Before I start blogging Im just going to say its 4:45am!! I have been up since 4:15am!! Yuck! I am not sure why, well…its anxiety. Lots of thoughts running through my head so if I slightly wake up my head starts spinning and there I am. I did finally get clearance to get back on the medicine I was on after the diagnosis but I stopped during surgery so tonight I AM TAKING IT! I have a friend that is through her chemo and still uses it. Can you imagine the stress of bills/finances and life and having trouble sleeping and then throw cancer in the mix? YUCK!
But this early time gives me my worship time with God, blog time and I will work before the kids get up. It works out. LOL. I just might need a snooze during the day for a bit.
Okay so I wanted to blog about yesterday. It was a day of up’s and down’s and I can’t wait to share it all.
Yesterday was my appointment with my oncologist. For once, I wasn’t “nervous” about going to an appointment because of how awesome she is and the staff. I am treated like a new patient each time. So I got up yesterday at 5am (yuck) and showered (that always helps in the morning with the tightness in my breasts) and got dressed, had breakfast, cleaned the kitchen (not really, but it looked somewhat better) got the kids off to school, walked Bella to school and then literally came home and crashed on my bed. Whew…what a rush of 3 hours and where did that energy come from? I was selfishly happy that I could it do it, but I am really fearful of what could happen if I over do it. So trust me, when I say clean my kitchen…I was dragging my feet, putting things away, not scrubbing floors by any means. That is what I have a mother and sister for. LOL
Speaking of them…they came over at 9 and we just chatted for awhile. It was nice. I love my mom and sister. We argue like cats and dogs but man, what my world would be like w/out them? Not cool. Anyway my mom stayed and cleaned my house while my sister took me to my doctor’s appointment. As we were driving there, I didn’t think that Dr. Obenchain (my oncologist) would give me a start date for chemo. For now, I just thought that I was checking in to see how my heart test went and if I could have surgery on Monday to get the port placed in. I truly didn’t think I would leave with all the information I did yesterday.
But I did. So here it is. First, let me start by saying that lots of people refer to this one drug in chemo as the “red stuff” or “cool aide” or “red juice”. I am calling him “Big Red”. Big red as I have talked about before is the “bad stuff”. It hits the patient hard, and good. That is what I want. Because I want a drug that will lower my chances to almost zero of cancer coming back, so I can have more time here to enjoy my family. So…Praise God that my heart test came back good, and it can handle “Big Red’. He will be entering my body first.
Once every three weeks for 4 treatments. “Big Red” as I mentioned before doesn’t know the difference between the good and the bad. He just knows the bad but kills the good stuff in between. So, hair loss, fatigue, nausea, and weak immune system comes with it. Some people breeze through “Big Red”. I pray I am one of those, but I also know that God is in control and He will allow my body to handle what I receive. The chemo nurse told me about a week after treatment is when my hair will start falling out. That is when the knot in my stomach formed. Here it is. I have my appointment date which now means that hair loss is really a factor. I’ll talk more about that in a bit.
So, after “Big Red” is done, then I will have a drug called “Taxol”. I will have the same regime. Once every 3 weeks for 4 treatments. Taxol tends to have a bone pain side effect. I have heard good and bad stories about taxol. So…that I will just have to wait and see how my body reacts. Again..Praying easy breezy beautiful chemo girl.
During the Taxol, I will start my 52 week regime of the last drug that I can’t remember the name of. LOL. The reason this drug is so long is because my tumor tested negative to being hormone driven. This drug is easy breezy. My hair will start growing back, Im not as tired and so on. So…that one, I’m not concerned. Its “Big Red” and “Taxol” that I will have to conquer with grace.
After I got my regime, and actually we had to ask 3 or 4 times to repeat it, because it is confusing, my doctor gave me the ok for the port on Monday and then introduced me to the chemo nurse and the chemo room. The nurse is wonderful. The chemo room is….well….a chemo room. They have everything in there for your comfort level, but I still found it “cold”. I imagined walking in and watching lots of women sitting there bald, but actually there was just a man, with hair watching a movie on his little DVD player. There are two rooms. They said I can go in the other room if I wanted. I think I will like that better. It seems different, not sure why. Anyway, I got all my Rx’s, hugged the doctor several times, gave her one of my “I walk with Gabbee” buttons and we were on our way. On my way home to process all of this. Honestly all I was thinking about was my hair. Not anything else. I called my husband and gave him the regime and again just told him how fast my hair loss will be and that was my concern. He will have off on Wednesday which will be my chemo day. I will drop off the kids at school, go get chemo and pick them up. Wow…who would have thought that this 3 year PTA President, Florence Sub, active parent would be one day missing PTA, subbing, active parent (other than email) and heading to Chandler for Chemo? Not me. I still feel like it’s not real, but here it is. I will be getting my hair cut short tonight with my hairdresser. I was going to have her come to my house but I decided I would go to the salon, have my friends there, get the good smelling style stuff, feel beautiful as you always do when you are in a salon and just cry if I need to cry. When Sarah will shave my head…that will be done in the privacy of my own home. That is my plan. My chemo also starts 4 days before Halloween. 3 days before our Big church Hoedown which I really want to be at. I’m really going to try and do my best to be there. If I can’t go trick or treating with my kids, then my sister said we can have a garage party and hand out candy and she will stay with me. If I have to sit in a wheelchair the whole night I will do that. At least I’m sitting in my wheelchair watching my children’s happiness right? Again…just another sacrifice that I am SO BEYOND WILLING TO MAKE.
Anyway, I want to back up a minute. After our appointment I had to stop at Wal-mart for some stuff so we went in and I got a text from my husband telling me that his boss forgot to put his PTO time in his check! GRUGH!!! Which of course made his paycheck smaller than normal. Normally I would scream through text on how could he let this happen, but instead I was pretty calm. Why? Because God has taken care of me this far, and He isn’t just going to stop. We are faithful and He provides. For once, I got it. Im not sure if my husband was surprised but I texted him back and said “my blood just went up but God will provide”. LOL. But here was the cool part. After I texted him, it was time for a facebook check. Of course. And I noticed that one of the teachers at Anthem posted on my wall and told me that next week is Pink week at school and they want to support me. If they want to wear jeans then they have to pay a donation and I will get some of that!! Yay!! You have NO IDEA how much that means to me. When I picked up my kids from school yesterday one of the aides at school was wearing my Team Gabbee shirt. Do you know how good that feels for me? I LOVE IT! So, I called my good friend Scott who made the shirts and put in a rush order for this week. I posted it on Facebook that I put in an order and I have the students that are on my Facebook asking me if they can buy one too so they can wear it!!! Im SOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!
I have subbed at Anthem for 4 years now. I also teach a large chunk of them on Tuesday nights at youth group. I have come to love and adore them in different settings. For them to want to support me, really gives me the reminder that I am loved, I am not forgotten and they want me to get better! That made my day and made my attitude about my husband’s paycheck a lot less attitudeeeee. LOL
So we went home, I worked some and then had Amy and John over for dinner. Now Amy is one of my best friends who were there when I was first diagnosed, cried in her arms, alongside my other Bestie Hope and my other bestie and blood friend…my sister. (My mom was out of town, but would have been there right alongside these girls) These girls have been there from day one. Letting me cry in their arms, letting me scream in madness, allowing me to call them names when I was drugged, taking me to the bathroom, taking my kids to here there and everywhere, cleaning my house, going grocery shopping on and on and on. Now..This isn’t my only support system by far. I have a group of core people that attend to my every need in so many ways, especially when I have exhausted my 4. LOL. I couldn’t do this without any of you. 4 or 5 or 10 or 30. I need each and every one of your gifts that God has given you to use on me!
Okay, I got sidetracked. Anyway, Amy said something to me last week or whenever I don’t really remember that hit me, hit me hard, and has stuck in my head and I will probably replay this comment over and over in my head and I truly think this will give me the motivation to remain who I am through this. She said (not in these exact words, but this is how I heard it) LOL “when I come to your house and see you the way you are, drugged up and laid up I am just so sad and frustrated that you have to go through this, but I will be honest. I miss my friend. I miss Gabbee.” That is all she had to say for me to understand what she meant. Me. Being what everyone loves about me I guess. Bubbly, goofy, outgoing, big mouth Gabbee. One that loves the Lord through thick and thin. One that argues with her husband over the silliest things. One that gets in on the games with the teens each Tuesday night and acts just as young as they do at times. The one with a personality. Not the one laid up in the bed, angry at the world and in pain. That is what that comment meant for me. (Sounds so vain) LOL. But it did. She may not have meant all those good things about me HAHA, but that is how I took it.
So…….with that being said, Amy & John came over last night and we fellowshipped as we have so many times before. I texted earlier that day and said “I want to be normal Gabbee so I am buying a game I think you guys will like to play”. LOL. I bought SLAM by Scrabble. Its fun and not a big mind boggling game. So we ate, laughed, played a few rounds and just hung out. When she left I said “Was I normal?” she laughed and said “Yes, you were.” Mission accomplished. It felt good. Cory and I even cleaned the kitchen after, played another round of SLAM with Isaac and off to bed we went. It was a good day. Some crappy bumps in the day but overall; I really had a good day. Prayer you guys. I kid you not. Its what gives me this attitude. That Jesus is my King. He has not allowed me to fall flat on my face before and he wont do it now. He has allowed me to stumble, by my own choice but He is ALWAYS there to pick me up. What a comfort that is for me. He has supplied me with so many people to be Jesus to me here in my house. To support me whether I have never met you, or it’s a grade school/high school friend, through facebook, through text, through blogs, in my face, not in my face…whatever….He has given this gift of support to me and I couldn’t imagine going through this any other way. Im blessed beyond words. I just have to keep thanking him each day.
I found a new way to wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night. An added extra I should day. This might be weird for some…but I hold my breasts (expanders) whatever…and say “Heal me O Lord”. That is my comfort when they are causing me pain. That is my comfort to reconnect with him over that loss. They have caused me trouble, but I am gaining strength praise God, Praise God. Its all prayers….dont stop. Pretty please. :)