Gabrielle here. I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've had kind of a rough week since the double chemo last Friday. Aside from the terrible nausea, I've had a "mystery pain" in my right side (right where your waist goes in if you are a woman, just below your rib cage). The pain has gotten more and more severe and lasts all day/evening. Every day I would ask Steve--what in the world is going on in there? Is it my gallbladder? Is it my appendix? Is it inflammation in my intestines? Well, after the pain being at a 5 or 6 on the pain scale for days on end, I went to my oncologis'ts office yesterday. My own doctor was out but I saw her partner. He did a lot of tests to rule out anything wrong with my kidneys, lungs, etc. He said it wasn't my gallbladder or appendix or intestines. He satisfied himself that it is nothing too serious but doesn't know exactly what it is. It could be some scar tissue or adehesions tugging on the nerves by my liver. It could be a pull in my muscles or tendons in there. He said to take Tylenol, put heat on it, and the "tincture of time" should heal it. Well, after not being able to fall asleep with it hurting so bad last night, I broke down and took a pain pill left over from my surgery. This morning after breakfast, I took another, as the pain was making me cry. Long story short, I have called again and asked for my own oncologist to check me out on Friday when I go in for one-drug chemo #5 and she will do that. I don't think I conveyed adequately to the other oncologist how severe the pain actually is. So this paragraph is my "poor me" news. I would very much appreciate your prayers that whatever that pain is it will go away SOON! Thank you!
Now for happier news. Today, Wednesday (after the pain pill so I wasn't suffering all day), I have had a good day! I woke up very weak from not eating much over the past few days (lost three pounds) but after hydrating and eating organic peanut butter toast and a fruit/yogurt smoothie, I got a small burst of energy and Daniel and I went on our normal half hour walk, including the big hill. Then I did a few arm weights. It felt good! Next, my good friend Anna came for lunch. We ate Daniel's amazing lemon, faro (sp?), chicken, veggie soup, apples, and chocolate chunk cookies. We had great conversation and I modeled my wig for her. She said it looked great, which was a relief to hear. After she left, Daniel and I watched a Sandra Bullock movie (The Proposal) while munching on potato chips and a couple more cookies. I know, chips and cookies doesn't sound too healthy, but they told me to eat any snacks I am in the mood for just to gain some weight! I am just so happy to have been able to eat today. Next, Steve came home with his head buzzed! We will post a photo below. I am getting very close to doing the same as I'm tired of cleaning up hair everywhere. Stay tuned...
During our daily Bible reading today, Daniel and I read the story of the disciples being in a boat in a furious storm while Jesus slept. They were terrified of drowning. Jesus awoke and calmed the seas and reminded them to have faith. I keep telling myself that cancer is like being in a boat on stormy seas. It can be terrifying and all that rocking around can make you nauseous! But I find peace when I remember that Jesus is IN the boat with me. He is here, He can calm the stormy seas, calm my fear, and help me get safely to the shore. Here is the passage in case you want to read it:
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Calms the Storm
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
I want to close by thanking all of you who have sent me Valentine and birthday cards, gifts, and flowers. Though I was sick on my birthday, I was surrounded by love. Special thanks to Annie for the delicious meal on Sunday! I love and appreciate all of you and thank you for your continued prayers and support not only for me, but for my family. When I tore off the pink paper link from our chemo countdown chain last night, it read "day 100." That means as of today, we are in double digits. If I don't miss any chemos due to low blood counts, I have just 99 days to go. Thanks be to God for light at the end of this long tunnel!
Well, here's the new "do"...
Four out of five doctors surveyed agree: this "works"! Chilly, but that's OK! As an aside, when I asked my barber for a buzz cut, she asked why. She got a big grin on her face when I related Gabrielle's story and then she told me that her 72 year old mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer almost a year ago and is doing great! Love to hear those stories! Oh, and she battled the nausea with a marijuana cookie every night till about a month ago. Whatever it takes!