We can not express enough how thankful we are for everyone’s prayers, love, gifts, food, time, kind words and more. We have felt uplifted every step of the way, and we are so grateful to you all. I (Cathy) am doing better each day and feeling pretty good right now! The bouts with nausea were a bummer but are gone now, and I have my appetite back. The abdominal discomfort is lessening, and each night I get better sleep than the previous night. I am even looking forward to doing some cooking for Thanksgiving! My sister is coming in town so I’ll have her get the turkey in and out of the oven : ) In all, things are progressing well, and I am content and thankful!
You all know how much I love the rain! However, watching a gentle rainstorm from the coziness of our home is very different from the raining down of some recent difficulties! But God is big in both situations.
Last week I (Cathy) was in St. Louis to see family before I have surgery. I wasn’t watching where I was going and tripped. I ended up with big scrapes on my face, a black eye, and a broken left pinky that would need surgery! This would mean two surgeries in a week and a half!
Meanwhile, Jerry was contemplating canceling a trip to Thailand to attend, and make a presentation at, the “MinistryNet: Bangkok 2011″ Conference. With Bangkok flooding, he might risk getting stuck there and not return in time for my cancer surgery on November 9th. Many new things for which to trust God!
But today we received good news! My finger has actually aligned itself correctly in the temporary cast and will not need surgery! We are so happy! Jerry had already canceled his trip, but he is at peace about it. Although I will have to recuperate with only one good hand, the fact that we don’t have to squeeze in an extra surgery is wonderful.
One silver lining in this recent raincloud was that I remained in St. Louis a few extra days to heal. That meant I got to be there when the Cardinals won the World Series, something that almost made the accident worth it!
I am thrilled to say I am down to my very last chemo/radiation day! After my appointment on Monday, I’m done. Well, I’m done with THIS phase…but since we’re taking one phase at a time, this is a chance to celebrate! Just in time too, as the effects from radiation have become quite uncomfortable. Oh well…it was to be expected. After Monday, things should take a turn for the good and ‘they’ say in two weeks I should feel significantly better. Until then, sweet friends continue to feed us and my wonderful family continues to let me lay around on the couch and have control of the remote 🙂 We are incredibly blessed and thank you once again for your encouragement and prayers.
Wouldn’t you be thrilled with two free days at Disney…or a resort…or a spa? Well, today I received (in a way) two free days. I was going to celebrate the halfway mark since today was treatment 15 out of 30. But when I mentioned that to my doctor, he said I only will have 28 treatments! So I’m MORE than halfway done with this first stage of getting rid of this cancer. Yeehaw!
The side effects I’m experiencing are better than what I was expecting. It’s been wonderful to have no nausea and no hair loss. Radiation burns, however, have become an uncomfortable reality, but I’m loaded up with things to help this. Tiredness hits me too, but that’s just a good excuse to hang out on the couch and watch reruns of Friends.
Again, we thank you for your continual prayers! We definitely sense them. We have so much peace in all of this.
However you say it, I am finished with six treatments out of thirty! 20% done (at least with this phase of the process). And the wonderful news is that as of yet I have had no side effects! I know they will hit sooner or later, but each day without them is such a blessing. For those of you who have asked, my treatments are very simple. The chemo consists of four pills after breakfast and three after dinner. Radiation is in the morning, Monday through Friday, for all of about 30 seconds. So far the process has been uneventful. A few times I’ve even gone to bed thinking, “What’s on my schedule tomorrow?…Oh yeah! Treatments!” It has literally slipped my mind several times that I’m even dealing with this. God has given me, and Jerry and the kids, complete peace. Thank you for all the prayers!
…and my head didn’t pop off my shoulders, my hair didn’t immediately drop to the floor and my hands didn’t swell up like Mickey Mouse. So far so good! Day 1 of 30 has been uneventful, and I like that. I’ll admit I was a mix of happiness and nervousness to put this new medicine into my body. I thought something might happen immediately! But nope. I know that in time this will change…but so will the cancer and that’s a good thing. So my new daily routine has begun…
The scariness of the treatment has been alleviated since Monday! Yesterday I, Cathy, went to MD Anderson for my radiation ‘orientation’. It was a little different than the last orientation I went to…my freshman orientation at college, but the people involved were just as nice AND a sweet woman walked around offering freshly baked cookies! I had an ‘education’ time which was very helpful and a ‘simulation’ time where I went through a practice drill. I even received three small tattoo marks for the radiologist. I forgot to ask if they could give me three flower tattoos in a pretty blue. Bummer.
My chemo/radiation will start Tuesday, Aug 2 and I am stockpiled with things I will need to remain comfy during this treatment. Our fears of the potential DPD deficiency were also lessened…the nurse said in the 21 years she has worked there, she has only seen 2 cases of this. With that info, we decided not to pursue the expensive time consuming test. Tomorrow is a PET scan and then it’s just waiting for the kickoff!
We are continually encouraged by your sweet notes and reminders that we are being prayed for. We feel blessed.