Monthly Archives: May 2012

Simply Blessed

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So I had another round of chemotherapy and a doctor’s appointment last week and I would have written a post sooner to update you guys but I just haven’t recovered as well this round. The fatigue has been pretty bad but along with the fatigue, I have had a headache, jaw pain, nausea and muscle soreness off and on. However, I started feeling a little better yesterday and was able to get out and do some stuff which I will tell ya about in a bit. First things first, my doctors appointment went really well. My doctor said that my heart test came back completely normal. For those of you who know medical terminology, my ejection fraction (which is the blood pumped out of your heart with every beat) was 66% and the norm for this is between 50-75%. I don’t know as much about my lung test. Not sure if I just can’t remember or if he didn’t tell me the name of the number he gave me but basically the number was 101 before I started chemo and now it is down to 82. Dr. Armor said that he wasn’t concerned as long as the number wasn’t below 75. I asked if we would have to do this test again after I am completely finished with chemo and he said we shouldn’t have to. I trust him completely so I’m not going to worry about it! God is so good and once again has answered my prayers!

Chemotherapy went pretty well this week. Sadly, my nurse Julie, who I have had for all my other treatments except 1 moved to California and I was unable to tell her goodbye in person. However, she called me on the phone the night before and we had such an encouraging conversation. I am so thankful for people like her. She is so dedicated to treating patients who have cancer and she is definitely a special person. I feel blessed to have gotten to know her so well and wish her the best of luck in the future. I had another awesome nurse this week who has recently gone through chemotherapy herself so she knows exactly what I’m going through. I greatly admire the fact that even after going through chemo, she can still give it to other people who need it. That says a lot about her character because even hearing the name chemo makes me want to vomit after going through it. Luckily, I didn’t get sick during my treatment this time. However, I did get sick later that afternoon when trying to take some nausea medicine. I think at this point it’s just inevitable.

Nanny left for the week on Thursday which always makes me sad. Luckily, I had my wonderful sister, Will’s mom and Will who all took shifts taking care of me for the day while my parents took her home. 🙂 I didn’t do a lot on Thursday or Friday due to extreme fatigue and nausea. Saturday, I was able to go lay under my umbrella at the neighbor’s pool for the first time this summer and that was really nice. Saturday night I had an awful headache which didn’t allow me to do much. Sunday, I started feeling a little better and was able to go to sit at the pool again with some of Will’s nieces and nephews. That was a lot of fun! Yesterday was probably my best day since my last treatment. Although I still didn’t have a ton of energy, I was able to go with my family to the outlet mall in OKC. I have the best parents in the world! We got there early enough to beat the crowd, had a great lunch outside, and shopped a bit, taking breaks when I needed them. That afternoon I went to the pool with Will and my friend Emily. Yesterday evening was so much fun as well! Will grilled out for the first time this summer and we had the best steak and chicken with french fries and marshmallow fruit salad. We just relaxed, watched some  TV, and even listened to the rain from the sun room! It was a perfect day! I am so greatly blessed with such wonderful people in my life!

I was kind of worried about how this week would go since Nanny was going to be gone until next weekend. However, last week my neighbor’s daughter Lindsay texted me and said that her and her family would be coming to town for the week and would love to “babysit” me! 🙂 I don’t get to spend time with them very often so that worked out perfectly! God just works everything out for the good all the time. I spent today with my sister and then plan on spending some time with them and their adorable little girl the next couple of days. Once again, how lucky am I?!

This next weekend is going to be a very busy one! My cousin, who is 11 months older than me, is getting married!! She is going to be a beautiful bride and I can’t wait to celebrate with her. Thankfully it is on my “good” weekend so hopefully I will have a lot of energy! 🙂 I am looking very forward to seeing my family and many friends this weekend. We have the bridal luncheon and rehearsal dinner on Friday and then the wedding Saturday evening. Sunday, we will be bringing Nanny home with us again! Maybe this time I can hold her hostage because I don’t know how I’m ever going to handle her leaving for good in a little over a month now. 🙂

Have you ever heard the saying “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good?” Well I can tell you firsthand that it is so true. He has been so faithful to me through all of this and he deserves so much praise! Even though I stated how this time has been a little rough and I haven’t recovered as well, he still provided me happiness. The weather has been so nice and even when I feel like doing nothing, I can still sit out on the deck and enjoy the weather. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. I only have 3 treatments left and it’s hard to believe that it will all be over in a little over a month now. I can hardly wait!!

Good News!

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First of all I want to say thank you soooo much for your many prayers because HE IS LISTENING!! I had a PET scan on Tuesday and was not expecting to get the results until my doctor’s appointment next week! However, my wonderful nurse Pam called Wednesday evening and gave me the best news I have ever heard in my entire life! She said that my PET scan stated that there was no evidence of any more cancer!! That just made my day! We had popcorn and a cherry lime aid to celebrate that night 🙂

God is just so amazing! He puts people in my life on almost a daily basis that show me His love. I had my heart and lung function test yesterday and I had the same pulmonary technician as I had the first time. Her name was Rachel and she is so sweet! She was genuinely concerned about how I was doing and even got tears in her eyes when she asked me about how it was to lose my hair. She was so encouraging and made it not so bad to have to go through the tests I had to do. Today, Nanny and I went shopping and the girl in Buckle that assisted us was super sweet as well. After telling me that I smelled good, she gave me the biggest compliment that I have gotten in awhile. She told me that she loved my eyelashes!! I did not have fake ones on today either! I just had a little bit of makeup on and she was being serious! I love how good God is!

While doing my bible study the other day, I came across a few verses that spoke to me so much! James 1:2-4 states “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” This is so very true. God has definitely used this time in my life to test my faith and mature me. Although it hasn’t been the most fun time in my life, it has surely been a time that I will always be thankful for. He has richly blessed me!

I don’t have much planned this weekend besides dinner with friends Saturday evening. I will keep you updated as soon as I get the results about my heart and lungs. I think I was more nervous about these then the PET scan because I don’t want to have to worry about damage to my heart or lungs after this is all over. However, I know that God has been so good thus far and that He will bring me through again! Thanks again for your many prayers! Hope you enjoyed seeing all the new pictures I recently added! 🙂

Still Going Strong

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A LOT has happened since I last posted a blog! First of all, I am now down to 4 chemotherapy treatments left and that means exactly 2 months left to go! I can’t say they are getting any easier because I got just as sick last time as I ever have. However, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and even if I get sick from here on out, I will make it! My blood counts were low again during my last doctor’s visit which we aren’t really sure why they went back down but my doctor did not seem to be concerned so that’s good. Also, I have to say goodbye to the best chemo nurse ever at my next treatment because she is moving to Sacramento, CA. 😦 She has been so wonderful to me and I’m sure she will do awesome things in her future.

As many of you know, this past weekend was a big milestone for me! I graduated with my doctorate degree in Physical Therapy. We had an honor and awards banquet on Friday night where I received an “Excellence in Research” award which was totally unexpected. Then we had graduation on Saturday morning. It was very tiring since my chemo was still pretty recent but I made it! That night we had family and friends over for dinner on the deck to celebrate and it was such a fun evening. I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me these past 7 years of school. I can’t believe it’s finally over. It was kind of bittersweet this weekend because I have been waiting to be done with school for so long now but at the same time I will miss my classmates who I spent almost every day with for the past 3 years. I wish them all the best of luck in their future careers.

I think God has been trying to teach me lately that beauty is not skin deep. As you already know, I lost my hair several months ago now. Well, my eyelashes and eyebrows have been slowly falling out as well. I use a gel everyday that is supposed to help them grow back in as soon as they fall out but some of it is inevitable. I asked my mom to get me fake eyelashes to wear to graduation this past weekend. I wore them Friday night to the honor and awards banquet and my eyes burned so badly all night from the glue that you would have thought I was crying. I decided it wasn’t worth it to wear them again on Saturday. I put mascara on the few lashes I have left and was good to go! I have truly learned that outer beauty is nothing compared to what is within.

I heard a song on the radio the other day called “Come as you are” by Pocket Full of Rocks. It really spoke to me because it talks about how God doesn’t care about your scars or what you have been through. He just wants us to come to Him, just as we are. He doesn’t care what we look like, He just wants to see our heart. If you haven’t heard this song you should listen to it on youtube, it’s awesome! God has been so good to me! I heard this weekend that a friend of a friend of mine had passed away. While it saddened me for all his friends and family, it also made me envious of him that he is now with our heavenly father. This man lived life 100% for God and I have no doubt in my mind that Jesus welcomed him by saying “well done my good and faithful servant.” His life gives me and hopefully others motivation to live life the same way.

Caroline is now home for the summer and while she probably doesn’t like us asking her what she is doing all the time, I couldn’t be happier to have her here! She lightens the mood just being in her presence. She was such big help this past weekend and I am so thankful for her! We have been hanging out with Nanny, watching Ellen everyday at 4, and taking walks when we have the time 🙂 Luckily, there have been a lot of good movies out lately too so if you need any suggestions on which ones to watch, just ask!

Although this week is not my week for chemo, it is still a very big week for me! I have a PET scan tomorrow and then a heart and lung function test on Thursday. The PET scan is to check again to see if the cancer is gone and the heart and lung tests are to make sure the chemo is not harming my heart or lungs. Please pray that both of these tests bring good results. I know that God is in control and whatever the outcome may be, He will bring me through.  I just truly believe in the power of prayer and praying for specifics. John 16:23 says “In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” Thank you once again for your prayers. I will be uploading many pictures very soon!

 

Countdown is ON!

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After my last chemotherapy, I now have only 5 treatments left to go! When I sit and think about it, that still seems like quite a few but in retrospect, I have already been through 4 months, so two more months should fly by! My last chemo treatment went better than expected. They gave me more anti-anxiety/nausea medication than they have before and that really seemed to help! I slept the whole way home and went to bed as soon as I got home. I didn’t really remember much about that day after it was all over which is how I like it! 🙂

The doctor said that my blood counts were slowly but surely raising which is good! I also had gained TWO pounds! While my whole family and Will were both very excited about this news, I was not!! I realize that maintaining a good weight is good during this time but no girl ever likes to gain weight! I am trying to eat healthy and walk more because swim suit season is just around the corner and even if I have to sit in the shade by the pool, I will be wearing a swim suit! 🙂

I have been kind of frustrated this past week because I have been really tired and low on energy. I realize that is probably normal for a person going through chemotherapy. However, it is so hard when you used to be such an active person to try to pace yourself when doing things so you don’t get worn out. I feel like I play a mental game with myself daily. I tell myself that I can do whatever I want to get done that day and then my body ends up getting too worn out after I have pushed it to the limit. I just can’t stop, I’m not a lazy person!

This past weekend, I hung out with Will and his daughter Ashlei quite a bit. We were lucky to be able to hang out outside a lot because it has been so nice out! Saturday night, Nanny and I stayed in and watched the Thunder game on TV because mom and dad and Will all had tickets to go to the game in OKC! I’m not gonna lie, we may have been a tiny bit jealous! 🙂 Monday night, I got a new phone! Mine had been acting up lately and was almost two years old so when our contract ran out, it was time for me to get a new one. On Tuesday nights, Nanny and I have a ritual of going to watch Will’s team play softball. It’s a lot of fun and something for us to do to get outside! Yesterday, Nanny and I went mattress shopping. I haven’t been sleeping well and the only thing I can think of that may be hindering that is that my mattress is uncomfortable. So we went and found a really soft mattress and I slept a LOT better last night! 🙂 Last night, I also walked two miles with my friend Emily! That was a milestone for me!

Things are about to get really crazy around here with graduation coming up in a little over a week now! Please pray that I feel better than I did this past weekend during the weekend of graduation. I am really nervous about that! I don’t have much planned this weekend besides watching Ashlei’s soccer games and resting. The weather has been so nice out lately and there is nothing better than sitting outside and relaxing. Hope you all are enjoying it as much as I am!

My bible study this past week was about peace. I have said this since the very beginning, but God has been SO great about giving me peace during this, ever since day 1! One of our daily lessons this week was about Lazarus and it really hit home with me. If you get a chance you might read John Chapter 11. Although I had heard this story many times growing up, it meant so much more to me now. I pray that God gives each of you an overwhelming peace, knowing that He is taking care of every situation or condition you may have. John 14:27 states “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Thanks so much for your continued support and prayer. God is good!