Dear Friends and Family,
Gabrielle here. Happy Saturday! I am having a happy Saturday as I celebrate the fact that yesterday I completed chemo #6 (end of round two) which means I am one-third of the way done with chemo! Yesterday's treatment went very smoothly. My counts were pretty good due to the extra blood I had been given last week. After chemo and lunch, Daniel and I had a 45 min. walk at Richmond Beach. It was windy and we enjoyed watching all the kite surfers. Then last night my sister Marti and her husband Merle came up for dinner. The nausea has been very mild this past week and I've had a good appetite! This morning Steve and I had breakfast then went for a one-hour walk from Richmond Beach up through the hills of Innis Arden. I can't tell you how good it feels to have that blood in me and to have the strength to walk! In a little bit, Steve's mom is coming for a visit and then Daniel, Steve, and I are going to see The Life of Pi. Steve and Daniel both loved the book so hopefully the movie won't disappoint. After all that--I will rest!
My very short, very thinned out hair is still here. I haven't quite gotten to the point of being ready to shave it off. My eyebrows and eyelashes are hanging in there as well. Go figure!
I want to share a few Scriptures with you that have spoken to me this week. Last night, when I took off my pink paper ring from the banister that counts down the number of days left until chemo is done, the number on the ring said 90. Ninety more days. You can endure anything when you know it has an end date! The Scripture on the inside of the ring was 2 Cor. 12:9: "But he said to me 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." I don't think anything has brought me to a greater understanding of this verse than cancer. It can sap every last bit of strength from me on the bad days and I wonder on those days if the chemo will kill me before the cancer does! But in that state of utter weakness, Christ's power rests on me. When I am weak, He is strong. Like that poem of the footprints on the beach. When there is only one set of footprints, He is carrying me. I am filled with gratitude for His help every day, and especially on the days my strength is gone.
Another verse I love is one that Renee gave me. This verse has helped her through her trials of double hip surgeries and years of hip pain. And speaking of Renee--she is still VERY sick with a bad flu that is bordering on pneumonia. Please pray for her to be healed soon. I miss her and can't be around her when she's infectious. :-( Anyway, the verse she gave me is Psalm 71:20: "Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up." I'm sure many of you are also going through troubles many and bitter and my prayer is that you will also claim this verse and trust God to restore your life again, as I am trying to do every day.
Lastly, my friend Becky sent me this verse that helped her when she was going through difficult times. Lamentations 3:22-23: "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Amen to that!
As you pray for me this week, please pray about next Friday as it's the dreaded "double chemo" day, which is inevitably followed by three days of horrible nausea and weakness. But after that one is done, I'll only have three more doubles to endure. Thank you for your prayers, cards, flowers, meals, and all manner of encouragement. I love you all!