Monthly Archives: March 2008

Low Platelets…again:(

Once again my chemo had to be postponed because of low platelets (sigh).  I did get a dose of herceptin, but the other two chemo drugs were postponed till Wednesday.  It’s frustrating to get psyched up for this and then have to wait.

I met with my oncologist this morning.  I will have 6 chemo sessions.  So after this next chemo I’ll be halfway through.  Yippie!  So I’ll finish chemo in early June and the mastectomies will happen in late June followed by 6 weeks of radiation every day and herceptin for a year every week.

I had a great trip to Atlanta to visit my sister and her family.  It was 70 and sunny!  It was a lot of driving…..but Elijah and the girls did well.  The girls stayed in Kentucky with their grandma and grandpa for the week.  I felt a little like I was escaping cancer for the week.  Driving back was a bit difficult knowing what was awaiting me…..and now I wait till Wednesday.

Thanks for all your prayers and little notes of encouragement.  Even strangers when I’m out in public have even started coming up to me and giving me little hugs and words of encouragement.  That’s nice.  So many people have experienced someone they love struggle  with cancer.  It’s a tough thing.  It reminds me there are so many people who care.


Heading South

Thanks everyone for praying for me this week.  I made it!  I started to feel alot better a few days ago…..all those toxic (but life-saving) drugs must have passed through my body:)  I felt so much better a few days ago that I decided to take the kids on a trip this week.  I’m taking the girls to visit their grandma in Kentucky and then I’m going down to Atlanta to visit with my sister and her family for a few days with Elijah.  Feeling better….combined with seeing the weather report here in Michigan was my deciding factor.  We won’t soon forget the snowstorm of Easter weekend!$%#@!

I can still get my emails while I’m away, but not as often and I probably won’t post much this week.  I’m back for chemo again on the 31st.  Have a great week!

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I’m pulling through….

I think I’ve passed the worst of it.  I started feeling better this afternoon after a really bad bout this morning.  I was so sick I could barely get out of bed and my mom had to come get Charis off to school (she made it on time….amazing) and then took Meleah to ballet.  I’m so glad she’s around:)  I had dinner with my family tonight.  Since Sunday I’ve only been able to eat organic mazo ramen noodle soup and I have to pay tribute to my new favorite drink….berry gatorade.   Thanks for your prayers this week.  I’ve certainly needed them.  I’m looking forward to being well enough to enjoy Easter festivities this weekend.

Me & Hubby

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Sick, sick, sick!

Well….I’m pretty sick.  I’m having a hard time eating and the best thing for me right now is sleep.  Jeremy and my mom have been great.  My mom stayed with me all day yesterday and then Jeremy took the kids out for dinner and I was asleep when he got home so he did homework and bedtime all by himself…..for the second night in a row:(

It’s hard to stay upbeat when you feel sick….but hopefully in a few days I’ll be on the mend.

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Thursday’s Chemo

I had chemo on Thursday and my platelet count was at 187,000!  That is GREAT for me even on a good day without cancer….lol!  Thanks for the prayers!

I’m doing quite well….it’s Saturday afternoon and I’m headed off for a nap but feel very little bone pain like last time and not too much nausea.  The bone pain comes from a shot they give after chemo to encourage white blood cell production but we heard taking tylenol, benadryl and claritin before the shot would help….and it did!

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Some of you know the hardest part of all this has been weaning Elijah so abruptly and sooner than I would have liked.  But he has figured out his own bonding and in the process makes his mama very happy.  No kidding…..he kisses me 50+ times a day.  When we get up in the morning, when I pick him up, he’ll just come up to me and grab my face and lay a big pucker kiss on me.  He is so sweet, he is such a blessing.

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Go Hornets! (Deuteronomy 7)

A woman at church (thanks Jackie Herr)  sent me a letter in the days following my diagnosis and prayer service that got me thinking.  I was drawn to the image she gave me when she shared this passage.  She said the words kept going through her head as they prayed for me.  If you go to Deuteronomy 7 you’ll read about God’s promises to the Israelites through Moses….that he will provide land for them as He had promised and not only that, but He would send Hornets (7:20) to make sure that any survivors would be driven out.

This is the end of their time wandering, they’re at the cusp of all they’ve been waiting for.  Surely they are filled with doubt.  Surely they want to run to other idols and other God’s for protection.  This has certainly been a long 40 years for them.  Many of them certainly don’t even remember the provisions of God in Egypt.  But Moses isn’t going to let them forget.  Deuteronomy is full of hope, it’s reflecting on what has been and what God plans to do for the Israelites.  The cards are stacked against them, their giants are larger, the rivers are wider, the mountains are higher, but that doesn’t matter to a powerful God.  He’s got a plan.  He won’t let one minute detail go by the wayside.

“These nations are stronger than we are, how can we drive them out?” (7:17)

“The Lord will keep you free from every disease, He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt.” (7:15)

The thing about inflammatory breast cancer that is different from normal breast cancer is its ability to travel and hide.  Many people can’t understand why I didn’t have a complete and radical mastechtomy first and then chemo.  It’s because my breast cancer basically started in my lymph nodes.  A bunch of naughty cells clumped together and created a waste block for my breast….so rather than a lump my cancer runs through my entire breast in sheets… basically effects the whole breast and all the skin.  Then there’s the issue of the lymph nodes and escaping cells.  IBC travels fast….very fast….and is often too late once it’s diagnosed (mine was diagnosed early and that is a VERY good thing).  Doing the chemo first ensures that all those naughty stray cells get zapped first.  That way when they take everything….there isn’t one hiding.

I’ve got chemo, modern medicine and radiation.  I can read about all the current complimentary therapies…..but above that I’ve got a powerful, all knowing….and “I can see that minute stray cell kind of God….He will send the hornets!”  This passage has given me so much hope….He wants our obediance and our devotion to Him and in return He will provide our needs…..he doesn’t miss a thing!  Regardless of my future He has a detailed plan that involves so much that I will never understand.

Jackie ended her letter with the following phrase….and I find it so fitting as I face the overwhelming giant ahead of me!  It’s my battle cry!

Go Hornets!

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Complimentary Medicine

People have asked me what kind of natural/complimentary medicine I’ve been doing so I’ll fill you in a bit.  My family doctor here in Kalamazoo does homeopathic medicine and is a bit more natural.  He’s doing Iscador Therapy with me, or as I like to call it “mistletoe therapy.”  He also made a homepathic brew for me and is going to be helping me with some herbal suppliments soon.  I am also taking high doses of melatonin and curcumin suppliments.  I take New Chapter vitamins for vitamin D and in case I miss anything.  As far as how I’m eating.  I was already pretty organic and crunchy.  My diet was high in anti-cancer and anti-oxident foods like kale, green tea and green smoothies (although I eat these daily now).  I am looking more into raw foodism, although I’m not sure if I completely agree with a vegan, 100% raw diet.  I’m avoiding jumping on any one bandwagon…..I’ve certainly received my share of “cure-all’s” since my diagnosis.  If you hear of a new study or complimentary medicine that is not too far out (like drinking my pee) feel free to pass it on.  I will certainly read about it.  And if you know of someone who has specifically done the Hallelujah Diet I’d be interested to hear their thoughts, successes, etc.

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BRCA 1 & 2

Today I went to meet with the gene specialist.  I learned that even though I have no family history of breast cancer, because I am under 40 and the cancer is in both breasts I am at a bit higher risk for carrying the BRCA genes.  This means that if I am positive for these my children are at 50% higher risk of carrying the gene as well as siblings of my parents, and their children.  This means higher risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.  Now, I really don’t think I am, but until the blood test I won’t know for certain.  I will take the test in a few weeks and it will take a few months to get the results.

Jeremy also admitted to me tonight he’s struggling.  I think it may have had something to do with shaving my head last night.  Maybe the realization of what is really happening to me and to us.  I think it’s alot for a 32 year old guy to take on.

All that to say, if you think about it, would you pray for my family tonight.  My parents, my sis, my girls, and Jeremy.  Would you pray that God would spare the rest of my family from this “beast.”  And that Jeremy would find the support he needs from friends and outlets for the dark days ahead.

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I didn’t have my full chemo today.  Just the Herceptin because my platelet count was low.  This is something I’ve struggled with health wise since my 20’s…..but it’s never been such a pain as now!  I couldn’t have my port put in last week and now it’s effecting getting treatment.  I’m rescheduled to get the other two drugs on Thursday.  They also want to see what my platelets are doing and if giving me a few extra days helps.  There doesn’t seem to be anything I can do about low platelets, so I’m bummed.  I may have to have a platelet transfusion occasionally before treatments or surgery.

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