to have the ultra sound done. After a long wait, the news was GOOD NEWS! According to the radiologist, there is nothing to be concerned with. Praise God!

Thanks to all of you, our freezer is quite full! We are not asking for meals for a while so we can enjoy some of the frozen ones.

I have felt great this past week and it has been so nice to get out and about and see so many of my friends and colleagues! Today I spent most of the day at Keagan’s track meet. Seems to me like spring weather should come with spring sports, doesn’t it? It was freezing, but I was happy to be feeling well enough to attend.

Take care, everybody!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sleep, food, and decisions

Three cheers for a good night of sleep! I have been following all kinds of advice like exercising daily, getting some fresh air every day, no screen time before bed, drinking warm milk before bed, taking prescription drugs and all kinds of things to help me sleep at night. Well, this week, nothing has been working. So yesterday I broke all of the rules. I stayed in my pajamas all day long. I didn’t get out and exercise, nor did I get any fresh air. I drank a glass of merlot and watched t.v. before going to bed. I didn’t take anything to help me sleep, and guess what, it worked! I feel like a new woman this morning!
Eating has become interesting. I have a very limited sense of taste. If food has a really strong taste, I will likely sense it. For example, I taste a strong sharp cheddar cheese, but I can’t taste a mild salsa. I am finding that foods and drinks that have been long time favorites are now disgusting. I have been a fan of Wal-Mart brand flavored water for years. Yesterday I spit it out. Sad.
I had an appointment with Dr. Hoberman this week. Randy and I need to make a decision as to whether or not to have a mastectomy done. My situation is unique in that I had two different kinds of cancers. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of research that has been done for this type of situation. We don’t need to make a decision real soon, so I will be conferring with Dr. VanderWoude, Dr. Porter, and the Ultimate Physician in the next couple of weeks. Please pray for God’s grace as we consider this option.
I can’t believe it is Friday already! I am looking forward to some warmer weather this weekend and then next week I will begin working part time. The track and tennis seasons will be in full swing and I am excited to watch our girls as they participate in these spring sports.
Have a fabulous Friday!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sunday and Monday

Spring Break greetings to everyone! I know there are many who are reading from sunny Florida, warm South Carolina, and various other tropical places. As I write this update, I must say that Michigan has not been a bad place to be either! (Up until today anyway!)
Easter Sunday was glorious. Our worship service at Calvary was very meaningful and quite a celebration. My parents finished their drive from Florida to Michigan in our driveway and we shared a delightful meal with them. Randy and I prepared the meal together, something we both enjoy doing, but have not been able to so much of lately.
Monday morning we awoke to fog, rain, and mist, making for a perfect morning to sleep in a little bit. Numerous worms in our driveway and garage greeted us when we did get moving around. It didn’t take long for the sun to come out and start warming things up. I enjoyed the rest of the day by walking with a friend, getting caught up on some paperwork and housework, and then went out front and sat in a lounge chair. I finished a book, closed my eyes and listened to the birds chirp as the warm sun beat down on me.
I was looking forward to watching the final game in the NCAA tournament, but I got a little too sleepy and couldn’t quite make it. Randy said it was another great game.
I have been feeling quite good since the treatment on April 1. The side effects have been about the same as they have been all along. My hair is not growing back in, my fingertips, nails, and lips are extremely dry. The steroids do a number on my tummy as well as my skin color. I am more fatigued than usual. I find that I am very unsure of myself and I double-check nearly everything that I do. I am trying to “take it easy,” but I’m not convinced that I really know how to do that!
Looks like we are going to get a few days of rain around here before the beautiful spring weather returns. Enjoy your spring break, wherever you may be!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chemo or Party?

Chemo round three almost seemed more like a party than a chemo treatment! In addition to my chemical cocktail, I was able to enjoy the entertainment of 3 great friends. My neighbor, Staci, took me to the appointment. We easily chit -chatted away the first two hours of “dripping.” It was great to have an opportunity to visit with her. Two other friends, Corla and Sue, came around 11:00. They came with smoothies and coolers full of snacks. We talked, we laughed, we ate, and before we knew it, it was time to go. Between the facts that I am getting comfortable at the Cancer and Hematology center, I am becoming familiar with the routine of the chemo, and the support of great friends and family, today was easy.

I appreciate all of your efforts in supporting me in this journey. Thank you for visiting, walking with me, sending cards, making meals, providing gift cards to restaurants, preparing chemo care packages, sending chemo caps from the registry, praying around the clock, and reading my blog. The list could go on and on. I just want you to know how thankful our family is to have YOU be a part of this along side of us.

Love to all,