Friday, April 19, 2013

Five - Four - Three - Two - One...Countdown!

Dear friends and family,

Gabrielle here.  This past week has been a good one.  The further away from the double drug chemos that I get, the less nauseous and tired I am.  So after Monday, the nausea was gone.  I was able to host a luncheon here for my Mom, Aunt Julianne, and two sisters, play mini golf (a complete Hole-in-Onederfuls update with photos will be coming from Daniel soon), eat Italian dinner out with Steve and Daniel, eat lunch out with my friend Anna, and attend a baby shower at work yesterday for my colleague, Jessica.  What a week!  We have also been playing a lot of Canasta...a new game (for us)our neighbors Jerry and Laura taught us last week.  It is a little addictive at first!

That said, I was shocked when I arrived at chemo this morning to find that the blood they drew yesterday and sent to the lab showed me dangerously low in my white blood cells and segs (the part of the white blood cells that fight off infections).  At first, the nurse and PA told me they would probably have to skip chemo until next week. Our hearts sank.  We want so badly to not miss any treatments, both for my best possible outcome and also to just be done five weeks from today.  Daniel immediately started to pray as they said "we'll go find the doctor and see what she says since she has the final word."  About five minutes later, the doctor came in and said "I'm going to give you the chemo but I'm going to reduce your dose by 10% and you have to start the stomach shots of neupogen again tomorrow for five days in a row this time."  As you remember, the neupogen stimulates my bone marrow to make blood cells.  Daniel and I nearly leaped out of our chairs for joy at this news that chemo would commence!!!  Daniel told me when we got in the car to drive home that this was the fastest answer to prayer he had ever received!  Thanks be to our gracious God...and my awesome doctor who is aggressive and willing to take calculated risks in battling my cancer. 

On the radio right after Daniel said it was his fastest answer to prayer by God, a song came on that I love, the chorus of which says "I will lift my eyes to the maker of the oceans I can't climb, I will lift my eyes to the calmer of the oceans raging wild, I will lift my eyes to the healer of the hurt I hold inside, I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes, to You."  Here is a u-tube link to the song if you would like to hear it and see all the lyrics as it plays:  As my friend Loretta told me right in the beginning (she's a cancer survivor), our mantra has become three important words to get us through--Eyes on Jesus!

Thanks for all your cards this week that cheered me (you know who you are...such caring and faithful friends), for your prayers and texts to ask how I am and remind me you are praying for me, and for other kindnesses such as more fresh homemade yogurt from Mike and Colleen (which we eat every day in our smoothies or with our cereal) and the cutest inspirational children's book called the Large Rock and the Little Yew, sent by our cousins Rob and Becky from Oregon.  As you recall, the yew tree is where scientists discovered Taxol, one of my two chemo drugs...and we have planted one in our backyard!  I appreciate all of you who read our blog and have encircled us with love, prayers, and support.  You have been instruments of God to help us survive this long and taxing ordeal!  Which, God willing, will be OVER in five short weeks!!!  :-)

Love and blessings,

P.S.  Prayer request--that I not get sick this week and that my white cells increase.  Daniel and I had pre-purchased a two-day train trip to Vancouver BC this coming Tuesday/Wednesday BEFORE we knew how perilously low my white cells are.  We are still hoping to go...wearing our twin yellow face masks on the train and drugs in tow (not the kind that will get us detained at the border...we'll leave our medical marijuana home with Steve).  Thanks for praying that this trip will work out without worsening my health, and that I will have strength for it.  And a good appetite...Vancouver is the BEST restaurant city! 

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