Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Nothing but PRAISE!

Yesterday was my scheduled round 4 of chemo and Praise the Lord, I was able to take it and it went off without a hitch.  I'm so thankful that I was able to get this round in because we all know what that means .... ONLY 2 ROUNDS TO GO.  Praise the Lord.

My blood counts were good so it  happened.  As this was my 4th treatment, I knew what to expect and knew I would be OK.  Once I got to the chemo room after my blood draw and visit with Helena, Nurse Practitioner, I had to wait for 1 hour and 5 minutes for them to get my infusion started because of so many ahead of me.  I was able to have my half sandwich and chips before the treatment so that really was a good thing.

While taking my infusion and after my nap from the IV injection of the Benadryl, I got up out of the recliner and unhooked myself from the plug for my IV and away I went to walking, rolling the IV pole with me.  Walked about five times through the whole chemo area which felt good.  I believe the combo of Benadryl and sitting for 3-4 hours at one stretch makes me weak and makes me feel bad so I have decided I will be walking during these last two remaining treatments. 

The infusion was finished by 4:15pm and away I went.  Got home and cooked dinner because I was starving.  After dinner, I knew I was fading fast so I showered and laid down on the couch and pretty much slept all evening until about 8:30pm when I made myself get up and get in bed.  My energy level had dropped by then.  Alicia ask me if I needed to sleep on the couch but I knew that I would sleep better in my own bed.
And I did.  There were wakeful times during the night but nothing of great length.  I slept pretty warm and most of the night without a head cover ... that means I was really warm.  Not feverish, just the results of steroids and chemo drugs.  This morning my face is as red as a beet but it's all part of day 2.

This morning finds me up and about, moving slowly but I'm ok with that.  I've had breakfast and juice and now on to the ice water.  I feel my tongue coating over which means I could be getting thrush mouth again.  Yesterday I ask Helena if she would give me a prescription for the Diflucan for thrush just in the event I got it. She was so sweet and gave me enough for this treatment and the final two, just in case.  I will not take unless I know I have it for sure.  After finding out what thrush looks like, I feel sure I have had it every time I've taken chemo, just didn't know it.

*  That I was able to take the chemo yesterday.
*  That God led me to the Center and Dr. Young for my care.  Heard horror stories from other facilities in Fort Worth.  I feel so blessed with such good medical teams that have my absolute best interest at hear.
*  Feeling fairly good for today.
*  Continued support of my family.
*  Thankful for awesome friends who offer and help me.
*  Ability to work from home and stay in the mix of the goings on.

Prayer Request:
*  Got stories from women walking though breast cancer yesterday and they really need our prayers.  They experience nausea, extended treatment, reconstructions gone awry.  We had the opportunity to share our stories with each other yesterday and it was amazing for me to hear what all these women have gone through. Praising God that He has blessed with me and I've had minimal issues.
*  Those beginning their journey.

Leaving you feeling extremely blessed and sending you blessings!


Monday, January 30, 2012

First Dose of Steroids

Sunday began the steroids again for round 4 of chemo today.  JUST THINK .. only two rounds left after today. Praise the Lord.

The steroids kicked in early and I could not sit still.  The day's accomplishments -  Cleaned out and rearranged the pantry and had to use the drawer we had given Madelyn to put toys in when she is in the kitchen with us.  Moved lots of items that needed to be located in more user friendly places.  Next came Tootie's bath and trim up around her eyes and tail.  My groomer is the greatest but she clips Tootie in a true Shih Tzu cut and long eye lashes and long tail does not work for me or her.  The hair around her eyes causes infections and well I probably don't need to tell you what a long tail does when she potties.   Bathroom clean ups came next.  That alone wears me out but I persevered.   Next came a bite of lunch with my sister and off to the office we went so I could get something accomplished that had to be done there. Got home about 3:00pm and had a snack and in my room I came to make file folders for all the separate medical expenses I'm receiving to pay.  Organization has a way of calming me.  I looked up at it was 4:30pm and time to start dinner.  Got the pork loin in the oven, prepared sweet potatoes (my Thanksgiving sweet potatoes = YUMMO) and broccoli.  Came back and finished up the file folders.  Went and finished up dinner and my sister, Alicia and Madelyn and I enjoyed.  Alicia cleaned the kitchen and then it was play time with Madelyn while Mommy ran to the store.  Ended up staying up until 10:00 (late for me)... slept until 1:30am and then it was waking time until 3:30am.  Woke up again at 4:30am and got up at 5:00am.  Steroids are great for energy and definitely help with the whole chemo process and I'm so thankful for them but they really mess your sleeping up.  I will work this morning until time to leave for my chemo and take my laptop with me to work while I sit and get the infusion.

*  Unspoken prayer request was answered yesterday and I know this because I felt the calm come over me as God answered the prayer.  YES, I believe in prayer.
*  Greatest day yesterday after having felt so incredible lousy for about 4-5 weeks.  Praising God for wonderful earthly physicians and always His awesome healing hands.
*  My family
*  My friends

Prayer Request:
*  A dear friend going through some family issues right now.  She and her family needs our prayers.  No name necessary just prayers.
*  Those who may beginning their journey through a new cancer diagnosis and/or chemo today.
*  I am able to take my 4th round of chemo this morning after having all the issues last week.
*  A decision I'm wanting to make after I find out additional information.

Thank you for your continued emails, texts and most of all your prayers.

Love and many blessings on this magnificent Monday.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Getting a Little Hat Support

My little grandbabies have been kind of intrigued with my bald head and also me wearing hats all the time now.  Madelyn constantly holds out her little hand to touch my head with or without my cap.  I decided yesterday that I would put one of the many head coverings I have to see how she would like it.  Here's a picture of her and I with our head coverings.

She keeps it on for a while and then realizes she has it on and off it comes.  She will pick it back up and try to put it on herself.  She usually needs a little help.

Above:  A girl needs a hat and a pacifier to ride the choo-choo and Aunt Pat to work a puzzle.

Today I hope to get to see Braxton and get some pictures with him in one of my hats... a more manly color than purple of course.  I can't wait to see him.

Saturday was busy trying to organize the medical bills and make files for each entity that I owe.  Organization is the only way a person could keep up with all these bills.  You get bills from people and places you don't know but somehow they touched a piece of your life (blood, cultures, x-rays, etc) so it is all good.  I praise God for the folks who have taken care of me, whether I've met them or they are behind the scenes and for the job I have that affords me to pay these bills.

I masked up and had my hat on and my sister and I went to Walmart yesterday.  Yes, I got stared at just a few times but it's not everyday you see a bald headed lady with a mask walking through Walmart.  <laugh>  I was perfectly OK wearing the mask.  I ask my sister if she was embarrassed and she said "absolutely not".  The one thing that I needed that I would have had to walk by the pharmacy to get, my sister when and got for me so I didn't go anywhere near where people were getting prescriptions.  When I'm not in my bubble (my house), I feel much safer with a mask.  The picture below was taken at the Center last week when I had my blood work.  And if you have not ever had the opportunity to buy a box of these masks, they are $10.00 for 25 of them and that works out to .40 cents each.  Well if your nose drips while you have these on, that makes for an expensive tissue.  <laughing out loud>  Just thankful I have the masks.

It is unbelievable how much better my surgery scar under my left arm where they took the 16 lymph nodes feels by doing the procedures that Linda, lymphedema therapist, has shown me.  I believe the clump of tissue that was left under the incision is actually shrinking in size which is a blessing.  When my bat wing (my flabby underarm muscle) rubs on the clump of tissue, it gets kinda sensitive.  I want to begin doing some arm exercises which I have been given the OK to do.  I need to find my 2 1/2 lb weights ... don't want to start out with too much.  <smile>  I figure every little bit helps and it's better than doing nothing.  Right?  Right!

Today I begin the steroids for round 4 of chemo which is scheduled for tomorrow.  Praying that I can stay on schedule and I ask that you pray that also.  I have run a low grade temp everyday since Wednesday which the hospital doctors told me was normal and should not interfere with the chemo.  I have kept and will take my temp log with me tomorrow along with the medicine log of the meds I was sent home from the hospital with just so everyone knows what I've taken and what has gone on with the temp.

Gotta run and get the day going ... after all it's already 6:18am.  My internal alarm clock continues to wake me up at 4:30am so I figure my body has had it's needed amount of sleep.  Let's get the day going.

*  Great Saturday
*  Got out of the house for a bit
*  Organization has begun for medical bills
*  Madelyn is beginning to feel better from her ongoing sinus infection
*  My family
*  My friends
*  My life

Prayer Request:
*  Fever doesn't keep me from taking the chemo
*  Unspoken request ... God knows what it is
*  Those who may be facing their first chemo treatment tomorrow

Thank you as always for the prayers.

Love and many blessings!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday Morning

My first week of 'basic isolation' went pretty well.  <smile>  I got a few phone calls, texts and emails that helped me know folks were still out there. <smile>  I was able to work all week and get so much accomplished.  I have the same hours here as I do when I'm in the office - 7:00 to 3:30.  When 3:30 rolls around, the laptop is put away safely for the next day.  I need to get a few things from the office so I will go up there this weekend while no one is there.  I miss my co-workers and the hub-bub of the office but I know I'll be back among them before too long.

I feel good and my appetite is good.  My weight has maintained through this whole surgery and chemo treatment so far.  Last year around February I think, I joined Weight Watchers and lost the 17 pounds that had sneaked up on me.  I reached Lifetime member at WW.  My goal is to begin doing some sort of exercise since being under the care of Linda, my lymphedema therapist.  She has been so informative about all phases of  lyphedema 'do's and don't's' and I am so thankful God put her in my life.  I miss my exercise but she's given me the go-ahead for light exercise.

I mentioned Thursday in my post about the book, A Good Day Anyway, I received in the mail from A.G.  I want to share the Afterword from Mr. Massey, primarily the way a cancer patient feels and unless you have had the disease, it is hard to comprehend these feelings ... and know I do not want anyone to ever have to go through this just to comprehend.  Mr. Massey writes in his Afterword of the book ....

Cancer undoubtedly has an affect on everyone it touches.  The lives of the patients, loved ones, and friends are forever changed.  How cancer changes each of us is different.  During my first battle with cancer, my daughter, Amber was just nine months old.  I was determined to beat the cancer and be there for her in the years to come.  Amber and I were best friends as she grew up.  I took her to her first day of school and to all the activities she was involved in.  

Amber was eleven when I learned I had cancer again.  The odds were not in my favor and this news hit her very hard.  As the treatment went on and I looked worse and worse, both Amber and her mother started to slowly distance themselves from me.  They each admitted to me after I had beaten the cancer, that they had not expected me to make it.  The emotional separation was a defense mechanism to lessen the blow of my death when it came.  I know they were trying to protect their feelings, but is was extremely difficult for me.  

Having cancer a second time changed me too.  I had survived, and I knew that I couldn't afford to have cancer again.  Major lifestyle adjustments, including my diet, exercise and attitude were essential for my continued existence.  These were not easy for my family and made the emotional struggles we were already having even more complicated.

Eventually these struggles took their toll.  I beat the cancer, but lost my family.  My wife and I divorced and my daughter chose to live with her mother.  I was extremely lonely for several years after the divorce.

On the surface, I was doing everything right.  I continued to live a healthy life.  I didn't need or want any unnecessary possessions.  But inside I felt that no one would ever be able to understand me.  Most people just don't comprehend the special ingredient that makes life meaningful for me.  I was fully prepared to live out my days alone, but life had other plans for me.

Three years ago, I met someone that lived life the same way I did.  This amazing person is now my wife.  The first time Karen and I had a conversation, I knew she "got it."  She knew exactly how I felt on every aspect of life, because she felt the same way.  Karen survived childhood leukemia and a horrible car accident as a teenager.  She also values a healthy lifestyle. We both know that we are fortunate to be alive and strive to put gratitude first in everything we do.

We have been married for over a year and I have never been so happy.  Amber is grown now and chooses not to be in my life.  I know a time will come when we will be able to sort out our differences.  Until then, I want her to know that I will always love her and I am grateful for her.  She is the reason  these poems exist.  She is the reason I still exist.

I believe everything happens for a reason.  and I know that what my mother has told me since I was a child is true.  "No matter how bad things seem to be, they always will work out."

So what does Mr. Massey's Afterword of his book mean to me?  While his cancer was very severe and I praise God that he survived not once but twice ... I get it.  I get the healthy lifestyle ... eating, exercise, attitude.  I have been a semi-health nut for most of my life but having cancer drives this inside your being even more.  I have always been thankful for my health and the ability to do the many things I do.  When cancer struck my body, my determination kicked in even more.  My heart aches as I see many who chose to abuse their bodies with smoking, alcohol, over eating, prescription drugs, street drugs, an inactive lifestyle, etc.   Why?  Your body is a temple of God.  If God walked up to you today and said, "So and so, why are you abusing the body that I gave you?"  What would you say?  As you read this, you probably think I've lost my last marble but trust me I haven't.  I know exactly what I'm saying and why I'm saying it.  Your health is so important and your body was not meant for abuse.  Take care of it.  It is the only body you will ever have.  Don't wait until it's too late and you hear those words, "you have cancer (or something else)" and say "Boy, how I wished I had taken better care of myself."  Start today.  The end result will be well worth the effort.

Every week I receive an email newsletter from Sheree at Joan Katz Breast Center located in Baylor-All Saints Hospital.  Sheree is a jewel and I know God put her where she is because she is such a wonderful Christian lady who loves people.  Yesterday she shared the following...

Glenda Brooks is our counselor and she is also one of the most disciplined people I have ever known. She shared with me a song called “I’m Gonna Shine” by Maurice Chevalier. It is a wonderful and upbeat song. She said that she plays it every morning and it is simply impossible to have a bad attitude after listening to that song! So, I put it on my iPod and I have listened to it on the way to work every day this week and she is so right! It is impossible to have a bad attitude when listening to that song! The words are great and his French accent make it so much better!!

My friends, whatever your lot in life. Rich, poor, tall, short, sick, healthy, male, female…don’t let your attitude be your handicap! Make up your mind to shine today and everyday! Listen to Maurice and you cannot help but smile!!!

I'm Gonna Shine
This morning when I woke up, I said to myself, I’m gonna shine, I’m gonna shine today.
Made up my mind I’m gonna shine today.
I’m feeling fit and in condition
I’ve got a sunny disposition
I’m gonna walk to work across the park
Even though the skies are dark and gray
No matter what the sun is doing, I’m gonna shine today1
I’m gonna shine I’m gonna shine today.
I feel so fine I’m gonna shine today
When rainy weather comes a streaming
Just look at me and I’ll be beaming
I’m gonna shine I’m gonna shine today
I’m gonna laugh and smile the time away
Exactly like it was a holiday
No matter what the sun is doing I’m gonna shine today
I’m all lit up inside and glowing
So full of cheer I’m overflowing
As far as I’m concerned it’s blue above
The weather’s lovely and the month is May
No matter what the sun is doing I’m gonna shine today
I’m gonna shine made up my mind
I’m gonna shine, I’m gonna shine today!!!

Here is the YouTube link if you wish to listen to the song.  It will make you happy.   
(NOTE:  Pat, it's ok to click on this link, I promise.  <smile>) 

I pray for you today if you are fighting one of the demons I mentioned above.  I pray that God will lessen the pull of the drugs, cigarettes, eating habits, etc so that you can get on a healthy road for living.  The efforts and struggles will be well worth the end result.

Prayer Request:
*  Round 4 of chemo on Monday ... I will have only two left.  Exciting!
*  Fever doesn't get in the way of the chemo.  Had low grade three days this week.
*  Anyone who heard the words "you have cancer" this week.  They need our prayers.

*  My family
*  My friends
*  Feeling good
*  My life

Praising my God and Holding His Hand.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Beautiful Thursday

Update from Wednesday Afternoon
Yesterday I was working and about 1:30pm I began feeling really draggy and achy and guess what I suspected?   FEVER!  Yes, I took my temperature and I had 99.5.  My hospital doctor and Infectious Disease Doctor told me to expect a little temperature along the way.  I took my two Tylenol, left work for an hour (that means I had to walk to the den), got in my recliner and dozed off to sleep for bit.  When I woke, I immediately took my temp again and it was down to 99.1 ... good deal, it's on the way down.  By dinner time, it was down to normal and stayed down all evening.  Praise the Lord!  About 1:30am this morning, I woke up and knew that it was back up.  At that time it was 99.1 so again the two Tylenol and back to bed.  I woke temp free this morning and have remained that way all day.  Praise the Lord!

Due to being in the hospital last week, I had to cancel two of my appointments with the Lymphedema Therapist but I called today at 8:20am and just so happened she had a cancellation at 9:00am.  I got in gear and got there for another wonderful informational appointment.  I wanted to ensure that I was doing the lymph node drainage procedures the correct way and for the most part I was.  She showed me two extra things that I can do (she said because I was a good and aware patient) and I'm really happy to have these two additional procedures.  Ms. Linda also measured my left arm again and not much had changed from the original measurements which means my arm is not really swelling.  Praise the Lord!  From the measurements, she has a chart which determines the size of compression sleeve I will need.  My sleeve will not go over my hand (Praise the Lord) but rather stop at my wrist.  AND I do not have to wear it all the time, primarily when I exercise, yard work, vaccum (yuck), or anything of repetitive motion. She gave me a sheet for recording my arm measurements every 1 to 2 months.  She told me not to get obsessed (hmmm she must know me better than I knew <smile>).  This way I can keep up with any changes that I might not can feel.  I feel blessed that I have yet another wonderful medical person in my life.

As of today I have finished two of the prescriptions that I was sent home with.  You know there's a little something scarey about finishing those because in my non-medical mind I think that at least I am protected by taking the antibiotics (viral doesn't respond to this tho) and the Naproxen which is an anti-inflammatory and fever suppressant.  I still have Diflucan which is for the thrush.  I sure hope I don't get that again, it was painful.  Anyway ... I know God is healing my body and I rest assured He is taking care of me even with the meds being finished.

Yesterday I received a book in the mail with a hand-written note from a friend.  A.G. if you are reading my blog, I cannot thank you enough for sharing this book.  The book is titled  ... A Good Day Anyway ... My Poetic Journal of Cancer Survival ... by Dave W. Massey.  Mr. Massey has survived cancer twice (as well as the treatment).  During his treatment, he wrote poetry.  It is truly an inspiring set of poems that maybe someone who has not been through cancer and the treatment of such could learn something about the treatments.  More to come regarding this book.  Again thank you A. G. for sharing this book.

This section is dedicated to my family.  They are my support and cheering section as I move through the ups and downs of my chemo.  They pick up the pieces for things that I am not able to do at this time.  They let me cry when I need to cry, they laugh when I laugh and they listen to my endless stories of how I feel. (Remember I don't have much outside life so I ain't got much to talk about.)  I love hearing the stories from their days because it is something other than fever, chemo, blood counts, etc.  I pray for each and every one  of my family and so thankful that God chose you all to be mine.  So family and friends who are truly my extended family your support, help, and love is priceless.  My awesome Lord how you have blessed me.

Please keep your prayers flowing.  I know God hears each and every one of them.
Much love and many blessings.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Little Update

Monday was my blood count check so off I went to Center to have that done.  I wore a mask the entire time I was in there because as you can imagine, I am a little scared now.  Ms. Cindy, the nurse that gives me my blood report got the report back and said, "You can take that mask off, your counts are excellent."  Excellent blood counts are wonderful and I'm so thankful but I still kept the mask on until I got outside.  I came home and logged in and worked the remainder of the day.  Lesson learned that day is that I must get up and walk around even if in my house because my chest where my incisions are and just not feeling up to complete par, I was miserable the rest of the evening.  Couldn't wait to shower and get in the bed where I could lay down.

Tuesday I got up feeling much better (Thank you Lord) and was able to work.  IT issues caused me a problem but hopefully this morning that has been corrected.  After work I cooked dinner and it was so good. We had some organic chicken breast that I soaked in brine water all day and then made chicken strips and yes, I battered and fried them, made some gravy, sauteed fresh spinach in a little bacon grease and topped with a couple strips of bacon and sweet potato fries.  It was so good and I'm taking advantage of being able to eat while my appetite is good.  This Saturday I must get to Weight Watchers to weigh in for this month.  My weight is maintaining what it was when I started this journey.  Over the weekend I was taking steroid breathing treatments and that causes weight gain and my weight went up for a few days but has gone back down.  I was able to get out yesterday before the rain and walk up and down my street twice.

I continue to do my manual lymph node drainage exercises that I got from the lymphedema therapist before I got sick.  I need to make a couple more appointments with her for the appointments I missed last week while in the hospital.  I feel this is an important part of this journey.  Knowledge is power and I do not want to just blow this off and say "oh well, so my arm is swollen" ... and yes, there are people out there that say that.  I also need to be fitted for my compression sleeve.

I continue to take the prescriptions that I was sent home with and know they continue to work on any infection that may be remaining.  Praising God for feeling better and knowing there is a light at the end of this tunnel.

Thank you for your prayers, please keep those coming.  Prayers are priceless.

Love and many blessings for your wet Wednesday.


Monday, January 23, 2012

My Journey Took A Detour

From my Jesus Calling devotional book ... January 18
I am leading you along the high road, but there are descents as well as ascents.  In the distance you see snow-covered peaks glistening in brilliant sunlight. Your longing to reach those peaks is good, but you must not take shortcuts.  Your assignments is to follow Me, allowing Me to direct your path.  Let the heights beckon you onward, but stay close to me.

Learn to trust Me when things go "wrong".  Disruptions to your routine highlight your dependence on Me.  Trusting acceptance of trials brings blessings that far outweigh them all.  Walk hand in hand with Me through this day.  I have lovingly planned every inch of the way.  Trust does not falter when the path becomes rocky and steep.  Breath deep draughts of My Presence, and hold tightly to My hand.  Together we can make it!
Scripture verses:  John 23:19; 2 Corinthians 4:17: Habakkuk 3:19

When you read my blog post below, you might understand even more why I depend of my Father in Heaven to direct and guide me through not just this journey but my journey of life.  Without Him I could not make it through this or any other journey in my life.  I am so thankful for my loving Father who stays with me and directs me when my journey is on the straight and narrow or takes a detour.

Wednesday, January 18
The morning started out as any other morning, got up and got coffee, ready for work and 5:30am out the door.  Talked to my sister for about 10 minutes when my brother beeped in and talked to him until 6:00 when I got the office.  Felt good, was congested from all the stuff that blew in over the weekend but didn't think much about it.  All that changed by 7:00am when all of a sudden I started feeling very cold.  By 7:30 when my boss (S.C.) came in to my office to get some information, I was beginning to shiver.  I ask him if he thought it was cold in my office and he said no, but come to my office, it's warmer in there.  His office was warmer and we finished doing what needed to be done and back to my office I went.  Colder and colder I got as the minutes ticked away.  By 8:15am I realized that shivering with two thick sweaters on was an issue.  My temp had to be sky high.  I told his secretary I was leaving and she ask me if I was OK?  No, I wasn't but I needed to go home.  She got S.C. and he ended up driving me home.

On the way home, I called the Center and told them I knew I had over 100 degree temp and they told me to come in at 3:00pm.  Once I got home and took my fever I should have called them back.  It was 103.7.  I took Tylenol and laid in my recliner covered up.  S.C. ended up coming to get me and take me back to the center.  Blood work was done and when Helena, Nurse Practitioner, came in and examined me, she said, I want to get Dr. Y, Oncologist).  I didn't care who she wanted to get because I was laying down on that exam table and it just felt good to be laying down.  Dr. Y checked me over and had a real concern with the temp and said she felt like I needed to be in the hospital.  I told her I was just fine with that.  They sent me back upstairs to have my port capped off so that the hospital would use it instead of sticking me a gillion times.  Praise the Lord for ports (even tho I have fussed about it).  In a matter of 15 minutes, the medical staff at the Center had my paperwork ready for me to head up to Baylor-All Saints.

Once inside I got registered and the nice man who registered me, J. C., called for transport but there were three people needing rides in front of me.  He goes and gets a wheel chair and takes me himself.  It was after 5:00pm by now and lots began happening around me.  The hospitalist doctor, Dr. V, came in talked to me and set out a plan.  My sister got there and of course being a nurse she had questions ... and of course I didn't have any answers. <smile>  We are a pair when it comes to medical stuff.   Hooked up now to a fast dripping IV and a plan in place, I felt good to be in such a good facility where I knew I would be taken care of and all I wanted to do was get that hospital gown on and get in that bed and lay down. <smile>  My girls got there as fast as they could and boy was I happy to see them too.

Let the Test Begin
I won't go in to all the details but they ran massive blood test, throat cultures, lung x-rays, breathing treatments and on and on and on.  Nothing!  By Thursday Dr. V. felt the issue was viral but he was calling in an infectious disease doctor (IDD).  In case you aren't aware, viral is airborne. Now I don't know about you but when a doctor tells me that he is calling in an infectious disease doctor I begin thinking ... Well I probably caught the one little bitty germ that blew through NRH from Indonesia.  GREAT!  And then I think, there's probably no cure except the floo-floo tree leaf in Indonesia.  GREAT!  I will never be cured because Texas is probably too hot to grow a floo-floo-tree to cure me.  I continued getting major antibiotics, congestion medicines, Tylenol, and many other things, IV and oral but that was to treat the bacterial infections I had because there is no cure for viral infections, they must run their course.  The IDD, Dr. B, visited me on Friday afternoon and he had quite the personality.  He had reviewed my file and all the tests results and told me it was a viral infection in my lungs and trachea.  He put me on an anti-inflammatory for my lungs and oral antibiotics and told me when I was temp free for 24 hours I could go home.

Little Side Note:   Let's talk about Thrush ... Fungal Infection in Your Mouth and Throat
Now I don't know about you but if you've had children, thrush was always something you didn't want your children to get.  Luckily my girls never got thrush so I had no clue what to expect.  When I was at the Center on Tuesday and Helena was examining me, she said open your mouth.  She said, "can you taste your food?"  No, not really.  She said, "Well you've got thrush in the back of your mouth and probably down your esophagus."  Great ... now I at least knew why the two previous nights I had woken during the night with a 987 degree inferno in my throat.  Dr. V put me on the medicine to clear this fungal infection up and after just two of the pills my throat got much better.  Of course it takes more than two pills to get rid of this stuff so that's one of the prescrips I am taking here at home.  If you haven't ever had thrush ... be thankful ... if you have, you know what I'm talking about.  My thrush is a direct side affect of the chemo.  OH ... I'm very thankful my girls never got thrush because it would have been awful.

Going Home
Dr. V came in on Saturday morning and listened again to my lungs and told me that he was letting me go home.  By the time I got out in the early afternoon, I had been temp free for 24hours.  After he told me I could go home, we decided I would stay at least through lunch so I could get my antibiotic.  My friend, Greta, had come up to visit so she said she would stay and take me home.  Awesome ... going home, paperwork cleared, medicine instructions and ride home all in one place.  All we had to do when we got ready was to let the nurse know so she could get someone to walk us out.  That's mandatory.  After lunch, I got my antibiotic and we got rounded up and away we went.  It was wonderful knowing you have been cared for by the very best medical personnel there is and you feel better and are going home.

On the way home, Greta and I talked and laughed.  Her and her hubby and I have been friends for 35+ years so we have lots of history and good memories.  We ran through the Walgreens and left my six .. yes, six prescriptions and on to the house we go.  Here's a picture of my house.  I was standing in my sisters garage when I took this.

I didn't get to go home but was staying at my sisters across the street because my sweet grand daughter that lives with me had spiked a temp Saturday morning.  I was getting closer to home and I could at least see it.  God does have a sense of humor, doesn't He?  <smile>

Chasing a rabbit here ... Noisey Hospital Halls
The first three nights in the hospital were not good sleeping nights because it seemed so noisey ... all night long.  Now don't think I'm talking about nurses coming in and bothering me because they didn't but literally the hall noise kept me awake.  Bruce (Greta's hubby) works at Baylor-All Saints and he would come up during the day to check on me and finally I ask him if he could get me a fan?  He said he sure would try ... and not only did he try but he got me one and we turned that little booger on and Saturday night I slept seven hours with only one waking time during the night.  WHY had I not thought about that earlier?  Lesson learned.    Thank you Bruce for coming to my rescue.

The Road Ahead
None of us know what's on the road ahead but I will continue on my way with God by my side.  I will keep my eyes on Him and know that He has my road all mapped out but He is not ready to share it with me yet.  Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding; in all ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight".  I like straight paths but must say this detour was an adventure and God brought several more wonderful people in my life.  I want to maintain as good of health as possible and finish out my treatments.  I will be working from home these next several weeks, staying in my bubble.  As a reminder and this is not about me but if you have friends who are unable to get out and about due to health or other reasons, remember those friends.  They know that everyone's else's life is continuing on and they might feel isolated so send a card or email, make a phone call and let them know you are thinking about them.  I know that my treatment is going to end and soon enough I will be able to get out and about.  Thank you family and friends for supporting me and being here.  I get a few emails from primarily folks I have worked with over the years and it's always good to hear what's going on in their lives.  I know I am not walking my journey alone, God has and will continue to walk with me during this time and all the time after as well as my family and friends.  I am thankful!  I cannot and will not tell you that I am upbeat all the time because I'm not.  I have had several down times in the last 3-4 weeks but I do believe that it is because I have not felt up to par for some time.  This viral infection didn't just come on me in two days, I think it was incubating for a while and all the while I kept thinking, if I keep pushing forward surely I'm gonna feel better.  I've learned this is NOT the case in the situation I'm currently in .... pushing myself only will make things worse.  I've had a EYE OPENING experience and trust me, my blinders are off and I'm focusing on my body more and knowing that pushing is not in the cards for me right now.

I am happy to be home and feeling much better.  I will continue on with my treatments and working from home until they are finished.  There is a light at the end of this chemo tunnel and I can see it and I'm heading for it.  I am blessed and very thankful.

Love and many blessings!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine!

  1. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
    Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
    Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
    Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
    • Refrain:
      This is my story, this is my song,
      Praising my Savior all the day long;
      This is my story, this is my song,
      Praising my Savior all the day long.
  2. Perfect submission, perfect delight,
    Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
    Angels, descending, bring from above
    Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
  3. Perfect submission, all is at rest,
    I in my Savior am happy and blest,
    Watching and waiting, looking above,
    Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

I love, praise and rest in the assurance that my Lord  fills me with His love, comfort and grace.  

It was a wonderful day on Sunday. I hope you had a great day too.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Renewed Energy and Appetite

Saturday morning I got up early and got my coffee which was not tasting all that good yesterday.  My mouth was somewhat coated from the chemo but Praise the Lord as the day wore on, the taste buds came back alive.  I just love my coffee in the early mornings not for the kick start because I drink 1/2 caff but the taste.  Anyway the morning was a little slow to get started, energy level was improving but not 100%.

I was hungry for breakfast and made myself two delicious scrambled eggs with a little cream cheese, Spanish rice, and hot sauce.  I cannot begin to tell you how good those eggs were.  My sister brought over turkey bacon which I could not eat due to being bitter to me and I had two pieces of toast.  Breakfast pretty much started my eating frenzy.  My girls and grandbabies did a little shopping and by the time we got home, it was lunch time.  I ran to Rosa's and got us crispy beef taco dinners which includes three tacos, rice and beans and fresh tortillas.  I was like an bottomless pit.  I ate all my meal and looked at my sisters dish for more rice and beans and then Alicia's dish for more and they had both eaten all theirs too.  I opted for a tortilla dipped in hot sauce and then another tortilla warmed with honey.  Lunch proved exhausting <laughing> so it was time for a little snooze before proceeding with the day.  A little hour or so nap and I got back up and my sister and I ran to Sam's.  On the way to Sam's, I indulged in the Drumstick ice cream treat.

At Sam's I got fresh raspberries, blueberries, avocados, brussel sprouts (love love love them), Parmesan crusted tilapia, fresh spinach and of course Coffee Mate (love my CM).  I am planning on making a fresh spinach salad tonight with mushrooms, red onion with bacon crumbles with warm dressing made from the bacon fat, vinegar and sugar.  My sister will prepare the chicken that goes with it and I may saute up some of the brussel sprouts.  YUMMO!

Dinner found us at our beloved Sammy's BBQ in Riverside.  Yes, another big meal for me.  Our friend, Anna, joined us and we met at 6:00pm for a time of fellowship, catch up and food.  Anna and I opted for the rib plate with the tart cole slaw and my sister got the chopped beef sandwich basket.  It was so so tasty and I ate all of mine except the french fries but I did manage the onion rings.  As we walked in, there was a man sitting with what appeared could have been his Father (elderly gent) and I had noticed him.  After the men had left, our sweet waitress, Vesta, came over and told us that the little man that was sitting by the door as we walked in had taken care of our dinner and she took all our tickets and crunched them up.    Of course by the time our sweet waitress told us the man had picked up our tab, he was gone and we could not thank him.  I had actually watched he and the elderly gent leave and the man was so helpful to the elderly gent and I thought how sweet it was.  We were all so touched and of course very appreciative.  I said a special prayer for the man who bought three unknown ladies dinner last night.  I know God will bless the man beyond measure.  Thank you kind sir for your generosity.

During our meal and afterwards, we got to visit and catch up.  After awhile the hats that I wear start to bother me so I was either going to have to take my hat off or we were going to have to leave.  I always wear a hat of some kind everywhere I go but that doesn't mean I leave it on.  After a few minutes, these hats begin to get on my nerves and I get hot and they feel like they are squeezing my head.  My family is the best because they don't care if I have a hat on or not and even in public places, they don't care.  My sister told me yesterday that I could actually be a pioneer for women who do not like to wear hats and have no problems going bald in to places.  That made me feel good.  And let me tell you about my hair.  Since the last picture I posted, more of my hair has fallen out BUT the hair on top of my head is growing and getting longer.  It is so funny and very unbelievable.  The hair that is growing of course is still connected and it is just like your hair, it hurts if I pull on it.  Now in the next three treatments it may all turn loose but for now it's growing like it's being fertilized.

And while we are on the subject of things growing, my nails are growing unbelievable amounts.  Praise the Lord and my nails have not turned blue from the one chemo drug (Taxotere) that I take.

So here ya have it... what was a very bad week from the chemo has made a big turn around and I am feeling much better with renewed energy and my wonderful appetite back.  Praise the Lord.  Thank you for following my eating frenzy and I know I most likely bore most who read this but this is the life of a chemo patient.  Thank you for your continue prayers, they mean so much to me.  God hears each and every one  of them and I  know He loves hearing from you.

Sending many blessings this blessed Sunday morning.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Review

Thank you for your prayers.  Please keep them up as I've said earlier, my journey has not ended.  I am half way through my chemo treatments and yes, Praise the Lord.  My precious Lord carried me through this past week.  It was a tough week, I cannot deny that.  I dislike that it was but I try to keep in mind it's all part of the treatment and soon it will be behind me.

While being cleared to take my third chemo treatment, it is my belief that my body was not completely healed from the fever I had run my third week after my last treatment.  I think my immune system was a little compromised but I will Praise the Lord that I got through it.  The fatigue set in on Monday after the treatment and stayed with me until Friday.  I cannot begin to describe the fatigue as it attacks my body.  It takes all the energy I have to talk and moving was a struggle within itself.  Fatigue for me is one of the worst feelings in the world as you all know that I am type A personality, bounce off the wall kinda gal.  Yesterday morning, my pooch had a hair appointment and I had my lymphedema assessment appointment so I got up and had oatmeal for breakfast which I could eat (more about my appetite below).  I got my makeup on and headed to  Baylor All Saints for my assessment.  It felt good to have enough energy to get out of the house even for another appointment.

My appetite also plunged worse than it has in any of my three treatments.  Monday I got home from my treatment in time to put an all inclusive organic chicken type dinner with veggies in the oven so we had that for dinner.  It was good but after that meal, I couldn't stand to look at it.  Tuesday I cannot even remember eating much.  I think I tried the scrambled egg, dry toast and not much else.  My ice water has tasted yucky this time.  Orange juice and grape juice have been really good to me this round.  Do I worry about the sugar, nope, I'm just happy to be able to drink something.  Wednesday found me wanting a hard beef taco from Rosa's and Bonnie suggested getting a pint of rice.  That was my lunch and dinner.  One taco (no lettuce due to the smell of the lettuce) and Spanish rice.  Thursday was another story, I went back to Rosa's to get a beef taco carbon which tasted burned so it got trashed.  Instead opted for more rice and a few chips and hot sauce.  Dinner that night came early for me with Cici's spinach pizza about 4:00pm.  The pizza tasted pretty good and the crust seemed to really help my tummy.  As I mentioned above, Friday morning I had my oatmeal for breakfast before my arm assessment, when finished with that appointment, I was leaving the hospital and the little guy was making that wonderful hospital popcorn and I got a box of that.  Munched on that on the way home and it was so good.  Lunch rolled around pretty quick and I ended up at Sonic getting a large order of onion rings and three chicken strips.  The onion rings and chicken strips satisfied my taste buds for lunch.  Dinner was more of the spinach pizza but this time I added kalamata olives and pepper flakes.  So taking a look at my diet, it doesn't seem healthy at all but due to the effect of the chemo, you really have to decide to just try to eat to promote energy.

My lymphedema assessment appointment went very well.  There's so much to know about everything that goes on when cancer strikes and this condition while not caused by the cancer but rather an affect of the surgery is another aspect of it.  My therapist is a 13 year veteran (Linda) in this type therapy and she is so sweet and soft spoken and very well educated.  I will add right here that the thought of my arm swelling and having to live with this condition the rest of my life, had me pretty well down in the dumps.  Being the active person I am, I was not sure how this would affect my quality of life.  As it turns out, Linda measured seven points on both my arms and the result was that while there was a very small difference in the measurements of my arms which means there is a small amount of lymphedema present in my left arm where the 16 lymph nodes were removed, there is not a lot of swelling.  Praise the Lord.  I will have therapy three days next week and she will order me a compression sleeve.  She said she did not want me to stop doing anything that I was doing.  She gave me two additional exercises and we will video how to massage the three prominent axillary nodes under my left arm so my sister can massage those for me to ensure we keep those draining.  This massage therapy is a very gentle massage because these little glands are very sensitive.  She said I would be able to keep doing everything I am doing now which includes picking up and loving on my grandbabies.  Praise the Lord.

Once home after that appointment, I decided I would take my time and do some things around my house.  I changed my bed and bleached everything.  Smells have been very prominent this round of chemo.  It is indescribable with the smell issue because I know my house doesn't smell and my sister assured me last night that my house smells good.  It's not a bad smell that I get, it's a sweet yucky smell to me.  My plan is to bleach my shower stall really good and see if that helps.  Strange I know but ....  

I do not look to tomorrow, I will only live for today.  The next treatment is two whole weeks off and I will enjoy my time between now and then and not think that far in advance.  I am thankful God pulled me through this treatment and held me tight as I laid in His arms and rested.

* My third treatment is behind me.
* I am up this Saturday morning with renewed energy and having my coffee.
* Looking forward to what the day holds.
* Possible ribs at Sammy's BBQ tonight.
* Getting back on the fresh veggies and maybe some steak to promote my RBC.
* My awesome family who understands and is so supportive when I want to cry and don't feel good.
* My friends who have contacted me this week with words of encouragement.
* My great health insurance that provides me with such good treatment options.
* A job that allows me the time to work from home so my body will heal properly.
* My awesome Father who holds me as His child when I didn't think I could go on.

Prayer Request:
* Those who have just found out they have breast cancer.
* Those going through the chemo treatments like myself.
* My friends facing their own health issues.  You know who you are.

All in all my friends, I know I am blessed and I'm so thankful.  Tough weeks come along for all of us and it's ok to feel the way we feel ... what's important is that we do not wallow in those feelings and stay in those deep dark valleys.  God wants us to look up and see His smiling face just waiting for us to get to Him at the top of the mountain.  If you're in a valley, look up, He's waiting for you to get there.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.  It means more than you will ever know.  I pray for you blessings by the millions and a great weekend ahead.



Friday, January 13, 2012

Round 3 -

Not to be negative Nancy, but telling it like it is.  It's been a tough tough week.  This round of chemo knocked me on my hind side.  Fatigue, small amounts of nausea, no appetite.  If you are still praying, thank you, if you are not, please continue.  My journey is not finished and I truly need your prayers.  Thank you so much.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Update on Round 3 Chemo

We got to the Center right on time for my labs and headed down to see Dr. Y. once the lab report got finished.  She was running pretty on time which I'm always thankful for.  She came in with that big smile on her face and a hug ready for my arms.  She took all my reports from the previous chemo treatments and also wanted to know about last week with all the temps I had.  She reviewed my labs and other than just the still slight decrease of my red blood count (RBC), everything looked good.  I did a review of the the RBC this morning and it's not really all that low so a few more steak dinners should boost it back up.  (Remember I'm not a real beef eater.)  Fresh spinach and dates are other good sources.  I've kinda been off the greens since chemo began and the dates have a tendency to be really sweet for me and I am not really tolerating sweets too much.  Not that they make me sick or anything, just don't appeal to my taste buds.

Dr. Y. did a breast exam where my breast would be and found no lumps - Praise the Lord.  She listened to my lungs which I was most thankful for since I really don't know what was going on last week with my body and the temps and all sounded good - Praise the Lord. She listened to my heart and I figure it's still ticking really well - Praise the Lord.  She also felt of my ovaries which by now are probably doing their shriveling act due to the chemo - Praise the Lord.  No estrogen coming from there, however, the night proved to be one big sweating hot flash after another last night.  So something is drying up and dying.  She then sat me up and looked at my arms.  And it's happening.  Lymphedema has started in my left arm where the 16 lymph nodes were taken out.  Oh how I was hoping that this would not happen.  It is not bad at this point and only in the top part of my arm and not down in to my hand.  She wants me to go to lymphedema therapy which is a massage technique and they will fit me for a sleeve.  She says caught early she said in some cases it can improve with time.  So the office is getting me set up for the lymphedema therapy as soon as possible.  In actuality, I knew there was a slight swelling in my upper left arm and I knew what it was but never said anything.  Another issue she ask me about was blurry vision and that's been happening also.  It's not all the time, primarily while watching TV for long periods of time.  Dr. Y. ask me if my eyes were tearing much and I said no.  She said that's a very big concern for chemo patience.  Praise the Lord this isn't happening.  So once we went over all of the above, she released me for my chemo treatment yesterday.

Once the chemo got started, my insides became very tender again just like during treatment #1.  I didn't have that with treatment #2 but this morning it seems better.  Praise the Lord.  It's really an indescribable feeling I get on my insides.  Alverna heated up the corn chowder for our lunch.  After that it was nap time.  I can't figure out if the infusion of the meds or just sitting there for so long causes me to be so tired but something sure does.  We had gotten started a little earlier with this infusion so we got out at 3:30 unlike the past two treatments where it was almost 5:00.  Praise the Lord.  Was able to eat dinner and then it was bedtime for me at 6:30pm sleeping most of the night except when the sweating flashes hit me about every 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

Up this morning, coffee doesn't taste very good, oatmeal with blueberries doesn't take very good, I was able to get my glass of OJ down but cold water it is for right now.  I've taken my steriods and will begin my anti-nausea meds here shortly.  Praising the Lord for no nausea.

Yesterday when I was making my bathroom stop before heading to take my infusion, I ran in to a girl now lady that I went to high school with who was beginning her journey with lymphoma.  Carla C. looked as pretty as ever and said cancer was really nothing new to their family as her husband had fought colon cancer for the past year.  My friends, cancer is running rampant everywhere.  Please keep a check on your health and do all the testing that you can.

* I was able to take my round 3 and am half way finished.
* No nausea.
* Was able to walk with Tootie when I got home from my treatment.
* My dear friend, Alverna, who continues to be able to take me to my treatments and she knows just what to do when I get confused.
* My family supports me with such a sweet spirit.
* I have the best medical team a girl could have.

Prayer Request:
* Nausea stays away.
* Energy levels increase.
* Appetite returns.
* My friends who have been recently diagnosed with cancer.  There are more than I mentioned above.

Thank you for continued prayers and support in reading my blog.  You mean more to me than you will ever know.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Funday Monday - Chemo Round 3

It's Funday Monday, and at 4:40am I threw my leg over the side of the bed after a good nights sleep and got up and got going.  I have some things I want to get done this morning before leaving for my infusion of medicine as I get round 3 past me.  I have taken my morning steroids and have my meds ready to pack in my purse and be ready to go when Alverna gets here to pick me up to head out and get this treatment going.

I made a crock pot recipe of Corn Chowder yesterday of which I love and it was so good.  I got the recipe off Pinterest.  If you are not signed up for Pinterest, send me a private email and I will send you an invitation and you can sign up.  It's by invitation only so you have to be invited.  They have all sorts of stuff posted on this site besides recipes and it has become my new fav site for recipes.

This morning when Alicia and Madelyn leave, I have to get the rake and go rake the french drain beside my house to ensure no clogging in case we get all rain they are calling for today.  I could hear it lightly raining when I woke up during the night at 1:00am ish.  It didn't seem to hard so I am assuming the hardest rain will come later.  Hoping at least!

I continue to do my left arm exercises to stretch and keep the muscle stretched out.  It seems not doing these exercises only one day sets me back some and I don't want that.  Guess it's something you have to keep doing for some time.  That's ok, I can do that.

Speaking of  "I can do that" ... there's so much we can do that we don't think we can.  Our attitudes and perseverance makes all the difference in the world.  Remember when we were little or maybe our children were little and the story of the little train going up the hill and he says, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can" well I modified that for my life, "I know I can, I know I can, I know I can".  Join me today and repeat that when you face a difficult situation ... Attitude and perseverance and "I know I can" will get you through.

Gonna run and get dressed for the day.  Makeup already on and hair is too short to do anything with ... Laughing.  Go grab a cup of coffee or your drink of pleasure and have a good day.

* Great weekend
* Surrounded by love

Prayer Request:
* Chemo treatment
* Those taking their first infusion today
* The days to follow

Love and sweet blessings,

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Friday - Saturday - and Now Sunday

I didn't get an opportunity to update on Friday (Praise the Lord) because Thursday my fever broke and I was able to go to the office on Friday and work all day.  Last week was my third week after chemo, that's the week we chemo patients call our "good week".  Most of mine was having the fever but I won't complain as there was a reason (I don't know what it was) and then it went away.  While at the office I was able to get everything caught up and that makes me happy.  After work I came home and fixed spaghetti for dinner and even able to lay down for a short nap before dinner.

Saturday morning I got up and got at it.  We fixed breakfast (I kinda charred the sausage patties but they were edible).  Alicia made blueberry muffins with a new mix I bought.  We added fresh blueberries (too many were Alicia's words) but they were edible but the left overs were not saveable <smile>.  Mid morning we got out and shopped a little and I picked up a couple things I had wanted like a emulsion hand mixer, you know the stick looking mixer they use on Food Network to thicken soups and stews, a meat thermometer of which I've never had.  After our shopping, we had lunch at Chili's and I got my chip and salsa fix from there.  It's not the best salsa but it sure is good ... and oh, the Ranch dressing too.  Following the shopping and lunch, it was nap time.  I layed down on the couch, covered up like it was 30 below and went sound asleep.  The next thing I hear (2 hours later) ...  Gena Gena Gena ... it was Alicia trying to wake me up because she said I was snoring really LOUD.  Evidently she had tried the Mom Mom Mom but I didn't wake up.  Slept really hard and felt like I was in a fog the rest of the afternoon.  Dinner found me at Bonnie and Buddy's having wonderful (Paul Morrison recipe) meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes and sweet carrots.  It was so good.  Braxton and I got to play and talk for two hours and it was wonderful.  He's walking and talking (in Braxton language) so good.

So now we are to Sunday.  I woke at 5:05am and got up knowing that I must begin the steroids today in preparation for round 3 of my chemo tomorrow.  Two steroids down and two to go for today.  My coffee is great this morning (as always) and always my cold ice water is so delightful.

Yesterday I was perusing Facebook and one of my friends had posted the graphic below.  I thought it was cute and so reminded me of myself.  Take a look below and you will see why ....

Do you see the resemblance?  OK, so I may not be as curvy as these gals above ... <smile>  but look at their heads.  And bald is not half bad and it is my preferred method of being.  My 'get ready' time has been cut in half without having hair.  Friday morning when I was putting on my makeup, I thought I would test some of the hair that 'seems' to be hanging on so I singled out a little hair and got my finger nail up under it and pulled.  It slid right out of my scalp.  So I figure most of the hair that I thought was still hanging on is really rooted, instead it's just in the hole waiting for it's departure.... all except the two gray hairs I found.  I pulled on them and they are connected.  OUCH! <laughing>  Go figure .. the grays are hanging on.

I have the wigs, I have several caps and head gear but I am most comfortable being bald.  On Friday I had worn my wig to the office which requires me to put a little cap that looks like a hose stretched over my head before I put the wig on.  When you're bald, you don't have anything for the wig to hold on to so you have to put the little cap thing on first.  I had a migraine on Friday and having that cap thing and wig on was like putting my head in a vise so after about an hour at work, I took all of it off and bald it was all day.  I did have one of my embellished caps with me so when I got cold, I put that on until I could warm up.  Saturday afternoon found me shopping at Sam's with my sister ... bald.  I wore my cap in but I pulled it off as soon as I got in.  Caps of any kind are just not comfortable to me unless I'm cold.  No one seemed to stare at the woman with no hair ... if they would have, I would have just said ... CHEMO.  <laughing>  

So this is my latest update.  I'm up and about on this blessed Sunday morning and ready for what the day holds.  

* I'm feeling good and believing my chemo schedule will go on as planned.  I'LL BE HALF WAY THROUGH MY TREATMENTS WITH THIS ONE!!!
* My sister seems much better after hurting her back last weekend.
* My appetite is back and praying it stays that way.
* My grandbabies are thriving .. walking and trying to talk.

Prayer Request:
* My friend, R. M., who has been under the weather.
* All those who have just found out they have breast cancer.
* My dear friend, C. D. who is having surgery tomorrow.  I can't be there for her during her surgery like she was for me but she will be in my prayers.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your continued prayers.  They mean so much to me and I know God hears each and every one of them.  


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Praising the Lord

Yesterday I did an experiment with my fever.  I decided I wasn't going to take any Tylenol and just see what happened.  My log began at 6:20am with 99.0 ... 11:10am with 99.2 ... 2:15pm with 101.1 ... 4:00pm with 101.2 ... 6:30pm with 100.2 ... 8:10pm with 100.4 at which time I knew I would be going to bed soon so I took two Tylenol.  Now I gotta tell you that fever all day made me feel like pooh but I was determined to see what would happen.  I drank over 100 oz of water during the day so I knew I was getting enough fluids.  I went to bed at 9:00pm and other than getting up with the pooch at 10:00pm, I slept all night ... cool as a cucumber.

This morning I'm praising my awesome Lord.  I had a great uninterrupted nights sleep.  Woke up this morning about 4:30ish and still felt cool.  I got up and moving at 5:00am, put the coffee on and then took my fever.  It was a cool 98.5.  Since then, I've had two cups of coffee, talked to my sister on her way to work and started sweating and praise God I'm sweating under my left arm where the lymph nodes were removed.  I'm praying this is a turn-around day for the fever.  I'm so ready for it to be gone.  Thank you Lord.

So enough about me....

Today is my daughter, Bonnie and her hubby, Buddy's anniversary.  Four years ago today they were married.  Our family was blessed with the addition of this young man.  

Since then they have added my precious beautiful little grandson, Braxton.  He is easy going, always smiling and growing like no other.  He is getting more verbal and his Mommy is teaching him sign language of which he uses.

And speaking of babies, today my grand daughter, Madelyn turns 14 months old.  She is my other joy.  She's a mover and shaker (like her Mother was), climber (my girls were not climbers so this is a challenge), smart and sweet.  Her Mommy is also teaching her to sign of which she is learning and doing.  She loves to feel Grammy's bald head, as well as, all my hats and she calls me Ma.

So lots going on today and I'm thankful I'm feeling good this morning, that I am surrounded my beautiful family, and all my precious friends who continue to support me through this journey.

Thank you for sending me emails yesterday telling me what is going on in your lives.  They brightened my day more than you will ever know.

* Good sleep last night
* Feeling better this morning
* My family
* My friends
* The medical team that takes such good care of me

Prayer Request:
* Please continue praying that the fever stays gone
* For those who have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer

I would love to hear from you.  Email me at genam44@charter.net.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fever Fever Go AWAY!

The doctors office continues to tell me to push fluids and take the antibiotics.  Looking at my fever log, the fever was on a continuous incline yesterday from the time it started at 12:50pm.  It topped out at 101.2 last night at 11:20pm.

If you read this, send me an email about your life because I'm going stir-crazy here in the house.  <smile>  Other than when the fever is up, I feel fine.  My appetite has completely disappeared but I am making myself eat.

Please continue praying that this fever breaks and goes away.  I know this is a mere bump in the road of this journey I'm on, so I am holding on to my sweet Lord and know that He will heal my body and make me whole.  I have thankfulness and confidence in Him.

So trust in the Lord forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages]. Isaiah 26: 4

Sending you many blessings and praying for you good health.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Fever Still With Me

My fever spiked at 100.4 last night and was with me throughout the night.  Calling the doctor's office this morning to report.  Just wish I knew what was going on.  Praying that God will heal my body and get the fever gone.

Luke 8:48
48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

Thank you for your prayers.


Monday, January 2, 2012

The Last Three Days

Starting last Friday, I have run a low to mid grade temperature (99-101) which started with a UTI (bladder infection) and then the bronchitis set in.  Friday night, my Oncologist office called me in some antibiotics which they say are broad spectrum enough to take care of both.  I'm taking Mucinex as well to loosen up my chest.  My energy level has been pretty low and the temperature makes me feel really bad.  This morning is blood count check and this should tell if this is is viral or bacterial.    

Prayer Request:
* Whatever this is that has invaded my body gets gone soon.  My next round of chemo is Monday, January 9 and I so want to stay on my original chemo schedule.

Thank you much for your prayers.  They mean so much.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

For I know the plans ....

Happy 2012!!!!

Today I will claim this scripture for my new year .... what about you?

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD.  "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

God has everything under control and how thankful I am for that.