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?
- Josh's mom arrived from Idaho Falls and she is helping us in so many ways. Eli is absolutely thrilled to have his "Grandma Penny" here. Penny has graciously offered to stay with us for as long as we need and Mount Hermon has let her stay in the cabin across the street from us for free! While I am mentioning generous people, we are so thankful that Paul (Penny's husband) is willing to loan us his precious wife. Somehow it is so much easier to corral our boys with 3 adults. Why is that? We weren't even outnumbered with 2 on 2!
- My parents have been doing everything under the sun to care for our family. Last week my Dad, Mom and one of my mom's best friends from growing up, Suzie came up to our house on a mission to clean it from top to bottom. They were incredible and after a busy day of cleaning, they said, "oh, we are not done, we are coming back tomorrow!" It was so great to have their cheerful voices in the house, but I have to admit it is hard to see my mom and dad have so much more energy than me. I am learning to receive, but one of the most challenging parts of this struggle is seeing other people do what I want to be doing.
- One of the pastors from the church I went to growing up called me and wanted to know if he and some other pastors could come and pray for me. The prayer time was so encouraging and reminded Josh and I once again of the incredible power of our Great Physician.
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?
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.
- 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.
- The other main side effect is nausea. Typical.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
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:
- The chemo to begin working quickly and effectively on my colon and my liver
- Wisdom to know how much to (attempt) do each day while go I through rounds of drowsiness, dizziness and nausea.
- Peace for Josh as he transitions back into work this week.
- Attentiveness to the Holy Sprit