Twilight visit to the pond. The ducks are swimming over to greet us.
My oncologist’s office called earlier this week, asking me to restart my chemo meds, but at a reduced dose. We are hoping this will both fight the cancer well, and manage side effects.
So for the past few days I’ve been living in this strange in-between zone, feeling the effects both of withdrawing from the meds as well as starting them up again. (Some of the side effects seem to be much worse initially.) Thankfully, both sets of symptoms seem to be diminishing. I’m hoping that we will quickly find the best level of this chemo for my body.
I’m still breathing well, coughing rarely, and getting out for walks. I love the colours this time of year!
Here’s an exciting bit of news (are you ready for it?): I can now lie on my left side occasionally for about an hour or so. I still don’t roll over in my sleep, but if I awake at 5:00 or 6:00 am I can roll myself over and go back to sleep for a while. Ordinary for many people, but I hadn’t been able to do this without coughing terribly since over a year ago. So I’m quite pleased and thankful!
Here’s another thing I’m thankful for: I called a church today and enjoyed a chat with a lovely woman there. She asked how I was doing, how my family is, etc., then she asked how our summer was. I told her it was fantastic! She reminded me that the church is praying for me, and when we spoke last she’d asked what I would like them to pray for, “a great summer for our family” was on my list. Prayers answered, and then some! Praise God! I am very grateful for all who pray. I don’t know everyone who prays, but I thank you!
We continue to do well, and seem to be settling into our Fall rhythms. The kids are fantastic gift-wrappers, and our Christmas presents for family overseas are almost ready to be mailed off. We have so much to be thankful for!
“Your chest x-ray looks fabulous!”, declared my oncologist at Monday’s appointment. He had compared this one with the previous two and was very pleased with the results. Jono and I felt a bit giddy after we received the news, even though we were expecting it to be good (due to the lack of coughing). The chest x-ray clearly indicates an obvious improvement!
But the side effects are difficult, so we’re giving my body a week-long break from this chemo. I understand that the chemotherapy dose often prescribed is typically the highest a person can tolerate. We’re hoping to give my body a chance to recover a bit, then figure out what is the best dose for me. I’m to call my nurse on Monday to let her know how I’m doing and if I’m coughing or not.
Day Five off chemo, and I’m not coughing – praise God!
But now my oncologist and I have discovered a side effect of stopping this chemotherapy treatment: joint pain which usually lasts a week or two. I was very sore when I woke up Wednesday morning, and since my joints were still very painful after lunch I called the nurse. She talked to the doctor who then did some research. They got back to me the next morning. I’m very grateful for the good medical care I’m getting, and it’s a relief to know the pain likely won’t last much longer. I’m taking a large amount of ibuprofen, and that’s helping to decrease the pain a bit.
I am thankful to see fabulous effects of this treatment, and to be able to enjoy the freedom of breathing easier, coughing much less, being able to sing a little and talk fairly comfortably, and getting outside to enjoy the beauty of this world.
I feel so much better! The side effects of this chemo continue to be difficult, but I’m alive and I can breathe pretty well. There are times when I even forget about the cancer … something I previously hadn’t been able to do since every breath was a reminder.
I used to cough constantly – especially if I was talking. I couldn’t sing, shout, or even talk much since my voice wasn’t working. Walking – even part of a short block – at a brisk pace not only gave me shortness of breath, but started off coughing that wouldn’t stop for up to half an hour. Some evenings I wondered if I could make it up the stairs to my bedroom.
Right now I feel so free! I typically go the whole day without coughing. I can sing a little bit, and shout to my kids if I need to. I still suffer from shortness of breath, but not nearly like it was before: there’s a spring in my step!
Yesterday I took our kids and some of their friends to the park. I cycled there, and together we formed quite the procession on bikes, scooters, a skateboard and roller blades! The kids had a blast at the park and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them and taking photo’s.
Even my chest x-ray last month showed improvement, and chest x-rays don’t show small changes! I am so very thankful for this new chemo and for the greatly improved health I’m enjoying!
I have another chest x-ray and an appointment with my oncologist next week, and I am hoping we’ll be able to slightly reduce the meds I’m on and thus hopefully reduce the side effects.
I am so grateful for this freedom and energy, and I want to make the most of it!
I hope that you know deep freedom, and are living life to the full!
PS: Guess who we keep finding at the park … a gift that brings us joy!