Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It's Working!!!

Round three of chemo is complete! Yahoo!!!

Everything went really well today and we got some encouraging news. The doctor said he can tell just by feeling my neck that those tumors are almost gone! He said my lymph nodes are the same size as a cancer-free person would have if they had a mild sore throat. I'll take it! keep shrinking tumors!!

Here I am after treatment today getting some Starbucks. Not the most flattering pic.

I'll have a scan done at the 3 month mark which is half-way. Then we will know for sure, but he thinks that scan could come back completely clean! I will still have to finish out the 12 treatments no matter what, but I am very encouraged by this.

This news means that the chemo is working! Thank you all for your prayers and continue to do so. Our God is good and I'm so thankful for some encouragement today!

Yesterday was a bit of a down day for me. I vented to my very patient friend, Sarah about the unfairness of this. I want to have a baby, not have chemo. I was struggling a bit with the "W" word. Why? Why me? Why now? Why this? The truth is friends, no good comes from the "W" word. As I was talking to her about my fears of relapse and not being able to have a baby and having to wait so long to even try to have a baby. I kept bringing up statistics to make myself feel better.

My cancer is 90% cureable.
The chance of relapse greatly decreases after 2 years in remission.
The chance of being fertile afterwards is 90%.

As I was talking to her, it hit me. Why do statistics and science give me more comfort than the Word?

The truth is, God is bigger than Science and statistics. God is in control and it does not matter what the doctors say, it is God's decision whether I am healed or not.

A statistic is just a statistic....God's word is Truth and lasts FOREVER!

"Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart. Lean NOT on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and HE will direct your path."

My comfort and peace needs to be found in my Father, not in Doctors and google searches. :-)

Pray for me that I continue to trust and that GOD continues to shrink these tumors!!

3 down, 9 to go!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oh Where is my Hairbrush?

"Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." ~Luke 12:7

The hairs on my head are indeed numbered, as all the days those hairs will still be on my head.

That's right everyone, my hair is indeed falling out.

While I knew this very thing was going to happen, I've still struggled with it. This round has been a great one as far as how I feel. I have had a little nausea, but not too bad. I was tired the first few days, but really I feel great now. The only problem hair is falling out.

When we had our consultation with the doctor, one of the first side effects he mentioned was hair loss. He was very matter of fact and said, "your hair is going to fall out. It will grow back, but it most definitely will fall out."

My immediate response was, "it's ok, I don't care about that." And I really thought that was the truth. However, I was wrong. I do indeed care about it.

There is part of me that feels completely guilty for being so upset about it. I accuse myself daily of being vain. It literally causes me anxiety every time I touch my hair. More and more comes out and it's insane!

However, when I really examine my feelings, I think my anxiety is rooted in 2 things.

1) Control. My hair is falling out and I will look different than normal for a very long time and there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING I can do about it. I have lost control of my appearance.

2) Beauty. I like my hair, I always have. I have always thought that my hair is what makes me look beautiful. The first compliment my husband ever gave me was on my hair and how much he liked it. Curly blond hair is my thing! Losing my hair makes me feel ugly.

I am coping with #2 by recognizing that it is OK to care about your appearance. It is OK that I will miss my hair. It is OK that I will get a wig and fancy scarves to make myself feel better. I know that true beauty comes from within, but when you look good, you feel good and I will try my best to look good even without my curly blond hair. Plus I must remember that losing my hair means that the chemo is doing its job and it is what I must go through to LIVE!

As for #1, I have to remember that even though I am not in control, someone way better is. If cancer has taught me one thing, it's that I am not in control of my circumstances. God knows what He's doing and the truth is, my need for control can hinder me from fully knowing my Father.

Pray for me as I learn how to find comfort in the fact that God really is in control.

In the next few days I'm sure we'll have to shave my head. I'll take pictures so you can see! Who knows, bald may be my best look!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Round 2

Well friends, I recevied my second chemo treatment yesterday and I have to say it went very well!

My dear friend Shanna came up to go with me, and we had a blast! I have realized that I am a social person. When I get to see people and talk to them, my day is about 1,000 times better than my sit on the couch all day and work/have cancer days. I think I will actually look forward to chemo days from now on.
                        Here we are at the infusion center.

This is how the day goes down in case you were wondering:
9:30- rush out the door and eat some breakfast
9:45- arrive at cancer center and check in
10:00 - get port accessed and blood drawn for labs (I was nervous about this, but it didn't hurt at all! Thank you port!)
10:15 - Consult with Dr. and discuss side effects
11:00 - Get Pre-meds (literally 3 types of anti-nausea meds and a steroid or something that makes me write posts at 5:00 in the morning because I can't sleep and my cheeks turn red the next day)
11:30 - Chemo drug A (This one is red and they push it through the IV for ten minutes. This is the one that makes you sleepy and makes your hair fall out. That's all I know...and it's red, very red)
11:40 - Chemo Drug B (This one is in a bag and I don't know what it does. It takes about 30 min)
12:10 - Chemo Drug D (This one is the big one. This bag takes about an hour)
1:10 - Chemo Drug V (This is the last one and they push it along with some other drugs I can't remember.)
1:45 Go home

*Note: This schedule is approximate. It really depends how busy they are.
                                           We had a lot of fun!

Yesterday I got to meet the nurse practitioner who I will see every other time I go in. Dr. Amy pretty much made my day because she is completely kind and compassionate. She truly connected with me and I feel a lot better about chemo with her there.

Not only did I get to spend time with my Shanna, which is always a mood lifter, but my sweet husband watched the 4 Davis children for a little while so Jessica could come visit me at the infusion center!! What a man I married!
                                           Look at this stud!

I'm getting to know the nurses and receptionists and some of the other patients there and I feel really comfortable there. Everyone is so kind and there are snacks.

I literally spent 3 hours just laughing and talking with Shanna and Jess and I had an amazing time.

I wasn't sleepy afterwards this time so Shanna and I had a blast at the thrift store and then we all ate Jess's chicken and dumplings. (They will change your life....seriously)

Here is one of my many thrift store buys yesterday. 5 dollars for this shiny vase. Not sure where it will live yet.

So all in all it was a great day! It feels good to know I am one step closer to beating this thing. I'm so ready to feel healthy again and do all the things God has planned for my life.

With all of these things said, I have an extremely grateful heart.

Here is a mini-list of things I'm thankful for.

Thank you Lord for....
-Overwhelming peace
-Chemo drugs that can kill this cancer
-Allowing me to have a curable, not so terrible cancer
-My amazing husband.
-Both of my amazing families
-My supportive friends and church family
-Thrift stores
-Chicken and Dumplings
-A flexible job with an extremely supportive boss and coworkers

I think that's all for now. Pray that the side effects are still manageable this time around and these two weeks go quickly so I can get on to the next one!
                                            2 down, 10 to go!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Full Heart

It is Thursday night and my husband is at band practice.

Usually on Thursday nights I watch TV and catch up on work and try to clean house a little bit.

Tonight is really no different than normal except that my heart is filled to overflowing!

Here's the scoop...

We have been blessed already with so many meals that have been wonderful! We had the most amazing chicken noodle soup tonight and homemade bread. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to my Northstar family for meeting our needs. What an amazing blessing this body is to me. This started my heart filling up.

Next, my husband and I spent some quality time together tonight and I am just filled with love for him. He is such a good provider and friend. Our relationship is not that old to be facing such a giant as cancer, but David is right by my side. He is supporting me and staying by my side when lesser men would not. I am so blessed to have him in my life! This about filled my heart up to the top.

But that's not all folks! I just received a phone call from my baby brother who is at boot camp! He has joined the air force. They earned a 30 minute call and he called me to tell me that he loves me! He and some of his new friends are praying for me. He even said he wants to start a bible study with some of the guys there. I can't tell you how happy this makes me! God has such big plans for him and I am thrilled that he is finally starting to see that! I am so proud of him and I am ecstatic to see God move in his heart. This sent my heart over the edge!

My cup is running over and I am so happy! Thank you, Lord for not only being my provider and healer, but being my light in the dark places. What Satan means for evil, God most definitely can use for good.

No one can steal my joy right now! Amen and amen!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouses nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?"
               ~Luke 12: 22-25

God has been speaking to me pretty clearly through the verses above and the ones that follow in Luke.

I have always been somewhat of a worrier. I find myself anxious about things that truly don't matter in the big scheme of things.

The few steps I've taken on this cancer journey have been no different, however, I can see God shaping my heart in this area.

The truth is, I've convinced myself that I do have a lot to worry or be anxious about...I mean really, I have cancer for crying out loud!

Everyday I can wake up and ask a thousand anxiety-filled questions
~Will I be sick today?
~What effect will the chemo have on me today?
~Can I do this for 6 months?
~Are the symptoms only going to get worse?
~Will I be able to get any work done today?
~Can I meet my husband's needs today?
~Can we afford this?
~Will I be able to have kids?
~Will I beat this thing in 12 treatments?

The list could go on and on.

But then God steps in and reminds me that I gave Him control.

My worries are pointless because I am not the one in control.

Yesterday I was feeling pretty sick and my sweet husband came home for a bit to take care of me. I had worked myself into such an anxious state worrying about the side effects and what the next 6 months would be like. He held me in his arms and reassured me that we would weather this storm together. He shared with me how God had provided for one of our specific needs in a big way just hours before and I was instantly at peace.

Of course! Oh me of little faith! How could I lose sight of this truth. Worrying is pointless!

Why would I worry? God LOVES me. He LOVES our family. If He provides food for a stinky bird in the wild, why wouldn't he meet the needs of his children?

I am right where God has chosen me to be. Although unpleasant, this is part of the plan and worrying won't change a single thing.

I know God will get me through the next 6 months of treatment, whatever that entails.

Today I am choosing trust instead of worry. I hope that you do the same!