CT scan results are in!

May 17, 2017 at 11:36 am (Breast Cancer, Faith)

I got some great news yesterday. Most all of the tumors I have in my lungs, kidneys, adrenal gland and liver have shrunk to almost half their size! My lymph nodes have also shrunk and several of the tumors have disappeared completely. The lesions on my bones have not shrunk at all but this is normal and the good news is that no more popped up. I’m having a lot of pain in my lower back and hip where the cancer has metastasized and will be discussing radiation with my oncologist next week. Hopefully that’ll bring some relief.

It’s crazy when I look at the report and I see that I still have 3 tumors in my right lung, 2 in my left, 1 on my adrenal gland, 1 on each of my kidneys and 3 in my liver and then the ones in my bones. You’d think I’d feel or look a lot worse. God is really showing me favor during this season and I am so grateful. Don’t get me wrong, I have days where I’m so tired and I have to take a lot of naps, which is hard for me! I’ve never taken them in my life but there are times I can’t keep my eyes open. The fatigue is the biggest side effect I’m dealing with and praise the Lord the neuropathy in my fingers and fingernails are better.

The nurse told me yesterday that my oncologist will probably keep me on chemo for while longer so that was disappointing. It is working so I just need to suck it up and keep going. I’ve had 13 treatments already so what’s a few more.

I’m feeling so much better after starting the antidepressants and I’m not so weepy all the time. I’m also not feeling so overwhelmed although it’s still a struggle. That’s probably one of the most difficult things to deal with because normally I can juggle so many things and keep track of everything but my brain is just not working like it used to. I’m learning to accept my new normal and the new me and that’s ok. I wish I had more mental and physical energy so I could see my friends more or make it to church but that’s where I get overwhelmed. I’m so grateful for all the prayers and texts and notes, they are so encouraging to me. I know I would not be able to get through this without them and each of you and especially my family. I am a blessed woman indeed.

 

 

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3 days post first chemo

February 17, 2017 at 4:48 pm (Breast Cancer, Faith, My ramblings)

k1Amazingly enough, the last 3 days since chemo haven’t been as bad as I thought it was going to be. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of other things that I’d rather have been doing but compared to my first round of chemo 2 1/2 years ago, this was much easier. I think there are a few more side effects that are yet to come but nothing I can’t handle (I hope). The first night I had a horrible migraine and I had forgotten how miserable they were. I was pretty nauseous most of the day and didn’t make the best food and drink decisions, like trying to drink coffee on an empty stomach. Imagine my utter shock when my beloved brown nectar from the Gods betrayed me.  Inconceivable!

I spent most of the last two days resting and napping and snuggling with Kiku. I think she knows the cancer is back because she won’t let me out of her sight. It’s a little adorable and yet obnoxious at the same time. Ken found a company online and made her my official ESA (emotional support animal) and she’ll get her little vest in the mail soon. There are many companies that offer it. just google it. Once I get a letter from my doctor, she’ll be able to fly free with me.

So, now that the niceties are out of the way, how am I doing? I am beyond overwhelmed. It’s like someone flicked a little switch in my head and I can barely form a thought or carry on a conversation. I’m numb. I’m scared. I’m confused. I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel or act or what I’m supposed to say so I can’t really say anything. I still have so many questions for my oncologist and I have to do lots of research. I haven’t been posting as much or openly as I’d like, not to be deceitful but I still don’t have all the facts and I haven’t been able to speak with each person in my family yet. I could really use your prayers as I talk to each one and help them to not live in fear and to understand that God is just and faithful and has a perfect plan for my life. My life is in His hands and I don’t doubt for a minute that He has my best.

Thank you so much for your texts, phone calls, cards, emails and yes, more Shari’s Berries (thanks Julie). I am so grateful for each and every one of you and grateful that you’re in my life. I’ve had several people ask for practical ways to help me and the best way to bless me right now is to pray for me and my family. I’m also asking that you continue to give me space and time as I process this next season with my family. I’m just not ready to have visitors or talk yet and I don’t have much information other than my current treatment plan. As I get more information, I’ll share it. Another way to help would be to email me instead of texting or fb im texts so I have a record of it to keep and also so my phone doesn’t constantly ring. I love knowing I have so many people who care about me and each time my phone goes off, it’s a reminder of your love but it can be very overwhelming. My email address is rachelbowers9560@gmail.com.

One last thing I have to share and my intention is not to embarrass or shame anyone but I am kindly asking you to refrain from sharing with me your wisdom, or doctor, or magic jelly beans or eye of newt juice or whatever you may think might heal me. I’ve read the Truth about Cancer, I know Kris Carr, I’ve researched many healing modalities and I absolutely believe in spontaneous healing and that certain things heal certain people. I am overwhelmed and do not have the energy to discuss/argue why your treatment plan or product will work for me. I know it sounds kind of humorous but it’s really not. There is no cure for cancer or it would not exist. Please respect my decision to fully trust my oncologist and integrative doctors who are working diligently to treat me to have the best possible outcome.

I know the ultimate Healer and believe me, I’ve asked Him to heal me and I’ll continue to. I’m choosing to rejoice in all things and at all times. Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.

 

 

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Got my port today!

February 13, 2017 at 11:15 pm (Breast Cancer, Christianity, Faith, My ramblings)

yWhat a long day! I got my port today which I am so excited about because it means no more needles in my veins! I love this little thing and since I’m having chemo every week, I’ll also have to have blood tests and probably a few IV’s along the way.

I also had a liver biopsy to find out if the breast cancer that came back is the same type as I was originally diagnosed with in 2014. I was HER2+ and ER/PR negative. Her2  is a protein that promotes the growth of cancer cells. In about 1 of every 5 breast cancers, the cancer cells have a gene mutation that makes an excess of the HER2 protein. ER/PR is hormone driven breast cancer which I was negative in.

I actually watched the doctor do the liver biopsy because the medicine they gave me didn’t knock me out, it just made me quite happy. They also used a lot of lidocaine. They had a sheet covering my head so I lifted it up and peeked out just as he was sticking the gianormous needle in my liver. I think I said cool or something because he yelled at me and said I was supposed to be sleeping and not watching. I told him I was a medical assistant (it’s been awhile though) and I love watching medical stuff. I actually watch all the ER and Trauma shows while I’m eating 🙂

So I got some good news… I’ll be getting a dense dose of the chemo drug Taxol (it’s usually given every 3 weeks but they will divide that dose into 3 weekly ones, basically 1/3 amount every week) then every 3 weeks I’ll have it along with 2 targeted therapies, Herceptin and Perjeta (which I had before) that go Chuck Norris on the HER2+ cells. I’ll also get Zometa for my bones once a month. The good news is the side effects are supposedly much easier and fewer. Praise the Lord!  Another thing I’m so grateful for is I won’t have to take massive doses of steroids!! There is one other possible awesome thing that could happen but I need to research it a little bit more before I announce it to the world.

Thank you so much for your prayers, texts, emails, comments on fb and ig and my blog. I feel loved and supported! Please continue to pray for my amazing husband Ken, who is the BEST hubby ever!! Also pray for my first treatment tomorrow that starts at 8 am. I’ll be there for about 6 hours and have a couple friends stopping and of course I have Netflix and Hulu and my Bible and a book and sudoku and snacks! I’m all set 🙂

I’ll say good night and close out with this song that’s ministering to my heart right now. Not my will, but Yours Lord, always…

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Update: New Cancer Journey

February 10, 2017 at 8:19 pm (Breast Cancer, Faith, My ramblings)

This is the email I sent out about this new journey I’m getting ready to take.
I wanted to give a more detailed update about what’s going on with my health issues. I’ve been battling a chronic cough for about a month now and have had a lot of pain in my back, ribs, chest and stomach. I went to the doctor 2 weeks ago to get cough medicine and they did an xray to rule out pneumonia. The xray showed several lesions in both of my lungs so they wanted me to follow up with a catscan. I immediately called my oncologist who ordered a petscan and catscan, which I had Wednesday.
I met with my oncologist today and the results of my scans showed my breast cancer has metastasized and spread to both of my lungs, both kidneys, one of my adrenal glands, my liver and a few bones. I am now considered to be in stage 4. My treatment plan will consist of me getting a port put in on Monday then I’ll start chemo on Tuesday morning and will continue to have it every week indefinitely.
Obviously this news is very disappointing and the last thing I want to do is to go through chemo for a second time. I just got used to having hair!
Please keep me and Ken and our families in your prayers. I’m still trying to process it all and I’m feeling very overwhelmed. Please know that if I don’t respond back to your texts, phone calls or emails, I am grateful for you and reading each one.
I was praying this morning and actually laughing with the Lord about this new journey I’m about to start. Some may say I’ve been through enough already but how much is enough really? I don’t have to hang on a cross and die for the entire world’s sins and feel betrayed, humiliated, forsaken or abandoned. I am loved and have the most amazing friends and family and an even larger family in the body of Christ. I don’t have to be fearful of the future or worry about dying because I know without a doubt where I am going. I just don’t want to go there right now !
Thank you so much for your love, support and prayers. I am very grateful. Romans 12:12 is still my life verse: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful to prayer

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Almost finished!

August 4, 2015 at 6:21 pm (Africa, Breast Cancer, Faith, My ramblings)

A year ago this week, I was getting my second chemo infusion and it amazes me that I am almost finished with my treatment. Next Monday I will have my last Herceptin infusion. I’ve had 18 rounds of it along with 6 rounds of 2 chemo cocktails and 6 rounds of Perjeta infusions. I am scheduled for another reconstructive surgery on August 28 and I will also get my port taken out then. I am so excited to be so close to finishing my treatments. I am grateful that I am cancer free and grateful that the Lord revealed Himself to me in such powerful ways during this past year. I am grateful that I chose to trust and believe Him instead of being angry or mad at Him. That thought never even crossed my mind. How could I abandon the one who will never abandon me? How could I love God in the easy seasons of life and not trust Him in the hard seasons? He is a good God and has only loving thoughts towards me.

I am also getting ready to go back to my beloved Swaziland, Africa with Children’s Cup next week and I can hardly contain myself. I was supposed to go last year at this time but was unable to since I had to start treatment immediately for my breast cancer. It broke my heart that I couldn’t go but I had no choice. I can’t wait to see the kids that I sponsor and all the people there who sent me cards and video prayers during my treatment. I was so incredibly blessed by it.

This summer has been a busy one and I can’t believe how healthy I am feeling. I joined a gym and take water aerobics several times a week and I absolutely love it. I am feeling stronger by the day and have more energy than I’ve ever had. I am eating about a 70% raw diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains and trying to stay away from chemicals and added preservatives. No sugar, processed white flour or sweets or any junk food. I have the occasional Starbucks and I’m working on eliminating that too, I’m just not ready yet! I feel healthier than I did before I went through cancer treatment and my fibromyalgia rarely flares up. I’ve had only 1 migraine in months and that is huge for me since I used to get several a month as well as many headaches.

This post is a little choppy but I just wanted to write a quick update and also ask for prayers. I leave for Africa on Aug 12 and will be back Aug 22. Please pray for me because it’s a 17 1/2 hour flight there and last time I went, I came home with a blood clot in my leg. I’m wearing compression stockings during the flight and started taking baby aspirin a few days ago so hopefully I won’t come back with another one. Pray for physical and emotional strength as well and for my entire team. We want to represent Christ and spread His love and be His hands and feet. Also, pray for my upcoming surgery on August 28. I am praying it will be my last one because I just want to be done already.

I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of love I have received during this past year and I am incredibly blessed to be part of an awesome church and have such an amazing family and friends. Words could never adequately describe how grateful I am for each and every one of you.

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One Year Ago Today

July 3, 2015 at 4:39 pm (Breast Cancer, Faith)

Exactly one year ago today, I heard the words, you have invasive ductal breast cancer. I can’t believe how fast time went by yet also stood still. I vividly remember the side effects of chemotherapy and those days when I felt so sick I could barely call out God’s name. I remember the way my husband loved and served  me and laid down his life for me. I remember all the texts and emails and meals and teddy bears and blankets I received. I still have my cancer box that’s filled to the brim with cards and letters and other things. I have yet to be able to go through it because every time I try, I am overwhelmed at the love and support that was poured out on me and I can’t stop crying. One day soon, hopefully I will be able to go through it without falling apart.

As scary as it was to not know what the future held, I am grateful that I got cancer. I know I sound like a broken record, but I truly mean it. Cancer changed me in ways I would never have thought it would. It led me to a much deeper relationship with the Lord and it broke me of a pride so strong that it was downright ugly. Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle with pride and probably will until I depart from this life but it’s better than it was.

Cancer made me realize what’s important in life and what’s not. I let go of foolish things and replaced them with important things like better relationships with family and friends. I realized just how selfish I was and became a better wife. God opened up my eyes and gave me a more compassionate heart. He gave me a new ministry, that I get to share with my husband, to care for people who have cancer or are survivors or caregivers.

One year ago today was one of the best days of my life and I will never stop thanking God for it.

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Almost done!

July 1, 2015 at 10:29 am (Breast Cancer, Faith, My ramblings)

 I’m getting ready for my third to the last Herceptin infusion and I can’t believe how fast this ride has  been. Almost a year ago, I heard the words, “you have invasive ductal breast cancer”.  I knew God  would get me through it but I had no idea how much he would use my cancer to minister to others.

My husband and I starting serving in my church’s cancer ministry, Hope Alive, and it’s been exciting to  meet other cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. What a joy it is to be able to share each other’s experiences and help carry each other’s burdens. To have God at the center of the ministry is the best part. My prayer is that God would use this ministry to offer peace and hope and that many people would come to know Jesus Christ.

Every day I wake up and thank God for being alive and healthy and cancer free. I’m astounded that the God of the universe loved me so much that almost 14 years ago, He drew me to Him and I made a commitment to live and serve Him for the rest of my life. To think He could take a horrendous life filled with drugs, alcohol and heinous sins and make me a new creation blows my mind.

The best part is that He’s not finished with me yet. My cancer journey is just another season in my life and I’m looking forward to what’s next.

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Update for reals…

June 15, 2015 at 5:19 pm (Breast Cancer, Christianity, Faith, Jesus, My ramblings)

june 2015 treatmentSo… I still suffer from chemo brain so my last post was supposed to be an update but ended up not being one. I actually kind of enjoy having the excuse of can’t remembering things but I do hope my brain kicks back into full gear soon.

About one year ago, I began my breast cancer journey and I can’t believe how fast this past year has gone by. There were days which I thought would never end, but for the most part, it flew by. July 3, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal breast cancer stage 2 and it was almost 5 cm. July 16 was my first chemotherapy treatment and here it is almost one year later and I am cancer free. I probably said it in my last post and I will continue to say that besides Christ dying for my sins, getting breast cancer has been the best thing that has happened to me. Don’t get me wrong. It was hard at times, painful and lonely. There are no words that could possibly describe the feeling of chemo running through your veins, killing both the good and bad in your body. I am grateful for it but at the same time, hope and pray that I never have to go through that again.

I had my last chemo 7 months ago and I am starting to feel pretty fantastic. I still have 3 more Herceptin treatments, which is not chemo but a targeted therapy for my type of breast cancer (HER2+). My hair was straight when it fell out and I prayed for it to grow back curly and it most certainly is curly now. I have been getting my health back on track and taking lots of supplements and drinking green smoothies, which I assure you are delicious! I haven’t been able to juice much because it still hurts my stomach but I’ve been taking Juice Plus capsules and will probably end up selling them. They make me feel so good. I was working out at home and overdid it (me overdo it?!) so I had to take a month off to help my lower back pain subside. I joined the gym today and will start taking water aerobic classes for a few months since I just had my last surgery about 3 and 1/2 weeks ago and I don’t want to hurt anything. I will most likely have another surgery at of end of August or beginning of September to do more fat grafting.

All in all, I am in an awesome place and starting to get my life back. Cancer is not fun but what got me through it was to keep my eyes constantly on the Lord. I cannot even begin to think about going through this without Jesus. My husband, family and friends were by my side as well, but there is no one who can take the place that only Jesus can. He was my refuge and strong tower. He strengthened and sustained me. He walked with me through the valley. His mercies were new to me every morning. He did more for me than I could’ve ever imagined. My relationship with Him grew to a deeper level and although I have been a Christian for almost 14 years, it took cancer for me to truly have an intimacy with God that I never thought possible. I could never thank Him enough for having mercy on me and for dying for me and my heinous sins so that I could live life and live it abundantly.

I am also super excited because I am going back to my beloved Africa in August. I couldn’t go last year because of treatment but my doctors cleared me and I am so happy! I will be part of a business skills training team and I hope my mad skills (nunchuck, bow-hunting, computer hacking) will help the team. If not, I’ll just be comic relief!

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Latest Update

May 13, 2015 at 1:25 pm (Africa, Breast Cancer, Faith)

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted an update! It’s been about 6 months since my last chemo and I am feeling great. I still have about 6 more treatments for Herceptin every 3 weeks so hopefully by the end of August I will be FINISHED with my breast cancer treatment!

This journey has been amazing and I fell more in love with the Lord and realized how very much God loves me. It wasn’t the most fun thing to have to go through but it did grow my faith and trust in ways I would’ve never imagined. God has given me a ministry to be able to share my experiences and faith in Christ and I am grateful each and every day for that. I’m joining the cancer support group at my church and I am excited about what the Lord is going to do in and through me. Click here in you are interested in it.

I am having my tissue expander/implant exchange surgery next Wednesday, May 20, and I would love all the prayers I can get. They have to do significant fat grafting (they liposuction fat from your belly and use that around the implant) and I told my plastic surgeon to take all the fat he wants! I am hopeful that other than having my chemo port removed, this will be my last surgery for breast cancer.

I am also going back to my beloved Africa in August with Children’s Cup. I was supposed to go last year but had to cancel it because I had to start treatment. I absolutely love sharing the Gospel and especially have a heart for Swaziland, Africa. I get to see my sponsored children as well and that always makes me happy. Please pray for spiritual preparation, financial support, safety, unity of the team, good health, and that hearts and doors would be open for us to share the love of Christ. If you would like to support me financially, please click here.

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Happy New Year!

January 1, 2015 at 6:13 pm (Breast Cancer, Faith, My ramblings)

New Year’s is always an exciting time for me as I think of goals and areas of my life I want to focus on. I don’t really make resolutions but I try to make good lifestyle changes.  This year, I’m going to make a vision board so I can see it every day and pray over it every day.

Last year was a great year for me even if I did get diagnosed with breast cancer. I got to spend a lot of time with family and my gbabies, I volunteered for several organizations and my faith in Christ grew deeper. I learned a lot about how much God loves me, how important I am to Him and that everything in my life, no matter how big or small matter to Him. I spent time praying in such a different way than I used to. I used to do most of the talking (big surprise, huh) but I have now learned to sit still and be quiet and just wait for His soft whispers of love. Sometimes, He would have to get a little loud with me when I wasn’t being obedient but other than that, I was in awe of the time we spent together.

My verse for my season of cancer was from Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.” That verse got me through some of the toughest times, especially after chemotherapy. As I was reading and praying this morning for a new verse for the new year, I recalled Isaiah 43:18-19, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  I am so excited to see what the Lord would have me do and I can’t wait to see how my season of cancer is going to allow me to minister to people who are still fighting for their lives. I know that even though I’m cancer free now, that may not be the case forever. I do know that whatever happens in the future, I’ll never be alone because God will always be with me.

It’s been 3 weeks since my bilateral mastectomy and they’ve started the reconstruction process so I am hopeful that it will be complete in about 4 months. The pain is getting much more manageable and I can’t wait to start going to church again. I miss seeing my friends and all the people who have prayed and supported me through this tough season. I have a large box with cards and letters and I am going to use them to make a book about my cancer journey. It’s been an amazing journey and there are times that I am so awestruck at the grace given to me from the Lord. There has not been one day that I wasn’t grateful and I know it’s because God was working out His perfect plan for me.

On a funnier note, Ken has kept a record of things and when I saw it, I couldn’t believe it. Here are a few things he recorded I’ve had or been through:

  • 65 doctor appointments
  • 6 rounds of chemo
  • 11 IV’s
  • 2 blood transfusions
  • 5 ultrasounds
  • 3 MRI’s
  • 3 mammogram’s
  • 1 biopsy
  • 2 echocardiograms
  • 1 endoscopy
  • 3 scalp infections
  • 1 thrush infection
  • 23 blood draws
  • 37 prescriptions
  • 43, 896 hairs on my head lost
  • 42 eyelashes lost
  • 37 eyebrows lost

The most amazing thing about this crazy list is my husband drove me to every appointment, chemo and test. I am constantly reminded of how much he loves me and serves me, it’s almost mind boggling. I knew he had a servant’s heart but to take care of me day in and day out without grumbling or complaining is amazing. God could not have chosen a better husband for me and I am so grateful to be married to him.

I’m looking forward to this new year and praying that we continue to follow Christ and His plan for our lives.  The picture we are holding up is from our gbabies who made it for us. It says, We love you to the moon and back.

cmas

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The Storms of Life

December 6, 2014 at 10:55 am (Breast Cancer, Faith, My ramblings)

Since being diagnosed with stage 2 invasive breast cancer 6 months ago, my life has been a whirlwind of doctor’s appointments, chemotherapy infusions, MRI’s, mammograms, blood transfusions and more. Looking back I can’t help but be grateful that my faith in Christ has carried me through this most challenging season of my life. I’m not sure how I would’ve gotten through this without it and I’ll be forever thankful for that day on July 14, 2001 that I finally surrendered my life to Christ. Faith isn’t something you pull out when you face a challenge or trial, it’s the driving force of all your decisions, thoughts and prayers. My absolute trust in God and in His will has given me much comfort and knowing how much He loves me and cherishes me, has enabled me to be overflowing with joy.

 

This morning I was reading about Jesus sending out the disciples in the boat ahead of Him after He had spent the entire day ministering to people. In Matthew 14:22 we read, “Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the people.” Jesus then goes up to the mountainside to pray alone. While He was praying, a terrible storm hit and the disciples were scared. Jesus then walked on the water towards them and the part I have always focused on was when Peter walked on the water, saw the wind, got scared and started to sink. This morning, however, I thought about Jesus sending them out by themselves knowing that a terrible storm was coming. He did not go with them but allowed them to go through the storm alone. He waited to show them who He was until their fear was at an all time high. He then walked out on the water towards them and after the “Peter incident”, climbed into the boat and the wind stopped. Finally, the disciples got it and said, “Truly you are the Son of God.”  I can’t even begin to compare myself to the disciples but I can say from the depths of my heart that Jesus is who He says He is. He has revealed Himself to me over and over again; sometimes in the middle of a storm and sometimes after I’ve gone through it but always in His perfect timing. Knowing this has enabled me to be content in whatever the future holds for me in my journey. As crazy as it may sound, I am grateful for my cancer. It has allowed my faith to grow in ways that I could never imagine. It has also revealed to me that life is precious and to make each moment count and stop fretting over things that have absolutely no eternal significance.

I am having a bilateral mastectomy and will begin the reconstruction process next week on Wednesday, December 10th. It’s hard to imagine but I’m hopeful that afterwards, I will be cancer free. I can’t wait to start the next year working on gaining my health back and detoxing from all the chemicals that have been pumped through me. I am excited because next year is going to be awesome and God will prepare me for whatever He’s calling me to next.

Please keep me in prayer for the surgery and I will try to post updates as soon as I am able. I am really hoping they will let me go into surgery with my lion hat on, bahahaha.

tiger hat

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Surgery Scheduled

November 18, 2014 at 12:19 pm (Breast Cancer, Faith, My ramblings)

I went to my specialist yesterday and we went over my mammogram results. My tumor has responded well to the chemotherapy and has shrunk considerably. I’ll be having a double mastectomy on December 10 and will probably only be in the hospital for one night since my surgery will be at 7:30 am. I’m looking forward to this next step because it’s one more step closer to being cancer free. I can’t wait until I’m no longer a fighter but will be able to say I’m a survivor. Having cancer is exhausting not just physically but emotionally as well.

I have had tons of doctor appointments since I was diagnosed in June and it feels like I’ve been in a whirlwind ever since. It’s strange that in some ways it feels like time has stood still and other times it has flown by. I can’t wait until spring because I should be done with all the surgeries and everything and I can get back to either working or volunteering and of course going on a cruise! I miss church so much too and can’t wait to go back. I’m a little nervous about going now because I’m working on strengthening my immune system and I don’t want to get the flu or anything. I just got over a sinus infection that knocked me out for almost 2 weeks. I’m feeling much better after the blood transfusion last week and although I’m still fatigued from the chemo, I’m a lot better than I was. Several of my fingernails are lifting off and I think my toenails are doing weird things too. I feel like I look like Gollum sometimes with my bald head and gross nails, lol. I can’t wait until my hair grows back but it’s been nice to not have to deal with it. I think between me not driving the Pink Ninja and not using hair products, I’ve saved a ton of money!

One again, I’ll end with my thanks and gratitude to everyone who has sent me cards, emails, texts and care packages. Thank you also for your prayers. What an amazing feeling to know I have so many people praying for me and I know that this has sustained me during this season. My husband is the most amazing person I know and has cared for me and laid down his life for me and served me in ways that blow my mind. And of course, I’m most thankful for my relationship with the Lord and I am astonished at how much He loves me. My faith has never been stronger and I’ve never been more aware of His presence than I am right now. I’ll end with the lyrics to the song, Only Your Love from Kari Jobe.

Your love is strong and mighty, Its jealousy unyielding
It burns for me like a fire untamed, Your love is all consuming
You never stop pursuing, Nothing I could face could take it away

Your love is like no other, Nothing else satisfies
It flows through the deepest parts, It rests on the mountain high
Your love is overwhelming, Brought me to life again
Your love, it lasts forever, In You there’ll be no end

Oh, oh, only Your love, Oh, oh, only Your love

Nothing can separate us, Many trials can’t hide Your love
No sorrow can wash it away

Your love is like no other, Nothing else satisfies
It flows through the deepest parts, It rests on the mountains high
Your love is overwhelming, Brought me to life again
Your love, it lasts forever, In You there’ll be no end

Oh, oh, only Your love, Oh, oh, only Your love

How deep, How wide, How long, How high

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Wait on the Lord

November 6, 2014 at 1:09 pm (Breast Cancer, Christianity, Faith)

I was reading this morning and found myself pondering Isaiah 40:31:

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

I love this verse and have read it so many times and have always focused on the mounting up like eagles part and not being weary but today I found myself focusing on the waiting part. I know that so many times in the past, I’ve not waited on the Lord and have just forged ahead with my own ideas or plans. Since being diagnosed with breast cancer, I realize that I have no option but to wait on the Lord and there is no place I’d rather be.  I almost can’t believe how peaceful, joyful and grateful I’ve been while going through the horrendous treatment. I truly believe that it is solely because I have not gone full steam ahead with my own plans but have sat still (if you know me, you know how hard that is!) and found that sweet, quiet spot where I can go and meet with my Lord so that He can fill me with His spirit. My body may be weak and tired but I have never been closer to the Lord or had such utter contentment in my life.

13 Years ago, when I got sober (woot! woot!) and became a born again Christian (bigger woot! woot!), I had no idea what waiting on the Lord meant. I thought I had to do certain things to be close to God. I read my Bible for hours every day, I served in so many ministries, I went on mission trips all over the world, I worked for my church, I evangelized like crazy and so many other things. While these are all good things, they don’t necessarily mean you are close to God. Over the years, I’ve realized that God wants me and my  heart, not me doing a thousand things for Him while thinking He will somehow love me more or I could earn His love. I’ve also learned that if I am always running around and on the move, He will just sit back and wait for me to stop spinning my wheels. Cancer will definitely make you stop spinning your wheels. It will make you realize what’s important and what is not. What’s important for me right now is to stay in that quiet place of waiting and if I do my part, the Lord will do His. He always does what He says He’s gonna do and has never let me down. He will renew my strength so that I can mount up with wings like an eagle, I will be able to run and not be weary and walk and not faint (which will be awesome since I can barely walk with feeling like I’m gonna faint!).

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My Last Chemo

October 29, 2014 at 6:01 pm (Breast Cancer, Faith, My ramblings)

 

Last chemoI can’t believe I had my last chemo today! At times it seemed like it would never end and other times it felt like it flew by. As tough as it was to go through it, I am grateful for these powerful chemo cocktails that will hopefully have killed all the cancer cells. I will still have to go the cancer center every 3 weeks for another 9 months to receive one medication called Herceptin. The type of breast cancer I have is Invasive Ductal Carcinoma and it’s HER 2+ which means I produce abnormally high amounts of a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. Only one in four women have this type of breast cancer. The Herceptin targets this protein and stops it from growing. The tumor itself has shrunk a lot and I will have an MRI and ultrasound in 2 weeks to determine the size of it. I will then meet with my specialist to discuss the results and type of surgery I will have. I don’t have the surgery date yet but it will be in December sometime.

My red blood cell counts have dropped really low again and I can tell because I have started to feel the fatigue again the last few days and my legs burn if I stand too long or walk up a flight of stairs. That’s been one of the worst of the side effects because I do not like feeling like I can’t be Wonder Woman! I see the oncologist next week and will have more blood tests but will most likely need another blood transfusion. I was scared to have it a few weeks ago but after a few days of getting it, I felt amazing. I had so much energy that I actually went through and cleaned out all my kitchen cabinets and was able to go shopping with my mom for several hours.

I am grateful once again for all the meals (yummy!) and the cards, texts, emails and most of all, for your prayers during this season. (I know I repeat myself a lot and my excuse is chemo brain, it’s real, Google it, lol). I honestly don’t think that I would have been able to do this without each and every one you. I know I still have several surgeries coming up but I feel like the worst is behind me. I am so glad that I know the One who holds the future and He has promised to never leave me or forsake me. This knowledge is what brings me great comfort and is the reason I have no fear. God has revealed Himself to me in so many ways and through so many people. I can’t help but brag about my husband who continually lays down his life for me to serve me, to pray with me and for me, who runs all over town when I have weird food cravings, and who shows me unconditional love. When I got diagnosed with breast cancer, he could have shook his fist at God or become angry since he lost his first wife to a rare form of cancer but he did not. He remained steadfast and faithful and turned to the Lord, his “mighty men” and his men’s group at church for support. I was looking at our wedding pictures the other day and I had no idea what was to come just 5 years later. I wouldn’t want to share my life with anyone else and I am grateful that God knew exactly what I needed and in His perfect timing, he sent me Ken.

I’ll end my ramblings with my cancer verses that kept me going. Romans 12:12:

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:

Rejoice always, pray continually,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

 

 

 

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Fear Not

October 27, 2014 at 10:09 am (Breast Cancer, Christianity, Faith)

I’ve been reading through the book of Joshua again and meditating on the Israelites and the fear that paralyzed them and kept them in the desert wandering for 40 years. God had showed them miraculous signs in Egypt; the 10 plagues, the Passover, parting the Red Sea and leading them with a fire by night and a cloud by day and many others. He tells them to go take possession of the Promised land but they were scared so they sent in 12 spies, one from each tribe. They go into the land to scope it out and when they returned only Joshua and Caleb gave good reports. The other 10 spies saw how big and strong the people were and how large the cities were and their hearts melted with fear.

In Deuteronomy 1:29-31, God told them, “Do not be terrified, do not be afraid of them. The Lord God who is going before you, will fight for you as He did for you in Egypt, with your very eyes and in the wilderness.”

All they had to do was go take possession of the land but they were unwilling to do so. Their fears stopped them from entering and living an abundant life and enjoying all the things that God had planned for them. Remember, these were God’s chosen people! But, because of their disobedience, God tells them that no one from that generation would see the Promised Land, only Joshua and Caleb and all the youngins.

The thing that caught my attention was the Israelites’ fear that kept them from fulfilling God’s plan for their lives. How many times have we let our fears stop us from doing things and very likely something extraordinary for God? God tells us over and over in Scripture to not be afraid. In Isaiah 41:10 He says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Notice how God says I am with you, I will strengthen you, I will uphold you?  We aren’t relying on God’s power, we are trying to overcome our fears by ourselves. We read books on fear, we listen to sermons on fear and while those are good, I really believe we need to understand that God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do. We need to stop relying on our own power and read the Word and memorize verses so that when the time comes and we have a “fear fit” we can recall the scripture hidden in our hearts and walk in faith instead of fear.

I made a choice a long time ago that I would not waste any more of my life living in fear of anything. Even in this season of fighting for my life against breast cancer. I will not lose precious time living in fear of tests or doctors or anything. I will walk in God’s magnificent grace that He has poured out on me. Faith is so much more fun than fear anyways. I love to see what God is going to do through me everyday. Some days I get the opportunity to share Christ with someone who has stage 4 cancer and feels hopeless, some days all I can do is smile. I am excited with each step of my treatment and know without a doubt that God wants to use it to further His kingdom. We aren’t promised an easy life but when I compare my life to the Apostle Paul’s, I can’t help but think God did give me an easy one.

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Grateful for Cancer

October 17, 2014 at 9:03 am (Breast Cancer, Faith, My ramblings)

I know it sounds crazy but I am grateful for getting breast cancer. It has given me a new outlook on life and now that my head is clear after my last chemo, I am starting to make new plans for the future. It’s exciting to think that we can actually set new goals at the very young age of 49. Yes, 49 years old, I can’t believe I am that young!

Before I got the cancer, I was feeling a little lost about what I should be doing. I am blessed that I don’t have to work and I love doing volunteer work. I feel like that’s where God has called me to serve but I am praying for clarity so that I can do one or two things with excellence instead of being all over the place. It’s hard for me to pick only a few things to devote my time to because I am passionate about so many things. I know God will show me where He wants me and I am excited for the next leg of my race.

Last week’s chemo has been much easier since I got the blood transfusion. I feel almost normal except for a few side effects but I’ll take it. The round before the last one almost took me out, not literally, of course, but it was the worst. I have only 1 round of chemo left (can I get a hallelujah!) then it’s off to meet with the plastic surgeon and specialist and talk about surgery. Due to the aggressiveness of my type of breast cancer, I’m leaning toward double mastectomy, which will require more than 1 surgery, which I’m definitely not looking forward to. Hopefully in a couple of months, I will be cancer free (woohoo) and will no longer be a fighter but a survivor! My hair will start growing back, with a little help from Rogaine, and I can start planning on what the next leg of my race will be.

Once again, I am humbled at God’s grace on me as I have been running this race. He has used so many people to care for me, encourage me, pray for me and love me. All the cards, texts, emails, calls, meals, drop by’s and care packages have meant more to me than you could possibly ever know. God has used everyone of you to bless me and I am forever grateful.  My husband, Ken, definitely gets the best husband award as he lays down his life for me daily and serves me relentlessly. His love me astounds me and makes me realize that I finally got my fairy tale and Prince Charming.

 “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9

 

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4th Chemo

September 17, 2014 at 4:19 pm (Breast Cancer, Christianity, Faith)

I am sitting here at my cancer center getting my 4th round of chemo and I am so excited that after today, I will only have 2 more left! I will still have to go in to get 1 infusion for a year but it’s not like chemo and without most of the side effects. The most difficult side effect I have now is that not only is my vision blurred, my depth perception is way off. I’ve only been able to drive for very short distances because I feel like everyone is gonna crash into me! I feel like I’m looking through a tunnel and I think this is why I’ve been having a lot more headaches and migraines.

Yesterday I had an endoscopy (all results are good!) and I keep thinking about a conversation I had yesterday with one of the nurses. We were talking about my breast cancer and I told her that I wouldn’t be able to handle it without my relationship with the Lord. She told me she was a woman of faith as well and prayed often especially on tough days. I was trying to explain to her the sovereignty of God, even in tough situations. I told her that my only job while I’m here on earth is to draw people to Christ and glorify Him and anything above that is icing on the cake. God did not put us here to live nice, comfy, trouble free lives and tells us clearly in the Bible in John 16:33 (and other places) that we will have many trials and sorrows but we don’t have to worry because He has overcome the world. He doesn’t want to see His children suffering but because we are fallen and this world is fallen, we will have them. He also uses our suffering to draw us to Him and I can say with all honesty that when I’m in a tough season, I am way more dependent on God.

I’ve been reading Unstoppable by Christine Caine and the tag line is, running the race you were born to win. It’s really helping me immensely and challenging me as well. Just because I have cancer doesn’t mean I don’t have a race to run and I know without a doubt that God’s plan will prevail.

I was listening to Kari Jobi this morning and this song really spoke to my heart. Take a listen and I guarantee your heart will be moved as well. The words are below and are awesome even without the song, but listen to it anyway!

I Am Not Alone

When I walk through deep waters
I know that You will be with me
When I’m standing in the fire
I will not be overcome
Through the valley of the shadow
I will not fear

I am not alone
I am not alone
You will go before me
You will never leave me

In the midst of deep sorrow
I see Your light is breaking through
The dark of night will not overtake me
I am pressing into You
Lord, You fight my every battle
And I will not fear

You amaze me
Redeem me
You call me as Your own

You’re my strength
You’re my defender
You’re my refuge in the storm
Through these trials
You’ve always been faithful
You bring healing to my soul

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Update

September 5, 2014 at 9:07 am (Breast Cancer)

I had planned on writing all through my breast cancer journey but haven’t been able too while going through chemotherapy. For the first week and half after treatment, I am unable to read because one of the side effects is blurred vision. It’s a little freaky and I dislike it because I can’t even drive the Pink Ninja!

It has been a roller coaster ride since I got diagnosed in June. I completed my third round of chemo last week and am halfway there! (Hopefully!) I had an ultrasound to measure the tumor last week and was disappointed that it hadn’t shrunk at all. The bizarre thing is upon palpation, you can feel that it has shrunk quite a bit. My specialist was concerned as well but also confused so she wants me to get another MRI. I am going on Monday to have that done then she’ll go over the results with my oncologist and may change my chemo cocktail. The plan was to do 6 rounds of chemo, then one year of a specific drug then discuss the type of surgery I will need then radiation, depending on the surgery. I hope and pray that they don’t extend chemo because I’ll pull my hair out. Oh, wait a minute, I don’t have any! Side note, the good side effect of chemo, is I don’t have to shave my legs or worry about my mustache anymore, the bad news, obviously, I’m bald!

One of the other side effects I have been having a difficult time with is acid reflux. I’ve only had it a few times in my life and had no idea how miserable it is. I have been on 5 different medicines which have not worked at all. A few days ago, I went to my primary doctor who gave me 2 new ones to try and I have to see a gastroenterologist next week.  The acid is burning my throat so badly that eating and drinking fluids has been hard so I’ve gotten dehydrated a couple times and had to go to my cancer center to get an iv bags of fluids. It’s amazing how much better I feel with a bag of juice. Hopefully, the specialist can help me and my throat won’t be on fire all the time anymore!

One again, I have to give a shout out first and foremost to my amazing husband. I like the fact that God knew exactly what I would be going through and brought this godly man in my life to help me, encourage me, love me, and just be amazing to me. I honestly don’t think I would’ve made it through this far without him. His love for me and the way he continually lays down his life for me truly astounds me. His love and faith in Christ is his foundation and I find incredible security in that.

My faith is sustaining me as well and I know I’m repeating myself, but I can’t imagine going through this without knowing God. There are times when I feel so sick that all I can do is cry out to God to help me. Even at my worst, I feel Him in such an intimate way and there’s a closeness I feel that I have never felt before. Yesterday, I was thinking of the second part of  Zephaniah 3;17 where it says, “He will take great delight in you and rejoice over you with singing.”  As I lay in my bed, I imagine the Lord God, Creator of the Universe, rubbing my back and singing softly over me and there are no words to describe the feelings in my heart.  To know that this great big God comes to my rescue when I call and is near me at all times is so reassuring. It also reminds me that all things work for the good for those who love him and that He is my Rock and my Redeemer.

I have to once again thank my dear friends for all the prayers, texts, emails, cards and meals. I know I haven’t responded back to each of you and I apologize.  Please continue to pray as I have a lot of upcoming doctor appointments next week. Also, please continue to pray for Ken. Once again, thank you so much for being on this journey with me.

 

 

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Grateful for Church

August 10, 2014 at 8:44 am (Breast Cancer, Faith)

Yesterday was an awesome day because I was able to go to the house of the Lord and worship God in song and praise. I’ve missed the last several weeks due to the chemo and vacation and I’m grateful that I went because the message was on encouragement. I saw many friends who told me they have been praying for me and I was definitely encouraged! There were so may good points in the message and you can read about them here, http://bible.us/e/1Yxw

In Samuel 30:6, it reads, “But David found strength in the Lord his God”.  I love this verse in the Bible because it reminds us that although we need other people to encourage us, we have the ability to encourage ourselves in the Lord. I am so grateful to have the living, breathing Word of God to read and study while I’m on this journey. There are days when I can feel the fullness of the Holy Spirit filling me up to the depths of my soul and I am overwhelmed by my constant need for it.

Today is day 4 after my second treatment and although my spirit is well my body is starting to feel the effects of the chemotherapy. Next week will be tough and I will need lots of prayers so if you are reading this, please pray for me. I know I’ve said this before and I have to say it again, I have no idea how anyone could endure going through cancer or any other illness without knowing the Lord. If I couldn’t cry out to God and know without a doubt that He cares for me, that His love for me is everlasting and that His plans for me are to give me hope and a future, I would surely not be able to deal with this. My prayer is that God would open my eyes so that I can see the hurting and the hopeless and be able to share the love of Christ with them. I want to be remembered as the lady who wore the crazy wigs to chemo and shined the light of Christ in darkness and who was filled with a peace that surpasses all understanding.

For now, I’ll end with one of my verses for this season, 2 Corinthians 4:18,

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

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I survived my first chemo (barely)

July 23, 2014 at 11:22 am (Breast Cancer, Faith)

Well it’s been 8 days since my first chemo treatment and I keep waking up each morning and praying and hoping to feel better. This is by far the worst thing I have ever had to endure and I have had to endure a lot in my life. I know God is good all the time but I sure wish this cup would pass from me. I’m trying to not think of having to go through 5 more treatments with each one getting cumulatively worse. There aren’t adequate words to describe how awful I feel. I’ll feel good and have energy for 5 minutes then have to lay down and rest for a half hour. I know the best days are coming soon, I just need to get through this one.

I have an appointment this afternoon with the oncologist to check my white blood cells and I am almost too tired to go. I am so grateful for my husband who is willing to just be with me when I feel this bad. Grateful he can work from home and take me to all my appointments. He represents Christ in our marriage and lays down his life for me every day.

Please pray for me as I have a long season to endure. I want to run the race well. I want to represent Christ well. I want to share my hope that I have in Christ. I am clinging to this verse today, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

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My First Chemo Treatment

July 16, 2014 at 5:56 am (Breast Cancer, Faith, My ramblings)

I’ll admit I was a little nervous about my first treatment. I had an idea of what to expect because the cancer center gives you so much information so you are prepared. I brought snacks (splurged and bought nilla wafers!) a book, magazines, Ipad, and warm fuzzy socks. They gave me a blanket and a pillow as well. They hooked up the medicine (4 different cocktails) to my port so I had to sit there for about 5 hours and if you know me you know that it was very hard to do! I could roll my IV poll to the bathroom but basically sat there. The good news is they had free wifi so I watched Netflix the whole time and it really went by fast.

I met a lady who was ending her treatment and it was nice of her to come sit next to me because she heard me tell the nurse that this was my first time. She shared her experience with me and told me the side effects for her were minimal, some were weird though like she lost all of her toenails. (She was checking out my polka dotted toes). The main side effect she had was from the Neulasta, which is used to treat neutropenia, a lack of certain white blood cells caused by the chemo. I have to get this the day after each chemo treatment. About 2 days after receiving it, there is severe pain in your bones and lower back because the medicine goes into the bone marrow to work it’s magic.  Despite the side effects, it’s amazing that someone invented it because it will boost my immune system and help me be able to go out and not worry too much about catching infections, etc. They do blood tests every week and will let me know if  my counts are way down or if I need a blood transfusion.

I am so blessed to be under the care of an excellent specialist at Johns Hopkins and an oncologist who is at the new Aquilino Cancer Center next to Shady Grove Hospital. I am also doubly blessed because they chose me to do a case study on so my specialist, oncologist and radiologist meet on a regular basis to discuss my case and make sure I am receiving the best care. My specialist called me yesterday after they met and let me know that they have been studying my films and besides Kobu (the 4.6 cm lump), I also have several calcification’s that will most likely not shrink with chemo. What that means for me is I’ll probably have to have a mastectomy instead of a lumpectomy. The good news about having the mastectomy is no radiation, the bad news is, it’s usually involves several surgeries.

Whatever the outcome, I am confident that the Lord will go before me, stand behind me or carry me when needed. I am so grateful that I have a personal relationship with Christ because I’m not sure I could go through this without Him. I am joyful, peaceful and hopeful  because I am “pressing on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  James 1:2-4 says,

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” 

I want to be a mature Christian and I want everything the Lord has for me. Hopefully I will pass this test and bring honor and glory to Christ and my biggest prayer is that I will meet many women throughout my treatment that I can share my hope and faith in Christ with. Thank you again for all your emails, texts and phone calls. Please continue to pray for me, especially for the next several days when the side effects kick in. They told me that days 1-2 are good, 3-7 are the hardest then the rest of the days until the next treatment should be good. With each treatment though, the fatigue and side effects may get worse.

Quick shout out to my hubby, Ken. I am absolutely amazed at his faith and trust in God going through this with me. His relationship with the Lord has never been stronger and knowing that he can lead us through this without fear but with strength allows me to just relax. I am so proud of him for his attitude and trust in God. He could shake his fist or be angry at the Lord for having to go through this again but instead is choosing to trust God completely. If you are reading this and don’t know him, his first wife lost her battle with cancer but praise God, she is in heaven now rejoicing. I am so proud of him and and also his kids for sticking by my side and praying us both through this. We have so much to be grateful for and are especially grateful for all the care we are receiving from you.

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Happy Birthday to Me

July 13, 2014 at 7:26 pm (Breast Cancer, Faith, My ramblings)

I can’t believe it’s been 13 years since I made the best decision of my life. July 14, 2001 was a day my life changed, not only in the physical world but the eternal as well. I got sober and made the decision to follow Jesus Christ. It’s been an amazing journey and one thing I’ve learned is that God will never let me down. His love for me is everlasting and so blatantly outrageous it boggles my mind. He loves me when I’m unlovable and He’s always near to me when I call.
I’m usually on a mission trip this time of year and have spent many birthdays on foreign soil. Today, however, I will be spending it the hospital getting a mediport put into my chest so it will be easier to receive my chemo medications. Although I’m saddened that I won’t be able to go back to my beloved Africa, I’m grateful that someone invented the port so I don’t have to worry about my tiny veins collapsing. I’m also grateful that I haven’t had a drink in 13 years and if there was ever a time I would’ve thought I needed one it would be now. Thankfully for me, I learned very early on in my walk with Christ that He is truly all I will ever need.
One of my favorite portions of scriptures Psalm 73:25-26,

Whom have in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

This is going to be a very busy week for me so I could use some extra prayers. I get my port today then Tuesday I’m attending a chemo education class and having an EKG then Wednesday is chemo day and Thursday I go back for an injection that will boost my white blood cells. The chemo will take about 5-6 hours and I’m grateful I only have to do it 6 times, every 3 weeks. Sitting still for me is going to be difficult and I’m glad they put a lot of Benedryl in the chemo cocktail so that will be make me sleepy.
I wanted to end by saying thanks to all of you who are praying, texting, calling and emailing me. My heart has been so encouraged and I’m truly blessed.

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Oncologist Meeting

July 11, 2014 at 12:21 pm (Breast Cancer, Faith, My ramblings) (, )

I just back from meeting with the oncologist and I’m feeling very overwhelmed. I really wanted to wait until I got back from my family vacation In August to start chemo but the oncologist wants me to start asap. The tumor grew 1 cm in 2 weeks so she is afraid that if I wait, it could spread into my lymph nodes. Although my lymph nodes came back clear, one of them is “chunky.”
I will be having a port put in to my chest on Monday, then a chemo education class on Tuesday, chemo on Wednesday and then on Thursday I go in for an injection that will boost my white blood cells. I will have 6 rounds of chemo, once every 3 weeks. Halfway though treatments, I’ll have an MRI or ultrasound to see if it shrunk then discuss surgery options and radiation.
I have HER2+ breast cancer, which means I test positive for a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), which promotes the growth of cancer cells. HER2-positive breast cancers tend to be more aggressive than other types of breast cancer. The chemo combination is called TCHP or Taxotere, Carboplatin, Herceptin and Perjeta.
Please continue to pray for me and Ken as the reality is really setting in. It’s hard to think that I have this horrible disease growing inside of me because I don’t look or feel sick. I’m trying to keep a positive attitude and know without a doubt that the Lord will get us through this. I’m sure it will hit me the most when my hair starts to fall out and I think that’s when it will be the hardest for me.
Again, I am so grateful that we have such a strong support group and godly people in our lives and it’s your prayers that are carrying us through this season.

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