Side Effects and Survival

Sorry that I have not posted for a while, but life gets busy and I was accomplishing lots of work from home and had some wonderful visits. Anyway…here’s the latest!

So tired of the Side Effects:
fatigue                                  nausea
hot flashes                          bone pain
muscle ache                       lack of sleep
heartburn                           itchy scalp
gastro complications       swelling left arm
emotional swings             mouth sores
dry mouth                           nose sores
loss of appetite                 weight gain (I know…how with loss of appetite?)

I was so glad to complete my final AC treatment on July 19th! Some of these side effects will diminish as the AC works out of my body. My niece Brook and Jaclyn shared that final treatment with me, catching up on life and laughed a lot. Having someone with me really makes the time goes easier. My side effects seemed to be minimal and I wonder if I was just enjoying Brooks visit so much that I did not pay attention to them. Of the fatigue kept me homebound for the weekend, but it did not stop me from enjoying all the crafting that Brook and Jaclyn were doing. The two of them were Pinterest crafty queens, making an assortment of bracelets and t-shirts. So fun to watch their creative minds and artistic hands go to work! The extra t-shirt is for my sister Diane, who was not able to join us on the weekend last-minute, so please picture her beautiful face in the photo :). And I ask for you to please keep her dear friend, Dawn who lost a 23-year-old son that week, in your prayers.

After Brook left on the 22nd, I soaked up as much Jaclyn time as I could, since Arizona was calling her home on the 26th. Our last days together were so special for me. She is an amazing woman and I truly enjoyed every moment that June and July allowed us this year. And we did not tif once! If you remember her senior year, you would know what an accomplishment that was! Haha! Love you my baby girl!

Then at 8:00 am on Thursday morning Kevin and Jaclyn left the house for the drive to Arizona. I climbed back in bed and prayed for their safety cross-country. The Lord never failed and they safely make the trip through Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico and into Scottsdale safely. Zach and I spent the weekend together and I watched more Sci-Fi than ever, but it was a wonderful weekend. Zach is so caring and picked up right where Jaclyn left off as my caregiver! Of course the week was peppered with delicious meals from Mindy too! Thank goodness my side effect dissipated by week’s end and I was ready to return to work on Monday.

Now on to my next phase of treatments – Taxol/Herceptin. I started them yesterday and we privileged to sit in a comfy recliner for five hours! Allergic reactions are the most serious side effect with this treatment, so they start the drip really slow the first time. My brother Don was able to take me, he was great, he took wonderful notes and asked questions – allowing me to sit back and relax. Which was all I could do after the dose of Benadryl, Tylenol, and steroids they began with. I often wonder if will ever return to the days where I never took medicine. I can dream…

All in all, I have survived the most aggressive part of the treatment plan, on to the next phase. Although I miss Jaclyn terribly, I am so happy that the next eleven treatments will bring a wonderful group of friends and family that have filled in my calendar to take me for treatments. Although I get exhausted as the infusion fills my body with toxins, I absolute love the time to catch up with whoever gets to sit in the uncomfortable chair next to my recliner ;). And I am so glad and appreciative to them for giving of their time to me. Although this diagnosis has been a true challenge for me and my family to adjust to, the blessings of rekindled friendship and deepening commitment from family and friends has been uplifting and inspiring. It is amazing to me that so many people four months after my diagnosis are still remembering me in prayer, with cards, messages and dinners. I treasure them all and appreciate the calls and visits too. I am back to work for the beginning of the week, with Fridays, Saturday and Sundays off to rest after treatments and love the company, thank you!

I looking forward to a two-day Pastoral Retreat I have this month and keeping back to as close to normal as I can with work. I began physical therapy on my left arm this past week and hope to soon regain as much strength and movement as possible, while keeping lymphedema at bay. My trust in my caregivers and the Lord gets me through each day – and your thoughts and prayers sustain me.

I am truly loved and it is a humbling feeling to accept all the power you are sending me, but I gracefully accept it all with grace and love back. Please know I pray for you all each day too.

May my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise. Psalm 119:170

Grace embraced through my survival of the most aggressive parts of my treatment and surviving all the side effects. May these treatments attack the cancer cells and free my body of the destruction cancer has tried to do. Christ will conquer my cancer and I will proclaim His glory!

2 thoughts on “Side Effects and Survival

  1. Thank you for the update…it is still difficult to read what you are experiencing..what an inspiration you are to all of us. Your sweet and humble message, your determination and your faith…truly you are a blessing. We love you and pray for you each and every day, and you are on my mind so often in the day….wondering how you are are feeling, I still treasure the last time I saw your Dad…about a month before he died…and you were so kind to me… I needed time to saw good-bye.. Thank you….love you, Aunt Evie

  2. Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us. You give so many so much love – you deserve to bask in the warmth of the love you are getting in return.
    You are a beautiful woman inside and out. You have created this life of loved ones around you because you are so loveable. My big sis is wonderful and strong and she will beat this thing! Fight like a girl! I love you!!!!

Your thoughts warm my heart and strengthen my path, thanks for commenting on my journey,

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