12 done!

Celebrate You- Celebrate Life!

(Photo credit: sirwiseowl)

August 2nd began a journey I would have never wanted but now that I am through it, it is a journey I would never trade for anything.There were moments of discomfort, sadness, insomnia and pain. But grace was interwoven through every moment.

I was so sad when my daughter had to return to Arizona for her second year of teaching. Although I am so proud of the woman she is, I wanted her to be in Illinois to help me through the Taxol/Herceptin treatment that I was facing. She was with me for all of the Adriamycin and Cytoxan chemotherapy and now she will be 1700 miles away. So, I was needing to rely on the wonderful family and friends that were patiently waiting for me to call ont them to help.

A Taxol/Herceptin treatment needs someone to drive me home.  The Benadryl makes you drowsy and the chemo makes me exhausted. So over the last twelve weeks Don, Teri, Kathy J., Lori, Diane, Wendi, Colleen, Kathy E, and Jeanne Marie were all my treatment angels. Jaclyn was home for fall break was able to take me to one.  But these wonderful angels were willing and happy to share this experience with me. Sitting with me for 4 to 5 hours, some even called a blessing to them. Amazing, beautiful, giving, loving people! My life is so filled with blessings!

Yesterday was my last treatment of Taxol/Herceptin. The Herceptin will continue until August 2013, but every three weeks and will only take an hour to administer. Radiation therapy will begin in ten days and last to the middle of December. But today I celebrate another DONE!

The Chemo Brain will stay around for possibly years…
The neuropathy will take time to heal…
But, after the Taxol is out of my body within ten days or so,
The bone pain will be gone…
The nose bleeds will stop…
The indigestion will ease…
The insomnia will subside…
The hair should begin to grow again…
The mouth sores will heal…
The dry red skin will start to soften…
The weight from the steroids will begin to fall away (hopefully)…
My blood pressure should return to normal…
My blood counts will begin to return to normal…

But will my life get easier? I received my first survivor item at the walk we did a week ago and realized I am surviving, even striving, but will always carry the weight of cancer on my mind. The Taxol attacked the rogue cells that want to take over my body, but they cannot take over my spirit.

My family, my friends and my amazing treatment angels, walked this journey with me. They prayed for me, they prayed with me, they held me and supported me. Christ is my rock, but they are my rocks on earth.
They helped me during the most difficult moments of my life and they did so with joy, compassion and love. When I first began this journey of treatments, I thought who would want to spend so much time sitting in a chair watching me get poked with needles as toxic fluids are dripped through my body. Who wants to cover my feet with ice and wait on me if I needed water, snacks, or a bathroom break? But the angels the Lord sent did and I am forever grateful to Him for choosing each one of them. I pray that one day I am fortunate enough to repay their kindness.

My joy of completing the Taxol treatments is sadden by the  completion of the time spent with the my angels. I hope to survive the next batch of treatment with as much grace that my angels showed me these past twelve weeks.

Grace embraced through the hours of love I experienced with my angels and the positive effects the Taxol will have, which is worth all the side effects I have endured.

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and He delivers them.” Psalm 34:7

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11 thoughts on “12 done!

  1. Congratulations on completing chemo! It is such a great accomplishment! I am proud of you and every woman who makes it through this challenging journey! You are truly blessed to have such great friends, too!
    My chemo brain left rather quickly I am happy to report. I am expecting the same for you!
    I am now 5 months post chemo – blood counts are all back to mid normal range, fatigue still happens, but not as often, bone pain is gone but joint pain remains. Neuropathy is fading, but all in all, not bad. If I had to put a percentage on it, I would say I feel about 80% of my old self and improving!
    Thoughts, prayers and congratulations!! Denise

  2. Good job Janet, so glad you are on to the next step….cannot imagine all that you have been through. You are an amazing, inspiring woman and so are all your family and friends. While not by your side, I do walk each day with you remembering what it was like for Jenna and all her treatments. Jenna has survived, is in her 3rd yr of nursing training and doing so well, thank our sweet God. You, too, will be blessed with returning strength and health….our prayers are with you. Love you, Aunt Evie

    • Aunt Evie, Thank you for your kind words of love. I do feel all those that can not be with me praying and lifting me up. Jenna is an amazing inspiration to me, I am so happy she is enjoying college and living life the Lord has planned for her to the fullest. God is so faithful!

  3. Janet, I really don’t know what to say except you are always in our thoughts and prayers here. Gina and I think about you guys all the time. I just know you are going to whip this thing! Looking forward to getting together again when you feel up to it.

    • Kurt, Thanks so much for the prayers. Jaclyn said she saw you last week and said you and Gina looked great! Let’s get together after the holidays! We’d love to have dinner with you guys!

  4. Dear Janet, Your courage and faith are an inspiration to us all. I want to cry when I read what you have to endure and cheer for you at the same time. In your picture I see the same smile you had as a little girl. You and your whole family remain in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Thanks Phil, its so comforting to know people are praying for me. I feel wrapped in love as I take this journey that too many people have taken. My hope us that I will blessed to be able to minister to others once I am on the other side of treatment. Peace to you and your family.

  5. Janet I have thought of you often and saw your face in many of my patients. I said many prayers and will continue to pray for you. You will start the road to healing after the chemo and your body and mind will get stronger every day. You will be a better person than before. I find that har dto believe because you were pretty awesome before cancer came into your life. I told you I never know why the Lord sends us this cross of cancer to bear but He truly is by your side through family and friends. You rock my friend and are an inspiration! Love ya, PK

    • Thanks Paula! I too have often seen you in my treatment nurses. You are an amazing woman, journeying with so many through the hardest times of their lives. I feel stronger and yet more humbled by the experiences these past six months. Hugs to you and your family!

  6. YEAH FOR YOU! So happy to hear this segment is done and you can take a week or so off…perfect timing to enjoy some fabulous celebrations this week! My prayers continue for healing and recovery. Look forward to seeing you later today.

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

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