Dear friends and family,
Gabrielle here. Yesterday was Good Friday and as I sat in that chemo chair for 5.5 hours, I had a lot of time to think about what Christ went through on Good Friday so many years ago. He was nailed to that cross for many long and horrible hours, enduring the worst suffering known to man, so that He could pay the price for our sins and offer us a chance to be reconciled to God and to have life everlasting one day with God in Heaven. Thanks be to God for this indescribable gift!
In contrast, I was merely hooked up to an i/v pole and made to sit in a comfy reclining chair while eating snacks and watching the movie Love Actually (and losing not once, but twice to Daniel in Scrabble). All this "not really all that much suffering" in the hope of giving me physical healing and longer life here on earth. My suffering pales in comparison to Christ's. And while I couldn't help Him with His, He helps me daily with mine.
When I arrived home from chemo, there were two gorgeous flower baskets on my porch from my friends Daryl and Elsie and Svein and Erin. Thank you all so much! Such springy happiness filling my family room! There have also been many wonderful Easter and encouragement cards this week. You know who you are. It warms my heart to open the mailbox and think that you all were thinking of me and took time out of your busy lives to stop and write cards and mail them. Thank you!
After chemo, though I felt tired, it was such a glorious sunny day that Daniel and I went to Richmond Beach and enjoyed a wonderful, rejuvenating beach walk. Something about being by the sea put us in the mood for crab salad for dinner so that's what we had. Delicious! After that, we had a herculean task. Our basement Comcast DVR is dying and needs to be replaced on Monday. So between now and then, we are trying to watch all our saved up shows that we don't want to lose. Thus, we were true couch potatoes last night and got through three of our favorite shows with Steve, and after he went to bed, Daniel and I watched two Jeopardys (to prevent chmo brain)!
I awoke this morning to fresh waffles with organic strawberries and whipped cream (thanks, Steve!!!) and more amazing weather. Thus, we are about to head out for another beach walk, hopefully from Richmond Beach to Edmonds beach where we will leave a car to shuttle us back. After that, we will have a short visit from my Mom, sister, and niece, and then I will pop strong anti-nausea pills and dress up (wig time) and head out to Ami and Matt's wedding at Greenlake.
Oh my goodness...I need to tell you the good news! My CA125 ovarian cancer tumor marker was tested yesterday (every three weeks they test it) and it dropped again from 27.4 to 15.7!!! I am in the normal range after my first nine chemos! My doctor wanted it to get under 20, and under 20 it is. The drugs are working. Cancer cells are being obliterated. Thank you Lord, and thanks to all of you for your love, support, and prayers!
On the not quite so great side, my white cells continue to suffer, putting me at risk for infections and for having my counts too low to get my chemo treatments. So today I have to start four more days of the shots in my stomach to help my bone marrow make more white cells. That's two weeks in a row I've had to do them. Oh well. It's a small price to pay to be able to fight infections and be able to receive my last eight chemo treatments! I am blessed to have not had to miss any treatments so far!
I am hoping I can make it to church for Easter tomorrow, despite Sunday mornings bringing the worst onslaught of sickness after the double chemo Fridays. At home or at church, I will be keeping my eyes on Jesus: "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." He is risen. He is risen indeed. Hallelujah!