Dear family and friends,
Gabrielle here. Single chemo number 15 was a huge success today! As you recall, number 14 lasted four long hours. Today's single was only two hours and fifteen minutes! This was accomplished by getting my blood drawn the day before and great efficiencies by my nurses and the pharmacy. We were so thankful that on a gorgeous sunny day, we got to leave early! We didn't even have time to watch a movie so we just read, played Canasta, and enjoyed fun banter with our favorite chemo nurses and other awesome Women's Cancer Center employees. We brought them cookies we made last night--oatmeal, walnut, chocolate chip, fruit-juice sweetened cranberry cookies. Needless to say, they were delighted and Daniel and I must be their very favorite patient and chemo buddy duo.
After coming home and resting with our lunches in front of the last half of our movie, Sense and Sensibility, we drove to Elliott Bay Marina to meet Steve and leave a car. Then we drove to our marina in Ballard and took our boat through the locks to leave it overnight at Elliott Bay in a guest slip. Aside from the beautiful weather and stunning views of Mt. Rainier and the Olympics, the most fun was watching a huge fight between one of the Locks attendants and a single guy on his brand new looking motor boat (cruiser? yacht? I still don't know what you call non-sailboats after owning one for two years). The Locks guy told the yacht guy to tie his boat up starboard side in the large locks and the guy said NO--that he wanted to raft onto another boat. A huge fight ensued and after the yacht guy called the Locks guy an A_ _ _ _ _ _, the Locks guy screamed at the yacht guy to get the H _ _ _ out of the Locks and that he was NOT going through the Locks today, no how, no way. Off the yacht guy went in a giant fury. Score one for the Locks attendant! If you are ever going through the Locks, be EXTRA nice to the Locks guy in the bucket hat who is NOT to be antagonized if you ever want to see salt water!
Steve and Daniel have gone to bed early to get up at 5:30 AM for opening day of shrimping. I don't know why it's called shrimping when actually, we'll be catching (I hope) spot PRAWNS. Steve is the captain, Daniel is the "first shrimpmate," Renee is the "second shrimpmate," our friend, Dean, is the "third shrimpmate," and I am calling myself the "first PRAWNmate!" Renee and I won't join in until 10 AM. After being pumped full of steroids during chemo, I am WIDE awake as I write this at 10:30 PM, so will no doubt get to sleep well after midnight and will need to sleep in a bit. Renee and I are hoping when we get on the boat that they will already have caught a bucket load of prawns! The prawning "closes" at 3 PM so then it's home for naps, followed by Daniel's pizza and games party at our house with his friends. Steve and I will steal a slice of pizza and retire to the basement to watch a movie while the festivities take over the main floor of our house. We love having our kids and their friends in the house. It's always a time of joy and blessing.
My counts (white cell, red cell, and blood volume) are sinking pretty low again. They said I can skip the shots this week but will have to do them after double chemo next Friday. And they said that when I start feeling weak, short of breath going up hill, or dizzy, to let them know and I can have what we hope is my FINAL blood transfusion. I still can't believe I have just one round (three chemos) left and that three weeks from today, I am DONE! Praise the Lord! And thanks to all of you for your love, prayers, support, and kindnesses. For instance, thanks to my walking buddies at SPU who did a nice leisurely FLAT walk with me this week instead of our usual "straight up Queen Anne Hill walk," since I am indeed beginning to get weak and short of breath going up hill!
As for other kindnesses this week, thanks to one of Steve's patients--"N may or may not be his or her initial!" who sent home a great card/note and box of pretty flower bulbs to plant that attract butterflies! Thanks to Mike and Colleen for the yummy homemade yogurt and chili! And thanks to Laura and Jerry for a fun dinner and Canasta night at their home next door! Thanks to Tammy and Keith for the May Day flowers and card! Thanks to neighbors John and Georgette for the flowers, wine, and Nanaimo bars (a sweet treat to remind us of our fun in Vancouver)! And thanks to all of you who sent the most wonderful cards, postcards, voicemails, and e-mails this week. You know who you are and you are DEAR to me!
When praying for me this week, I would appreciate your prayers for my friend, Linda, on the East Coast who is going through my exact same cancer. She's about my age, was diagnosed in January, is a single Mom, and is going through ovarian cancer with, it seems, a smaller support network than me. She is suffering a great deal with pain and worry and I would covet your prayers for her. She is half-way through her chemo as they started hers a lot later after her surgery for some reason.
A song I was singing along to on the radio today has this reassuring chorus:
I know Who goes before me
I know Who stands behind
The God of angel armies is always by my side
The One who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies is always by my side
And in my Psalm today (Psa. 121:8): "The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." And (Psa. 121:3): "He will not let your foot slip--He who watches over you will not slumber, indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." So while steroid girl here isn't sleeping tonight, neither is the Lord who will be watching over me, and watching over YOU. :-)
Off I go now to take a ring off my pink paper chain (taking off ring #21!!!) and then to watch some Frasier episodes. Enjoy the wonderful weekend wherever you live and those of you in Seattle (or KAUAI, Kristi!!!), put on your sunscreen and have fun!