Monday, June 30, 2008

June 30

First, I want to thank everyone who fasted and prayed for me last week. Again, I can’t begin to tell you what it means to me. I know that your prayers are what are sustaining me through this trial.

My treatment on Friday went well. I didn’t have any sort of allergic reaction. Sweet Betsy Hintze came to my appointment with me and we had a really nice visit. They administer the Taxol much slower than my previous treatments. We were there for over four hours. I won’t have to be pre-treated with steroids for my next treatments since I did okay with the first one.

I felt quite well Friday night – much better than the night after my other treatments. I did have a problem sleeping though. I think the steroids they had me take may have counteracted the other drugs that should have helped me sleep. I didn’t get much sleep Friday night. I felt pretty good on Saturday – did some yard work and ran a couple of errands – but felt really tired and tried to rest and nap on Saturday afternoon.

My body refuses to nap during daylight hours. I don’t know why. I have never been able to take a nap. It sucks that this is the case. I could have really used one on Saturday.

I got some decent sleep Saturday night but still felt really tired on Sunday. I did, however, want to go to church. Bishop Foster had put together a great meeting and I knew I wanted to be there for it. I also wanted to make sure I was there to hear President Clark and President Aldredge speak in Sacrament Meeting. I felt a little out of it but managed to make it through the meetings. I was glad I could attend. The meetings were so good and I got a lot out of them.

I went home and took it easy last night. The tech told me that on day 3 or 4, I could start having some leg pain and feel a like I have the flu. Well, last night, I had leg pain and felt like I had the flu. I didn’t sleep very well. I hate it when I can’t sleep – especially right now. I need all of the sleep I can get. I called my doctors office this morning and they told me the leg pain can last 3 – 4 days or so. They are going to get me some meds to help with the pain and help me sleep.

I’m tired today, but feeling okay. I have not had really any nausea with the new treatment. YEAH!!! So, the trade-off is leg pain, which is kind of bad, but I’m sure I’ll survive. There are other symptoms that can come as well, but I’m hopeful they will be minor.

So, only three more chemo treatments to go and I will be done with the stuff. So far, I am staying healthy and well enough to keep having my treatments. I’m still on schedule to have my last chemo treatment on August 8th. That seemed a long ways out a couple of months ago. I can’t believe how fast the time is flying during these treatments. Don’t get me wrong, it is very hard, but they will be over soon. I can’t wait.

I have opted to not teach Gospel Doctrine during the rest of my treatments and until I am feeling really well again. It is something I really love to do, but was becoming a little overwhelming to me. Cinda Morgan is going to substitute teach for me until I am ready to come back. I’m so grateful to her. It has helped to get that off my plate for the time being.

I keep feeling very blessed during this trial. There are days and nights when it can get petty bad, but the comfort always comes. I do sometimes wonder just what it is that I’m supposed to learn from this trial. I just hope that whatever it is, I am learning all I can and keeping the hope and faith.

Again, there was a woman who was getting chemo at the same time that I was last Friday. She just found out a couple of weeks ago that she has stomach cancer and is terminal with about a year to live. Unreal. There are so many people that suffer so much. It certainly makes me grateful for my prognosis and treatment.

Thanks to all of you that have called or emailed and show me your constant concern. I sometimes don’t answer my phone when I’m trying to rest, but the calls are appreciated none-the-less. I have actually been able to be a little social the last couple of weeks and went to a get together at Angie Vrien’s for a little while and even made book club last week. It’s hard to get out sometimes, but so nice to see some people and have some interaction. I hope I can continue to do that over the last weeks of my treatment.

Thanks again to all of you for your love and concern. I don’t know what I would do without you.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

June 17

So, I am pretty much still living in chemo-maintenance-mode. I am doing pretty well, considering. It is certainly up and down, but I am getting through it and haven’t had too many really bad days. I’m starting to get a little bored sitting around so much. I’m usually more active and have a lot more going on. All in due time, I’m sure.

I had my last of the first 4 chemo treatments this past Friday. I am half way through my chemo treatments. Yeah! The next 4 treatments are a different kind of chemo and should be easier to handle. I’m still getting very nauseous and my hurling reflex seems to be getting more refined with each treatment. I may never be pregnant – but I can certainly sympathize with people who have morning sickness. Honestly, I am so amazed at how the simplest smell can send me to bend over the sink. Another interesting side effect that was not expected was that my eyes and nose will not quit running. My doctor told me there really isn’t anything to do about it. I have never used tissues much. I have gone through boxes of them the last few weeks.

The next treatments also have some side effects that are, honestly, quite worrisome, but I am hopeful and prayerful that I won’t experience these. My doctor and nurse tell me that 95% of the people they treat say that these treatments are easier to handle. Let’s all pray for that.

Chemo sucks! It really does. I do feel, however, that I’m handling the treatments as well as can be expected. I have been able to work – I haven’t missed a day yet, knock on wood – and am still able to take care of the things that are the most important to me. There was a sweet woman getting chemo with me during my last appointment. This is her third bout with cancer. She has cervical cancer that has gone to her esophagus. She can’t eat at all and was so frail. It made me realize that even though I am very uncomfortable at times and going through these difficult treatments, there is always someone that is struggling more than I am. It definitely brought some perspective. My heart went out to her.

I had a stupid weekend a couple of weeks ago. I prepared my Gospel Doctrine lesson on Saturday and went over it a few times on Sunday morning to make sure I was prepared. I drove to the church and the parking lot was empty. Duh!!! It was Stake Conference that weekend. I was so mad at myself for not figuring that out so I could have attended my meetings. The Sunday after treatments is pretty harsh and I haven’t felt well enough to attend church. This past Sunday, sweet Bishop Foster and Brother Knowlton came and administered the Sacrament to me. It was so nice of them and meant a lot to me. I hate missing my church meetings right now. I really need them and am glad when I can make them. I miss seeing everyone. I feel a little out of it and can’t wait until I can come every week again.

I had another great Priesthood Blessing from Rod Snow last week. The Priesthood Blessings I have received have helped me so much and have done so much for me. He said in my blessing that I can feel free to let Heavenly Father know when I’m not happy about how things are going – but to let him know that regardless, I love Him and trust Him – and more blessings will come. What great insight!

I am still feeling the love from everyone. So many have shown such great concern for me. I can’t tell you what it means to me. There isn’t a week that goes by that Liz Hale doesn’t put something on my doorstep. Shawna and Bruce have been making sure I don’t get a chance to even consider mowing my own lawn. Shawna checks in on me daily and has been going to my chemo appointments with me. So many people have offered to come with me. She insists that she come. How I can I refuse? So many have offered to help with anything I possibly need or do whatever they can for me. I haven’t been able to take most of you up on your offers, but please know that it means a lot to me that the help is there if I need it.

When people ask me what they can do for me, I tell them that the most important thing they can do for me is keep me in their prayers. I know that the prayers of all of my friends and family are sustaining me through this trial. It is really the most meaningful thing anyone can do for me.

Everyone at work has been very supportive as well. Along with all my girl homeys that have been wearing the ribbon pins for me on my treatment days, last Friday everyone at work wore a hat or head covering to show their support. And, today as I was sitting at my desk, all of the people from our PR Department brought me a bowl of pink and lavender M&Ms that have “4 Lovely Cynthia” and “Love and Prayers” printed on them. They must have ordered them for me. So sweet!

I feel badly that I can’t commit to or attend many social activities at the moment. Even though I have been able to work and feel pretty well, I am usually pretty beat by the time I get home from work and have been going to bed very early, at least early for me. I’m grateful that I still keep getting some offers and hope to be able to make at least a few social events over the next couple of months.

My yard has finally burst into bloom. It is so pretty right now. I wish I felt well enough to have a big party so everyone could see it. It cheers me up and I spent an hour just sitting in my backyard last Saturday – looking at all of the beautiful colors and feeling grateful that God created flowers. I LOVE flowers. How could you not?

I’m still doing okay with the baldness. I even forgot to wear something on my head as I walked my dog to the park the other day. Shawna thought – Wow! She must really be getting comfortable with her baldness. I really just forgot – but didn’t really care. I still have eyelashes and eyebrows. They may still go – but are hanging in there for the time being.

There are so many silver linings to this trial. I have been able to reconnect with people I haven spoken to or had much contact in a while. I had a long conversation with my friend Trish the other day who had just heard about my situation. I hadn’t spoken to her in a few years. It was so great to catch-up with her – as it has been with others that I’ve had contact from.

Other silver linings are that I don’t have to shave my pits or legs, getting ready time has been cut by about 5 – 10 minutes with no hair to worry about, I’ve lost a few pounds, and I keep my house cleaner than usual in case someone stops in to see how I am, plus many others.

There are so many blessings in the middle of the trials. I’m so grateful to everyone for their prayers and concern.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

June 3

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog. This is – most likely – because I really haven’t had anything too interesting to say.

The past few weeks have been me – trying to adjust to the chemo – and feeling rather nauseated quite a lot of the time. Being bald hasn’t been so bad. I honestly have felt bad enough in other ways that it is the last thing I care about right now.

My doctor and his tech haven’t been able to get something for me that seems to work for the nausea. I am really bad the night of my Friday treatments – okay on Saturday, I think because of the medication they give me with the chemo – and not very good on Sunday or that first week after.

This past week – they tried a different medication that they were hopeful would really help me. They went as far as to call it “The Cadillac” of anti-nausea mediation. It didn’t work. I joked that it was more like a "Yugo". In fact, this past treatment was the worst so far. I felt horrible on Sunday and really bad yesterday to the point I left a little early from work and went home and slept the rest of the day and night. It’s amazing how bad you can feel and how horrible even the simplest thing can smell. It’s really weird.

The second week after chemo has been better so far. I’ve been able to be a little social and even had a few people for dinner at my house last week for Michael Bothe’s birthday. I am being blessed – even though I feel sick some of the time – to be able to work and take care of everything I need to take care of. I have been able to keep teaching my Gospel Doctrine class and go to work every day. I’ve had some killer allergies as well that have added to the fun – but all in all – I am doing all right. I only have one more of the more difficult treatments to go through and then start on the next round which I am told will not be so bad – FINGERS CROSSED!

Thanks again to all of you for your concern and prayers. When I’m feeling at my worst – it’s sometimes hard to remember just how blessed I am. Perspective always comes, however, and I am so grateful for everyone and everything they have done and are doing for me.

My house and yard are in great shape. With our late Spring and Summer – the buds are just about to start opening. I can’t wait for all of the blooms. I’ll post some pictures on my next blog.