Wednesday, May 30, 2007

May 30

So, here's the latest... We made an appointment for next Tuesday (June 5) in Seattle with the surgeon. Our plan is to leave Monday and come home Tuesday after the appointment (11:00am). There might be a change in this as they called me back after they received the written report, and wanted me to send the CD's (with scans on them) so the surgeon could physically see them. The words were 'so he can tell if there is actually something he can do that will help'.

Now, I took that to mean that perhaps the written report didn't indicate enough significant cell activity to warrant surgery (thinking positively!) When Dr. Neville looked at it with us, he was straining to see anything, so this is why I'm thinking in this direction.

What I'm hoping is that they get the CD's in time to look at them and make a decision. It would sure be nice not to have to go, and also, not to need another surgery at this time.

Prayer request: Seattle doc sees the scans in time for us to cancel our trip if need be, and that he doesn't see anything significant enough to warrant surgery.

I did decide to do some more chemo. Dr. Neville suggests another 6 cycles. I will start next Wednesday and will decide when to stop, as that has always been left up to me. I'm thinking maybe 3 more. But we'll see. It's been great to have this extra week off!! Still some side effects and the doc said that it could take up to a year for them to fully go away. Sometimes they stay with you.

On another note: I've been riding my motorcycle and have had some great rides. One of the neat things about riding is that when you pass another rider, there's this 'wave' etiquette, or like a high-sign. Those gestures can mean a number of things (at least to me who reads into EVERYTHING!!) They could mean, 'hey isn't this cool'? 'hey, fellow rider' or just 'hey'.
My waves mean, 'hey, I'm having a great time, hope you are', 'you take care, be safe'. Sometimes I give a 'peace sign'. I have even prayed for riders I've passed.

I think riders realize that, while this is fun, it can also be dangerous. It's in that realization that we can relate all we've learned and love about riding, and express that in a single wave.

So, fellow sojourners, consider yourselves 'waved' at this week by me. 'You take care, be safe. Yes, this can be a dangerous, unpredictable ride, but it's also fun and can be downright exhilarating!' Enjoy life while you can still 'ride'! Don't wait!


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

May 23

Well, folks, great, great news! The scans look really good! The doc spent about an hour with us going over stuff. The spots on my lungs and liver are 'gone', though he said there could be minute amounts that the scan can't pick up... Even in the original area, it was very iffy that he could see anything there or not.

In my case, he considers my condition 'chronic', which, in the longrun, I may have to go in every 6 months, or a year, or two, to get treatments. Like a 'maintenance' program. They just don't believe that this will ever go completely away. So he suggests I get 6 more cycles of chemo for now, or whatever I can and am willing to tolerate.

He also wants us to go up and confer with the doc in Seattle. So, we should be doing that in the next couple of weeks. He doesn't want me to go any longer than a few weeks without continuing treatment, so I might get a little break here (or a big one, depending on what I decide!)

I'm still weighing my options, still need to talk to the docs in Seattle to make final decisions on more surgery, treatment, etc. I am still considering and praying about alternative medicine.

My doctor said should I decide to do that, that he'd like to be checking me regularly to make sure things are still looking good. It would be a leap of faith but part of me is very curious to see if it would work, and of course, I'd feel great while doing it.

So, we'll keep you posted as we go. I attribute this good report to the many many prayers going forth on my behalf.

Thank you, thank you so much,

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

May 16

Hallelujah! Doug got his acceptance letter today into the nursing program! This is great news today! Thus begins another chapter...

Side effects of treatment are definately accumulating. I'm feeling pretty crummy these past couple of days, in all honesty. I was running a slight fever last night, and this is a first. The nurse said that often 6 cycles seem to be a cut-off point, sometimes people go on to have 12, but by then they are pretty wiped out with virtually no good days. Even now, having 3 or 4 good days every two weeks is not much fun... I can't begin to imagine doing more without doing some irreparable damage to my nervous system and organs, so I will definately need to be hearing from God, for wisdom and direction in the future, despite what the scan shows.

Please pray for me as I also look into alternative therapies, and decide if this is the way I'll try for a time.

So, PetScan this Friday morning at 7:30am. Results on Wednesday, the 23rd. We'll keep you posted.

As always, I rest in God's hands

Sunday, May 13, 2007

May 13

Quote for the Day (from the web, you've probably read this one before...)

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of leave the world a better know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

And I might add, to win the respect of people in general, not only the 'intelligent'. Remember, our light shines in the midst of darkness. We won't know this side of heaven just how much that light reflected on those around us. And I suspect it's going to be much more than we realized, and in ways we never anticipated.

Treatment #6 tomorrow. Scan on Friday the 18th...

Appreciate your thoughts and prayers,

Saturday, May 12, 2007

May 12

Quote for the day:

Gentlemen, why don't you laugh? With the fearful strain that is upon me night and day, if I did not laugh, I should die.
- Abraham Lincoln

A very wonderful group of friends came over today and worked for three hours on our house! Yardwork, planting lovely flowers in my front yard, dusting, cleaning my floors... wow!

I am humbled by the outpouring of love and support that has come our way. This also shows me just how much can be accomplished, how much encouragement we can be to others, when people come together and work toward a common good. How powerful the hands of Christ are!

My two darling children (15 & 17) even surprised me with a dozen red roses and two types of dark chocolate (they know me!) for Mother's Day.

It's a good day. Now I'm going to take a nap!

Happy Mother's Day (tomorrow) to all you hard-working moms out there.


Friday, May 11, 2007

May 11

Quote for the day: (from the web)

"Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible."

I'm feeling better the last two days, though still dealing with the neuropathy. Talked to the doc about these headaches and nose bleeds and he's withholding the drug that causes these on Monday's treatment (it is the Avastin, as I suspected). I am thankful for that! One less thing!

I hope you all have a great weekend!


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

May 8

This last treatment was perhaps the most difficult in terms of side effects. The worst part is these sinus headaches I've been getting (I think it's because of the Avastin, blood vessel growth inhibitor), as I already had some trouble with my sinuses. I'm hoping as side effects subside, the headaches will go with them. Despite these, Doug and I went for a pretty long ride yesterday. I was pooped out when we got home, but glad we went. Today, I feel like I'm starting to 'come around' a bit and hope I am on the upswing.

Prayer request: We are waiting to hear if Doug is selected to the nursing program. We should be getting a letter any day now. Please pray he gets accepted. Also for resources for the next 2 to 3 years as he studies and works full-time. I will also need to work full-time as well. This is ONLY going to be made possible by the grace of God! But, He can handle it!

Before I was diagnosed, I remarked a few times that if we 'made it through the next two years, we could make it through anything' (meaning Doug in school full-time, raising and providing for our two teens, finances, etc.). Little did I know what was coming down the pike!

But, I am excited to see how God will work. When things get just waaay too big (why do we so often wait until then to surrender?) well, this is when He can really be allowed to come forth and work remarkably in our lives. I can't wait until life becomes peaceful to feel that things will be allright, particularly in the long-run. I need to find that 'place' in the midst of the torrent. Life and it's demands are not going to stop just because I am ill. Still, it is crucial that I carve out times in the midst when I can stop, rest, meditate, enjoy life. And I believe I am learning how to do that. And strangely, there's a peace in me that I can't explain, except in that perhaps I am learning more and more how to surrender and trust (not in any way to be mistaken with giving up and living in denial). We still have our part, but in this, I feel like mine is very small comparatively.

Does true success mean we conquer sickness and trials, or is it truly that we conquer the despair and hopelessness that can so easily accompany it? Does the outcome depend on me or God? Or are we in this together as a team? There's much to say about teamwork!

Blessings to you this week,