Tingly Fingers

Hi Everyone!

I just have to start by saying once again how encouraging your words, notes, texts and messages have been. It is absolutely AMAZING to know that we are being prayed for by so many people. It makes me smile and I just know God is smiling too as he hears each one of our prayers. Also, I wanted to say that I am sorry that we have not posted in a few days. I really want to keep you up to date, but the past few days have just seemed to fly by, especially with the boys. I always think, "I'll write before I go to bed," but maybe that is turning out to be a little unrealistic as my head often hits the pillow with a thud. How do you talented bloggers do it? All of the stories, pictures, artistic design, I am very impressed, yet know that will probably never be me.

So....What has happened since our last update?

The Land of Chemotherapy

As you've probably read, I had my first IV chemotherapy on Thursday at the Stanford Cancer Center. This is one of the many beautiful buildings on the Stanford campus. I have honestly never seen a medical facility that is so beautiful. We are talking hardwood floors, beautiful pictures and computer screens for you to access almost everyone except for the bathroom—believe me, I would know.

As Josh mentioned in his last post, it was a long day, but a good day. After 2 weeks of diagnostic appointment after appointment, it was such a relief to begin AN ACTION PLAN!

Two weeks ago, I had no idea what chemo was really all about. The sum total of my chemo knowledege was that the patient usually feels horrible, throwing up constantly and they often lose their hair. Surprisingly this is not the case with the newer types of chemo and although there are still quite a few side effects, they are certainly nowhere near as bad as losing your hair and walking around with a vomit catching devise.

So what is my chemo plan and side effects?

At Stanford
Once every three weeks I will spend most of the day at Stanford, receiving a drug called Oxaliplatin. The side effects of this include a few strange things.

  1. Numbness and tingling in my fingers and toes—weird but true. Along with this comes an extreme sensitivity to cold, so much so that I can't even take something out of the refrigerator without gloves. (For example: I was trying to spoon some apple sauce out of a jar this morning for Brenden, but I had to put it down because the cold hurt my fingers too much.) This should only last 3-4 days after the chemo and I am sure hoping that is true because I would love a cold glass of water or better yet, a cold glass of root beer. 🙂 Right now I only have the privilege of eating and drinking things that are room temp or warmer. It will be nice not to have to add hot water to my orange juice.
  2. The other main side effect is nausea. Typical.
At Home
The other part of my chemo comes in pill form and its called Xlota. I have to take this 2x times a day for 2 weeks, then I get the last week of my 3 week cycle off.
  1. I'm still trying to see how I will do with the side effects of this drug. On paper they seem pretty minimal, so I think that the main thing that I will be fighting is nausea. Since the doctors really don't want me throwing up, they give me anti-nausea medicine as well, but of course that has its own set of side effects.
  2. Another side effect is really dry hands and feet. This hasn't started yet, but I am ready for any skin attack with my cetaphil lotion.
This is my first chemo treatment cycle at a glance:
  • Thursday 9/1 Stanford IV chemo treatment
  • Friday 9/2–Friday 9/16  Chemo treatment in pill form
  • Sat 9/17–Wed.9/21  My body gets a break 🙂
  • Thurs. 9/22  Stanford IV chemo treatment (beginning of the second chemo cycle)
I'm not sure how many cycles I will need to go through before surgery, but they are thinking at least 3-4. Dr. Cho-Phan told us that sometimes patients respond very quickly to this chemo and that I might start to even see more regular (you know what) by the end of this first cycle. Woo Hoo! Bring on the healing, JESUS!

Wow, this is turning out to be a much longer post than I intended and I feel like I have only begun writing. I'll write again soon, but in the meantime,

We would LOVE your prayers for:

  1. The chemo to begin working quickly and effectively on my colon and my liver
  2. Wisdom to know how much to (attempt) do each day while go I through rounds of drowsiness, dizziness and nausea.
  3. Peace for Josh as he transitions back into work this week.
  4. Attentiveness to the Holy Sprit
With LOVE, thankfulness and big HUGS,

First Chemo

September 1 was our first day of chemotherapy at Stanford. Though there were some delays and anxious waiting all the necessary steps came together. Amy ended up having an IV in for 10 hours but tolerated the chemo infusion well according to her fantastic nurse.

Also, good news! Amy's upper chest CT showed that the cancer has not spread to Amy's lungs. Thank you Lord. In test result land this is our first stone of hope in a mountain of despair (to borrow from MLK).

We continue to be carried along on your prayers and encouragement. I do not know where we would be without it, Every day we hear more stories of connections and people praying that are too amazing to be coincidence.


More News

Once again I wish could tell you we received good news today, but unfortunately the liver biopsy showed that the mass in my liver is cancer spread from my colon. Honestly, this was not a big surprise because it would be pretty random for it to be there and be unrelated.

It's just hard to get bad news again, but I still wonder if God allows these dreary results so we know that we are fully dependent on Him.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and outpouring of support for us.