I’m Gena, Tina’s little sister. (She has plenty of sisters, but I’m the only little sister she’s got!) I’ve come all the way from sunny Hawaii to spend some time with my big sister. So far we’ve watched Spider Man and a Chicken get lots of candy, sent Madeline off to dance at her last freshman football game, and sat by the fire in comfortable silence.
Although I’ve been reading the blog, keeping updated from family, and talking with Tina regularly, being here has provided a more intimate picture of this battle my sister is fighting. One thing I can tell you, though, is Tina is still Tina.
She still thinks, firstly, of her kids. She’s still giving to others. The hope and optimism you see on this blog are still a genuine part of who she is.
The social butterfly of the family, she truly cherishes every card and communication. But you still basically have to send her a text to get a response. She may have cancer, but she’s still Tina!
Although it is an honor to be a “guest blogger” for TeamTina, I would rather you be hearing directly from her. The past week and a half have been the most challenging physically. Pure exhaustion.
Every day Tina expects to be stronger, able to go out with the kids, to get out of the house. Even just to make lunches! But every day, she struggles just to get out of bed. The nurse at MD Anderson says this is not abnormal, except for the fact that it didn’t occur sooner in the treatment timeline.
Recent blood work confirms extremely low red blood cell counts, contributing to the exhaustion. Tina is praying, and covets your prayers, for a miraculous restoration of strength and rise in blood cell counts.
Not only does Tina want to get out of the house, she doesn’t want to fall behind in her treatment schedule. She will have more blood tests on Friday to check red blood cells and platelets; if her counts aren’t improved enough at that time, she will have to push the next round of chemo, and push the end of the cycle further out. She doesn’t want that!
We are all doing our part — we are praying, Patrick is using his expertise in natural medicines, and mom has been cooking lots of iron-rich foods. Whatever it takes!
In addition to the exhaustion, Tina is experiencing another breakout on her chest and face (the negative effects of the panitumumab—grrrr.) Thankfully, however, the blisters and open sores have stayed away! Please continue to pray for optimal results with minimal side effects.
Thank you for your prayers and support for my sister; they are an integral part of her treatment plan. I know we all look forward to reading a positive report directly from her very soon!
Sue Hallum Dixon says
so glad you are here for her.
Fyi. If you had been a boy, I wanted your name to be Benjamin. If has a nice ring, Trina, Lena, Tina and Benjamin. But no. You had other plans and came out female.
Hope you get to stay a while.
Kim Ward says
Continued prayers for you. I have had a stomach bug these past two days. God laid you very strongly on my heart and the struggles you are going through. The issues I faced, I know are just a fraction of what you have to endure on a weekly basis. Please know you are being lifted up in prayer for strength, minimal side effects and complete healing. Stay strong
Tammie glover says
Praying and believing for a miracle !!!!!
Joyce Thorn says
My prayers are going up daily for you. I’m so glad Gena is there with you. Looks like I am going to miss seeing her also. Can’t seem to get over this bug, so I haven’t gotten to visit with anyone that has been here. It seems that Jayln and I just take turns. I know this in not even a small fraction of what you and your family are going through, but just want you to know why I have stayed away.
The description Gena gave of you being the “social butterfly” of the family is so fitting. I have always thought of you that way. I believe God is going to fix this and once again you will be fluttering around everywhere, spreading you sweetness and joy. I love you so much. ~Aunt Joyce~
Donna Hurt says
Thanks for the update Gena. We are praying daily for Tina and the family. She has been such an inspiration to us with her positive attitude and her faith. We are believing with you for complete healing and for her strength to return. We love all of you guys. Btw love the picture. That’s going back to around the time we were at Harlan Park.
Marilyn Zeiler says
Have been praying for you and your family since I got the message from Tammy. You WILL be okay. Your faith is so strong. Such a blessing to have known you when Maddie was little and I babysat her.