Eleven down, six to go!
Ever so slowly, I’m getting there . . .
Next week the kids are going with us for #12 (on the 22nd) and we’ll get home just in time to celebrate Christmas Eve.
My doctor gave me an unexpected Christmas gift by allowing me to have December 29th off. I was so excited when she told me I wouldn’t have to be in Houston that week! Now I get to enjoy a full week AT HOME with the kids when they’re out of school for Christmas break.
I will finish up the clinical trial portion of the chemo on January 5th, and thereafter, will only travel to Houston every 21 days. I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I will be when I don’t have to make that trip every week. Leaving my kids each week has been one of the most difficult aspects of this journey. We are ALL thankful the weekly trips are almost behind us.
My first 13 chemo treatments are part of a phase two clinical trial. I am only the 29th person that has taken this combination of drugs. Managing side effects with this regimen has been a little tricky, as my doctors could only compare my symptoms with the 28 women who were ahead of me in the trial. I think I gave them lots of new information to study for sure. At each doctor’s visit we always seem to hear, “Hmm… we’ve never seen that before.”
Always glad to help. 🙂
I think they’ve gotten most of the kinks worked out now. My last few rounds have been a bit more predictable. Fortunately, the researchers have seen very favorable results so far, so our hope is that the weekly trips and brutal side effects will be worth it. I only have two more of these left!
February 2nd I will begin a different chemo. This is not a clinical trial. It is a standard-of-care regimen, much like I would have received had I opted to be treated closer to home. As I mentioned previously, it is only administered once every 21 days. For those who are interested, this chemo includes the following drugs; Adrucil, Ellence, and Cytoxan.
Side effects will be slightly different, but from what I understand, will be just as severe. However, since this combination of drugs has been given to so many before me, my doctors better understand the side effects and can tell me with much more certainty what I can expect during those last four rounds.
Many of you have asked not only how I am doing, but how the kids and Patrick are faring, as we are now four months into this journey.
Honestly, I think we are a tough bunch. 🙂
Patrick drives 16 hours every week to and from Houston, and still manages to do almost everything around the house, transport the kids, and keep up with all of his work responsibilities. I know he’s tired, but I’ve never heard him complain. Not once. I really believe God has given him a supernatural strength, and coupled with his supportive attitude and penchant for medical research, he is pretty much Superman to me. I am so, so grateful for him and the excellent love and care he is leading our home with these days.
Maddie and Creed continue to be troopers. Both of them have had a great semester in school and haven’t missed a beat with their extra-curricular activities.
Leaving them every week as been tough on them, but my in-laws, Jerry and Carol MacNamara, and my parents, Al and Donna McCorkle, have been exceptional at filling in the gaps for us. Patrick and I have noticed the kids bonding with both sets of grandparents in a very special way in the last few months. They’ve always had a wonderful relationship with them, but we’ve seen it grow much deeper during this time and we are so thankful they’ve been blessed with such amazing and loving grandparents. They have been an integral part of the kid’s well-being during this time. We will be forever grateful for all they have done for us and for our children.
Being surrounded by supportive and loving family and dear friends has made all the difference in how we have handled everything thus far. The loads of love and support we have received has made this journey much more bearable. I feel better when I know Patrick and the kids are taken care of, and thanks to our family, and so many of you, they are doing well, and so am I. There are good days and bad days, as is expected, but most of the time, I’m just fine.
Mentally, I am taking this one day at a time, only processing the information right in front of me, and not getting too overwhelmed with the remainder of my treatment. I know God has me in His hands and I am confident that He is healing and restoring me.
The last four months have shown me, without a doubt, that God will bring good out of this situation. I have stood on that from the beginning, and continue to believe it with all of my heart.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good, to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. ” Genesis 50:20 (NIV)
Nothing that happens to us, no matter how tragic, is ever wasted when God is in the center of our lives. We are holding tightly to Him and know that He will redeem this time and make our story one that gives Him glory.
And just because you took time to read my blog today, I want to give you something to make you smile. Just look at these two… they are my world!
Thank you for all of your love and continued prayers my sweet friends!
Bethany Brown says
This might be my favorite picture ever of these two.
I have so much love and respect for my uncle! Love y’all and can’t wait to spend Christmas with you!!