This morning was my last treatment out of the four difficult sessions! Its all up hill from here. I will be resting and recovering from todays session for the next week or two. Praying for strength to get me through each day as well as minimal side effects. May 22nd will be the first of my weekly treatments and will be more tollerable. I'm taking it one day at a time and each day has been different. Thank you for praying and thinking of me!
Sorry its been so long since I've blogged. This third treatment has me feeling just as bad as the last two. I have been feeling pretty badly, tired, achy, nauseous. I have one more tough treatment to go and hopefully it will be smooth sailing after that. Honestly, I'm feeling very tired this week, tired of feeling so terrible! I KNOW that God will get me through each day but at the same time I just want this to be over and done with, I just want to feel better again. I don't know what Gods will is for me, all I can do is be still and patiently wait on HIM. I'm praying for his strength to get me through today, tomorrow, the next day, and each day after that because I don't have the strength to get myself through.
I was warned that my first four treatments would be the hardest to get through and so far they were not kidding, it has been rough. With extreme fatigue, bone pain, nausea and even a swollen esophagus, the second treatment took longer for me to recover from. I have only had four short days that I have been feeling somewhat back to normal. As I sit here trying to prepare myself for my third treatment tomorrow I can honestly say that I am anxious about the next week or two of feeling all of the above all over again. But there is one thing I can say with assurance, GOD is my refuge, my strength, and as He has promised in his word "In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation." 1 Peter 5:10. My suffering may be overwhelming for me, and it may feel like it will never end but my HOPE is in the LORD, the GOD that created the HEAVENS and the EARTH, and I will CLING to his promise that HE WILL restore me, support me, and strengthen me.
I was told by my doctors and a few others that soon after my second treatment my hair would begin to fall out. I wanted to take advantage of how well I was feeling before I had my second treatment so I decided to buzz of my hair and make it as fun as we could for Mia and Mateo. A very sweet and generous friend of ours came over to do a before family photo shoot and also took a few pictures of the buzzing process. My wonderful hair stylist also came over to buzz my hair in the comfort of our own home. Mia even had the chance to help! It turned out to be a very fun night which made it a lot easier for the kids to see me with no hair. The moment Mateo saw me with my hair short he began calling me Mommy Boy the rest of the night. Here are a few pictures from that night. Also, a VERY special Thank You to Livy Bear Photography for the wonderful pictures and Andrea from Bilancio Salon in Elmhurst for the awesome buzz!
This past week I have felt incredible. I have had more energy in the last 7 days then I have had in months! I had to take advantage of my good days and what better way than to Wig shop. It was pretty fun trying on so many different styles, Mia even found a few she liked. I tried a wig that looked exactly like my normal hair cut, but after a little convincing I got the Kim Kardashian….Long dark with a blunt bang. Long enough to have my wonderful hair stylist cut and style it to our liking. It’s a custom order so as soon as it comes in I will post pictures!
Also, I start my second treatment of Chemo tomorrow morning and I am expecting to feel pretty exhausted and gloomy the next week or so. Please pray that I will bounce back and have energy like I did this week. I am not sure what to expect since my doctors have warned me that the more treatment the more fatigued I will feel. I am just praying that God would continue to get me through each day, may he give me the strength to get out of bed and eat and may I not have any severe pain or nausea.
I feel like my blog has become a weekly episode of Greys Anatomy, leaving everyone in suspense as to what’s going to happen next. Well, for those of you that are tuning in this week let me give you a recap. My treatment plan will consist of Chemotherapy every other Wednesday for 4 treatments and then switch to chemo weekly for 12 weeks. Once that is complete I will have to have a mastectomy. At this point we are not sure as to a single or double but we will know more as we get through Chemo. I had my first treatment last Tuesday, March 26, 2013. I was not scared or anxious and I actually felt Gods peace that surpasses all understanding. It was about 3 hours long and was pretty comfortable. I was told by the Oncology nurse that the first 4 treatments are the hardest to get through but then it should be smooth sailing after that. Wednesday thru Sunday I mainly felt extremely fatigued, which was to be expected of course. I spent most of my time sleeping and when I was awake I felt very sore and groggy. I also didn’t have much of an appetite. Since Sunday I have felt completely restored. My energy is back, my appetite is back and I have been able to enjoy my family. One thing for sure is MY GOD DOES NOT FAIL. He has been faithful in carrying me through this week, one day at a time. I praise HIM for these past few GOOD days. He has truly shown HIS strength in my weakness. I have added a video page to the website to share some clips that Tony will be taking along the way. I’m a bit camera shy so please pardon my poor acting skills. Please check out the video page to see a clip from my first treatment.
We would also like to thank everyone for supporting us in our time of need. We have felt an out pour of love and support from so many family and friends. From the beautiful cards we have received to the delicious meals you have made. Our family could not walk this road without so many of you walking beside us! We continue to pray for Gods strength for each of us as we all deal with not only the side effects of Chemo but also the daily duties of raising a family at the same time. I would like to thank the Lord for providing for us and blessing us with two wonderful mothers who have sacrificed so much to care for our children on a daily basis.
Today is the day it all begins and the words of this song have humbly brought me to my knees!
For those of you that have been waiting in suspense, we have a diagnosis. Everything seems to be pointing towards Breast Cancer, although, I feel like GOD is doing something bigger than anyone can comprehend. We've waited so long and have had scan after scan and still it seems like everything is a bit confusing. This has appeared out of nowhere and nobody can seem to find where the site of origin is? If you ask me, it has come from the Lord and Lord willing he will take it away! One of the pathology reports came in from Mayo Clinic and their diagnosis comments were "These were very interesting and challenging slides. Due to the age of the patient, we tried to further evaluate the possibilities of this high-grade malignant neoplasm. We are unable to provide a definitive site of origin for this lesion. The tumor that is the most suggested would be of breast origin, however, lung and upper GI would also be considerations. If the site of origin for this tumor becomes apparent, we would appreciate the follow-up information." Hmmm seems like this tumor has everyone scratching their heads!
The next step…
The Oncologist will begin treating it as breast cancer. This Saturday I am scheduled to have a port put in my chest and my first treatment of Chemo will begin on Monday. Chemo will be once a week, every other week for 12 treatments (24 weeks) and when that is complete we will discuss possible surgery, if needed. As long as we have waited for an answer it seems like things are happening SO quickly. Honestly, it's not that I am scared, but I feel like I am not ready for all of this and it's just hard to believe that it is actually happening. I realize, as a mother who is always in control of everything, now is the time to give GOD everything and know that HE is in CONTROL.
We would like you to know that we appreciate your constant prayers and encouragement. We ask that you continue to lift our family up to the Lord in prayer as we begin this long and challenging journey. We will be sitting down with our 5 year old daughter, Mia, this weekend to explain a little to her on what has been going on and what might be ahead of us. Please pray that God would prepare her heart and give her HIS utmost peace and strength.
I would also like to share that in preparation for what may come I have decided to start with a fresh new look. Round One - The Rock Star.
We would like to thank you for all of your encouraging words as we continue to wait for answers. It has been exactly 20 long days since my surgery and our lives were completely turned around. In the past two weeks I have had to go back and forth to the hospital for multiple scans and they still haven't determined what caused this cancerous mass. We are now waiting on the results from my biopsy, which has been sent out to two different labs for further testing. Although this waiting has seemed like a lifetime and at times like the weight of the world is on our shoulders, I have to remind myself that GOD already knows the results, HE already has a diagnosis and HE already knows the outcome. So am I going to be still and trust that GODS ways are perfect, that HIS promises prove true, that HE is a shield for all who look to HIM for protection, or am I going to worry about tomorrow? As we continue to wait for GOD to reveal our results to the Doctors, HE will continue to reveal HIS promises to us, day by day.
God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. Psalms 18:30 (NLT)
It all started before Christmas. I had woken up with some tenderness and what felt like a bruise. With a little self examination I realized something wasn't right. I thought to myself, is this a lump or am I just being dramatic. For the next few days I kept it to myself, not wanting to startle my family. I had hoped that this unknown lump would just go away. As the days turned to weeks it slowly moved and took up residency in my right axillary lymph nodes (armpit). I had finally discussed it with my family and scheduled an appointment with my doctor. At first we were all assuming it was caused by some sort of infection in my body, but there were no symptoms of any infection at all? Other than the irritating bulge coming from my armpit, I felt perfectly fine. Yes, I had developed some night sweats, and I was a little tired, but when you're raising two rambunctious children, who isn't tired? My doctor scheduled an ultrasound of the area, which led to an appointment with a General Surgeon, which then led to the removal of something He said was of concern. Never in my entire life would I have believed this would be unfolding before me! I had prayed and prayed all along that God would allow it to be a simple infection that an over the counter antibiotic would clear right up. As I continue to pray and seek God for answers HE has clearly been teaching me to WAIT on the LORD....patiently wait. We still do not have exact answers as to where this foreign mass has originated, but what we do know is...it is CANCEROUS.
I will wait patiently for the LORD to help me, he will turn to me and hear my cry. He will lift me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He will set my feet on solid ground and steady me as I walk along. He will give me a new song to sing, a hymn of PRAISE to my GOD. MANY will see what HE has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:1-5