Dear Friends and Family,
Gabrielle here. I am thrilled to report that my blood counts were sufficient to allow me to have chemo #3 today! It is the final chemo in the first three-week cycle. Only five more three-week cycles to go, a.k.a. 15 more chemos. This week was the "easy" chemo with only one drug in my shoulder port. Next week is the awful one where I get two drugs and last time, I was sick as a dog all weekend. But back to today...it went really well. I was sleepy during the 3.5 hours we were there so we watched an old movie, The First Wives Club, and I drifted in and out. Tired, we came home and I ate a tuna sandwich and some salad with a yummy ginger dressing Daniel made. It's like the dressing you get at Benihana of Tokyo and the ginger is good for my nausea. During chemo, they drip a lot of anti-nausea medicine into you so I don't need to take an anti-nausea pill until bedtime tonight. Then we'll keep that up round the clock for the next three days or so.
After a bit of rest this afternoon, my good friend/neighbor, Laura, came for a visit. She and I went on the same walk Daniel and I did yesterday--about a mile or so with a big hill. As always, it feels so good to get outside and walk. Then Laura came in and we talked a while longer, ate a dark choclate salt caramel, and now I'm resting again before Steve comes home. We just put leftover lasagne in the oven.
A big prayer request concerns my abdominal port--the one by my right hip that they use every third week when they add the second drug. It is still swollen and somewhat painful. They believe it has swelling, weird scar tissue formation around the port, and probably a hematoma in there (blood formation that takes forever to reabsorb in your body). The infection is gone and antibiotics stop tonight. But it is still a problem. They want me to try heat on it this week and next Wed., I go in for another ultrasound of it. If they see any fluid, they will aspirate it with a needle and culture it. But their prediction right now is they will NOT be able to access this port safely. Both drugs will go in my veins. It would be better for me if the second drug could go directly to the abdomenal cavity where the cancer was, so please pray the problems with this port might go away! They can't replace it--too much risk of infection from another surgery. Thank you for prayers!!
Blessings of today, aside from successful chemo #2--when I arrived home there was a beautiful flower basket on my front porch from our good friends, Svein and Erin-Joy, to celebrate the end of the first cycle! Warmed my heart! And when we got the mail, there were four more wonderful and encouraging cards! You know who you are. I'm not going to name the card senders in the blog because I don't blog everyday and never want to miss one. But please know how much your cards mean to me. One contained one of my favorite Scripture verses--Isaiah 41:10. This is the verse that I clung to when I first got Lupus and I cling to it now: "Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dissmayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." God has been so near and dear to all four of us Dudleys through this--our biggest life's trial. He is meeting our needs in a million different ways each week and we see His fingerprints EVERYWHERE.
I got a call today that my wig is in! We will pick it up tomorrow. I hope the color turned out o.k. I'm most nervous about that as I had to select it from a tiny swatch of hair color sample. But good news--my hair is still here today! I washed it EVER so gently this morning and instead of roughly towel drying it, I just sort of patted out the extra moisture. I blow dried it just enough to not look horrible for chemo. And so far, it's staying in today! :-)
Lastly, I am really hoping that I feel great next Thursday, which is Valentine's Day. Steve and I have a reservation for the romantic Valentine's dinner at Canlis!!! Statistically, Thursdays, the night before the next chemo, I should feel pretty good. So I hope to rest enough that I'll have energy to dress up and do make-up and all, and then I'll pop an anti-nausea pill and head out for a wonderful dinner with my sweetheart. We have requested Daniel's college friend, Kyle, as our waiter. He's awesome and takes great care of us.
Valentine's Day is about love. Jesus tells us to love God and love our neighbor as our self. There is so much joy and meaning in life when we are doing those two things. And I have never felt as loved as I do right now. Thanks to you all for your love, support, kindesses, and prayers. I love you all back and pray for you too!