Wednesday, June 5, 2013
This week. In a nutshell.
Monday marked the beginning of the end. I started new chemo drugs, Taxol and Herceptin (TH). Taxol will be over and done with in 12 short weeks. Herceptin will be by buddy for the next 52 weeks. One year from now, I will be finished with chemo! After the 12 weeks, I will only go in every three weeks for the Herceptin. I can see the next year shaping up with radiation and reconstruction and starting what will be my new normal. My older sister Jamie is home for a week from Missouri and was able to join me for treatment this time. Like I have been since I started chemo, she was impressed with the friendliness and compassion of all the staff and volunteers in the Cancer Care clinic. I'm in good hands!
I'm still really tired. My labs were at an all time low on Monday, which is to be expected following four rounds of AC. Dr. Shanks wasn't alarmed, but until they sart climbing a little bit, I'll still be dealing with fatigue. My weakened immune system is trying to fight a cold, but isn't doing too great! Last Friday I had another MUGA scan to see if there had been any changes to my heart function following the Adriamycin, which is not a heart friendly drug. There were no changes, which is an answer to prayer! I'll still have MUGA scans every 3-4 months while on Herceptin as this also is not a heart friendly drug.
On Tuesday I went back to work. I've only been cleared to work 4 hour shifts at this point and will fill in the rest with PTO to have enough hours to keep my insurance. I am so grateful for Catherine, my job share partner, who is willing to be so flexible and work with me and my limitations and doctors appointments and radiation schedule so I can still focus on my treatment and getting better. Thank you, Catherine! You are a blessing!
My friends from small group had a lovely bouquet of flowers sent to me while I was at work, knowing I wasn't quite ready to return to work. That was a wonderful surprise and definitely a day brightener. Thanks you guys, you're the best! I love that you have decided to reach out and to commit to help me succeed. And as I strategically unpack all the things that I appreciate about you all, it's a win-win.
Wednesday was Ella's kindergarten graduation. We are definitely proud parents! We are in awe of the person God is shaping her into. Her compassionate servant heart humbles me daily. Her desire to do the right thing even when no one is looking is evidence of the Holy Spirit active in her life. She's a smart little cookie, which I'm sure can be explained by having a teacher for a mother (or Aunt Jamie's genes, or having been born into a family of teachers). She's still sticking to the same career goal going on three years now. When she grows up, she doesn't want to be a teacher (even though she has an entire classroom set up under her loft bed and plays school for hours at a time), or a singer or a dancer or anything else little girls want to be at that age. She wants to be a spy.
We celebrated the end of the school year with lunch at her favorite restaurant (we are so grateful it is no longer McDonalds) with my whole family, a Mint Oreo ice cream cake (from DQ of course), a Jamie Grace concert, and we let her stay up as long as she wanted. Which was a whole hour pat her usual bed time. Next year is first grade...eek! All day, everyday. That will be a very tough transition!
The garage sale was this weekend and was a great success. Thanks to all of you for your donations! I was finally able to part with Ella's clothes and baby things. Rick has been so understanding as the 12+ totes of "doll clothes" piled up in the garage since I was not able to part with them. I must not have gotten my fill of playing with dolls when I was younger, so from birth to age 3 (when Ella developed a strong fashion sense of her own), she was my doll to dress up! Maybe now we will be able to put things in the garage that actually belong there, like another car! A huge thank you to my mother in law, Linda, and my neighbor, Sophia, for making the garage sale happen. Sophia will pricing things in her sleep for the next month! And thank you to Nancy, Nancy and Lori for all your help, we couldn't have done it without you!
It's hard to tell if I had any side effects from the new chemo drugs on Monday since this cough and cold had me down for the count. I go back again on Monday for the next round...51 weeks left, not that I'm counting or anything!