Thursday, April 29, 2010

No Chemo

Yesterday I went to receive chemo and found out 4 our 5 of my liver enzymes were high, so they sent me home without chemo. I found out the liver can cause back aches, stomach aches and vomiting. I've been experiencing all of those symptoms and feel kind of relieved that I know why I've been feeling bizarre. They aren't sure what caused my liver functions to go high, but feel like it's built up chemo. I also took lots of antibiotics last week and that could of caused it or it could be cancer. MDA is suppose to call me today with a plan. I'll either wait a week and do blood work again or go ahead and do the catscan. I'd prefer to do the scan and see what's going on, but I'll have to wait and see what they decide.

"Faith is not believing in my own unshakable belief. Faith is believing an unshakable God when everything in me trembles and quakes." Unknown

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Weird Week

The past few days have been pretty weird. I've had an intense cough that is keeping me from sleeping, drainage, and potential food poisoning. I've also been vomiting almost daily and of course that starts to make me worry. Also, my back and stomach had some intense pains for a couple of days and that concerns me as well. In the end I just have to have faith that God is healing me. He has been so amazing to me during this time and I know he will get me through this experience.

Tomorrow I go back to MDA for my LAST chemo before my next body scan. In about two weeks I'll get my scan done and hope to hear good news.

"Faith never denies reality but leaves room for God to grant a new reality." Jim Cymbala

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Getting Stronger

On Friday I came down with a cough and lost my voice. The cough was preventing me from sleeping, so on Monday I went to the doctor and they gave me a shot, cough syrup and antibiotic. Even though my voice isn't back to normal at least I can sleep better. Right now my focus is getting ready for work, so I've started a work out regiment. I run in place for 20 minute to keep my heart rate up, do 100 sit ups a day, and work out with a band 3 times a day building up my arms, chest and back. Hopefully my body will be back to normal soon. I even try to stick to my work out program on the bad days.

Also, In the past 3 months I've lost 7 pounds and the doctors want me to gain weight. I started drinking something similar to Ensure but for diabetics called Enterex. It is high in protein, vitamins and calories. If you put it in the freezer for a while it becomes slushy and actually tastes OK. I've also started eating a protein bar daily which will hopefully add on some pounds. My blood work is still normal and hopefully soon my body will be too.

"Father God according to Your Word, without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to you must believe that You exist and that You reward those who earnestly seek You (Hebrews 11:6). Lord, I want to please You. Build faith in me so my life will honor the life of Your Son." Beth Moore

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Headed Back to Work

I had chemo this past Wednesday and it went well. I was actually feeling better than I had in the past until about noon. Then, the vomiting and nausea set in. Tonight I even kept down my supper which is always good. I only have 1 more chemo treatment! This will complete 3 rounds of chemo or 12 chemo treatments/24 weeks!

The only other news is I'm going back to work May 10th on light duty and hopefully my body can handle it. By May 10th this round of chemo will be complete. They will do another body scan to determine if I'm in remission or not. I feel confident that I will get great news and that's why I plan on returning to work. If not, I may be going to work while doing chemo, so it should be interesting. I'm actually looking forward to returning to work because I'm going stir crazy. Even on my bad days I miss making decisions. It's getting to the point where my mind is working against me instead of with me. It's time to get my life back to normal.

"{Not in your own strength}for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you {energizing and creating in you the power and desire}, both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight." Philippians 2:13

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Have Faith

I've been reading a book called "Healed of Cancer" by Dodie Osteen and I thought I'd share her story with you.

In 1981 she was diagnosed with liver cancer and was given only 2 weeks to live. Chemo wasn't even an option. The doctors told her they didn't know where the cancer came from, so they could do an exploratory surgery just to see what was going on. This surgery wouldn't provide a cure but may give them some answers. Dodie's husband said that surgery was not an option and he was taking his family home to pray. He told the doctors they believed in miracles and the doctor told him that it was a good thing. While at home she fought intense pain, but believed in her heart that God would heal her. She had churches all over praying and she knew healing was her only option. Dottie then saw Jesus in a dream. He told her that prayers from others would help, but what would heal her was her personal faith in him. From that point on she knew she was healed. She didn't think he WOULD heal her, she knew she was healed. She started ignoring her pain and focused on actions that she did before she was sick. For example, she quit taking naps and focused on sleeping like a healed person. Nights were tricky because the devil would come to her and she would doubt her healing. After a while she realized that the devil would get in her head, but not in her HEART. Dottie then pulled 40 healing scripture from the bible and read them all day long. She read the scripture and prayed continuously. Even though the doctors gave her no hope, her faith in Jesus saved her life. Some people may claim she was misdiagnosed, but that's impossible. She went to both Texas Medical Center and MD Anderson and both hospitals proved she was covered in cancer. Dottie avoided doctors for years because she didn't want them to tell her something that would distract her from her faith. Eventually she did go to the doctor and have a scan done. She found out she was cancer free thanks to God.

"I will not die but live, and proclaim what the Lord has done." Psalms 118:17

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Prayers Needed

I found out today that a well known young man from the blending plant and the refinery passed away from cancer recently. He has 2 young children and a wife. He was also a trustee at the Union Hall, had tons of friends, and made a great leader. All and all he was a great man. He will truly be missed. Also, I heard that the people from the refinery supported the family throughout the entire process. It really is great to work at a place where everyone is so supportive. It's much more like a family than a place of business. Please pray for his family during this difficult time.

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die..." John 11:25-26

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


This weekend I felt good and was able to enjoy my Easter celebrations. I felt blessed to wake up every morning and have my family there and a grand baby to keep me company. On Saturday we went to my brother's house for lunch and an egg hunt. It was nice to sit around and catch up with my family. Then, on Sunday I went to my sister-in-law's house for lunch and another hunt and really enjoyed visiting with everyone there as well. Holidays really mean more to me now that I have cancer. I feel completely blessed to just be there. Overall, I was able to enjoy visiting with everyone and even felt good enough to enjoy the food. It was a great weekend.

Also, this Easter took on a special meaning in my life because it was the first time I understood the meaning of the holiday. I've celebrated the holiday in the past, but have never reflected on it's meaning. I can't imagine watching my son be born and know that in years to come he would take on the world's sin, endure ridicule, intense pain, and even a cruel death. Then, as my son was being put on the cross having the will power to let it happen so the world could be forgiven of their sins. I truly can't imagine the sacrifice God made that day. I'm so thankful he is stronger than I am because now we all have a path to heaven. It's also amazing to think about the events that led to Jesus' death and resurrection. This entire weekend represents promise, hope, and sacrifice . I'm so thankful to be a Christian! Without God's help I wouldn't be here today and thanks to his faithfulness I'm being healed and able to appreciate him more and more each day.

"Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus." Romans 6: 8-11

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

It's been a while since I updated you, so I thought I'd tell you a little bit about my week. Monday and Tuesday were great and I felt normal. Wednesday was another long chemo day. So far I feel much better this time than I did two weeks ago. By this time two weeks ago I couldn't even take a sip of water without vomiting. Hopefully this round continues to be easier.

For now, I thought I'd tell you about the new drug I'm receiving during chemo. Remember, this is an experimental drug for stomach cancer and I'm one of the first to take it for this particular cancer. Also, this is the 4th drug I receive on Wednesdays. I still receive the original 3 chemo drugs and now receiving Avastin as well. All together it takes about 5 hours to receive chemo. Below you will find information I received from MDA on my new drug Avastin.

"Avastin is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits the growth of new blood vessels that provide nutrition for cancer cells. It is used alone or in combination with other cancer fighting medicines."

The Side Effects
-High Blood Pressure (My doctor has now put me on blood pressure medicine to counteract this side effect. Also, during infusion they check my blood pressure constantly.)
-fatigue, lethargic and sluggishness
-Increase risked of blood clots (Now I'm on a blood thinner to counteract the blood clots)
-Decreased heart function
-low white blood cell count (My blood work is still good)

It's like all drugs, they have a list of side effects and it just depends on how your body handles the drug. I'm not exactly sure what effects it has on me because I'm taking 4 drugs at once. I'm not sure which drug causes my symptoms.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

"Praise be to the LORD my Rock,
who trains my hands for war,
my fingers for battle.

He is my loving God and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I take refuge..." Psalms 144:1-2