Friday, April 5, 2013

Eleven Down, Seven to Go!

Dear Family and Friends,

Daniel and I always wait with bated breath for our chemo nurse to walk in and say "your counts are fine--chemo is a go!"  It took two hours from 9:30 to 11:30 to hear those words today since the NW Hospital Lab was so backed up.  But hear them we did!  Then it took until 12:30 to actually get the chemo medicine from the Lab and we left at 2.  Four and a half hours is a record for single chemo week! 

A happy surprise in the middle of this chemo was a visit from Steve!  He had some free time at lunch (a rarity for him) and he popped over to visit us.  So sweet!  We watched a movie at chemo today (as usual) called "Jeff Who Lives at Home."  It was a sort of a quirky comedy/drama about a single mom and two adult sons and I really liked it.  We ate cheese and crackers and apple slices while watching (popcorn smell isn't my favorite at the moment) and Daniel was once again a trooper to sit there in that little room with me for SO long.  :-)  Don't think we are health nazis eating our cheese and fruit and crackers.  When we got home, we ate chicken teriyaki followed by Fran's chocolates. 

Even with the neupogen shots (stomach shots four days last week) my white cell count is at the bottom of the normal range, so I need to be extra careful about hand-washing and staying away from sick people this week.  And my hematacrit (amount of blood in my body) is very low--24.9.  A normal person's might be 36 to 46.  No wonder I was out of breath on the elliptical machine yesterday, feeling super weak this past few days, and out of breath with heart pounding walking up two flights of stairs.  I need blood (I vant to suck your blood!!!!).  My oncologist agrees and Monday at 8:30 AM I will receive two pints of blood which takes, are you sitting down--FIVE HOURS to slowly drip into you so you don't "react" to it.  I think Monday will be a two movie Monday or perhaps one movie and four Scrabble games. 

I am THRILLED that this week and next I won't be as nauseous (queasy only until Monday after each single chemo) so I am looking forward to enjoying meals a bit more.  And today, since they filled me with anti-nausea medicine and steroids in my IV, I am hungry and Daniel is making lemon shrimp asparagus risotto for dinner.  If you can get here in 1 hour, I will save you some.  :-)

Because I don't get blood (i.e. energy) until Monday, I will take it easy this weekend. Tomorrow my big goal is to go to the Seattle Public Library semi-annual book sale at N. Seattle Community College where paperbacks are 50 cents and hardbacks $1.  After, we will take my Mom out for pizza lunch at Pegasus in West Seattle, since we have a Groupon that expires tomorrow.  Sunday morning I will go to Sunday School to hear Jeff Van Duzer (SPU's Provost) begin a two-week teaching series (which he is doing as a result of my begging and pleading).  He is one of my favorite speakers of all time.  If you have nothing to do at 9:30 AM Sunday, come to FFMC and hear him!

As I was reading my Bible today, I came across a verse that I had marked in the margin "my health."  I had written this back when I got Lupus but now, this verse relates just as well to cancer.  It is in 2 Cor. 4:16-18 and goes like this:

"Therefore, we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweights them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen (drugs, IV poles, nausea, feeling weak, missing work) is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 

My eyes are fixed on Jesus and it is well with my soul!

Love to you all,
Gabrielle

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