Today marks one week past chemo and I have begun having back pain in my lower back, a result of bone marrow rebuilding and white cells being low. I’ve been warned it could happen, but it didn’t with my first round so I thought maybe I’d get lucky. I am on a heating pad and popping medicine all day. The snow and ice didn’t keep me from my infusion yesterday. My friend Betty got me to the hospital safely and we didn’t have any waiting. The Herceptin I get weekly causes the runs and fatigue so I’m not a very good party partner right now. I just feel out of it and don’t really want to do much. I’ve taken on some work orders and am slowly getting around to them. Hopefully by next week my energies will bounce back. The e-mails and phone calls are encouraging, so thank you! Your continued prayers are much appreciated as I fight back infections and try to stay safe at home. Thankfully I am enjoying food once again and the meals brought in this week were fabulous! My family is really getting spoiled! My friend asked me yesterday how I keep from getting depressed, after all, feeling like every ounce of feminity has been taken from me and many of my routine abilities as well. I told her that I count my blessings every single day. I think if you dwell on what you don’t have it would be easy to go “there” but I remember how many friends I have, how much God has cared for me, how well I am tollerating treatement, and I look forward to a new “me”, a new year awaiting me next year, and all the possibilities! I think of the dozens of people available to me who have expressed their love and concern, I think of how great my kids are doing and how independent they are. It’s impossible to get down when I am so grateful for all I have. Many others suffer without the tremendous support I enjoy. Keep looking upward and outward and all I see is joy!
Today was our first snowfall of the year! Yeah! Being a California girl, I get very excited about snow! When I was growing up it never snowed, in fact we had to drive hours to Lake Tahoe to see snow. So today’s 3 inches brings a fresh new feel to the air and a reason to get outside a bit, escaping from my warm cocoon on the couch where I have been hibernating for days. I have a treatment tomorrow morning at the hospital but they are calling for an ice storm tonight which makes me wonder how I will get there! We will have to wait and see, possibly going a little later in the day after things have melted. My nausea seems to ongoing this cycle, but I am resisting the medications as they make me VERY loopy and foggy feeling. I keep those for night time! I am beginning to feel the “slump” which occurs about 7 days following chemo therapy where the white blood cell count drops and the bone marrow begins to rebuild. I feel like my body has turned to Jell-O, as if the blood has drained right out of me. Barely up from the couch and I feel like I need to lay down again. This lasts about 4 days. Thankfully the kids were off school today and dear friends brought dinner yesterday for tonight, knowing that the weather may get bad. I am thankful everyone is taken care of. I have not succumbed to watching soap operas, rather, I have been up on all the political goings on and recent economic woes, trying to educate myself instead of becoming a vegetable. At least I will be a more interesting person at the end of all of this! Oh yes, and I have watched every imaginable talk show there is on TV during the day! I have never even heard of some of these hosts before!
All of this time alone has had me thinking about my life a year from now, who I will be, who I will become. For so many years my life was defined by motherhood, being the wife of a servicemember, and being a teacher and a crafter, but somehow now I feel myself taking on a new person. I don’t know who she is yet, and sometimes it is scary because I don’t want cancer to define who I am in the end. I just want normal back.
Thanks to the prayers of many – NO headaches! God is so good and I am praising Him for this small victory in my battle! Since my chemo therapy on Wednesday I have had nights filled with nausea and have slept a lot of them on the couch, tossing and taking medicine waiting for it to pass. No throwing up, just a nagging, persistent nauseousness. My toes have neuropathy in them when I lay down so I have them wrapped in a hot heating pad , trying to get circulation flowing. They ache at times and feel like frost bite, tingly and cold. I have two hats covering my very cold bare head. Who knew that hair was such an insulator? My stubble, or “head whiskers” litter the floor and sinks if I don’t cover up…it is very patchy and thin now. My mouth feels like a thin layer of slime, and taste is hard to find. This is perhaps the most annoying side effect considering I really do love to eat! My ears keep plugging with fluid making my equilibrium a bit shaky so I am spending most of the day on the couch. The Lord is faithful to continue providing all I need, and friends are so gracious to bring meals prepared with love going on 3 months now! I am blessed!
So far I feel pretty good today and the only notable side effects from yesterday’s chemo seem to be fatituge, slight controllable nausea and a funny feeling in my mouth again. Food flavors are a bit dulled. I still have my hearty appetite, though! I have spent the day completing all of my incoming jewelry orders, and went to the post office to get those mailed out. Looking forward to a lazy weekend of watching movies and maybe enjoying a walk in these 50 degree temperatures before they fall once again. The fresh air feels good and moves the toxins along through my body. I am drinking a ton of water. So far so good! No headaches (yet anyways). Keep praying!
Psalm 30: 10 – 12
“Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me;
O LORD, be my helper.”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have girded me with gladness,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever!”
Well, here’s where I spent the day – just reclining and reading my book! 7 /12 hours – like a “real” job! Ha! I’m working full time at beating this thing called breast cancer, and occasionally I have to go ‘in’ to the ‘office’ 🙂 Too bad they don’t pay me to sit here. Tim sat in the chair to my left, reading, checking work e-mail, and running errands for me, like grabbing lunch or a nurse when the infusion bags would empty.
Today we left the house at 6 a.m., picked up my fellow chemo friend I met last week, then got home at 4 pm to find dinner waiting on the counter! Thank you Melissa! How nice! They placed me in this chair today in a room with only this chair and a bed, which an elderly lady was in. She slept most the day. You can see I have a small TV to watch, but nothing was really on except talk shows and sports. On the other side of me, next to that cart by my chair, was a blood draw chair, so patients filtered in and out all day long to get their blood drawn. We saw two young dads there, one of whom told us he was a soldier from N.C. being treated for lymphoma. There were also several older patients, one a 58 year woman being treated for advanced pancreatic cancer. I found myself feeling like one of the lucky ones! My friend whom we drove to treatment today got her blood drawn and her white cell counts were too low for her to receive chemo. She must now wait until Monday. I really do feel lucky to be tolerating this as well as I am.
We met with my oncologist for a thorough history and physical. He told me I would be losing my hair soon, and when I told him I already had, and that this wasn’t my real hair he was very surprised and said it looked so natural! Whew that made me feel good. He told us the effects are cumulative, so we can expect this round to get me down more than the last one, as far as fatigue, and he armed me with a morphine prescription just in case I get the headaches. We pray that they won’t occur. Tim will give me another shot tomorrow to boost my white blood count. Anticipating pre-med early on in college, he had always dreamed of this! I’m afraid it’s the closest thing he’ll get to be to becoming a doctor.
I have taken several jewelry orders, which I intend to fill tomorrow while still feeling good, but I enjoy continuing the things I am able to do. It makes me feel like life is fairly normal, and that I am useful and productive. Living life to its fullest! That is the “goal” in the end of this journey so I’d like to get started on that NOW, thank you!
To all of you who are praying, I truly feel God answering them, a peace that passes understanding, and I’d just ask you pray especially Saturday through Wednesday, that the headaches won’t return and I will regain my strength quickly. Thank you so much!
UPDATE: THURSDAY 1/22/09 Nauseated since 10 p.m. last night and all through the night. Took anti-nausea medicine three times through the night. Next morning still queasy. Otherwise feeling okay.
This was my first full week wearing a wig. I now realize what other women have told me about this phase of treatment, that wigs are not comfortable and you will soon decide to ditch the whole idea. It is true! Wigs are uncomfortable and pinch at the ears so much that after a few hours, you are happy to fling it off your head and let out a big “AHHHHHHHH!” Relief! Most women I have talked to have said that around the house they go without anything. I tried that and my dog barked at me! I didn’t like the person I saw walking past the mirror, either! So I have opted for a hat around the house, and a wig with hat when going out. I really only went to three public places this week and that was to church twice and to the kids’ concert at their high school. It is very strange when you see people you know and the look on their face says it all. It’s as if they’re not sure if you have lost your hair or not, and then they kind of do the double take, hmmmm, it certainly LOOKS real! To me, it looks anything but natural, but my 15 year old daughter assures me that it does and I feel a little less intimidated. Maybe because it feels so NOT natural! It’s like “going public” is a sneaky thing, fooling everyone around you that you have hair when you really don’t! But I remind myself that these people, whoever they are, probably don’t care very much and if they don’t know my story, they certainly haven’t even noticed! The kids have really helped me get through this period of time and I am so grateful!
You also don’t realize how much heat escapes through your head and so with the brutally cold days we have had here, I have had a hat on 24 hours a day, with or without the wig. My favorite hairpiece is actually the one in this picture because it is a partial wig, meaning, there is no hair at the top. It is a soft t-shirt fabric cap and a stretchy headband with human hair attached at the back, thick enough to form a pony tail, and then thinner full length bangs attached at the front which I swoop behind the ears, and can wear without anything binding across the tips of the ears. I can wear it like this, or in a ponytail that goes through the back of a baseball cap opening, which is sporty looking. It is so much more comfortable than a wig. The wigs have their place and occasions to be worn, but on most days I will decide comfort over fashion.
This long weekend will be spent preparing for the next chemo round which is Wednesday this week. I feel like I am getting ready to go on a very long ten day vacation from my family! To the COUCH! ( I wish it were to the warm sunny beach somewhere in the Bahamas!) So I am doing things like making sure the laundry is caught up and the cupboards and refrigerator are stocked. I also got my bloodwork done Saturday morning, as they have to make sure my white blood cell count is high enough to receive the chemo therapy in a few days.
We are asking for an army of prayers to go up Thursday and Friday for me, that I not experience the headaches that I did last time. I am reading a book written by a breast cancer survivor, and she actually held the bags of chemo therapy drugs they handed to her so that she could verify the dosing and her name, etc. and she closed her eyes right then and there and prayed over the drugs, that they be used for good and not for harm, and that their effects would not make her ill. When she finished praying, her nurse standing next to her, as she did this, said “AMEN!” !
“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the LORD, “Plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope!”
Today is Thursday and it’s been a good week of feeling totally normal, doing all my normal everyday activities, and catching up on things like laundry and housework. I have been a little more tired than usual but have taken short naps to energize myself. Getting use to wearing a wig and hats is a challenge, especially on a very blustery day like today! Somehow I just can’t shake the idea of that shaven head underneath it all, but I’ve managed to fool a couple of friends who didn’t know I had lost my hair 😉 I guess I look more natural than I feel. Actually it is kind of fun going from short hair to long hair all in the same day, if I feel like it ! I enjoyed a night of bunco with friends, and felt very comfortable in their company. It felt good to laugh and share with each other all the things going on in our lives. There’s a level of comfort knowing that life continues to unfold, kids have their up and down days of school, and we gather at the dinner table to bond as a family. Friends get pregnant and share their happy news, others talk of upcoming vacation plans. This is what it feels like to fight cancer….to know that no matter what, it won’t consume our conversations and our daily activities, and that taking pleasure in the things we enjoy is like saying “You can’t beat me down, Cancer!” I have taken and filled several jewelry orders this week and have felt great about resuming my business (as I am able). It is a wonderful opportunity to work from home but to know that I can “put on the brakes” if I have to. I feel incredibly blessed by notes of encouragement via e-mail or in the mailbox, flowers delivered, meals brought by, or just a phone call to say how are you feeling? I am surrounded by an army of supportive friends and family who are helping me get through this fight. It is a fight sometimes to resist the emotions of sadness, pity or anger, but my army “says” press on – you are strong”!
Romans 8 :35, 37
” Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us.”
One good piece of news in all of this is that my genetic testing result shows “no inherited gene”. This means I did not get breast cancer through a family link, even though my father had two aunts and two cousins with the disease. It also means that my children are not pre-disposed to getting breast cancer, though they are at higher risk simply because their mother had it. I was happy to be able to tell my sister and brother (who has a baby girl) this news !
Tonight my son Keith (17) took the plunge first, and had Tim shave his head. Then we roped off all my pony tails to donate and Tim and Deb, my neighbor, took turns cutting, and Tim finished the job by shaving my head. We couldn’t have him get too close to the scalp for risk of nicking me and causing a bleed, which I am slow to clot on. In fact last night I had a nose bleed that took a long time to stop. So it’s finished and some little girl will benefit from my donation. I just kept telling myself all day that if I continued allowing it to shed off of my head I wouldn’t have much left to donate. So now I look like Demi Moore from the movie G.I. Jane..but if only I had her body! Then I would be a happy woman! Ha! I have a variety of wigs, hats and scarves to play around with now. Deb will mail the package of hair off to Wigs For Kids for me tomorrow and Tim says “Send it via HairMail!” Ha! We all had a good cry (well, I did, at least) but ended with a laugh! As long as I don’t look in a mirror I do okay with the idea. Today’s infusion went well and a lot quicker than last week. It was all done within 90 minutes from pre-meds to finish. Thanks for taking me today Dorothy!
I think I am in denial about my hair. This is the second day and probably fourth pile (<—–like this photo) from simply combing my hair with my brush. It started just about 2 weeks after the start of treatment. Yesterday I wore it in a pony tail and claw clip just to keep it from falling all over the house, into my food and onto the white floors. Today I am doing the same, hoping I can get up the nerve today or tomorrow to go through with donating it in roped off sections, then to shave it clean bald. I just don’t feel ready. I feel mad!
Now that the sand paper feel in my mouth is gone it’s like it has been exfoilated and is super smooth, but the taste buds are sort of numb or dull. It’s not that food tastes bad, it just doesn’t taste like much! Yesterday and today on a couple of occasions I have felt my toes/feet go numb (neuropathy), which is expected and can also occur in the fingertips. It hasn’t lasted yet, only happened for a short period, then passed. My eyes feel like they are stinging, like an irritant is in them. I feel like I am blinking a lot. My hair started shedding S-L-O-W-L-Y Saturday, then quickly within one day, losing more than normal in a hair brushing, but it’s not falling out in clumps yet. Sunday it’s just strands and strands and strands everywhere. If I rake my fingers through it I come out with a handful. I haven’t had to shave my legs in over a week yet there’s no growth. Any girl knows that is something you have to do nearly on a daily basis! I won’t miss that part. 🙂 In spite of all of this, though, the last couple of days I have resumed what feels like normal life, going grocery shopping, meeting friends for coffee, handling returns at the mall, cooking meals and going for walks. Thankful for the routine and just trying to ignore the small changes I’m observing in my body. Fighting them off with my positive thoughts and energies!
Today the sun is out and the rain has stopped – it’s a good day! I feel stronger than I have felt in 2 weeks and the side effects of chemo are diminishing! I am going to get out and take Colby for a walk, something he has been needing for many days now. Thank you for your continued prayers. My hair is due to start coming out over this weekend at the earliest, and I have decided to wait it out in hopes that maybe I will get lucky. Maybe it will take longer than 2 weeks to happen, and so if and when it does – I am ready, but until then, I comb it and style it and will just enjoy it.
It has been 2 weeks since Christmas and I am only now getting to the task of putting away the remaining decorations, dishware, etc. Tim did literally all of the clean up, take down work over New Years and the holiday feels like a distant memory. As I have emerged from my steadfast spot on the couch, I am finding party trays people left here that need returning, and Christmas mail that needs going through, and it just feels good that I can even tackle these small tasks. It feels normal and that’s a nice feeling.
Chemo drugs are bad news! You know this when the bag they hang on you says HIGH ALERT! And they do strange things to the body too! Our nurse instructed us that during this week I should flush toilets twice and disinfect everywhere I go. I have Clorex wipes on every counter top and in every bathroom, not just to keep germs away from myself (and my lowered immune system now days 8 – 10) , but to prevent chemo drugs now leaving my body via skin, mucus, toilets, etc. from coming into contact with people in the house. It feels very strange to know these drugs are attempting to locate and abolish any tiny rogue cancer cell that might be lingering somewhere inside of me. Very creepy, actually. I woke up feeling odd…just, not right. Kind of sick, kind of tired, kind of just blah. I have very little energy and want to do nothing but lay down. The weather outside is cold (30’s) and wet wet wet. I had hoped that maybe I could sneak in a short walk today but looks like that will have to wait until tomorrow. I feel thirsty constantly so I am downing the water every chance I get. Kyle is home from college just two more days so hopefully he and I can get out for a nice lunch today or tomorrow. I would love to actully get out of these P.J.’s and feel human again.
Click HERE to hear a beautiful song Everyone Has A Story
Job 11: 13 – 19 in The Bible spoke to me today – I want to be able to look forward and put behind me the awful cancer that entered our 2008 and tried to steal away our strength and our faith…- I want a fresh start and a new focus! I am reaching to God – My only Hope…
Job 11: 13 – 19
“If you prepare your heart, you will stretch out your hands toward Him. If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and let not injustice dwell in your tents. Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish (I hope that means acne too!) ; you will be secure and will not fear. You will forget your misery; you will remember it as waters that have passed away. And your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning. And you will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security. You will lie down, and none will make you afraid; many will court your favor.”
“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.
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Today is a new day and a much better one at that! I had a second infusion yesterday, this time of just one of the drugs, Herceptin. I will get this drug every week from now through April, then once a month through next December. So far the side effects I’ve noticed are the “runs” and ACNE! I haven’t had acne in 30 years so this part is really depressing. I also feel like all surfaces of my mouth are sandpaper rough and dry. My friend is bringing over a blender so I can make some cold smoothies and shakes which sound very soothing right now. I only feel a little queasy if I get up off the couch so I am staying put today (it is cold and wet out today anyways). The headaches are GONE, so I am thanking God for that! 🙂 The oncologist I saw yesterday said that we will be better prepared next go ’round on the 21st (of January) for those should they occur, but that we have to attack them at pain level “3”, not “10”, which is where it got last week and became out of control. He also said if the Morphine doesn’t work next time there are other drugs they can try and they will also do a CT scan of my head if it happens again. Because of the Christmas and New Years weeks, they were very backed up with patients yesterday and it took more than 2 hours just to get an infusion chair. Then they set my drip 3 times too slow, so it took three times as long (90 minutes) as it should have (30) to drip into me. I’ll know next time to have them double check the timing so we don’t waste all day there. They were just overwhelmed with the numbers of patients, yet very kind and patient and compassionate nonetheless – wonderful nurses, really.
For the first few hours I was feeling sorry for myself since I was definately the youngest one in the ward. Everyone else being treated there could have been my grandparent. Then, once I was seated, I was next to a woman 5 years younger than me and on her second bout with breast cancer. She was being so brave but so scared. I talked to her and her husband for a long time. They had a lot of questions about my surgery, reconstruction, and prognosis. I think that her last treatments 3 years ago, may have been conservative and left open this door for re-occurance so they just want answers now. She told me she said she would never do chemo again but that her husband was making her. I told her she was a fighter and survivor and she’ll fight this again for him and their two daughters! I wanted to hold her hand – she just had a look of such terror when they started her first bag. I hope I see her again. It helps to be with someone similar in age and diagnosis. A lot of the chemo patients have other types of cancers. It’s just harder to relate to an 80 year old fellow patient whose children are grown.
This week my immune system is down so I am going to enjoy just relaxing at home and build up some strength to get through the next couple of weeks. My hair is due to come out sometime in the next 5 – 10 days which has me feeling really upset….trying not to think about it. ‘Til next time…..hugs!
Today I woke up having slept through the entire night….first time since chemo began. I only feel a little bit queasy in the stomach and the headache seems gone! Thank you for praying! (Don’t stop! I feel like they can return at a moment’s notice!) I have to go to the hospital today for a visit with my plastic surgeon, and then up to the chemo ward for a 1 hour infusion of Herceptin. This is a drug I have to have weekly for the next 17 weeks, then every three weeks for 8 months after that. (Yep! You heard that right! That adds up to a full year) With pre-blood work and pre-meds, it can take more than 2 hours, though, so I hope Maggie brings lots of reading materials! Maggie is a friend from church who lives just a mile from me – my angel friend who has done so much to help us get through this…she is doing the driving. Her great sense of humor and ‘can- do’ attitude are just what I need!
They tell me the worst side effects of Herceptin alone is fever and chills, but that it is worse with the very first one. I already had the “first one” with my mega coctail last week, so hopefully this week won’t be so bad and soon I will be on the mend. I’d like to be able to even just take a short walk for some fresh air but right now I have zero energy. It’s all I can do to get off the couch and get a drink then lay back down! They will test my white cell counts again today. Today is day 7, and normally days 7 – 10 is when the cell counts drop to their lowest and I am most at risk for infections, etc. Sorry, no visitors who are ill or might possibly be ill, and definitely no kids around here the next couple days. I should probably hide in a bubble! I feel like my mouth is sand paper against the roof and along all the gums and my tongue…it’s a strange sensation, but not holding back my appetite so far! All food tastes fine so far so I don’t think I’ll be losing weight through chemo…not yet anywways.
I have a friend coming today with her daughter to help around the house – what a blessing! Thank you so much! I haven’t even realized what is going on around me for 6 days – a lot of activity with kids coming and going, friends of my kids in and out, meals eaten and cleaned up, but I don’t even know what needs to be done. I can’t even think about it right now. The two oldest boys are home now for just a couple of more days of their holiday break, before returning to college. They haven’t even seen or heard from me in a week – I have been comatose on the couch, barely able to open my eyes. Tim and I never expected for the first chemo to throw me like it did. It has been very, very hard. Did I say very hard? Yes. Very.
I have been on some breast cancer forum sites asking for people to respond who have been given the same combination of drugs I am getting. I wanted to hear their feedback about their side effects. Everyone seems to say the subsequent infusions are not as bad so far as the nausea and headache. Two women have now told me that, although they did lose their hair, it took abot 3 weeks, not 2, and that they didn’t lose their eyelashes! One didn’t lose eyelashes or eyebrows! Pray that I will be one of those lucky ones! Please pray! That would make me so happy! I expect my hair will be gone by this time next week but I am thinking now that I will wait it out and just see. Once it starts, I will call my clan (my sis-tas 🙂 ) who are armed and ready to do the big CUT then shave. I really want to rope, cut, and save it all to donate to real hair wigs for kids. But I have also been told that I might not lose it (slim chance, but a chance nonetheless) so I am not going to rush things – we’ll wait it out.
I broke down and got Roomba’s cousin Scooba to do my mopping. (Thank you Linens and Things for going out of business!) Roomba became my best friend last Christmas, doing my vacuuming as I left the house for the day (you know those iRobot vacuums?) I think the whole world knows how much I believe in him! Scooba now cleans the kitchen floor at least once a week with one push of a button – and with white tile floors, four teens, all their friends, a dog, and a rainy day – I can’t live without him! At least one thing in my world feels “right”. Ha! (I have always been a sap for a clean floor.)
Thank you for continuing to pray that these side effects will pass and not be so severe. Please also pray for the strength of our family as we press on. It’s going to be a long haul.
Today is day 5 following my first chemo treatment, and I have been sicker than a dog. It hit 48 hours after treatment and hasn’t stopped since…flu like symptoms, nausea, chills, body aches, but worst of all are the headaches which I finally couldn’t take any longer. This morning I called the oncology doctor on call for the weekend, and he immediately put me in for blood work which I had done within 45 minutes to check my white blood cell counts. We should know if those came back too low by later this afternoon. He also said I should have a CT scan of my head next week while I am in the hospital. He prescribed morphine to get me through until I can see my regular oncologist Monday morning. I felt like I was fainting, like my whole head was getting cold and clammy and I was delirious with headache pain. Now am headed for bed the rest of today. I sure hope this passes soon – I am sleeping my life away on phenergan (anti-nausea medicine) just to get relief from the head pain. Once I awaken, it throbs beyond control. Hope the morphine does the trick! Thanks for your prayers.
The New Year came, and I slept right through it! The chemo effects really took their toll about Wednesday afternoon, with me barely being able to move or stay awake. It came on like a ton of bricks, totally unexpected to start this early (I was told I would have a good week somewhere in here) . Tim and I went to see the movie Marley & Me at 1 p.m. , but it was all I could do to stay awake, taking sips of drinks every few seconds just to make it through. I didn’t even have the energy to cry at the sad ending, which is pretty remarkable considering we had that same sadness when we lost Sandy, our dog, a little over a year ago. I just felt numb. I could hardly make it through the 20 minutes in Costco picking up food for Kelli’s party and at one point just sat down in the store on a freezer ledge and waited for Tim to return with something. I had chills, then was hot, then nauseous, then in pain…no fun! And so sleepy. I felt “fluish” sort of, I guess, is the best way to describe it, and slept from about 7 p.m. until after 1 a.m. I think Tim kissed me Happy New Year, but I don’t remember the all the kids yelling and the hoopla of the party here at our house with 20 of Kelli’s friends. I think I ate some soup or something somewhere in there, it’s just a blur now. Woke up feeling a bit better today – still have a headache and a little pain in my arm where the port site is. Looks like I’ll be spending most of my day on the couch since sitting or laying is the only place I don’t feel sick to my stomach. Tim will have the pleasure of putting all of the Christmas decorations away this weekend, putting away the outdoor lights, diassembling the tree with the kids, and watching some football in between. My white blood cell count is due to drop here in the next 4 days so I will be cooped up & away from anyone who might infect me with any sort of bug, flu, pneumonia, cough, etc. No kids, no sniffles, no shopping, so theaters, no travel, no church, no nothin’! I hope that by next week I might feel a bit better. I can’t imagine 4 months of this! Thanks for your prayers for strength and words of encouragement and offers of help! They mean so much. God bless you with a renewed sense of His presence in your own life this New Year, and may you seek His will in everything you determine to pursue!