Friday, February 27, 2009


My last chemo treatment before the beginning of my three week break certainly didn't start out the way I envisioned! My infusion Monday went fine as before and I went home feeling okay. Shortly after dinner I developed a bad headache. Within a couple of hours it went from bad to worse. I was able to take enough medication though that I went on to sleep. About 5:00am on Tuesday I woke up very nauseated and with what was probably the worst headache of my life. I took a Zofran which is an orally dissolving tablet. Within minutes I knew it would take more and also took a Phengren tablet. The Phenegren stayed down about a minute and a half. That began a cycle of vomiting that just wouldn't stop. Around noon, Howard took me to the doctor's office where they put me in their sick room and started some IV fluids. In the fluids they also ran more Phengren and Demerol for my head. No go - the vomiting just wouldn't stop. At that point they did an MRI of my head since my headache was so intense. Praise God, the MRI was clear. But it didn't solve the problem. At that point they told us that they were going to admit me.

If you live around here you know that there are many times that getting a bed at our hospital is easier said than done. Praise God again, they were able to get me a bed so I went straight through admissions to the floor! They ran in lots more fluids as at that point I was totally dehydrated. I was also given more IV Phenegren as well as IV Zofran and Morphine alternated with Darvocet for the headache.

I felt better on Wednesday and really hated that Wednesday was Ash Wednesday. I missed the Ash Wednesday service at church for the first time. But as always God provided a delightful surprise for me. A few years ago I used to take the girls to speech on Thursday mornings and when we were done we would stop by Starbucks. Their $1.00 kids drinks are a great reward. The barista who was always there took an interest in them and was always friendly and many times gave them little treats to go with their drinks. She and I developed a friendship as a result. After a time though she had to leave in order to devote more time to her seminary classes. Well, she now works at the hospital one night a week. Unknown to me, her night to work was Wednesday. When I realized that I was going to miss the service, I had asked if the hospital chaplain could do the services of ashes. So of course, who was it that I asked for? Why my friend Valeria of course! What a neat God thing to happen.

Thursday I went downhill and had a tough day delaying my release until this morning on Friday. This morning I felt well enough to leave the hospital and go home. I was so happy when I got out of there. The kids were extremely worried and just wanted Mama home with them. That's what I wanted as well. I was sent home with a script for Morphine as well as pretty much everything else I could possibly need. Oh its so good to be home!

This has been yet another miracle in a long stream of miracles. Fairly obviously my body needs this break so my scheduled 3 weeks off came at just the right time. So many things had to come together for this 3 week break/vacation to come together. At several times I really didn't think there was any way that we could attend the retreat this year. The kids were so disapointed as we don't see the majority of these people but once or twice a year. But in everything else that we have deeply desired or needed to do, God has worked out a way. Amazing.

On Monday bloodwork was "perfect" yet again. This is just phenomenal. After 12 treatments in this, my third time through of chemo my counts are right where they should be again. This is wonderful. My weight, well that's another matter. When I got on the scales at the doc's office Monday, I nearly cried. Howard and I talked about it for a while after the nurse left. Since I firmly believe that continuing to eat right is what's making the difference in my blood counts, I hesitate to try to make too many dietary changes at this point in time. And of course, I can't do anything about the weight that the steroids are putting on me. But my clothes don't fit anymore. Howard's solution? Buy more clothes. Ha, what woman wouldn't enjoy hearing that remark coming from her husband. I'd rather fit into the clothes I already have. Of course my little jaunt in the hospital and the world of clear liquidsd has probably help to alleviate this situation. Kind of a tough diet though.

So why is this post entitled "Celebrations" ? Because we got the results of my CT scan last week and it was positive news. My liver continues remains clean. That is remarkable news. The tumors in my lungs are stable. While they are not shrinking, they aren't growing either. As long as they remain stable, I'm okay and my chemo can continue on schedule. And we are going to continue despite the setback of this week. At this point we are treating it like a fluke and will continue full schedule on the 23rd unless I cannot tolerate it.

Speaking of celebrations, I neglected to post about our celebration near the end of January. Stephanie's birthday was the 24th of January. She turned 19! That just completely throws my mind for a loop. Stephie was five when she first joined our family.

We ended Stephanie's birthday celebration with quite the excitement. We had decided that we would observe Chinese New Year at her birthday party this year. So the birthday theme was Chinese. Stephanie had asked Julianna to make her a cake this year and decorate it. And so she did with wonderful results as I hear it.

After our friends went home, Stephanie and Julianna took Me-maw and Granddaddy back home. Only Uncle Tim was left. Our neighbors across the street are Chinese. They called and asked if we would like to come over to shoot some fireworks in their backyard in honor of Chinese New Year. As we all enjoy fireworks we went right over. Well, Lulea enjoys the idea of Fireworks somewhat more than she enjoys the noise that they make.

Dr. Sun's son and his wife had been given some pretty heavy duty fireworks by friends of theirs. These were seriously exploding ones like you see at a display put on by a city - being shot by amateurs. We enjoyed the ones that exploded right over us along with the few which went astray and exploded in a direction a bit different than what was originally intended. One of them went high in the air and over the house to the front raining a green fire in the sky. We watched for a half hour or so before Stephanie and Julianna returned from taking Me-maw and granddaddy home. We had called on their cell phone to let them know where we were and to come over as well.

Their arrival timing was perfect. They came running to the backyard and told us that the Sun's front yard was on fire. And indeed it was. That pretty green firework had unfortunately set the grass on fire. This was pretty surprising considering all the rain we've had coupled with four inches of snow earlier in the week. But on fire it indeed was. Howard, Tim, the older girls and I began trying to stomp it out while the Sun's ran for water hoses. By the time all was said and done it left a burned circle about five feet by ten feet. It certainly provided a memorable Chinese New Year celebration.

So we have had ample reason to celebrate our blessings as of late. Undeniably this week was a setback but as usual friends, family and our church immediately stepped in to us. God has put us in a situation where there is plenty of help whenever we need it and in any way we need. And believe you me, we needed it this week. And much to my relief, I discovered that I have a quietly assertive minister without whom I would have had an even worse day Thursday than I already did.


Anonymous said...

When I read your blogg I was overjoyed to see its all clear or your tumours are staple. SO sorry you had such a rough week though. And isnt it funny how we worry about our weight with all we have going on. I agree go buy more clothes !

Jill Curtis - CO

Linda up north said...

I am so happy to hear that you are home! And thrilled to hear all the good news (yes, including your weight gain!) Praise God for His care for you and your family! I continue to pray!

Janelle Craig said...

Bruce and I have kept you in our prayers. We're so glad you are back home and doing better and that your scan had such positive news. Take a much needed break while your body recovers.
Love, Janelle

Dora said...

I am so glad that in the midst of these difficulties, even with being hospitalized, you have also been given so many things for which you are grateful. We continue to pray for your healing.
Dora in NM

Mom Of Many said...

I am sorry that you are feeling yukky and having to have chemo. My heart goes out to you.

I can understand why buying clothes is not fun...and why you would rather have your own clothes - you poor thing!! It stinks! If I was nearby I would scoopy you up and us two Mom's of Many would head over to shop for clothes for you because of the steroids and me because of the fire!! =)

I will continue to pray that God will continue to heal your body completely!

Hugs from Colorado,

Anonymous said...

you got the same sckiness I had but beause of your cancer you had it worse with the haedache. I too had to get the Z medcation to stop votimeing whitch worked much faster on me. I think it took longer with you beasuse of the cancer.

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