Yesterday marked 1 week since my 3rd round of chemo. Once again, I was blessed with very minimal side effects. I had a little more tiredness and nausea than the first two times but I realized a few days later that I’d forgotten to take my last set of steroids so THAT probably didn’t help any. I had a rough night a few nights ago but it was my own fault for eating dairy and pork. Why would that matter? Well, nutrition is everything….ESPECIALLY for a cancer and chemo patient. I eat 100% organic, mostly vegetarian, no added sugars, gluten, soy, dairy, or pork. I eat a LOT of veggies, beans, fruits, fish, some chicken. I also take copious amounts of vitamins (I hope to post tomorrow more in depth about my “nutritional therapy). So all that to say, eating dairy and pork after NOT eating it for a while, left me sick as a dog for 7 hours. I went back to drinking juice and smoothies the next day and I felt amazing again.
My sweet mama flew out again to help take care of me and the family for this round of chemo. She actually flew in just in time to sit with me during my treatment. Our chemo room was so busy the day of my treatment, I waited 2.5 hours just to go back and start! Thankfully, I planned ahead and brought a lunch, snacks, and lots of books to read and my coloring books and pencils! Since my treatment started so late, mom and I shut the chemo room down after hours and we had a good time with my nurses.
To give you a little glimpse of what my chemo room looks like and the faces I see every three weeks:
The past week has been good overall. Like I said, minimal side effects and Dr. B (my oncologist) was excited to hear how well I tolerated the first two rounds and that my biggest lump is gone. In fact, he didn’t feel we need to do another PET or bone scan after this treatment since I’m responding so well. Unless I start having symptoms that indicate the chemo ISN’T working, we will do the scans at the end of treatment rather than now AND at the end. Honestly, the less radiation we put in my body, the better.
We also found out that Josiah’s request to remain at his current command (here in HI on shore duty) until December was approved. That means he will NOT be going to a submarine in August; an answer to prayer. The navy also approved him for the reserves, another huge answer to prayer! So, if nothing changes, we will remain here in Hawaii until November/December and Josiah will switch from active duty to selected reserves (he will drill 1 weekend a month and 2 weeks a year) and our health insurance can continue with Tricare with a small fee. We feel God is calling us to move back to WA state so that is our hope and goal right now. We know though that His ways are not our ways and where we end up may change. In the meantime, we will enjoy our final months in Hawaii!!!
A few people have asked about my port, what is it, where is it, etc. I’m an open book so I took a picture so you all can see what it looks like:
The port is the lump between the scar and my pinky. This is where they insert a thingy with a needle to draw blood and give me my meds. The port catheter tube runs over my collarbone and into a vein in my neck (by my pointer finger) and then drains near my heart. This allows for easy blood draws and an easy, relatively painless way to administer my medications without ruining the veins in my arm. I’ll be honest, the placement and recovery was really uncomfortable. Apparently I’m “skinny” so it really sticks out and it took a while for the skin to stretch to accommodate it. Then the knot and part of the sutures didn’t dissolve so of course they had to cut and pull those out….then go back to pull more out. No matter though, it healed well and I had no major complications so I really shouldn’t complain 🙂
Oh and one of the highlights of my week was trying something I’ve never done before! One of my dear friends here (a neighbor and fellow navy wife) invited me and another wonderful friend to do a paint & sip for her birthday. Guys, I’ve never painted anything other than my bedroom walls in my life. My “drawings” are stick figures. I took a sculpture class in college (which I really enjoyed) so I WOULDN’T have to draw or paint! Nevertheless, Melissa invited me and something inside me said “Go. Go because it will be wonderful company and go because you’ll enjoy yourself.” I almost didn’t go but I am so glad that I did. I had a wonderful time with my friends and I truly ENJOYED painting; it was soothing and therapeutic. Plus, it didn’t turn out half bad and I’ve already hung it in our ocean themed bathroom!!! If you ever get a chance to do one of these paint and sip events…GO! Life is too short not to try new things!
I realize there was a lot in that post! I will leave you with the wise words found in Nehemiah 8:10: Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
The Lord WANTS us to live joy-filled lives! I am!!!! Are you???