Dearest family and friends,
Gabrielle here. First of all, a correction! Yesterday was not day zero! Apparently you don't go back to zero until your 21 day cycle is up. They think of it in six 21-day cycles. So yesterday was day seven and today is day 8. Good. Got that cleared up!
Let's start with the good news! My counts were good enough for me to get chemo #2 today! And chemo #2 was only half as long as chemo #1 since it was only in my shoulder port through my veins, not the second drug in my abdominal cavity. I am so happy to have two down and "only" 16 to go!
More good news. I still have my hair. :-) As I was blow drying it this morning I said to the Lord--I'm sorry for all the times I've complained about my hair this past year. It felt like a "bad hair year" where I just couldn't style it right very often. Now I'm just glad to have it for however much longer it remains!
Other good news would be the sunshine! I loved my outdoor walk in the neighborhood today with no rain and a beautiful sunset sky. And of course, there were the kindnesses. So many kindnesses day after day from all of you. Today our friends Jan and Bill brought us homemade Vietnamese style pho soup for dinner! Fantastic and healthy! The cherry pie for dessert in honor of it being president's month today is maybe not so healthy, but delicious. I also received several encouraging cards today including one from a friend who is in her upper 80's and has recently battled life-threatening pneumonia. And she said "they say I can drive again soon and so just call me anytime and I'll take you anywhere you need to go or come help in any way." Another card contained an Amazon gift card! How wonderful for buying books for my kindle and other things I get on Amazon like ginger capsules for nausea. And a card from one of my SPU donor/friends offered to bring us Black Pearl Chinese dinner whenever I feel up for it! I LOVE Black Pearl! Each card I receive is such a blessing and is a bright spot in what can otherwise be long, dull days. So thank you all so much! Also...just remembered...I brushed with my new Sonicare from John and Sally (our "Tooth Number 4" prayer warrior) today. It's amazing! Such clean teeth! Hopefully my smile will dazzle you when you visit me. :-)
On the slightly worse news side, I am battling very bad diarrhea. Sorry to say that word in writing. Gross. It "could" be from the antibiotic I'm taking, or on the worse side, it could be a bacterial infection that is kind of bad that you can get when on antibiotics and with a lowered immune system called Clostridium difficile, or C. diff for short. So as we speak tonight, the lab at NW Hospital is figuring that out for me. Please pray that it isn't C. diff or if it is, that the new antibiotic they will switch me too will be able to kill it even with my lowered immune system. And pray the diarrhea STOPS! One other tiny spot of potentially bad news is my hematocrit--amount of blood I'm making--is 28.5. Normal range is 36-46, but my normal generally has hovered around 34 for years. If it sinks to the low 20's I may need my first blood transfusion.
Not sure what the weekend will be like. Hopefully better than last weekend which was awful. Thanks for your continued love and prayers. Am excited soon to go tear one more link off our chemo chain of days. One day at a time and God helps us through each one, sending love, kindnesses, peace, comfort, and letting us lean into His strength when ours is gone. May He bless you and hold you close today as well.