Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Chemo Christmas (or Round 2 is in the bag)

Wednesday I had my second round of chemo. So far I have felt about the same as before. I had a great 3 hour nap today! Other than the fatigue- I feel pretty good. I am all ready for Christmas and that feels great. From my picture you can see my hair is gone. The day it started coming out I didn't have to work, so had some time to work through my feelings and come to grips with it. I have been blessed with many tender mercies from our Heavenly Father. So many, in fact, that I will dedicated my next blog to that subject. It only took a couple days and when it started coming out in clumps, I took charge and had Heather give me a buzz. I was so glad I did because as it all fell out it was easier. Cancer has taken a lot from me, but that are some things it won't. A great friend shared this with me-
"What Cancer Cannot Do"
It cannot-
Invade the soul
Suppress memories
Kill friendship
Destroy peace
Conquer the spirit
Shatter hope
Silence courage
Cripple love
Corrode faith
Steal eternal life

And I would like to add one more- it cannot take away the Christmas spirit. I feel it more than ever this year. I want to thank all of you for your support in this fight. My battle has been easier because of your love, thoughts and prayers. As I have said before- I can feel them. I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Same Son

Now that my first round of chemo has worked its magic, I thought I would let you know how it went. My first symptom was not one I had been told about. The morning after (Thurs) I woke up very flushed. My face was warm to the touch and looked sort of red but it was not a fever. My guess is it was just how I reacted to the chemicals. I felt fine and worked all day. Friday morning the redness was gone and I still felt good. I went on a great run with my running partner Kara (you want a great laugh and some inspiration click here). Later on that day I started feeling fuzzy or cloudy. The closest thing I can compare it to is when your sinuses are all clogged and you can't think. I just felt like lying down. I took a good nap so I could go to the game that night. Saturday was worse. To help boost your immune system, they give you a shot called Neulasta. It causes bone and joint pain. Luckily, they have figured out that Claratin helps for some reason so I kept that in my system but when it wore off it was not fun. So Saturday I just didn't feel like doing anything- so I didn't :) I never felt any nausea which was nice. Monday my taste buds checked out. Yep, everything tastes metallic. Some things are worse than others. The worst is carbonated drinks. Its okay they aren't good for you anyway. It is all temporary, right?

So this week I will find out if my hair is going to fall out or not. There is a small percentage of people that don't lose their hair, but I am not counting on that. Most people lose it between the 12th and 18th day after chemo. And once it starts- it goes quick. I am ready with some hats and a couple wigs that were given to me. I think it will be pretty tough. It is just really hard to imagine.

I went on another good run yesterday and I would like to share a thought I had. In my last post I talked about how I found my "happy place" during chemo by thinking of Florida. On my run the sun was shining and I thought of how cold it was compared to the warmth I felt Florida. Then I realized it is the same sun. Even though it might not feel as warm, I can still close my eyes and remember. Then I thought of our Heavenly Father's Son. He is the same Son that was born that Christmas night over 2000 years ago. He is the same Son that lived a perfect, sinless life. He is the same Son that suffered for my sins and took the sting of death away. He is the same Son that knows exactly how I feel because of his suffering and has been with me every step of the way. He is the same Son that loves me perfectly, unconditionally for eternity.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Round one- DONE!

I know that this picture has nothing to do with completing my first round of chemo. It was taken by my great friend Hollie in Florida and it is one of my favorite pictures. I guess maybe it does have something to do with chemo yesterday- this is one of the images I had stored away to help me find my "happy place." So when everything around me was gray and depressing (lots of chemo patients around me and a rainy, overcast day out the window) I thought of the sun in Florida.

So yesterday I started out at the gym (a very good place to destress). Then I went the temple. I decided I needed some of the "peace of God that passeth all understanding" (Philippians 4:7) and I found it. There is something so great about disconnecting from the world and finding inner peace. When we were leaving for chemo Steve said, "I never thought we would ever be going to a chemo appointment." So true, but I guess there are always things in life you don't think you will have to experience. The actual treatment was very uneventful. I was so tense they had to poke me three times to find a vein, but I relaxed after that. I read a book- "Christmas Jars" I highly recommend it. Short and sweet- I read it start to finish. Although it felt like a long, drawn out processes because I was worried about Steve getting to practice on time- it really wasn't bad. And I feel great so far- they say it hits you on day 2 or 3.

So I am 25% done. Three more rounds to go. Dec 21, Jan 11 and Feb 1. Thanks to all you that have been there for me. It is very hard to put into words the tangible love that I feel through the countless prayers, thoughts, cards, dinners, small gifts and more. I could never do this with out all that. I love you guys!