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!