Treatment Continues – Round 3 Done

As my treatment continues I find myself just not wanting to proceed more than I want to finish it out. Sunday night I got that don’t-want-to-go-school-feeling in relation to heading to chemo on Monday morning. I felt good and I know how I feel after I get my treatment. Yuuuuuuuuucky! We got stopped for the train on our way in to town and I seriously considered jumping out of the car and starting a run for home. My energy level was low enough that thought passed about as soon as it arrived. After chemo Monday, the afternoon may have been my worst yet. I felt like there was a ball of black tar churning in my stomach while leaking green toxic fumes and I had been in a back alley fight. That is some seriously nasty stuff….

I was incredibly thankful for the help we received on Monday. Richard was able to watch the boys while Roy and I headed to chemo. He managed to get chores done with two little boys and that is quite a feat. Grandpa would really prefer to play and so would the boys, so they both overcame that challenge and got some work done. That helps put Roy’s mind at ease. Roy ended up being at the auto body shop longer than he hoped during my treatment. Last Friday I had decided to take the boys to the Downtown Aquarium in Denver. I want my boys to have some great memories sandwiched in between memories of mommy curled up in a ball on the couch. We had a wonderful day – we all loved looking at the amazing creatures and the boys really loved the tiger. It was finally time to head home and as we were leaving the parking lot a gal zoomed out of her spot and nailed our right rear door with some serious force….Needless to say we need to get some body work done on the car. Dang (a Christian cuss word) time wasting life events. Matt (my 3-year-old was at the greatest point of impact, so I think that justifies his comment) got out of the car and scolded the gal and then promptly told her “accidents happen though”. Back to Monday, Mom got here right before we got home and that brought some peace of mind. She did abruptly tell me, “You don’t have any color in your face. You are as white as a ghost.” Thanks MOM! It was the truth. I looked about as awful as I felt. That may have been a toss up.

Tuesday continued in much the same manner. I really struggled. The nausea and fatigue were incredibly high. Tuesday morning I went in to the Cancer Center and got my Neulasta shot (the bone marrow production booster) and IV fluids and anti-nausea. My current theory is that anti-nausea medications make me nausea. I really don’t know if that is possible, but I need to talk to my doctor. This treatment took about 3-1/2 hours. By Tuesday afternoon I had completely tanked. Wednesday my muscle pain was at an all time high and I was about to vomit if I had to take one more pill. I am just not a pill taker, so taking nearly 20 pills in one day is quite an adjustment. Maybe it is a mental thing. Back when I was pregnant and nursing I refused to take any medication – I just didn’t want anything in my body that could potentially harm the baby. I could tough it out. These are days that I just can’t tough out.

Thursday was much like Wednesday, but Friday and Saturday were somewhat better. I find my emotions at the bottom of the barrel. I continue to find myself so mad that this is my life right now. I would be okay with cancer if it wasn’t kickin’ my butt. I know there are treatments where people do not experience this many side effects. I just want to be a great mom – don’t we all? I want to be a great wife, and a good steward of resources. It is such a mental adjustment to focus on taking care of myself. We don’t do that as mom’s. Our family always comes first! I don’t get sick days as a stay-at-home mom. There is no paid vacation for me. (Oh gosh, I am NOT degrading mom’s that work outside of the home, please know that!) It is just that my role as a housewife doesn’t allow for these adjustments. My poor husband is just about to kill himself at this pace – he is taking care of me and the boys, while calving 320 cows, doing 2:00 a.m. heifer checks, working with dozens of colts, keeping up on the dishes (especially while Mom is gone) and managing to discipline our children. Enough! Let me turn these into some prayer requests:

  • For peace in my spirit about the things I am able to accomplish and those I am not.
  • Opportunities to share the gospel.
  • Good rest for Roy.
  • The boys dispositions and spirits to be pliable to the current situation.
  • The nausea and fatigue be kept at bay.
  • My brain to stay sharp. “Chemobrain” is a very real side effect and I find myself struggling with it already.
  • I still hope that I do not lose all of my hair. After this 3rd round of chemo, the hair loss has increased again. It had levelled off last week, but I am loosing it by numerous handfuls a day. I am still so thankful that I had a LOT of hair to start with, but this chemo is tough on hair.

Easter Sunday was a wonderful church service and Pastor Ben quoted John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble.” Immediately, we can all think of a trouble we are experience or a hardship we are facing. Mine is…cancer, but that is not it. Cancer got added to my list. Unfortunately, nothing got crossed off the list with the addition of cancer. If I let my thoughts stop there, depression would be the only outcome of this journey. Pastor Ben reminded us, that this verses is sandwiched with two promises: peace and the fact that Jesus Christ has overcome the world. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Whew! When I reside in Jesus, I will have true peace. Thank you for those who continue to lift me and my family up in prayer – the role you are playing is incredibly significant. I was so sick on Monday and Tuesday I was convinced that nausea was the only thing in the world. I was too sick to even remember God was healing me. But He is. Jesus overcame this awful, sick world. There is such promise and hope in knowing that fact. This is so hard, but without Jesus it would be impossible. I have lived this life without Jesus and I remember that darkness. I refuse to step back in to the darkness – I am a child of the light. I continue to pray for the opportunity to share the light as I travel down this road.

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5 thoughts on “Treatment Continues – Round 3 Done

  1. Josh & Mandy Dreier says:

    Roy & Brandee, We are thinking of you daily! What a trying time; please drive forward with the help of God & know that you have many angels lighting your path! Your post brings me tears; as our families are so connected and similar; connected by blood… yet so far away in many ways! Please remember us… if we can be of help!Our hearts are with you, minds are conscious of your struggles and prayers are hard pressed for your faith, belief in healing and somehow understanding why this step has been given to you. Lots of love your way… because love and prayer is the only way right now that we know to help. Graciously … Josh, Mandy, Madison & Jacy Jo.

  2. Del & Linda Brock says:

    Oh, Brandee, Roy, and boys – you most definitely have our prayers! Your total honesty, Brandee, as well as the beautiful sharing of your faith will be a witness & encouragement not only to cancer patients & their families but also to those suffering in many other ways too! May you feel His Presence!

  3. katie says:

    Brandee, Hunter and I are praying for you and your family. I am in awe of your strength and Faith. I am following your journey and you are in my thoughts a lot…if anyone can do this, you can!

  4. Debbie Allard says:

    Your journal has touched my heart sweet lady. Your sister is a friend of my daughter in Colorado Springs and I am a total stranger to you, but someone that has traveled your journey and I am here to tell you, as hard as some of these days feel, it is worth the struggle. Keep positive even on those incredibly nasty days that seem to drag by. The verse I kept in mind is Phil 4:13 ” I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”
    With the days following neulasta, know that those aches come from the bone marrow being busy doing it’s job.
    Praying you keep in mind, this struggle is half over and by summer you will be playing outside with your precious little ones.
    The hair comes back, although slowly, and sometimes with some beautiful curls we never had before! Meantime, there are so many cute scarfs and please try to work in a session of Look Good, Feel Better that most cities have available through the American Cancer Society on one of your better days. It is so worth the mental adjustment and it is free.
    Meantime, drink lots of water as often as possible, to keep things being flushed though, a trick I learned was a straw helps with that effort.
    Praying for you with love, Debbie Allard

  5. Debra Sherman says:

    Praying for you every day…we will be sure to add Roy to the prayers too. Also the boys. God is strong…and God is good…and hearing our prayers for you. Debra Sherman, Elbert Christian Church

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