Friday, August 13, 2010

Health Update

As of Wednesday this week, I have completed 6 cycles of the 8 planned for my regimen. Yippee! I go for a second CT scan in a couple weeks, August 23rd, to check on progress again. The first three treatment cycles I had got rid of 10 of the 11 cancer spots I had throughout my lungs. So, we are prayerfully optimistic that the treatments I've had since then have continued to work in the same way. If that is the case, we will continue the last two cycles I have scheduled just to be sure. If that is not the case, we will have to change my regimen, because one body can only take up to 8 infusions of Adriamycin, my strongest toxin. If we can get rid of the existing cancer, then we can focus on controlling the hormone that causes it, estrogen. So, we will always be looking out for that.

I've been very tired and slow this week. I feel the burning sensation in my stomach again and headaches. I felt really nauseous this week, more than usual, after chemo, but that is better now. I've made sure to rest and take naps. My fingernails have started to develop ridges and change to a darker color. My weight continues to climb from the steroids and lack of energy. I've watched more episodes of "Phineas and Ferb" with Jack than I care to admit.

A few epiphanies I've had this week are:
  • Tuna is good for red blood cells. My blood counts have dropped with each treatment cycle. After my 5th treatment, my Mom made some tuna salad for me, at my special request. I ate tuna for almost two weeks. When I went back, my counts were all improved. I was worried that they would be too low for chemo after the difficult time I had with the last treatment. The tuna is really the only thing I've done differently. 
  • Amanda really gets credit for this one: Tarter control toothpaste is horrible for cancer patients. It makes mouth sores worse. Thanks, sis!
  • Somehow the American Cancer Association gets your name on a list once you start taking chemo. They've never called my house before, but called twice already this week. 

I am especially thankful for the following:
  • Prayer, Visits, and Continued cards of support from friends like Laura, the Boyds, the Cockrells, and family like my nieces Erin and Katelyn.
  • Facebook and Blogger encouragement
  • WGU friends and co-workers covering for me when I am out for chemo
  • The double-knockout rose Grandma (Kevin's mom) brought over to brighten my world. 
  • Dinner from the church and Mrs. Barbara, who brought it, in addition to Chick-fil-a.
  • A play invite from the Millers down the street. Jack swam and was fed and worn out in time for bed
  • Phone calls from friends, family, and co-workers checking in. Yes, I'm talking to you, Big Cat. Here's a big shout out to the Kevin Egan family of P'ville, AL!
  • Sunflowers from Mike and Kristy. They were beautiful!
  • Grandma playing carpool for Jack and planning "dates" with him. 
  • All the calls from my family, but especially the patience my mom has when I tell her I can't talk because "Big Brother" is on. :)
  • God has blessed Jack with a special patience for me right now. He knows I love him and doesn't push me too hard. He is content to spend time with me doing whatever I need to do. I worried about him so much in the beginning, but he has received so much love from the everyday people in his life, especially his preschool teachers. 

This weekend, we are looking forward to a visit from Kevin's oldest brother and his wife, Tim and Bonnie. We can't wait to see you!

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