Saturday, March 24, 2007

March 24

I'm in to day 6 of treatment #2. I am really wiped out, tired, sleeping alot, nauseated. I worked for a couple of hours on Thursday but was tired and 'foggy'. I decided to stay home on Friday and rest. I have to force myself up, as I could be sleeping non-stop it feels. Hopefully I'll start to pick up and have more energy during next week.

They are holding off on the surgery consult for now. There are still some questions I need answered as to why, but one of the docs is off next week, so I need to wait. Apparently this surgery can be quite invasive and they want me to finish these first 6 cycles of chemo first, then take another Pet scan. From there they'll decide if the surgery will be helpful or not. So we wait.

I hope you all get a break this next week sometime, to take time and enjoy life. How we scramble so. As they say, take time to stop and smell the roses (or daffodils).

Monday, March 19, 2007

March 19

My second week (off-week for treatment) was great! So, even with one chemo treatment under my belt, I have to say I haven't felt this well in months, which attests to how badly I've actually been feeling for the past 6 months. Most of the initial side effects wore off by Sunday of the first week or became so slight that I forgot about them, so I was able to enjoy feeling like myself for a change. Saturday was so beautiful, I ventured off on my motorcycle and it felt GREAT!!

I went in to the office for about 15 hours last week too, and it felt good to be there working and helping out the staff in the office as much as I could.

Today was round 2 of treatment.
The doc added another drug, actually a bio-therapy drug called Avastin, which slows the growth of blood vessels that supply the tumors. I guess these grow faster than normal vessels, and are not as hardy. So, I got 4 drugs today along with the anti-nausea stuff. I'll have to watch for elevated blood pressure and possible bloody nose with this one.

I can feel the neuropathy already (cold sensitivity), but I am better equipped this week, since I know what to expect. I feel so much stronger in this past week, and really turned a corner sometime mid-week (realized it as I was laying in bed wide awake one night). I know it's all the many prayers and thoughts being directed on my behalf. It's been incredible.

So, day one of treatment 2... I'm going to see how I do and will get work done from home and if I'm doing OK, go in to the office too.

Many incredible things have happened with us, even amongst the doctors we deal with. It's the 'timing' of things, that otherwise one could just not plan for... things that are helping take the edge off and helping us breathe a little easier. Some are big things but alot are little things, like a friend dropping by (with coffee!) just when I needed someone to talk to, or a timely phone call or card in the mail. Some have been financial helps, and those have been awesome to receive.

Here's a small one: I bought a loaf of bread at the co-op awhile back. It was bread I could digest and it is very healthy and tastes great. As I stood in my kitchen eating a piece of toast, because that's all my stomach wanted at that point, I read the label (Dave's) story on the back. It totally blessed me, as it tied in somewhat with my relationship with my oldest son, Matt, and to see the success this fellow now has. If you want healthy bread try 'Dave's Killer Bread' (yup, that's what it's called). Get it at the co-op and we just saw it at Fred Meyer in the health food section, too. Good stuff. Read the labels!

So, many things to be grateful for...the warmth of the sun, realizing how many people love me (I think we'd all be surprised to know just how many lives we all touch)... an awesome supportive husband, wonderful co-workers and friends...blooming flowers... motorcycle rides with the wind in your face... my teenage kids... family... the promise of spring...

Have a great week

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

March 13

During this second week, and off week, of treatment I feel ALMOST normal, both psychologically and physically. I've been able to go in to work a few hours in the last couple of days, and it's good to be amongst my co-workers and friends, surrounded with 'business as usual' hubbub. I'm still feeling the tingly stuff in my fingers, but very slight, and I do have to watch what I'm putting in my stomach. I have discovered that I cannot eat anything remotely spicy right now, bothering both my mouth and my stomach... but it's a good week so far and I will log these days in my memory to remember during next week!

Next (2nd) treatment is Monday the 19th. They'll check my white count beforehand to make sure it's good. I've had a fair amount of energy, so I'm thinking thus far, it's probably OK.

By the way, if you'd like to reply apart from this blogsite, feel free to email me at

Friday, March 9, 2007

March 9

Well, this first chemo treatment has been strange, surreal. It's hard to describe it. It's almost unimaginable to willingly sit there and let someone pump heavy duty drugs into your system. As I mentioned to the nurse, this is a huge psychological challenge, and she agreed.

Side effects... a real sensitivity in my hands to cold (neuropathy). This came almost immediately. It feels like when your foot falls asleep and you get that electrical tingly feeling. Well, that tingly feeling stays. I have to handle cold things with gloves on (getting stuff out of the fridge, etc.). This should subside in another day or so. Today it's not as pronounced as earlier this week. The nausea is there but so far am able to control it with the anti-nausea med.

I will have 5 more cycles of chemo (they are using a combination of 3 different drugs). The 6th cycle will be around May 14. Then another PET scan. We'll probably head up to Seattle at some point during this time to consult with the surgeon up there.

It's still so early in my diagnosis and treatment (I'm also not fully recovered from the surgery). I am being challenged to the depths of my soul and faith. I know without a doubt that this experience will definately change me and my family. As Doug said, usually you can look ahead and see where a certain event or task is likely to take you. In this case, we cannot, at least as of yet. All I know, is that this is big, and I abide solely in God's mercy.

In the meantime, I will work to highlight the days I'm feeling well and enjoy life as normal. It's so easy to stay focused on the illness. I don't want to do this.

Thanks again for all your thoughts, prayers and support. We could not do this without all of you!

Monday, March 5, 2007

March 5

Well folks, got the scan results back today. Looks like there are 3 small spots on the liver (millimeters), and one on my right and left lung, and a node in the pelvic area.

The doctor hopes the systemic chemo will shrink these areas, and said we will keep an eye on them. His plan is to do 6 cycles of the systemic chemo (3 months) then do another PET scan to see where things are at.

In the meantime, Doctor Neville will contact Dr. Mann (surgeon) in Seattle. He suggests we still go for the consult with the Doc in Seattle; as to if and when we'll do surgery, that will depend on how I respond to the next 3 months of chemo.

I see Dr. Neville again on the 19th and will probably have a bunch more questions for him by then.

I had my first treatment today. It was kind of scary at first, and now I'm waiting to see if I develop any of the side effects they mentioned and to what degree. I'm carrying around a little pack with a pump that I'll wear until Wednesday. Then I'll be free (hopefully) until the next treatment on the 19th. During this time I'm hoping to get out on my cycle!!

Along with so many dear friends and family members, I have tremendous support through the hospital chaplaincy and hospice folks I've come to know in the past couple of years. I will be looking into therapeutic massage, maybe acupuncture, relaxation techniques, and definately diet and nutrition to help my body as much as I can!

I appreciate all your thoughts and prayers. I'm still not very worried, there's just not a whole lot I can do but hope for the best, live one day at a time, and always remember Who's hands I'm in.

Our God reigns!
Let your spirit be strengthened.
Our God reigns!
Let your spirit rejoice!
Our God reigns!
Though it's sometimes through darkness;
There is light in our darkness,
Our God reigns! – Pam Mark Hall

Saturday, March 3, 2007

March 3

Catching up from the last post...

Had the scans yesterday. What an experience that was, especially the MRI! Very noisy machine!!

Hopefully, we'll get the results early next week. I'll keep you updated.