Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009: Chemo Day

What a fast day! The visit with Dr. Downey went good. I had a physical (which I will have every 3 weeks again) and no "lumps or bumps" were found. I don't enjoy the physical part but love to hear the "all clear". Brian asked him if this treatment was to "maintain" or to "cure" the cancer and he said to get rid of the cancer! Once ovarian cancer returns most statistics say that you can't get rid of it again and you just treat it. We know better :)

I am on two types of chemo now. Every 3 weeks I will get Avastin and every 2 out of 3 weeks I get a low dose of Taxol in addition to the Avastin. Today I had both . . . next Monday I get Taxol (January 19). . . the next Monday I get off (January 26)! They will test my CA125 level every three weeks now. It was tested today and has gone up to 217 which did not concern my nurse (I was quite surprised - it has been less than two weeks since the last time it was checked when it was 172). She said hopefully we will see a decrease in three weeks when they test it again but not to be too disappointed if we don't see it drop quite that soon.

I will be going to the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion in Grand Rapids for my treatments. What a huge place! It is still quite new and is beautiful. There are windows everywhere, waterfalls going from one floor to the next and everything is state of the art. It was quite overwhelming. I sit in what they call a "pod". There are short divider walls and I have my own little space with a recliner, chair for Brian (not the most comfortable!) and we have our own tv. Talk about spoiled! We brought the laptop too and they have wifi available. I receive Benadryl as one of my premeds so I was sleeping quite a bit of the time. It brought back memories - bittersweet memories.

My port still works fine and they ran a ton of blood tests (six vials!). I am low in a few areas but for the most part I am good. They are running some blood tests to try and figure out what the rash on my face is from. There is a possibility that it is related to the cancer. I will be going to a dermatologist as well. On a positive note, the rash is much, much better tonight!

I had a friend pray with me on Sunday specifically for this rash. She commanded it to go by the power of Jesus name. She also felt God was telling her that I should put olive oil on it which I did last night and this morning. This morning it looked better and tonight it is close to resolving! The friend that prayed for me is the same friend that invited me to the couple with the healing ministry. She is feeling called to start a healing ministry as well but has many doubts and Satan is attacking her every chance he gets. I would love it if you would keep her in your prayers. Her name is Jen and she is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. I have to admit I am skeptical but everything she has done for me and with me is biblically based and everything she is doing is because God is calling her to and equipping her to. And it is not just a coincidence that my rash is almost gone.

Physically I am pretty tired right now because of the Benadryl. I also have a stomach ache but other than that I am okay. I was pretty nervous this morning on the way to the appointment. If I let myself think ahead to week after week of this it's overwhelming. So, I'm doing my best to not look past today. Today was a good day. I got to spend most of the day with Brian (as far as husbands go, they don't come any better than him!), my kids were safe at school, Emily was able to have grandma take her and pick her up from preschool and then have her to herself all afternoon (thanks mom!). Also, friends brought us supper (thank you Jack & Ginger - yummm!). I'm already receiving phone calls from people asking how they can help and e-mails from complete strangers that God led to our blog saying that they prayed for us. Our family, friends, church, school and community is simply amazing. Thank you for taking such great care of our family!