Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Kick Like a Girl

Saturday was a beautiful day to sit on the sidelines, in the sun, surrounded by autumn colors at the girls' last regular season game.  I love watching my girls be athletic and strong and learning that their bodies do amazing things.

And even though they don't fully appreciate it now, I've tried to explain how cool it is that they get to play on the same teams together.  Its very special to see how they each rely on the other in unique ways.  In addition to the beautiful memories they are making together, Shaun and I are relieved to have them doubled up on the same team.  ;)

My beautiful girls in action...



Monday, October 27, 2014

Doing Battle, Week 5

 The big news for this week is that we started treatments!  We walked into the cancer center bright and early on Monday morning.   After briefly meeting with the oncologist, and setting up more appointment, we were ushered into the treatment room.  Several nurses looked up and smiled and knew who we were.

Lisa?  You're in the right place!
Really??  Because this feels very wrong that I'm here.

They found a nice corner spot for us that had a couple windows and in no time we were getting set up.

 If you know Shaun even a little then it will not come as a surprise to you that he has spent much of the last month pouring over journals and periodicals and trials in an effort to educate himself.  He was able to get a copy of the chemotherapy formula and was reading up on it.

I brought reading material, too but mostly I was just loved on all morning via text messages and in between nurses popping in, Shaun and I got to talk and enjoy being together.
This was the view from my chair for four hours.  The room is set up in a circular pattern, so that all patients can be seen from the nurses station.
So strange.  I've spent my entire life doing my best to not put bad things in my body and this day we were pouring toxins directly into my bloodstream as a life-saving measure.
These faces!  Definitely felt like Team Lisa was at work, knowing people were praying all over the country.
Stopped by the pharmacy to pick up a "few" things.
My very first symptom was the cold sensitivity....cold in my bones, but also my fingertips would get all numb and tingly when they were exposed to cold.
Aiden was sitting on a doctor's table a little bit nervously because we'd been teasing him about how many shots he was going to get.  He helps me keep everything in perspective.

We gingerly went through the week, learning the new ropes.  I was tired and without much of an appetite and cold.  But I have the luxury of being able to sleep when I need to, I have a warm house and my appetite is back now.

Week One is down and we're grateful to be taking action!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Project 365, Week 43

This week had lots of highs and lows as I wrestled with the first week on chemo, but today I feel amazing and that makes the whole world look different.

Here's a look at our week in all its ecclectic-ness.

October 19
The girls were super excited to have a soccer game "under the lights" but it turned out to be a cold, blustery evening.  They played hard in front of lots of fans.

 October 20
Chemo Treatment #1.
 October 21
I was so thankful to be able to drop off and pick up the girls from school.
 October 22
Picture day at school!  These two were just too sweet coming down in their coordinating shirts.  They wanted to be prepared for the sibling picture that happens in addition to individuals.

 October 23
Half day so they quickly got their homework done so they could watch Electric Company.
 October 24
Shaun worked on putting a door on my office to separate out the unheated part of the house.
 October 25
This little guy LOVES that he is a Royal Ranger now and was very excited about the hike they were doing.
 Shaun and I got to sit in the beautiful sunshine and watch the girls do their thing.
After church we got together with a couple neighbors and did a fire, city-slicker style, with roasting sticks purchased from Stop & Shop.  :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October's 10 on 10

If you've been anxiously wondering what I did every moment of the 10th day of of this month, wait no longer!  ;)

10 pictures on the 10th day of the month (Friday)!
{Document a snapshot of your life & find beauty among the ordinary things in your day!}

6 AM
Always a good the best way to start the day.

 8 AM
Walking to school.
 9 AM
With race day tomorrow, hydrating is the order of the day!
 10 AM
Good morning!
 11 AM
With warm sunshine streaming through the windows, we had to do school on the porch.
 1 PM
Half day for the girls.
 We took a family field trip to R's parent/teacher conferences.  We only needed to talk with his English teacher, but he wanted us to meet his art teacher as well.  She was sweet to answer questions from the kids about the different projects around her room.
 2 PM
A special pre-race delivery!
 3 PM
Another pre-race delivery!
 4 PM
And another.  Oh my!

Not pictured...many cards and texts of well-wishers for my marathon the next day.  So incredible!
 5 PM
Shaun and Avery are working on taking over the grocery shopping.
 7 PM
Football...home game, so R had lots of fans.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Doing Battle, Week 4

Last Monday kicked off the week with an answer to prayer.  We'd been trying to get the NY and CT oncologists to talk and we were not sure if the CT oncologist would go for the change in treatment plan, set forth by Sloan.  But finally on Monday Shaun spoke to the CT oncologist who said "no problem".  He said Sloan just needed to fax over the treatment, then he needed a couple days to get it set up and we'd be ready to roll.  That was our best case scenario and we were relieved to have it resolved!
Cancer life and real life weaving together in strange ways.
Sloan must have sent it over because on Wednesday we were sitting in a doctor's office doing a consult for a port placement and on Friday I had the surgery to implant it.  My first surgery, my first stitches.

On Thursday we had a lengthy consult with an oncology nurse, who went over the specifics of how the treatment would be administered and the possible side effects.  We also got a quick peek into the treatment room.  It was an intense meeting and we were both spent after.  Shaun went to play basketball and ended up re-injuring a muscle bruise he'd gotten the week before.  It was bad enough he had to be carried off the court and driven home.

The next morning he tried to power through, but his leg was too swollen to cooperate.  At the last minute he conceded that he would not be able to bring me to the hospital for the surgery, which I'm sure is one of the harder things he's ever had to do.

Thankfully, my sister flew out of her house in five minutes time and was able to sit with me pre and post op.  Several nurses asked us if we were sisters or friends.  What a gift to be able to say "both!"

The surgery was easier than I could have imagined and from the time we were in the billing office until the time we were in the car headed home was only about four hours.  I've had very little pain, just an awareness that there is a foreign object under my skin and a feeling like I did way too many push-ups (I wish!).  I was happy to be able to report to Amanda that the device is purple.  In case you were curious...

The night of the surgery, Shaun slept across the hall in the spare room so we would not accidentally hurt each other in our sleep.  The spare room, that we've used to house many foster kids for respite care.  I wondered to God about His plan in all of this.  To my human thinking, it would make so much more sense for a foster kid who need some love and care and safety to be sleeping in that room and for my husband to be by my side, working together to pour into other people.

I was reminded of the verse:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.

I do trust He has a plan and that someday, or maybe piece by piece, I will have an "aha!" moment when it will make sense.

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 1 Cor 13:12

This morning we go for my first of eight treatments, which we'll do every two weeks.  I'll sit with an IV for two hours, then we go home with a pack I'll carry around for 46 hours.

My uncle, operating in the Western Branch of Team Lisa, as he says, texts me most mornings with a verse in the Uncle Lee Standard Version.  This morning my aunt sent her own version:

This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and kill cancer in it!  :)

Amen!  Let's do this!

I am flooded with peace and my mind is steadfast.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Is 26:3