I haven't been feeling very well this week, so I haven't gotten around to posting a medical update, but I thought I would send out a quick note to let everyone know how I'm doing before I enter round 4 tomorrow.
Physically, this has been a challenging week for me; but emotionally, I'm still hanging in there. I did end up catching the virus my grandbabies had last week - woke up last Tuesday morning with a nasty sore throat that progressed to a chest cold. Because of my compromised immune system, they immediately put me on antibiotics to ward off any infection that might develop. I wish I could say that helped me to fight the cold; but as we all know, antibiotics do nothing for viruses, so I've been down with a cough for over a week now. I would be lying if I didn't admit a few moments of frustration at the fact that this cold stole much of my energy on the good days both last week and this week; but for the most part, I'm doing just fine and remain pretty positive. I haven't been able to run this week because of the chest cold, but I have walked at least 2 miles every day - that always gives me an energy boost.
Not surprising at all, my white blood cell count did drop significantly last Thursday, though it was still inside the low normal range; but my red blood cell count moved back just inside the normal range - praise God! The Benedryl had me a little jumpier than last week, but I did stay in my chair for the 4 hours. The doctor approved me coming off the steroids I take at home, so I've thankfully been getting more sleep. I do have to take the steroids through my central line prior to the chemo infusion, so I still struggle to sleep on Thursdays, but I am sleeping better on the other nights. I didn't have any sort of allergic reaction to the Taxol, which means I can stay off the steroids - praise God!
Since I was sick this weekend, it was difficult to differentiate between chemo symptoms and virus symptoms - there was just lots of time on the couch under a blanket and an all around achy, sluggish feeling. Lots more hair has fallen out since the 3rd treatment. I've actually discovered just how much hair we truly have on our heads - it's been amazing how it comes out in handfuls all day long, but continues to look as if I have hair on my head! I'm not sure how much longer that will be the case - it's looking thinner every day to me. From what I've been told, some lose enough to shave after the 2nd treatment, some make it to the 9th treatment, some go all the way till the end. We will see how long it will last for me, but I'm telling you at this rate, it can't be very long.
Though still sluggish and coughing on Monday, I felt well enough to go apple picking with my family for a few hours. It was the first time I had seen my grandbabies for over a week, so they gave me the energy to enjoy the day 😊 I've also discovered the benefits of visiting family attractions during the week while everyone is at work - no lines for the apple cider donuts, a whole row of untouched apple trees brimming with apples, and a barn full of animals practically all to ourselves. It was such a delightful day!
Tomorrow will be a longer day - I receive both the Taxol and the Herceptin treatments, so I will be in the chair for at least 5-6 hours. Please pray my WBC recovers a bit, or at least remains in the normal range, that this chest cold diminishes and does not turn into anything more serious, and for minimal side effects from the chemo. Ultimately, God's will, not mine, so please pray I remain at peace with whatever lies in my path.
Though I may be down physically, and finding it harder and harder to get moving these days, I continue to look for the blessings in each day. I am finding peace in the slower pace of life, and the fact that I can spend more time with my family is absolutely precious to me. There is something truly beautiful about not having a schedule. I get to enjoy the moments as they come. I remain so incredibly grateful for the overwhelming support I have received from people near and far in this battle. A day doesn't go by without someone reaching out to me with an encouraging note, a thoughtful gift, a delicious meal, a picture to make me smile. It's truly blown me away - God is so good, my friends. He continues to remind me I have an army of people walking this road with me - I find such strength in all of you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much 💗
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