Nuts and Bolts

Good evening dear family and friends. I would love to have some great message, and I do, but I am toooooo tired to type right now. So, until then, just the nuts and bolts of this week. I completed my 6th round of chemo on Monday. I continue to cry every time we drive to town and I just can’t help it – poor Roy. What an awful job. He handles it so well, and I am so thankful not to be him…  What a thing to have to watch.

Well, it seemed to take forever to get started with my treatment on Monday, but we did have a great visit with Dr. Lininger. We changed a lot of things this week. I have been getting a Neulasta shot on Tuesday’s which is equivalent to ten Neupogen shots, but causes extreme muscle pain on Wednesday’s and severe bone pain by Saturday. Instead this week I got three Neupogen shots on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Although it was a good idea, I am going back to the one Neulasta shot next time. I found that I still had severe pain, but it was chronic for days, versus just whacking me hard on Wednesday. It was worth a try 🙂 The best news, is that I did try a new anti-nausea called Reglan and that side effect has been quite a bit better this week. No matter what I take or what I do, I am still sick. I have come to terms with that, but I am thankful for relief when I can get it. I also only went in for fluids on Tuesday, as I really think Ondasteron was making me more nauseated. How funny is that? Anti-nausea medication making me nauseated… I think that is funny. I also got a shot of Aloxi on Thursday which is a longer-lasting anti-nausea, and it is supposed to stay in my system for 48 hours.

Here are some listed side effects of Reglan using pictures… Unfortunately, these are spasmatic and I have no control over them… Except for I do, and have not experienced these. Funny though?

photo 1 photo 2photo 3photo 4photo 5

I think by the end of my treatment I may have this all figured out. My hair continues to fall out. Roy is really opposed to me shaving it, but at this point it is so not “my” hair that I am about ready to be done with it. It is one of those constantly depressing things – to brush and pull out my hair every day is pretty emotionally exhausting. Roy tells me it still looks good – he is such a terrific fibber.

Here are some great things:

  • I got my garden planted last weekend, which is the earliest I have EVER planted my garden. Thank you cancer for that motivation.
  • Aunt Linda drove over 1200 miles to come take care of me and my children and I am so blessed by her kindness.
  • Roy and I had some great conversation this week and I had an amazing opportunity to speak words of life to my husband and pray over him.
  • We brand next weekend and I am thrilled to get my dessert makin’ groove on! I also get to pretend to be a professional photographer and take pictures of all of the cool things that will happen that day.
  • I had a wonderful day with my children. The boys continue to need prayer. They know things are off and their temperaments reflect that. We had just a “normal” day today and that was glorious. We played in the closet with glow-in-the-dark toys. Beat that for fun!
  • Jesus is still Jesus and his grace is sufficient. Good thing, because my grace is a little thin right now.

Cancer and Pregnancy

Chemo went really well on Monday and we managed to get the 5th round under our belts. I always come home feeling yellow and full of poison, but thankful that my honey is with me during that day. I went back in to the Cancer Center on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each afternoon for a few hours to get IV fluids and anti-nausea medication. I got 6 liters of fluids last week – doubling my blood volume over 4 days. Of course, it doesn’t all stay in my circulatory system, but it does take a bit to process each day. I felt very water-logged, but it really helped with dehydration. I think my nausea was a bit better, but a little hard to tell. Mom was here during the week and I really could not do this without her helping me with Jake and Matt.

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” ~ Psalm 62: 1 & 2 is an amazing promise I clung to this week. This is our family verse and the boys are working on memorize it. I found myself having conversations this week with individuals who knew someone who had experienced cancer and they provided some ideas on how to fight the good fight. I am soooo thankful that there were “things” that helped cancer-survivors with side effects such as nausea, fatigue and even constipation. I know – how would you like to talk about constipation… let’s just not do that anymore 🙂 It is of utmost importance to me that the ONLY thing I focus on is Jesus. I can’t think about tomato juice or lemon drops or ginger root or any other suggestion I have received. By Wednesday and Thursday following chemo Monday, I would rather curl up in a ball and just meet my Maker than go on a minute longer. With that desperation, the ONLY place for my soul to rest is in God alone. I cannot thank everyone for the prayers we are receiving because the gap does seem significant mid-week.

Now to the title… Don’t worry – we are not pregnant, but I believe there are a lot of similarities between cancer and pregnancy (as well as some incredibly severe differences). My list of similarities:

  • Your digestive system gets completely out of whack
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Sense of smell is increased
  • Sensitivity to certain foods
  • Growing a foreign object (growing a baby is WAY cooler than trying to kill what I am growing – so that might be a difference)
  • Unsolicited advice (my personal favorite)
  • I can’t wait to experience all of these things again, for a completely different outcome…

It is Sunday evening and I have full expectations that tomorrow will be better than today. My nausea continues to be pretty severe for 7 days following chemo, so tomorrow is the big day that I hope all will be better. I am ready to get out and enjoy the springtime weather. I am going to work on preparing my garden soil and get things lined up to plant this coming weekend before my next round of chemo. The boys have plans set to get their dump trucks and loader tractors out to help. There must be things that we are all looking forward to…

If you are reading this, I want you to know that I am praying for you. It has been laid on my heart that we are all going through some sort of battle. Cancer may seem pretty awful, and it mostly is, but we are all working on some major issues on our journey of life. No one is coasting through life with zero problems. We all are fighting something. I pray that your battle is a place where you can lean in to the Lord and find that He is in control. I pray that you are encouraged by an act of kindness this week and I challenge you to be that kind person for someone else. Again, thank you for your faithful prayers and know that you are a precious child of God – no matter your age, no matter your lot in life, no matter if you have ever had a personal relationship with Him before. He loves you and so do I!