This is quite overdue and I am sorry! And not to shame those who haven’t noticed or who have been glad for a little less in their inbox (totally get that!) but I’ve also thought it was real sweet of you who have noticed and even inquired to make sure I’m alright … I sincerely thank all of you for your care and concern and for wanting to read this and stay updated. This blog thing is tricky because when there’s not a lot to say I don’t want to bore you or fill your inbox with nothingness and then, there are other times, when there’s a lot to say but I am too lazy (and, really, laziness is a much bigger factor than tired from chemo or not feeling good!) to try to say it. But, it’s foolish of me because we feel the benefits of your prayers and want to keep you updated so you can ‘rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep’ … which has been an incredible blessing.
But, really, in this week’s silence, no news = good news. For the most part, things have continued much as they have for the past couple of weeks …
– side effects (insomnia, bloody nose, sensitive mouth and skin, tummy issues) continue to be more nuisances than major issues and I feel like God has even been gracious enough to manage the side effects of my side effects. For example, even the insomnia hasn’t created overwhelming tiredness for the following days. On the tired front, some days are definitely better and worse than others but so thankful for friends who are a call and short distance away that intervene any time I ask.
– the only new side effect is hot flashes. I didn’t even know what those were but the doctor asked if I’d had hot flashes and I exclaimed “yes!” as she put a label on my sweaty nights and imbalanced temperature issues. Oh, menopause, please keep your distance for awhile because you and your hot flashes are not fun! BUT, the good news about the hot flashes is that it’s evidence that the chemotherapy is attacking the hormone-driven systems in my body … including the tumor. Unfortunately, also the rest of my female system but learning to trust the Lord with all of that and accept the unknowns and unpleasants.
– the tumor is about the same size as before but the doctor isn’t worried. She acknowledged she prefers it to shrink but there are a number of not-super-discouraging-explanations about why it would stay the same so unless it has grown by 20% or more we stay the course. So, taxol, we will be seeing you again every Wednesday through May and, adramyacin and cytoxin, I’ll be meeting you in June. You are far more likely to put the hurt on me than taxol but, be warned, I have an incredible support system that fights back with me pretty tough!
– and, in about 3 weeks, I’ll have a meeting with an oncological surgeon about my surgery. It looks like it will be early August (2.5-3 weeks after I recover from last round of chemo which will be on July 18th). We don’t know yet what type of surgery I’ll have but hope to know more after meeting with Dr. Lamont on May 21st and as we watch for pathological response (I think I’m using that phrase correctly but no guarantees!) of the tumors to see what their final sizes are.
– my hair is definitely hanging in there but in the homestretch. With creative combing you can’t see my scalp too badly:) But I’m as ready as ever for bald. I have Pinky the blonde wig and my chemo-friend Lori and our mutual friend Jenn came over last week for scarf lessons. And, oh my, let me tell you that it’s harder than it looks not to look like a Muslim man with a turban or a gypsy or Little Bo Beep the shepherd-girl. Thankfully, in addition to wigs and scarves, Gigi also found an adorable hat for me that I think will be a good-for-all-occasions-option. Oh, and, one of our Bible study girls in South Dallas, Meme, offered me any of her wigs – that cracked several of us up at the visual of me in the hair of an African-American woman but she assured me she has blond ones too:) Honestly, the tricky part about all these things is not wanting to necessarily hide the baldness out of vanity (but don’t get me wrong, that’s a factor too!) but just to have some looks that don’t draw too much attention. See also: avoiding the turban look! But, I don’t normally wear trendy hats (or hats at all for that matter) and don’t want the double-take for new trends or for a bald head or a bad scarf tie. I’m not trying to hide the reality of cancer or the bald-head but not trying to ‘model it’ and draw attention either. Tricky tricky. On that topic, maybe at a future date I’ll address my confusion with the ‘survivor’ label I don’t really like. I just want to be Jen (who happens to have breast cancer) and not the bald girl or the turban girl or the tricky hat girl or the cancer girl or the survivor girl (who happens to be named Jen). Thanks for loving me as I am:)
– and, as much else has stayed the same, I can echo again that we still feel incredible cared for, blessed, thankful, and overwhelmed by love and support. In a book I’m reading (when you have insomnia you get to take your reading up a notch and that’s not all bad!), there was a quote last night that said ‘you can complain that roses have thorns or rejoice that thorns has roses.’ And we see a ton of roses attached to these thorns! A few of our roses this week were groceries, flowers and a bubble maker for Linc (had to include pic because his confused face made me smile) from Alyson, meals from Amy and Alex/Andress. I also got a cute pink.pray.love tshirt made by Jamie’s older sister, Jennifer. Another long-lost-but-found-again-on-FB-friend, Heather (who has also had several of my doctors) made a sweet pink.pray.love necklace for me. And, as I type and Linc naps, another laundry fairy named Kathryn is turning our dirty laundry into clean laundry. How ’bout them roses?!
[As I upload this and look at it again, I notice something I hadn’t noticed before … so I ask you to please try to disregard the redneck-nature of his exposed diaper and ‘business’ because his mother is too lazy to fight him on the changing table to get it snapped!:)]
And I guess reason #46 that I haven’t been so great on the blog this week would be the little man in our world. While I try to finish this, this is what awaits me in the other room after his nap…
Naptime is rarely long enough. But, he sure is a fun addition to our world. He and his daddy are definitely my happy place. Maybe he’ll look a little more like me, instead of baby-Scott, after I’m bald:)
That’s all for now. I’ll try to check back in a little quicker next time. Thanks for being the roses!