winning

June 26, 2012

Some good news! This morning I had a PET scan to see if the new chemo has been working, and my scan came back clear! This means that there is no cancer present in my body at this time and that I am ready to move on to a stem cell transplant so that it never returns.

However, I still have months before I’m out of the woods. I still have to get another dose of the chemo I am currently on next week to ‘hold me over’, so to speak, until I get to the stem cell transplant. It’ll be a few weeks of insurance processing and medical testing until I can actually start the SCT. And then the SCT is a month-long treatment itself and will probably take a couple of months to recover from. But the important thing is that I am headed in the right direction. Praise the Lord.

“and call on me in the day of trouble;
    I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”

Psalm 50:15

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nothing to lose

June 10, 2012

Tomorrow I start on my second round of chemo (ICE). It has been a quick, crazy three weeks. So much has happened.

The Friday after my chemo was the day I felt my worst. Once I made it through that rough weekend, I started to come around on Monday. Although I was feeling better, my immune system was at its lowest and got the best of me 7 days after my chemo. With peculiar fever and back pain that came on suddenly, I ended up at the ER from 8pm to 3am…there’s no such thing as a quick trip to the ER. Fortunately, it was nothing serious: just your average case of getting sick with a weak immune system.

After a couple of days of antibiotics, I was feeling much better and decided I couldn’t stand to be away from North Carolina any longer. So with my immune system back up, I went to Boone for a few days to spend time with my fiance, friends and my oldest sister, nephew, and niece who drove there from Virginia. I had a great time, and I’m glad I made the trip because I’m not really sure when I will be able to go back.

Just about the time I could say I felt almost completely normal again, the strands of hair that came out in my hands were a disturbing reminder of the reality I was trying to forget. Last time it took months. This time it took days.

I was a little upset about my hair starting to come out at first just because I honestly was not expecting it to happen so fast. But having been through this before, I knew how it was gonna go. After a couple of days it was getting pretty thin. So I asked my sister Britta, who conveniently enough is a hairdresser,  if she would cut it shorter and try to even it out. A few minutes into cutting it, I could tell it was past saving because it would fall to the floor when she touched it. So I just told her, “Just do whatever you want. I’m not going to have it for much longer.” And a little bit of bleach and tin foil later, I had golden blonde highlights in it! [She was originally going to tone the blonde so it was a reddish color but we were afraid if we messed with my hair again there wouldn’t be any left.]

You can see from these pictures how fast my hair was coming out this weekend.

In a way, it helped me to have those horrendous blonde streaks in my hair because it made me want to get rid of them faster. Since there wasn’t much left anyway, and it was to the point of just annoying me, I shaved my head clean today.

IN A NUTSHELL

  • I’m feeling great right now. I start my second round of chemo tomorrow.
  • I lost my hair just within the past 4 days or so. Not gonna lie, I’m gonna miss my hair, but there are much worse things you could lose than your hair.
  • I thank God for continuing to bless me through my treatments with good health and peace about what I’m going through.