Monday, August 5, 2013
A Few Good Laughs
I had two doctors appointments today. And two doctors laughed at me. It was a good day! The first appointment was with my plastic surgeon, Dr. Kadkhodayan. Actually it was with her nurse, but we rode the elevator up to her office together and since she had finished a procedure early, she was the one to see me and fill my expanders. That is excellent customer service in my opinion. I knew I was there to see her nurse and didn't expect her, but she wanted to see and connect with me, so she did the fills herself. She laughed at me when I told her I had been trying to do push ups. My broken stitches, rotated and leaking expander started making sense to her! She calls me her star patient and always mentions how well I'm handling everything. She said that most of the time, her patients that have a strong support system tend to handle everything better. Her comment was, "you must have a huge support system." I do....you all are phenomenal! I was excited that I got to brag on all the friends, family, strangers (who are basically friends that I just haven't met yet) and others around the world that are praying for me or supporting me in one way or another. It's so encouraging, especially at this point in my treatment when I am so tired of chemo every week. Tired of side effects. Tired of not being my full self. Just plain tired of being tired! You guys rock!
I wanted to share this with you all. This picture gets me every time. This was taken on my dad's latest trip to Africa. He was updating the men on his family and this room full of men in Africa stopped their meeting to pray boldly for me. See the guy up front? Goosebumps. And this happened in more than one country. There are people praying in Slovenia and the Philippines, too. Just crazy. I've got an international support team!
Then it was my oncologist, Dr. Shanks', turn to laugh at me when he asked if I had been experiencing any shortness of breath. I was honest and told him only when I tried running. That's when he laughed and said, "You have a hemoglobin of 9 and you're trying to run?! Of course you're going to be short of breath!" It made sense when he said it. Not so much when I took off to go on a short run and after a short block later (okay fine, half a short block later) I was wishing that Rick was at home and could come get me! I didn't think that through. (For the record, getting my dance on with Ella, Britt Nicole and Jamie Grace also causes shortness of breath!) I was also honest with him and told him all the details about the headaches I've been having for the last couple of weeks. That honesty is getting me a brain MRI tomorrow morning! Neither of us think anything will show up, just covering all the basis. Prayers appreciated if you read this...my head has never been in a Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine before. Here's praying I don't get all claustrophobic in there!
Sarah was my chemo buddy today. She provided some great conversation. Iron sharpens iron. Reminders that birds don't store up anything. And we are much more valuable. The birds that congregate at the feeders right outside my chemo reminder are always such a great reminder of this! One day at a time.
Chemo is always bittersweet. I don't like getting a needle in the chest, having my blood drawn, and getting pumped full of poison, but I love the time I get to spend one and one with my friends and family. I feel so incredibly loved that people actually want to spend all that time with me. Ahh...such warm and fuzzy thoughts! I got a text from my cousin way out in Tennessee, she knew exactly what I was doing at that time! I got several cards this week as well. I wonder if they might have gotten a Holy Spirit hint that I might be feeling a little discouraged?! Those were day, no, week brighteners. And at our outdoor church service on Sunday, my pastor asked for a new pink bracelet. Even with his weak and injured arms was able to rip it off with along with another bracelet. I love that my pastor is still praying for me. We get what need just when we need it. One day at a time.
Still no word on the results for the genetic testing yet. My dad also went in for testing since the occurrence of cancer is so high on his side of the family. Depending on what his results are (and mine), Jamie and Ali (and Ella eventually) will be able to figure out if they need to be tested. The whole thing is actually quite interesting. I pretend to know what they're talking about by recalling Mrs. Rich's teaching on the Punnett square in high school biology. AA, Aa,aa etc...
The next step for me will be finishing these last two weeks of TH chemo. Chemo will then switch to every three weeks with just Herceptin for another 40 weeks or so. Sometime in September I will be starting radiation. Five days a week for six weeks. 5 days a week for 6 weeks. 5 x per week for 6 weeks. No matter how you type it, it spells out HUGE INCONVENIENCE! I'm still not sure how that will work with my work schedule, Ella being in school, my new position at church and my social calendar in general! Did I mention that I will have to have radiation on my birthday?! Oops, I heard it now. Sorry you had to hear that. I'm so grateful that I am able to receive radiation treatment and celebrate another birthday! Have you seen that Pinterest post of the woman who did 30 something Random Acts of Kindness on her 30 something birthday? How fun would that be?! This past week alone I've heard of two people receiving a cancer diagnosis and two people that have lost their fight. For me, cancer is just a constant reminder that we aren't the ones that decide when we're done here on earth. I just pray that what I've done while I was here was done in love to point others to God, the one who has each of our days numbered. What else is there?
Time to go and find a way to override the steroid insomnia and get some sleep! That probably includes reading. I've read some really good books in the last month! Have any of you read anything good lately?!