Thursday, June 25, 2009

Chemo #8

Just one more chemo treatment to go! This past round was the most uncomfortable so far, but I'm feeling much better now. Some of my fingernails are feeling a little loose - losing them is a side effect of the Taxol - but since I only have one treatment left, maybe that won't get too bad. My oncologist is scheduling a PET scan sometime in the next 3 weeks. This will be a high resolution scan that will take a closer look at the spots on my liver and bones that the CT scan in February showed. I am nervous about this scan - its findings could change many things. If those unclassified spots turn out to be cancer, it will be considered terminal.

I have not shared details about how the financial end of my treatments is going. Jon started his own residential construction business in 2007, and after a few months of very tight squeezing, we had to drop our health insurance. Our goal was to pick it back up in a year (December 2008), when we hoped the business would be bringing in more income. Dropping our insurance was a very hard decision to make, but we both came to the conclusion that, ultimately, God is the one who provides for us. Either he provides through insurance, or he provides in some other way when the need arises. We were on track to meet that goal when my cancer was discovered in October 2008.

My official diagnosis was only about three hours old when I was approved to receive a treatment grant from the Susan G. Komen Foundation. We knew next to nothing about this foundation, but the supervising nurse at the mammogram clinic knew the who, how, and where to make the whole process so easy that we hardly knew what was going on. There wasn't even time to get worried about how all this treatment was going to be paid for!

All that to say this: We were absolutely amazed at how our Lord worked out details we didn't comprehend, and we feel very indebted to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. When their public relations representative asked if I would be willing to be interviewed by a few media outlets to help with fund raising, I was happy to help in any way I could. Last week I was interviewed for Denver's 5280 magazine, and yesterday a photographer came to our home to get pictures of us all. Gilead and I have another photo "thing" next week, and in July, Channel 9 News will be doing an interview. I don't want to be intimidated about sharing my faith in all of this, and I would appreciate the prayers of those of you who share my faith that I will be able to speak about what has been my most sustaining anchor through these months.

I don't have any updates about Dr. Roland. If you know his family (even if you don't) and would like to leave an encouraging note for them, you can do that on Facebook. Dr. Roland's son-in-law, Will Gaulkin, set up a group - Expressions of Love for Dr. Ralph Roland - where folks can leave notes that the family will print off and read to him.

Sometimes I look around me and feel like cancer is dropping people I know like flies. It's not very encouraging. For that reason, I plan to do another book review next. For those of us who have chosen to believe what the Bible teaches, there is incredible hope and promise in any circumstance, no matter how awful. My next review will be of another children's book. I guess all-things-children is my life arena right now, and there sure are a lot of great resources in this arena.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Those of you who have been reading my blog from the beginning may remember that I mentioned our family doctor, Dr. Roland. He was diagnosed with cancer near the end of last year. His family has just been called to be with him; he's not expected to live very long.

We have appreciated Dr. Roland and his practice so much. He is truly a unique doctor. His advice has definitely not been limited to the medical field. He has not been afraid to incorporate his strong faith into his practice. When we were told that I could not maintain my pregnancy and also have treatments for the cancer, Dr. Roland was one of the first people from whom we sought advice. He and his family have been a blessing to us in so many ways. Our hearts are breaking for them.

Please pray for the Roland family.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Chemo #7

I've waited too long to update again. We've stayed pretty busy over the last couple of weeks. This round of chemo seemed to go a little better than the first. Some symptoms were worse, but overall, I felt better. Thursday the cycle starts over again.

I've lost all my hair again, and this time it hurt. I don't know what made the difference from the first time I lost it, but I was actually glad once it was all gone this time. I felt like a cat whose fur was always being rubbed the wrong way.

Gilead is starting to put on some fat, and he should be with the whopping amount he eats every day! We're glad to see his appetite so healthy. Aunt Teresa has thoroughly been enjoying helping out with him. She has become an expert burper. (Hee hee - won't she thank me when she reads that?)

Okay...I just tried to post some pictures, but something's going wrong. I'll try to get some posted later.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Several of you have asked how Jon is doing. He finally seems to be getting better, although he still sounds bad and still has quite a cough. I'm very thankful the rest of us have avoided this bug. The crazy swings in the weather here probably aren't helping him much. We actually used our wood stove today. Glad we still had dry wood in the box left over from one of the other spring storms.

My sister is coming out again. She'll be here on Saturday. I think she's planning to donate her abundant hair to me this time. Mine is coming out again. (This is our running joke for those of you who don't know Teresa. She has grown her hair since November, but when I was first diagnosed, she had slightly longer hair than I have right now.) The kids are excited, and I'm thankful she'll be here for a couple of weeks.