The last two weeks have been very challenging. I received my 7th round of chemo October 27th and it took quite a toll on my body. Until this past Friday, a walk from the bedroom to the living room left me breathless. For several days it took considerable effort just to sit up in my chair and converse with visiting friends or family.
It hit home this week just what my doctors meant when they said, “Aggressive cancer means aggressive treatment.” They don’t mess around! We have learned a few additional details about what the next several months will be like for me as I battle this disease and now, more than ever, I am cherishing good days when I get them.
My doctor requested that my blood be tested last Friday. They did not want me to make the trip to Houston on Monday only to find my counts were too low to receive my 8th round of chemo. As suspected, the results of my test confirmed that my red blood count was very low. We also discovered that my white count had dropped dramatically as well and was dangerously low.
So no chemo Monday.
I was very disappointed as this latest development pushes my last chemo into late March. I pouted for a bit, then decided it was what it was, and it changed nothing to get upset about it. I chose to look on the bright side; there are usually silver linings around the clouds if you look hard enough.
My strength is gradually returning as my blood counts steadily rise, so I will have a little energy this week to enjoy Patrick and the kids rather than being confined to my bed or my chair as I have been for the last two weeks. I already feel good enough to do a little around the house, make lunches, and help with homework, so hopefully Patrick will get a little reprieve from doing it all this week since I feel I can contribute a bit.
My sister and nephew are leaving Wednesday to return to Hawaii, and now I get an extra two days to visit with them since I will not be in Houston. I have been extremely weak since they got here, so Gena will actually get to see me feel somewhat normal these next few days. I might even feel good enough to get on her nerves. It would have been a wasted trip if I couldn’t have done that at least once. 🙂
My sweet friend Rhonda Ellis is turning our house into a Christmas wonderland this week and now I get to be home while she’s here working her magic. Although she would be surprised to know this, I treasure my time with her and still hold many things very close to my heart that she discussed with me while she was here decorating last year. I’m so excited I get to visit with her this week!
I have some very dear friends coming to see me from Colorado next weekend. I have been looking so forward to their visit, but I was worried I wouldn’t have the strength to relish our time together like I wanted. However, by next weekend, I’m going to be feeling better than I have in weeks (and probably better than I will for the next few months), so I will get to enjoy every precious hour they are here.
“Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” Psalm 116:7
Missing chemo Monday is not at all what I wanted, and initially my heart was broken, but it’s hard to argue that this week won’t be nourishing to my spirit and breathe a little life into my soul. God knows what we need, and He is so faithful to provide it, even when it isn’t delivered in the manner or timing that we would prefer.
I would be so honored and appreciative if you could join me in praying that I can better tolerate my future treatments. We were told that I will most likely have to have a very painful (and expensive) shot to raise my white blood count in the very near future. Once I receive the first shot, it is likely that I will have to continue to receive the shot weekly for the duration of my chemo.
Also, if my red blood cells are unable to ramp up production, my doctor told me this week I may have to get a blood transfusion. My mom and I share the same blood type and she will be donating blood/platelets while at MD Anderson during the week of Thanksgiving in the event that I need them.
We were told that both procedures are fairly common occurrences among those receiving this treatment, but I would obviously like to avoid both the shot and the transfusion and I believe that God will hear your prayers on my behalf.
Thank you for doing such a wonderful job of loving and supporting my family and me. We feel every bit of your care, concern, and prayers and it means more to us than you can possibly imagine.