Saturday, May 10, 2014

Yes, we have no chemo; we have no chemo today....

Dear family and friends,
Steve here.  Try singing the title to the tune of that silly song about bananas and you'll get it right.  Of course you have to be at least my age to remember that song.  Anyhow...
Sadly, Gabrielle's lab tests revealed that her cell counts were too low to get another much needed, eagerly anticipated (and dreaded at the same time) dose of medication yesterday as we had planned.  That's the second time she's been "too low".  I'm not liking this limbo stick game of how low can you go (sorry, another reference to an old Calypso song).  So instead of getting the medicine, she got a shot of Neulasta which stimulates the bone marrow to squeeze out extra cells.  From what I gather, it is significantly more potent than Neupogen which she had been getting periodically up to this point.  I understand it is a tad on the pricey side, so much so that they won't let us give it to her at home.  She had to go in and get it at Dr. M's office yesterday.  It is associated with about three days of pretty significant bone pain that will most likely kick in today or tomorrow (happy Mother's Day).  But for now, she is doing all right.
This has been a rougher than average week, post chemo and all.  She has been nauseated every single day and had very little energy which has been unlike her.  Yesterday, we went for a delightful walk around the neighborhood (her first in three days, which for her is very unusual).  It was the highlight of my day, walking and doing my best to keep up with her.  I always enjoy my walks with her as we have a chance to walk, talk and enjoy the scenery (lots of wonderful spring flowers out in the neighborhood...love those rhodies!). 
On our walk, among other things, we had a chance to catch up and reflect on the many blessings we have and I would like to share them with you, though I am sure that I am leaving some out.  If so, I apologize for the oversight.
First of all, she had enough energy to attend a Children's Hospital luncheon yesterday with Renee as guests of Luanna at her table.  Gabrielle remarked on how Bill and Luanna are very dear friends and I agree.  They even sent cards home for each of us.  Gabrielle had a chance to visit with some of her former colleagues and friends (not "former" friends...they are still that!), though elbow bumps only.  No hand shaking or hugs with her counts so low.  She had a wonderful time.  She was absolutely beaming about the event when I got home. 
Thanks to Loretta for bringing amazing lemon rice soup yesterday which was oh so tasty.
Thanks to our niece, Katia for shipping us the most amazing pots that she had made, one of which was turquoise...the ovarian cancer color.  They are now gracing our fireplace.
Thanks for meals from Sandy, Mary, Bryan and Kristin, Dean, Stohn, Joan, and Alison.  You guys are keeping us amply fed and it's such a blessing to not have to stress so much about what to buy, prepare, and clean up for dinner now and then!  Oh--and the most amazing chocolate cake you have ever tasted walked up the hill with our friends/neighbors, Laura and Jerry, and we have eaten every last morsel!  Just pop those anti-nausea pills then cut a nice slice of cake and add a dollop of vanilla ice cream. A taste of Heaven!
We appreciate the cards and letters of support, cheery e-mails and many prayers on our behalf.
Thanks to Pastor Blake for taking me out to breakfast at The Pancake House (they do breakfast good up there).  He was kind enough to offer up a prayer of absolution such that the calories didn't count...I like that. 
We also are being increasingly made aware of how precious a gift it is to have the community of friends to walk this journey and have a renewed sense of our desire to pray for and help others.  That's been a blessing too...to be able to reach out to others as the needs arise.  I am especially looking forward to "ministering" to Tom by inviting myself down to his boat someday and firing the engines up and making sure the batteries don't run down.
Oh, and thanks to Matt and Ami for putting up with my marginal boating skills and agreeing to ship out on this, my second annual shrimping venture.  It would have been miserable pulling those pots all by myself.  And thanks for buying me lunch at Maggie's Bluff while the shrimp pots soaked.  Speaking of soaking, we got soaked on the outing but had a lot of fun.
Well that's it for now.  I want to end by wishing you all a wonderful weekend and especially want to send warm greetings to all the mothers out there:  Happy Mother's Day.  To my mom, Abby.  To Gabrielle's mom, Gloria, and to Gabrielle...three of the best moms I know and to all the other moms as well.
Till next time, please keep those prayers coming.
Love,
Steve

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