Saturday, June 30, 2012

Day 1 Post Chemo

First of all, thank you all for your thoughts and prayers this week!  Here is an example how prayer works.  We can not tell you how relieved we all are that this did not spread.  Like we have said, this is far from behind us, but we know have met the enemy!  I will outwit, outsmart and outlast this tumor!  

I have been speaking with a survivor who reached out to me through my sister in law's mother.  She said yesterday isn't it weird how it was devastating to hear breast cancer, then you worry if it spreads and now that we know it has not, it is kind of like "it is just breast cancer".  It is still a scary disease that takes lives daily, so it is far from over and is not to be taken lightly, plus I would be lying if I said that it still doesn't scare me and consume my days, but I have got this!!  With of course the continued prayer and words of encouragement from all of you!  

Before chemo the Dr. met with Don and I.  He walked in and threw his hands up and said "your scans are clean!"  He had a huge smile on his face.  I did not share this, but earlier this week, I talked to the surgeon about my MRI results and asked him the question that since it had not spread to my left breast nor the chest wall, did I have a greater chance that it did not spread elsewhere.  He said with deepest concern, "Amber, this is a big tumor, you need to remain optimistic, but prepared for the news".  We were driving home from the Echo gram and I just cried and cried.  Don grabbed my hand and as always, reassured me we would get through regardless of what it was and to think about the support group from Tuesday how many were Stage 4 and their cancer had metastasized and how positive and full of life they were.  So to hear it was clear, I think was a huge relief to my Oncologist.  

After meeting with him, we went over the treatment plan again.  The first 4 treatments are a tougher drop on my cell counts.  So those will be closely monitored.  So again, I need healthy people near me!  The day after treatment, I will go back for a shot that will boost my blood levels.  Plus I will take a steroid for the first 3 days after treatment.  The shot was done this morning and the side effect is muscle pain in your legs, back and arms.  Almost instantly I felt it in my legs.  Nothing unbearable, just feels like I have been on my feet for a long period of time.  They told me Claritin works for this, so I have added this to my pharmacy.

Next was Chemo.  Since I do not have my port yet, she is being installed July 9th.  They had to manually push through one of the drugs through my arm IV.  It is dangerous if the vein collapses as it can cause tissue problems, so that is done by a nurse.  Once the port gets put in, this drug will be administered still by the nurse through the port, in about 20 minutes.  The last drug is done through IV or port, but doesn't need to be monitored.  It took an hour.  Then I was done.  It really was an easy treatment compared to seeing or hearing about others.  Some are there as long as 6 hours.  Mine is 2 hours tops.  So far, I have felt tired and weak at moments, but the nausea medicine seems to be working!

This week I am kind of laying low.  I will work Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.  Friday I will need my blood count taken since I will have surgery the following Monday for the port.  They need to make sure my levels are up enough.  Then after the quick blood draw, we will head to Northwestern to meet with a Surgeon there for a 2nd opinion.  The following week will be kind of goofy, Port on Monday, 2nd opinion with the Oncologist on Wednesday and Chemo on Friday.

My family is traveling in this week.  Mom and Dad are here.  Jess and her boys and Whitney were already planning on spending the week up here as my Grandma Freeland turned 90 on June 15th and her birthday party is next Saturday.  So they had already planned to be up here to spend some time with everyone before the party.  Now I will put them all to work.  So please pray for their safe arrival.  Whitney has decided she will stay with us the month of July and will help at least with Ryan a few days a week so that he stays healthy.  He is so susceptible to germs and I can't risk him bringing something home from daycare to me.  Plus the added worry of him running a fever.  So between her and my mother in law, they will take care of at least Ryan.  Justin, we will try to keep on a normal as possible schedule.  We have talked to him to tell him that mommy is sick, but that is the extent for now.  

Please continue to pray for all of us.  This journey is far from over, but it does feel good to have my answers and to have 1 treatment under my belt.  Thank you to all of you again!  We appreciate all the offers and we will take you up on stuff now that we have more of a schedule, so don't give up on us!  Prayers are always welcome and appreciated!

Love to all!



  1. I was so glad to hear that you got good news about the scan. Continued prayers for you and for all of your family.


  2. Hi Amber,
    I tried to locate an email address for you, but I can't find one. I'm not on FB any longer, but wanted you to know that I've been praying for you since I read your first blog (Shannon Ellis and my dad let me know about your blog). The last two nights I've had dreams that had you in them - reliving memories of our childhood. Crazy, right?!
    Anyway, all that to say, I'm so thankful to hear about your good scan report. It's such an answer to prayer. If anyone can navigate this with such grace and strength, it's you.
    You're in good hands, and I'm so thankful that you have such an amazing support group of family and friends.