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Friday, July 01, 2011

Back Among the Living (and blogging)

So, let's just be perfectly honest here. These past 7 days have probably been some of the toughest in my life. Definitely the toughest from a physical point of view. (You know it's bad when I'm not even blogging, right?) And while I have been uncharacteristically calm and peaceful and optimistic about this season in our life, this week almost pushed me back into my pessimistic self. In fact, I told Brian Wednesday night the only thing keeping me going was the knowledge that if these treatments didn't work, I never have to go through them again. 

Because they don't put your body through this twice. 

If I have a recurrence, there are other treatments that they'll try, but there's nothing like this. And thinking about a recurrence is not exactly a positive thing to be doing while you're in the middle of treatment for stage 3 ovarian cancer.

But as I look back over the week, I can still feel God's hand on me and the circumstances. A visit from Grandpa and Uncle Matt is a big deal for Camden and Rory (unscheduled) and was a wonderful distraction over the weekend. My mom was here to stay with me (once again, previously unscheduled but obviously God knew I was going to need her). Meals two nights this week delivered by friends who were encouraging to me. Because of all the help, Brian was able to get a whole lot of VBS prep work done which makes me feel less stressed out for him. The kids had fun days at Korean camp and a fun-filled evening and day in the pool at Gram and Gramp's house. Despite the fact that I have been extremely unavailable for my kids the last week, they didn't feel the loss nearly as much because of the extra activities already built into the schedule. And even as I spent a long and at times painful hour in the coldest room in Baptist hospital (surrounded by some seriously high-tech equipment) Tuesday morning, the doctor was extraordinarily kind, the tech was sweet, and the nurse took time to tell me my make-up looked pretty even though I clearly looked and felt way less than pretty. Oh, and of course, the best news is that I didn't have to have surgery to replace my IP (stomach) port - an enormous answer to prayer.

Isaiah 41:10
Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am
your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you
with my victorious right hand.

I was able to have chemo yesterday, something I was not sure was going to happen. They reduced my fluids yet again in an effort to control the leaking and crazy pain I've been having. I managed to gain a whopping 8 pounds during treatment yesterday on the least amount of fluids yet. That is so not a typo. EIGHT pounds. The steroids have now kicked in (I'm currently still up and blogging at 3 a.m.), and I figure I've got another couple of hours of feeling better before side effects kick in for the next couple of days, but I don't go back until July 20 for another treatment and that makes the next few days feel very doable!

For obvious reasons, my job as family photographer fell along the wayside this week, but I did manage to cajole Brian into taking a few. Very few. Here is just a quick snap from Korean camp. Apparently, Rory was quite the little star with the Korean workers. He said they kept carrying her around, giving her hugs, passing her from person to person and talking about her amongst themselves (the workers didn't realize he was her dad so he eavesdropped LOL). And don't think she didn't just eat that attention right on up.

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14 comments:

Joy said...

Melissa, you have stayed so positive through this whole time, I think you are allowed to be put-out and grouchy about a bad week. Hoping you get past the effects of your last treatment quickly to enjoy your "time off" again! July 20 - wow! Let's plan another playdate in a few weeks, okay??? : )

Elizabeth Frick said...

I love that Rory was the life of the party at Korean camp! But I didn't expect any less :)
And I'm with Joy - you're definitely entitled to a less-than-positive feeling after such a rough week! My goodness, girl, you're going through the ringer here!
As always, thinking about you and sending my love!

Mum Bailey said...

Melissa,
You don't know me - I'm a friend of Becky and Micah's - just want you to know I've been keeping you in my prayers! Our son-in-law had cancer and I went to one of his chemo sessions with him, and I hate to think of you going through all of this! I am blessed by reading your honest thoughts and the photos of your family.
Judy B.

Christine said...

Can I ditto Joy as well?!?! Seriously... you are amazing! Grump all you want, you earned it this week. :-(

Kathy said...

So, I don't know Joy but I will ditto her too!!! :) You have maintained such a positive attitude and sweet spirit through all of this. A little grumping lets us know you are human. :) Take care! Continuing to pray for healing, strength and energy.

Janet said...

You are amazing all you are putting up with!! Wow. I'm sorry. I'm just so glad you have a great support network. Makes it easier...although it is NEVER easy. And...gee...I have NO idea why your daughter charmed the heck out of the entire camp staff. NO IDEA AT ALL. Heh-heh. WHAT a cutie!

Laura and John said...

Who wouldn't love that adorable face and smile Rory has?!? So sorry that you have had a rough week, but you continue to amaze me with your wonderful attitude. Hoping these days pass quickly so you will feel like being up and going. Praying for you all.

Shelly said...

You just continue to inspire, even in your hardest days. Just can't tell you how much of a blessing you are, and I've never even met you! Hugs to you!

Mandy said...

I w/ Joy!

Krista said...

you are one strong woman... hugs and prayers.

Amy said...

I'm with all of your other friends...you are amazing, girl! I've been praying for you all week. I just know when the blog and FB are quiet that things can't be going well. I hope you will be able to enjoy these next couple of weeks off from treatment!

Mayme said...

You have been on my mind so much this week. I am so sorry that you have had such a difficult week.

thewonderfulhappens said...

I am so sorry that the week was bad. I am glad that you have a break coming up. And just so you know, being a little bit pessimistic on a really bad day is totally allowed.

Grace said...

oh, dear...that rory is going to be a MAJOR heartbreaker!
sorry things have been so rough...still so in awe of your positive attitude and your faithful spirit, even with letting yourself complain a bit and all. hang in there...hope things start feeling better soon!