Dear friends and family,
Gabrielle here. Today Daniel and I got the best news as we left chemo number four. Backtracking, I'll just say that chemo number four went fine...about 5.5 hours total. Our nurse today, Leah, is the nicest person ever. We watched a rom-com movie--The Holiday. And I made many trips to the rest room since my blood pressure was too low and they kept pumping me full of extra fluids. We just got home and I'm feeling pretty good so far with all the strong i/v anti-nausea drugs in me. Tomorrow may be a different story.
Now for the encouraging news. At the start of our chemo visits they run all my blood count numbers and they come back pretty quick from the lab. The one count that doesn't come until the end, because it takes longer, is the CA125. This is the cancer tumor marker count in my blood. When I began this journey back in January, my CA125 was 142 (the top of the normal range is 35). Today, after three chemo treatments, before chemo number four, my CA125 was 32!!! Completely in the normal range! My nurse, Leah, couldn't stop smiling and was so happy to see that. So were Daniel and I! Later, after three to four of the chemo cycles are done, they will do body scans to look for any remaining cancer, but this is an incredibly encouraging sign this early in the game. Thanks be to God, our Great Physician, for this sign that the medicine is doing its job. And thanks to all of you prayer warriors out there for keeping my name and health ever before the throne of God.
To top off my happiness today, when we left chemo it was sunny and gorgeous outside, so in a few minutes, we will leave for a walk at Richmond Beach. Can't wait.
Steve mentioned a few kindnesses but let me reiterate them and add a couple. Thanks so much, Aunt Peggy, for the amazing box of Rocky Mountain chocolates! And thanks, Lisl, for the very sweet note with a bag of Dove dark chocolates! Yummo to both those chocolate gifts and to the dessert our neighbor Kevin made and shared with us last night. He's a 20-something that can truly bake Julia Child worthy desserts and we enjoyed the visit with his mom and dad, our friends Laura and Jerry, as they brought the dessert to us last night. Special thanks as well to my friend Dee who gave us a box full of pasta, Bolognese (sp?) sauce, her unbelievable homemade bread, pears, and big, delicious ginger cookies! Thanks to cousins Robbie and Becky for cute matching nike hats for Steve and me when we are both bald, and to Steve's nurse, Lynn, who sent me homemade Valentine cookies yesterday. Thanks to Shannon, who works at Steve's office, and delivers me things that people drop off there so Steve won't have to carry them home on his bike. And thanks to everyone who has sent me a note or card this week. These have come from as far north as Stanwood, to as far south as California, to an old friend in Boston whom I worked with to put on an event at the White House for major donors to children's hospitals. If I have forgotten to mention your kindness, please forgive me. They call it chemo brain and sometimes I am a little foggy. It will go away when chemo is over. But I am so, so grateful for every prayer and act of kindness!
Let me close with Psalm 118:24: "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." My heart is overflowing with gladness for the CA125 count, the sunshine, all of you on my "rope crew," and to God who is answering our prayers, giving me strength and hope to endure this, and meeting all our needs. God bless you all on this long holiday weekend!