Friday, March 22, 2013

HALF-WAY DAY!!!!!!!

Dear Friends and Family,

We are over the moon with joy that today's chemo #9 went off without a hitch and we are now half-way done with chemo!  When I pulled off my pink paper chain link on the banister last night, it said I have 70 days to go until I'm done, which means tonight's will get me in the 60's!  It feels like I've reached the top of Mt. Rainier and am enjoying the view...and though I still have work to do, when hiking down, each step will get me closer to the end. 

While my blood counts weren't bad enough to prohibit today's chemo, my white cells are very low again (only two weeks after all those shots to bring them up).  Thus, I have to start the shots in my stomach again tomorrow and do them for four days this time instead of three, to bring my counts up enough to enable me to start round four next Friday with the dreaded double chemo.  She also said--stay away from anyone who might have the slightest sickness and wash your hands constantly.  So I will try to do just that.  Please pray that the bone pain following the shots will still be manageable by ibuprofen! 

I had a really good week this week with the single chemo.  I needed some anti-nausea pills for about three days, but then have been fine.  Daniel and I had a big "outing" day to see the European Master's paintings at the Seattle Art Museum and ate lunch at a little hole in the wall downtown called Il Corvo with the BEST homemade pastas (only three per day that they make...only open for lunch...go there)!  Also this week I was able to visit my office at SPU for the first time since I got sick.  It was so good to hug everyone (all the ones who weren't sick!) and to go to lunch with a few women friends, then to meet with my good friend and boss, Gordie.  Right when I got home, Gordie's wife, Mary, had delivered a hydrangea and sweet card to my porch!  Steve and I had a date night this week and ate dinner out.  My appetite has been really good and I'm up a little in weight which is perfect  before next week's double!

Other kindnesses...our cousins from Eugene, Robbie and Becky, sent Steve a bottle of Resveratrol capsules.  It's the stuff in dark chocolate and red wine that is supposed to be good for you, in capsule supplement form.  In the same box, was a week's supply of that for me--but mine was actually chocolate!  SO much chocolate!  Malt balls, chocolate covered granola bites, chocolate covered espresso beans, chocolate covered oreos, etc.  Even for me, who loves chocolate, it was more like three month's supply than a week's!  See photos below!

I received a package this week from a woman I don't know on Whidbey Island.  It was a beautiful hand-knit prayer shawl, with the most wonderful letter about how she heard my name from her pastor and is an ovarian cancer survivor.  She had my same oncologist as me whom she also loves!  She is a strong Christian and did the shawl in a knit three, pearl three pattern to represent the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  She is praying for me.  How precious is that?! 

My good friend and neighbor, Laura, brought me a gift of an ovarian cancer glassy baby blown glass candle holder in the gorgeous 'ovarian cancer' turquoise color.  A portion of the proceeds go to ovarian cancer research.  My friend and "adopted father," Frank, visited me today and brought me candy from his recent trip to Egypt and Iran.  And of course, I received a host of dear, funny, and encouraging cards and notes from friends far and wide this week.  You know who you are--and you are all so dear to me!  I smile when I read each card and when I picture your sweet faces!  :-)

So you see, though life with cancer is challenging, it is also rich and full with blessings, love, and a true thankfulness to God for each day of life.  Steve and I ended today with a sunset walk at Richmond Beach. It was blistering cold but fully sunny and the Olympic mountains were stunning across the water.  So speaking of the sea, let me close with two stanzas of a hymn my friend Eileen sent me this week.  The Hymn is called "May the Mind of Christ, My Savior": 

"May the love of Jesus fill me
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
This is victory.

May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
As I onward go."

This is my prayer for myself--and thank YOU for all your prayers for me!!!

Love and hugs,
Gabrielle






2 comments:

  1. Let me know when you are on campus again and have time to squeeze in a quick hello!

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  2. A whole family of excellent writers! Gabrielle, I don't like having to get along without your generous spirit around here, but somehow I don't think my "poor me" act is gonna fly. Am glad you guys settled on miniature golf -- the ability to whack something and then laugh maniacally. Is there anything better? I'd like to buy everyone a round of hugs. God keep you double strong ...

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