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.



jepete said...

So good to hear how you're doing sister! Your peonies are beautiful! Great to see them and you. Miss your gorgeous face!

Jenny P.

Betty Grace said...

I love how you're honest about what's going on, yet always point out the positive in your life. You rock!