Monday, January 28, 2013

New Chemo...Round 1!'s 12:14 AM and I can't I'm blogging :-)

I had my first round of the new chemo a little over a week ago and everything went well!

It was surprising to me how different it was from my last set of chemo and yet how eerily the same it was....let me elaborate.

This new drug, Brentuximab, is a targeted drug or smart drug. It only attakcs the protein that is found in my tumors and elaves the rest of my body alone. Awesome! It only takes 30 minutes as opposed to the 2-3 hours that ABVD took, and it doesn't have any of the same side effects. No nausea, no hair loss, nothing. It was so easy, comparatively speaking!

The pre-meds that I got, however, were the same as before. The Benadryl made me incredibly sleepy, the anti-nausea meds mess with you, and don't even get me started on the steroids! They also give me a neulasta shot a day or two after the treatment to boost my white blood count and it makes my bones ache. This was by far the worst side effect from this treatment!

I didn't realize that I would have all of the pre-meds with this wonder-drug and wasn't exactly prepared. The most dissapointing part was the steroids. Man I hate them. I'm thankful for what they do in helping the chemo work the best that it can, but the weight gain, insatiable appetite, and sleeping trouble make me want to throw it out the window!

I am very glad to be in treatment, but it was emotional starting all over again. Walking back into an infusion center and getting hooked up again brought about a very bad version of deja-vu. I had so hoped to be done with my last treatment in September and never have to go through another chemo treatment ever again. However, the Lord has different plans for me and we must fight for another year. We are not finished yet.

I told David that if I could just have some sign or promise from the Lord that I would win this fight and survive this disease it would make things better. Could He just speak to me and let me know that I will have life beyond Hodgkins and that this treatment will work? If I could just have some guarantee that I will make it through this, I could endure just about anything.

He lovingly reminded me that if I had a guarantee, there would be no need for faith.
Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Faith is trusting without knowing the end result.

So I continue to walk in faith, praying fervantly that God will heal my body and give me long life. I pray that my story can be used to share the gospel with people who don't know Christ and provide hope for those who need it.

I pray that one day I can look back on this time with my sweet husband and a house-full of kids and be thankful that God taught me so much about faith through this journey!

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and well-wishes! Round 1 done!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Happy Birthday to me!

Today is my 28th birthday. Where did I think I would be in my life at 28? You probably already know the answer to this question! It definitely wasn't facing my second round of treatments for Hodgkins Lymphoma, that's for sure! However, I really am grateful that I've made it to 28, and even though I don't know what this year holds for me, I do know that I have a lot to be thankful for and hopeful about.

We have successfully finished our fertility preservation process and will begin treatment in the next few days. This time around I am not really trusting in the drugs or the doctors at all. I am trusting in my maker. And the truth is, I feel more hopeful than ever!

I believe that God loves me and wants what's best for me. I believe that He has allowed me to walk down this path so that I can be stronger and grow closer to Him.

"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."     Romans 5: 3-5

This journey has not been easy...I have doubted...a lot.

There have definitely been times when I felt like I shouldn't hope. It's crazy, but I actually had times where I thought I shouldn't plan for the future because I didn't want to feel foolish if I didn't survive this thing. How silly!

The word clearly states that our sufferings bring us to a place of hope! Hope does not not put us to shame because it is from God! I have nothing to feel foolish about because my hope is in Christ.

Sufferings ----> Character ----> Hope----> No shame!!!

This year as I blow out another set of candles with cancer still in my body and no babies of my own yet, I am unashamedly hopeful about my future. I have a battle ahead, but I know that God will receive the victory and I will not be put to shame!

Another thing I'm hopeful about is this amazing cake that I'm going to enjoy with my family! Thank you to the amazingly talented Julie Raby with K-Town Cakes! Yum yum!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, New Plan

Well, we've made it to the end of 2012!  In many ways I am glad to see this year go. 2012 has easily been the hardest year of my life. It has definitely been an unforgettable year. However, some of my sweetest memories have occurred in 2012. My marriage is stronger. My relationships with family are stronger. Many friendships have grown and I've seen the body of Christ move in powerful ways! My faith has been challenged and trust increased.

As I look forward to 2013, I am excited and anxious. I am praying that 2013 is a year of victory for us. This will hopefully be the year that I finally beat this cancer and we can move on with our lives.
I also know that this will be the biggest fight of my life so far and I'm in for a lot of pain and hard times. I am preparing to fight!

My husband and I always set goals for a new year and try to make a plan!
I pretty much have one goal this beat cancer. We have our treatment plan and are praying that everything goes according to plan. The stem cell will be extremely hard physically, mentally and emotionally. This means I need to be as strong as I possibly can be physically, mentally, and emotionally before it happens. Some side effects of the treatments include depression, physical weakness, fatigue, and forgetfulness. My hope is to avoid these as much as possible and fight against it like crazy! I am adjusting my diet and exercise and trying to make sure my brain stays healthy and sharp. Here are my goals and my plan for this year!

Goals for 2013

Ways to Achieve this Goal
1. Drink more water!
2. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables
3. Limit sugar
4. Limit red meat
5. Do some sort of activity for 30 minutes a day
6. Read 3 chapters of the bible every day
7. Do a brain game or puzzle every day
8. Pray with my husband every day

Lord willing a year from now I will be writing the God cured my cancer in 2013 and we'll be looking forward to a family! Please continue to pray for us as we move forward and claim victory in the name of Jesus!