Friday, November 28, 2014

Good things coming out of a bad thing.

 I had another treatment today, and I am so happy to report that I am feeling so well!
 I think my eyebrows are thinning, but I also lost a couple pounds and feel like my clothes fit much  better, and I can wear some things that I never could squeeze into before!
Hell of a way to lose weight though, huh?
I am also feeling very sentimental and grateful, but this is good,
 and I am so much closer to God, and praying constantly!
 I'm finding it very easy to share my faith these days, and don't miss an opportunity,
while people are actually listening to me.
 I am really happy, despite the fact that I am fighting a life-threatening disease!
 I guess it's because of all the love and attention my dear family and friends are giving me!
 I feel stronger, and more courageous,  although I do get weak, tired and achy sometimes,
but it passes.  It's because of promises, like the one I found in Psalms 31:24
 I find new meaning in words such as " hope", and "courage" as I claim them as my new favorite words, my  affirmations. I am claiming these promises, believing them more profoundly.
 I don't really want to be around any negativity, but it really "can't touch me". 
I don't take it personal, in other words, as I am getting tougher. A tough old bird, I am.
So there are lots of good things coming out of this dreadful breast cancer experience.
Painting after chemo today! Poor selfie though.

Be of good courage and he shall strengthen your heart,
all ye that hope in the Lord.     Psalm 31:24

  Still working, I painted today after Chemo.
No, I am not taking it easy, my dears, I can't.
Maybe later I won't be able to do as much,
 but I am trying to stay very active
and  keep things normal.
Mom and me making a joyful noise!

I had a nice little visit with my Mom  too.
We talk on the phone every day, but she hadn't actually seen me
and I wanted her to believe me, that I really feel pretty good.
  She keeps asking, "Are you telling me the truth? Do you really feel okay?"
We still sing our song every night over the phone, it's a ritual, very sweet.
 Tonight we sang our song together in person.   

Mom's hands, holding the hymn book.
This is the song she sings with me every night.
"Does Jesus Care?", by Frank E. Graeff

I've been celebrating Thanksgiving each day, with a different part of my family,
love being with them!
and I am not sick of turkey, I love it, and I still want more pumpkin pie.
Tomorrow, I'll get me some at sister Beverly's and I'll see all the rest of my lovies!

May you be blessed with family and friends
 and lots of Thanksgiving gatherings and fun too!   
Then we'll be ready to all start Christmas!

Love, Linda

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Fight Continues

 Today, I started  a new chemo drug.  I'll be honest, I was a little frightened
 because I was comfortable with the routine and knew what side effects
 I was having and what to expect.
Now we're switching to a drug that many have a reaction to.
  I am starting  weekly infusions of  Taxol.
 It slows or stops the growth of cancer cells in your body.
 Prior to treatment I have to take Benadryl, Tagamet, and Decadron.    .

 Paclitaxel (Taxol)
So,  after the bloodwork  lab results , which turned out really great, the doctor examined me said my tumor has shrunken more, and then I was sent to the infusion room. My wonderful nurses started my IV drip.   I didn't have an allergic reaction.  I tolerated the drug infusion  well and my oncologist says that this drug will be easier on me, without the bad side effects the other drug had.

Music to my ears!
    It was a good day, and my oncologist is very pleased with the progress of my treatments!
Many friends are following my progress and perhaps someone reading this will be interested in my experiences in fighting breast cancer, and the protocol of treatments used.

      I am receiving lots of messages that people are praying for me. I am so grateful for this.  Thank you for your thoughts and well wishes.   Thank God for giving me strength and healing my body!
  So many blessings coming my way!  More gifts are coming, someone sweet and generous sent us a turkey. I received a "care and comfort basket"   and  many beautiful cards and mass cards.

Care & Comfort Basket Bundle #13 was delivered today.
A wonderful Care and Comfort Basket from Hearts United Against Cancer,
a South Jersey non-profit organization that shows love and compassion
 to  patients going through  cancer treatment.
 I've been able to stay with my grandbabies on days
 I don't have treatments and it's been so good for me!
Miss Emilie is getting sweeter every day!
Grandchildren are the  best reward for getting old!  
Abby Abate's photo.
We are proud as peacocks of our lovely, dear Abby
 being a National Honor Society member too!
Vintage Treasures by Grandmalay's photo.
 A nice comforting  little tea break, with my vintage dishes and silverware.
I'm finding out how much I am loved. Here you see some special Hibiscus
tea from a dear woman I love,  and a beautiful pop-up card from another friend
 to tell me I am being thought of and prayed for.  I feel loved and blessed.   
       Now  I want to start helping prepare for our families Thanksgiving celebrations.
 Yes, Ted and I will be having 3 different occasions to be enjoying dinners
             and giving thanks with our blended families. There is so much to be thankful for.  

I wish our world could be at peace, that we would learn to love
one another and love God and our country the way we should.
 The TV news is heartbreaking!  I can't watch too much of it right now.
Be anxious for nothing, but by prayer and supplication,
with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
                                                                       -Philippians 4:6
I'm trying to focus on my hopes, my dreams and all good things.
I am craving pumpkin pie!
I'll be baking some next week.

 Here's my simple wish for each of you!

 I hope you have a wonderful old-fashioned time with family and friends,
 and remember to say thanks  to God for all He has given us.
Our freedoms, our families to love, our friends so dear, all our blessings big and small.

Love, Linda

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Chemo is working! Yay!

First of all the good news, My chemotherapy is working!
 After the first four treatments (Adriamycin and Cyclophosphamide),
my tumor is shrinking and that really makes me happy.
 12 more weekly treatments to go!  It's another drug called Taxol.

Infusion room- I am receiving chemo through a port in my chest.
I have about four hours, of sitting.  I'm not used to sitting around.
And sometimes I am blessed with my sister or daughter accompanying me,
 and precious time to "jib-jab", as Beverly calls it..
But if I go alone, I get lots of correspondence caught up,
 and read or write in my journal.
 The cancer treatments are very time consuming and I have to return to the hospital for an important Neulasta  injection the day after also.  My blood cell counts  days later, have been great!
 There are some side effects like nausea, vomiting,  aches in joints and fatigue, but my symptoms have been minimal and manageable with the meds. they have prescribed.

My girls gave me this cute outfit, and it's cozy warm too.

But my other days  are very important either spent with the grandchildren
or working for my clients , painting and cleaning.

I love taking naps with Emilie on the days I watch her.
 She has just turned 6 months, and we have the most fun with her, she's such a joy!!
Mommy Julie and Miss Emilie,  at six months!

 And Aunt Amy and we love being very silly,
 with Halloween pumpkins and  other holiday fun.

My daughter made me this very special pumpkin!

Today,  after treatment I went to vote.  It meant so much to me- I almost cried, I'm so emotional!
 I really felt honored to have a chance to vote.
 Then I came home and saw this cute post on facebook.

Tommy, age 4, being creative with Aunt Amy and sidewalk chalk.
 No school today, but he still got lessons in civics and other things.

Be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen your heart,
all ye that hope in the Lord.
Psalm 31:24

So although I have  a lot to go through right now,  I have so much joy in my life.
 Family and friends are sticking by closer than ever, indulging me
 with sweet  presents and deep concern, so I'm feeling truly loved and blessed.
The prayers and thoughtful gestures have been tremendous and so comforting.

Just keep living your life to the fullest, and loving 
and trusting God and I know you'll be blessed!

Love, Linda