Monday, June 24, 2013

Checking in...

Where did June go?  The month seems to have disappeared before my eyes!  I guess I've been busy trying to balance cancer and chemo with what used to be my normal life and realizing that it doesn't work like that.  I had high expectations for everything I'd be able to do once I was done with AC, but the truth is, I'm still getting chemo treatments.  I'm not able to jump right back in to where I left off before this this thing called cancer entered my life.  This has not been an easy realization for me.  Its hard to not overdo it, but my body very quickly reminds me when I'm nearig my limit.  The nausea is mostly gone, it pops up sometimes right after treatments, but is nothing like I had been dealing with.  The fatigue is better,still there, but different.  It feels good to be tired from housework, getting projects done and going to work rather than moving from my bed to the couch.  

I realized I hadn't posted an updated when I started getting emails and some comments asking how things were since I hadn't posted in a while!  I've had four treatments since my last post! My younger sister, Ali was in Minnesota for a couple weeks and was able to join me for a treatment.  Ella wanted to be my chemo buddy,so she and my mom were able to come sit with me after Zoo Camp one week.  The next week I was so tired and decided to fly solo.  I slept through most of the treatment.  And again when I got home.  My hemoglobin is still low, it actually dropped a little from last week.  They ran some additional blood tests this week to check my iron levels and other things.  Nothing earth-shattering there.  It's teetering in a place, where if its drops a little lower, they could do a blood transfusion and that would bring my hemoglobin up.  I'm hoping to get it up without needing to go to that extreme, but I am really tired of being tired.  My cold is finally starting to clear up.  I had a chest X-ray done a week or two ago to make sure my lungs were clear.  When I saw that X-ray, I laughed out loud!  Between my port, the expanders and the marker they placed where they removed the cancer, there is a lot on that X-ray! Additional labs were drawn to check my iron.  That fell in the lowest range of normal.  My new sister-in-law, Meghan, was my chemo buddy today!  She and Todd are in Minnesota for their reception and will be heading back to Phoenix after the 4th.  


Being back at work is going well.  Thanks to all of you for asking! Four hour shifts was a good place to start.  I'm still exhausted when I come home, and can't quite imagine working 8 hours yet.  I had lat week off and it's was good to rest and get some things done around the house.  It takes me double the time to do things now, allowing myself to rest in between tasks.  I'm trying to be patient with myself.  

Specific prayer requests would be for my hemoglobin levels to continue to go up and for more energy. Pray for a strong immune system.  I feel another cold coming on. As well as for patience as I try not to overdo things!  Please also pray for issues with my insurance company.  Among them, the hold up of processing claims from surgery back in March due to the extra night spent in the hospital due to intractable emesis.  Pray for speedy processing and full payment from the insurance company!

This week I've spent a lot of time thinking back over all the events leading up to where I am now.  The shock and newness has worn off and I look ahead to all the chemo treatments and radiation treatments still to come and find it all very daunting.  It's very routine by now.  But I can't seem to figure out how to emotionally return to my normal routine while adding the cancer treatment routine to it.  It's two worlds that I'm having trouble mixing.  Especially when I don't have the energy for normal.  Except for tonight. Thank you steroids!

This summer has been fun so far though!  My goal is to focus on Ella and make it enjoyable for her.  Her knowledge, understanding and resilience has been amazing to watch, but this summer is all about being a kid!  I'm loving being able to check things off our summer list (and adding some we did, just to check them off). Here are some pictures of my pride and joy to look at.  Or not.  It's up to you!




  1. That Ella is one blessed little girl - between her faithfilled and loving Grandma she has one of this worlds best momma's I have ever been blessed long enough to know. She is being taught what faith means, just by watching her momma live life to its fullest...always intentional!

  2. Happy to see an update from you this morning. I have been thinking about you and praying for your family every day. Yesterday Elena went to a birthday party at The Children's Museum and she told me on the way in that the last time she was at a party there it was for Ella's birthday "when they were really small". After all these years she still remembers! I love the picture of Ella painting--what concentration she has and determination in her eyes!

  3. Ella is a beautiful girl and she is the youngest cloth in the tapestry that is the Neibling women. You are all strong in the Lord and your faithful lives have and will impact Ella in an incredible way. Thanks for sharing the journey, Melissa. You are on my daily prayer list.
    Jill Kirkwood