Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Officially done with chemo! 10-18-06

Chemo is officially over! 10-18-06
Dear friends,
It is Wednesday and it has been 3 weeks since my last chemo. Since that was the length of my chemo cycles, I am declaring my chemo complete. I went through 15 weeks and didn't catch any sicknesses the entire time. That is amazing and I am giving credit to God and want to thank you for your prayers. From my observation, that is pretty rare. Jesse was sick last night and this morning with a fever and bad throat. He missed school and I took him to the doctor since it looked a lot like strep and he is supposed to go hunting for a week on Friday. He is already feeling better and his fever is gone. Jenni and I are doing defensive things to avoid getting it.
Yesterday I went with my friend Deb (sisterluke) to have my port removed. It turned out to be quite a procedure. It went well and took only 20-25 minutes. Deb drove both ways and I am glad she was there. She actually held my feet and got to watch the whole little surgery. We decided that my feet have their own language. They wiggled until the numbing meds went in with a needle and then went totally stiff as I forgot to breath! So Deb held them to let me know she was there and praying- very comforting! We got to see the port and it was fascinating and not messy at all.
Afterward I was a little shaky and it was good that I didn't have to drive myself the 15 miles home. I was hurting a lot last night when the meds wore off, but with pain meds was able to go to Jesse's band concert with Deb. Today I have only used Tylenol.
Want some more good news? My white count is almost in normal range and my neutrophils are now in normal range too. So I didn't have to do extra Neupogen shots. Since I am officially done with chemo, I am allowed to do antioxidents for these 2 weeks until I begin radiation November 1st. That should boost my energy. I am feeling my strength return more all the time. I have a ways to go, but am encouraged.
Here is something else encouraging. My fingernails aren't hurting anymore. There is some very faint orange discoloration, but no blackness which is listed as a possible side effect of the Taxitere. The nerve twinges in my hands and feet (nerve damage from the Taxitere chemo) are minor and my feet are less sore. I hope that those side effects have peeked and are subsiding. I will have to wait and see, but so far it isn't too bad.
Greg is still in the mountains, but has already provided about 125 pounds of organic hormone free elk meat for our family. Our brother-in-law brought it down the mountain and put it in our freezer in less than a day. We have to wait for the chronic wasting disease test to come back clear before using it. We could end up with more by the end of the month as Jesse and Greg are both planning to "be in the mountains" for 10 days together. We'll see!
Jenni and I are still planning to leave on Sunday morning and are pulling together the details of our trip. Pittsburgh to Philly (U. of Penn), then Bucknell, Cornell, and then Grove City. We might try Carnegie Mellon at the end, but we'll see. Jenni plans to take the ACT again in Mars, PA on the 28th, then we visit with Laura and Greg's aunt and uncle before flying home on the 29th. She is trying to get 4 college applications done before we leave and is making good progress. Please pray I get everything done I need to before we leave without getting worn out. Thanks.
I am going to get Laura help me post a picture on the blog, but she is gone for a few days for fall break. Check in a few days- you'll enjoy it! God bless you! God is good and has answered so many of our prayers. Thank you for praying! Nancy

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