Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A "minor setback"

That's what the doctor called it.

I was supposed to be admitted into the hospital on Tuesday for another round of chemo, but my doc cancelled it and wanted me to come in with my husband for a consultation. This scared me because they told me to bring my hubby. I feared that meant they had bad news. So, we went in this morning and the doc was very positive. He said my tumor has indeed grown a bit, and that means we'll have to go after it with radiation. There was talk of radiation in the beginning of the treatment but it was never certain if I'd need it. He said the cancer cells are "smart," and if they see they're being attacked through the blood (the chemo goes through an IV straight into the blood), the cells can cut themselves off from the blood (the chemo) and feed off of the surrounding tissue. It hasn't broken through the membrane surrounding my brain, so that's good! This also means I have no excuses if I act stupid! Shucks! 

Anyway, so because the tumor has cut itself off from the chemo, they'll have to treat it with radiation, which will be kind of like a "cyber knife." I got a bone marrow biopsy done today (ouch!), and they'll find out the results the beginning of next week as to whether or not the cancer is still in the blood/bone marrow. The doc feels positive it isn't and that's why he cancelled this last round of chemo. IF I do still have cancer in my bone marrow, then I'll need another round of chemo. As for the radiation, I'll start that in the next few days, or next week. They're supposed to call. I'll have to go in everyday for radiation for anywhere between 5 and 20 days. 

Pray the radiation completely wipes out the cancer in just a few days and that my bone marrow is free of cancer. If these things happen, I'll be able to go in for my transplant that much sooner. If things are delayed, then my transplant will take place much later.

So, there ya have it! 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Feeling Discouraged

I go in for my next chemo treatment on Tuesday. I'll be in for five days. This chemo round has been postponed because I almost bled to death. Anyway, they had me go in for an MRI, and it turns out my tumor has grown since the last MRI in Jan. I'm so discouraged by this! I didn't get to talk to the doctor, only the nurse practitioner. She says to let the doc worry about it, and he said to continue with the chemo and then the bone marrow transplant after that. I'll get to talk to him personally while I'm in for chemo. Anyway, the nurse went on to say that the transplant is a cure, so when we get to that, things will be better. All I know is, when I was first diagnosed, the doc said that this cancer responds well to chemo. But if my tumor has grown, it sure doesn't sound like it's responding well. sigh 

Anyway, will you please PRAY that this transplant completely CURES and HEALS me? No MS and no cancer. I'm so tired of being sick. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Okay, now that I want to LIVE, Satan is using it against me! Because I really don't want to die, now I'm scared to death that I will! UGH! Honestly, it was so much easier when I didn't care. sigh All I can think of are my children and how they need me and how I WANT TO BE HERE FOR THEM!

I'm really ticked off that I feel this way (which might be a good thing; maybe it'll give me the strength I need to fight it). I had a panic attack during my last hospital stay--that's when I almost bled to death. I was fine and not really scared until the docs let me know how scared they were. That's when I realized the seriousness of the situation. My husband told me I had to get seven units of blood, and the docs were really shaken up. Well, now I'm freaked out! They didn't smile when I said if I can get through this, I can get through the bone marrow transplant, and that was the last straw. I was washing my hands, which I've done a million times, and when I looked in the mirror and saw my bald self staring back at me, I asked, "Who is that woman in the mirror?" The person staring back at me was not "Sandi." It was not the woman and girl I've always known. It was a bald creature who didn't even look female. It was an alien. My eyebrows are gone and so are my eyelashes, not to mention my hair. Even though I've seen myself a gazillion times like this (I mean, I KNOW what I look like), I just freaked out all of a sudden. It's the first time I've felt "unstable" inside, like I might flip out or something. So, I sat on my bed and prayed. I grabbed my Bible, but only turned to passages about Jerusalem being destroyed, and it really wasn't helpful. sigh All I know is, now I'm SCARED.

I wish I could just step out of my body to let them fix me, then when they're done, I'll get back in. If only it could be so easy! I've already heard that there are a lot of things that can go wrong during the transplant process. It's really going to be like another chemo run, where I'm hooked up to an IV for days. Then when all my own bone marrow is "dead," or as the doc says, "flattened," they'll put the new cells/bone marrow in me from the donor. There are chances my body will reject them, etc. They said, I could end up in ICU during any step of this, especially because I won't have an immune system. All kinds of things could go wrong. ARG! I don't want to think of everything that could go wrong. It scares me! I don't like being scared.

I asked God to help me!!! Give me a verse! Take away my fear!

Well, recently I got this card. It had Isaiah 41:10:

"So do not fear, for I am with you; 
   do not be dismayed, for I am your God. 
I will strengthen you and help you; 
   I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Isn't that the most awesome verse?! This is GOD speaking! He's telling me NOT to be afraid because He's WITH ME. He's telling me not to be dismayed (boy have I been!) because HE IS MY GOD. Remember in my last post how I said in my prayer, HE's in charge! Well, I need to remember that because Satan so wants me to believe he's the one in charge, sigh. Then God goes on to say that He WILL STRENGTHEN ME!!! I so NEED His strength right now! I've said so often how I can only get through this with His strength because I really don't have it on my own. 

 . . . And He will HELP ME. What a comfort that is! How comforting it is to be completely helpless and stranded and to have a hero come along and rescue me. God is my hero. He's the ultimate hero. I love writing about heroes in my stories, but God is the most handsome, the most gentle, and the most powerful. He doesn't even have to flex to show off his muscles. :-) Think about it. He invented the things. How much more perfect are HIS?! LOL Yes, I know. It's a bit strange talking about God's "muscles." Just try to think of it not only in a physical sense, but in a spiritual sense as well. What did we grow up singing in the song Jesus Loves Me? "I am weak, but He is strong." And with that thought in mind, let's read the last part of the verse again: "I will uphold you in my righteous HAND." Tears are in my eyes because I'm only just now recalling what I wrote in my last post about His hands! I asked Jesus to hold me in His precious hands, the hands I want to kiss, to hold on to and never let go! Aaaahhhh. Yes, I have a thing about hands. Especially those of my heavenly Father. 

The key is I need to FOCUS, DWELL on this verse. You know how it says to do that in Phil. 4:8, to DWELL or MEDITATE on ALL that's positive. That's what I need to do with this verse. I'm going to print it out and pin it up on the wall of my hospital room when I go in for the transplant. You know I'll be stuck, stranded, TRAPPED in the hospital during that time for at least a month! sigh I'll deal with that one later. 

One thing at a time, right? Right now, I need to conquer this stinkin' fear. 

Oh, and remember, I found that verse from one of the many cards I've gotten! Your cards don't go unread and are hugely appreciated and are a wonderful blessing! God used you to give me the tools I need to get through this.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Answered Prayer

I have a lot of answered prayers, really. God spoils me at times, so much so, He can’t be ignored.

A couple days ago, He came through for me again.

You see, I almost bled to death. I was rushed to the ER a couple nights ago. I don't even know what day it was, can't remember.  . . . Okay, it was Sunday. What happened was we got these new pill holders with each day labeled. Well, I can't think clearly, so I assumed my oral contraceptive was in with all the millions of other pills. But it wasn't, so I missed taking it for four or five days. It was a misunderstanding because the contraceptive was in his own case. I basically eat pills for breakfast and dinner, so it's hard to keep track of everything. Well, because I missed the pill for so long, I started my period. Normally that wouldn't be a bad thing, but because my blood counts are already down and in a dangerous level, having a period isn't a good thing, especially when your platelets (these clot the blood) are so low. So, because my blood had no way to clot, my flow was extreme, and I went through a gazillion pads in one day. 

After nearly fainting four or five times by midnight, hubby raced me to the ER. I did NOT want to go because it's horrible there, but I knew I had to. They really don’t know much about cancer patients, so I find myself explaining to them why they can or can’t do what they’re about to do!

Turned out I had lost HALF my blood! Had I stayed home, the doc said I likely wouldn’t have made it through the night. GULP He and the nurses said I gave them quite a scare, and even when the bone marrow patients go through their transplants, they don’t lose that much blood. I said, “Well, that’s good then! If I can get through this, then I can get through the bone marrow transplant without any problems.” I smiled, but they didn’t. SIGH Pray I get through the bone marrow transplant without any problems, will ya? It’s supposed to take place sometime in April. I’ll be in the hospital for a month. Yuck.

Anyway, while I was at home and wondering if I should go to the ER or not, I was lying in bed and just asked God to help us do the right thing. I also asked Him to hold me close. To come near me and drive Satan far away. I said, “You are the one in control, not him. I know he’d like me to believe he’s got the power, but I know he doesn’t, and that You, my God, are in charge. I mean, I’m you’re child, so if he wants to do anything to me, he has to get Your permission, right? So, please take charge of me, and if it be Your will, let me live!”

Well, it’s a few days later, and I now have the strength to share this with you.

I think God’s answer to that prayer is clear! I think it’s obvious who is in control and who has the power. And even if I were to have died, those things still wouldn’t have changed. The good thing about this is His answer was yes!

Thank You, God. I love You so much! I want to lie down next to You, to snuggle close and share all my secrets with You, tell You all about my dreams, knowing You will treasure them in your heart and not whisper them to others. I want to take Your hand and walk with You in our bare feet through the grass. I want to kiss Your hands, my Lord Jesus, kiss the scars on them and place them on my cheeks, knowing, trusting that You love me. You love me so much and with such passion, You gave Your life for me. Please, let me touch the scars on those beloved palms. Please, let me kiss the tips of your fingers. Please, use them to wipe away my tears. I love Your hands. Keep them on me, hold me close and give me peace.