Friday, September 28, 2012

Lucky #6

Oh what a day!  It was a wonderful day so when I say this I mean it!  It started at 2:45 am this morning....No, Ryan was not up, I was on a "roid rage"!  I woke up and could not go back to sleep!  It was quiet in our house too.  Whitney was away as she decided to go back to Asheville for the weekend for a much needed and deserved break to see friends and check on her apartment.  So Ryan was with Wendy yesterday (Nana Naughton) and she kept him overnight since she was going to watch him again today.  Our house was quiet since we don't have to worry about Justin roaming at night!  So I went to Whitney's room so I didn't disrupt Don and I played some games, did some brainstorming for work and of course caught up on Facebook which was quiet since everyone but my college buddy Sheila was awake.... probably for her commute to the city!

I worked until 12 and then Don picked me up and we headed to get something to eat and then chemo.  My blood work was drawn at 4 yesterday so I didn't have my results and as much as I want them, I try to block it out and not think about it.  They will call if something is funky, right?  So today I was happy to hear from my nurse that I am normal, followed by "Normal for you"!  My WBC was 2.9 which is still extremely low, but climbing for me.  My hemoglobin was at 8.  8 and above is in the safety zone!  There is still a chance that they could go down by next week instead of up, but that is not going to happen!  I have decided that my 1/2 way through chemo was today and it will go down as Lucky #6.  I think the key was I wore my beautiful diamond studs from Don and the boys.  These were a gift from them when I was newly diagnosed.  I decided if I wasn't going to have hair, I needed some "bling" even though I have never been into "bling".  So they were purchased and I was so afraid to put them in my ears.  I was afraid since I don't wear ear rings often and had to kind of re-poke my ears, that I could get an infection.  But today, I looked at them and put them in.  And I had good results so I think I will start to wear them more often.  Don probably was cussing every time he saw the box on our night stand too.  

This weekend we are a family of 4!  It is weird.  I am so used to having someone here.  I think it will be nice for us but Nana Naughton is on call for Sunday if we need a break.  I know we can handle it, but I do need my rest at times and Don does deserve a break too!  So wish us luck!  And Nana, keep that phone charged! 

Speaking of Whitney, I need to dedicate a blog just to her and plan to do so in the near future.  So many of you ask about her and think she is one special women for doing what she did for us.  She is and I will blog about her soon.  But there is just so much to say and it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about what she means to my children and to Don and I.  So that isn't going to happen tonight, but if I wake up at 2:45, you might see it:)  

Next weekend my other favorite sister Jessica is coming.  This was planned when I was on my old chemo plan and that was supposed to be my last chemo and it is her birthday so she was coming without her 3 kids and we were to celebrate.  We will still celebrate and we are doing so by eating what we want, hopefully enjoying a sisters day out (the 3 of us) and ending it on Sunday with the Making Strides Breast cancer walk at the Joliet Racetrack.  I have several people interested and signed up and that makes me feel so special.  I think it will be an eye opener for all to see how many people suffer from this nasty disease.  The link if you are interested in walking is attached.  It is the Joliet Racetrack location.  I would love to see as many people there, but just learning of it last weekend, I don't want you to feel obligated.  But anyone is invited and you can sign up on the site or the day of.  Or you can make a donation that all breast cancer fighters or survivors would greatly appreciate so we can put an end to this disease. If you do plan to sign up, please let me know though so we can plan to meet up and do our best to walk together.  Kids / strollers are welcome and you don't have to sign them up unless you want them to have a T-shirt.

Just this month I have learned of 2 special women that were diagnosed.  1 I know personally and the other was put into my life by a cousin of mine.  Both women are just as strong as me and will get through this as well!  I have no doubts.  I am trying to remember what all of you did for me when I was diagnosed and making sure that I am offering the best support I can.  Especially since I now know first hand.  I also said from the beginning, if I have to do this, I want to help others through this.  But this just breaks my heart.  It brings me back to that day, which was the worst day of my life and I don't think that is an exaggeration.  It knocked me to the ground and made me open my eyes to fears I didn't know existed for me and my family.  But it also gave me life, so as negative as it was, I think I started to try to live my life more and appreciate so much more!  Both of these women are full of life and I know they have fears, but I am praying so hard and will be the best supporter that I can.  So please add 2 new special fighters to your prayers!
Proud Mommy with her boys

Daddy and his boys
Happy Family

I will leave you with some pictures from our baptism last weekend for those of you not on Facebook.  Enjoy your weekend and stay tuned!

Love Amber

Saturday, September 22, 2012

5 Down-Quick Update

Well yesterday was a great easy day of Chemo at the Edwards Cancer Center.  My mom attended as my partner in crime and it was a nice day.  I had my blood work done on Thursday during lunch, but they never called with the results.  I decided not to panic that no news was good news!  When we arrived on Friday, I learned from my conservative nurse that my hemoglobin was a 7.9 (under 8 is considered transfusion) and my WBC was 2.2.  Both I was extremely happy with considering they are still rising.  Her not so much.  She does the typical cancer nurse thing....We have a call in to Dr. Hantel, but it looks like maybe treatment today and then a transfusion on Monday.  I have decided to try to let this go in one ear and out the other because Dr. Hantel always over-rides their decision and I tend to know trust him over the nurses.  I know they are only giving the black and white information and this is probably what they are trained to do, but I am more of a gray person these days and if Dr. Hantel says jump, I'm asking how high and I'm leaving the nurses behind!

Next the nurse asked for my symptoms from the week.  I informed her I had a cold and that while I get a runny nose every week, I felt this was an actual cold because I passed it to Ryan and Whitney.  She listened to me breath through my back and chest and then asked about temperature, which I reminded her I carry a thermometer and I do random checks and no temp.  She then calls in the Nurse Practitioner who listens as well.  The nurse practitioner says to me, sorry, but we still do chemo when you have a cold so if Dr. Hantel is okay with it, you will need treatment today.  I NEVER said I didn't want treatment today, but thanks for asking!  I didn't quite understand what my first nurse might have relayed to the Nurse practitioner.  All I was trying to do is make sure I listed that as a symptom so they knew, they haven't figured me out yet that I will do anything for my weekly drug fix.  

Finally Dr. Hantel called and to the nurses surprise, he still wanted to do treatment and even felt good with doing the Carbo platinum as well!  YAY!!  So off we went, pre-meds for the first hour, Taxol the next hour and Carbo the last 1/2 hour.  Remember, they lowered the dose on the Carbo.  Even though I have strong kidneys, Dr. Hantel feels that the higher dose was what caused my counts to fall so hard.  So hopefully the smaller dose will not cause lower levels and I will not be in the transfusion zone by next week.  I do know what to look for though and will have my levels checked on Thursday to be prepared for Friday.  Assuming all goes well this week, it should just be Taxol on Friday.

Next mom and I left and had a great lunch and did some shopping.  Quality time together was wonderful.  Dad and Whitney took the boys for a special play date since there was no afternoon Kindergarten yesterday.  Justin had a blast and Ryan did a good job taking everything in.  Don worked.  We were all home around dinner time and I was in bed by 8:00, but up early due to the steroids.  I love steroid residual because I can cram in some house or work stuff before the house wakes up.  But I do wish I could sleep.  I will want to sleep later today (and will) and will want to sleep in tomorrow when we have to be at church at 8 for Ryan's special day!  Oh well, there is always time for naps, especially with all my extra hands this weekend.  

Well, I will try to update tomorrow with pictures of Ryan's special day!  Hope all goes well and he doesn't decide to try to jump in the holy water!  He is one strong boy!  I do not doubt he will behave like an angel though!

Lots of Love!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

4 Down - Prayers are working!

4 down- 8 to go!  Man I am squeaking by with my counts!  The song of the week is "I get knocked Down, But I Get Up Again" by Chumbawamba- No I did not download this on the IPod and if I did, I won't be admitting it to anyone!  Don and I have decided switching to the blood work on Thursdays while they are saving me time on Friday treatment days, they come with a lot of extra anxiety and news that I have a hard time swallowing with more time to think about it.  This Thursday I went again at lunch time to have my labs for Friday drawn.  Friday was supposed to be Taxol and Carbo so they draw the usual WBC count, hemoglobin, platelets, liver, and the added kidney function test so they can measure how much Carbo my little body can take. 

As much as I again felt wonderful, I still had a feeling I was a little low on the WBC arena.  I had my usual runny nose and when I woke up Wednesday and Thursday my throat was itchy and Thursday, my voice was missing until I got it warmed up at work that morning.  I decided dressing up nicer was key and that maybe switching up my routine a little would bring up those levels.  Don't tell me you have never done don't want to follow the same routine as previous because you think it will give you a different outcome!  WRONG!  I left blood work and get the call from the nurse.  Your levels are still below chemo levels.  My hemoglobin went from a 6-7 (transfusions needed anywhere below 8) my WBC was at a 1.8 (last week 1.3, 0 means no immunity protection)   Oh and my platelets were low.  I didn't ask for this level because at this point I was on the floor in a ball again (not really) but I couldn't take it, plus I didn't know my last weeks levels, only that they were low, so I had nothing to compare it to.  The nurse told me she had already talked to Dr. Hantel and he was going to use the evening to come up with a plan for me.  She explained chemo did not look good on Friday and to come in definitely for another blood transfusion and platelets.

This time, I was more angry than sad and scared.  Angry that I just felt too good to deal with this.  Angry that my body will not re-coop like it should, it has been 3 full weeks since Carbo. Why is my body refusing to come back to normal? I returned to work and made it through the afternoon and decided I needed to give Dr. Hantel some time to come up with a plan.  Hopefully his plan would match what I want.  At least hit me with Taxol.  Don't delay both treatments.  I come home very anxious and nervous the Thursdays that I plan to meet with Dr. Hantel on the Friday anyways.  What is going to tell me, what if he thinks the tumor is bigger, what if he thinks it has spread, just an entire process that I have to end up taking extra Ativan to sleep and I usually cry in my prayers until I eventually fall asleep:  Please  take away the bad.  Just give me good news, I am so down, stop kicking me while I'm down God.  I need to be here for me, my children, husband and family.  Don't you see what a great person I am here on Earth, why are you challenging me.  Just a few thoughts, then I usually try to not make it so personal, but it all boils down to it is.  I have a stronger faith because of this, but I struggle so much. 

Let's face it, life was wonderful up until June 21, 2012.  We had our 2 children, we were making our next life changing decision to possibly relocate our family to Atlanta, this involved picking out the home of our dreams, day dreaming about waking up to warmer weather daily, will we get a pool?  Where are the best schools and day cares.  Our kids are the perfect age to make this change and Don and I are at the right place in our careers to make a decision like this.   We would be closer to my parents and Whitney, my in-laws are retired, they could come visit anytime they wanted and this would include them getting out of the colder weather too anytime they want!  Life is great!  Our biggest concern was can we leave our family and friends here?  Will they come visit? Will we really be able to go through with it?  Is it the right decision for us.  But we were well on our way and in the big scheme of things, we still had time for this decision-days and months and even a year.  We didn't have to face this decision daily, we were enjoying life!  Come June 21, 2012, our life has turned into a whirlwind of appointments that are mandatory, news that is never positive even when it is.  All long term future plans shattered and put on hold because getting through a day is the hardest thing you have EVER encountered.  How do you think a week ahead when you have to live for today? Don and I don't live life that way, we like to have a set plan. So this makes it very difficult for both of us.  We are so unclear on our future.  The motto minute by minute, day by day again comes into play here, but no one likes to do this day in and day out.  We just need that sign that everything is going to turn out okay and like everyone likes to say, this is just a bump in the road.  But waking up to the daily reminder that this is for real and this is our main focus is constant: no hair, the medicine, the bills, the tumor that is still felt daily, all are constant reminders that we have to live for today and put our bright future on hold until we can get through this.  So difficult!

Ah, anyways, back to the good news!  So yesterday I wake up and spent some quality time with the boys.  My appointment was scheduled for 10:30.  I'm trying to teach Ryan to clap and do "So Big".  The clapping he masters usually 10 minutes after I work with him and the so big, he does it, but I really don't think he gets what he is doing, but he does raise his hands and smile.  We leave for Dr. Hantel and drop Justin off at day care so he can have lunch and catch the bus for Kindergarten.  We tell him either Whitney or us would pick him up early today after Kindergarten.  He loves this on Friday's and really loves it when Don and I take or pick him up together.  So next step is Dr. Hantel.  He comes in and says to me "How is the boob".  I have to admit from day 1 he was so dry, I get his job is difficult, but I was used to going to the Dr. for good news for having a baby so to go from a smiley Dr. asking about my pregnancy to going to COMPLETE seriousness was so hard.  So my main focus from appointment 3 or so was to lighten up these appointments so I could handle it.  He quickly learned I am on a need to know basis.  I don't want all the gory details.  Tell me what I need to know to fight this tumor out of me.  So to hear this, I had to tell him, a point for you!  I think he likes it when I smile too.  He really has figured me out in the short (feels long) period of time I have met him.  Next he asked my opinion on the tumor.  Notice I do not really address this until I meet with him.  I have a strong opinion, but am afraid to say it because I am scared he won't agree and we will have another back set.  So to share what I shared with him, it is still there, I feel it daily, but my opinion is instead of it feeling like a hard rock, it feels like a sponge.  He takes a peak and strongly agrees and feels that it has significantly shrunk since we started treatment in June.  So much so that he felt it was 50% smaller than where we were that ugly day in June.  He felt for my lymph node and agreed that has disappeared completely.  IT IS WORKING, the drugs and the prayers are working!!!  

Next we go over my levels and he explains while they are low, they are still low due to the Carbo.  He reminds us that they hit me with a pretty strong dose of Carbo on week 1 because of my great kidneys.  So the plan, give my body 1 more week to re-coop on its own.  Yesterday we did just Taxol, no intervention with platelets or blood like the nurses originally warned me about.  I have decided the nurses are more Conservative and Dr. Hantel is more aggressive.  I trust both opinions but like the way Dr. Hantel will always think aggressively for me.  Even though it is scary at times and I get curious if this is the right thing, he has not let me down yet!  Next week I will get Taxol and a smaller dose of Carbo.  This will allow for future my levels to hopefully bounce back quicker so we don't have any other transfusions or delays.  After we see what happens with both drugs next week, assuming the plan will work, I should not be delayed with the end of treatment (set for November 9th) What it could mean is that the surgery might be delayed a week or 2 later just to allow for my levels to get to where they need for surgery, but all in all, we are not delayed by too much right now, he was very happy with the results and so was I.  

We started Taxol right away since my blood work was complete.  I was out of there by 2:45!  We left there and were able to pick up Justin and take him for ice cream.  We got him home and I realized at that point, the ice cream was maybe not the best....HYPER Justin came out. We drove to the park, his idea not mine, I think I could have made the walk since I was walking on clouds, but he wanted to drive so we did.  I was able to run some energy out of him and we came back to a nice evening spent as a family.  THANK YOU GOD!!

We are going to enjoy this weekend.  This is a huge gain for us.  We are well on our way.  This is what I have to keep in mind when I get kicked back, with all set backs, there has to be a gain!  There is no other choice!  Don is taking Justin to both races today and tomorrow for NASCAR.  I will go to his soccer game this morning hopefully during Ryan's morning nap and then Whitney Ryan and I have plans to do a little shopping.  Food, clothes, car seats, etc.  Let's hope we can squeeze it all in.  Who knows, if we do we do, if we don't we don't!  Then home to relax the rest of today and tomorrow so I can prepare for a great week!  My parents get in on Thursday, so mom gets to be my chemo partner on Friday.  Next Sunday Ryan is being baptized (finally) so I need my levels to rise so it is a good week for me and for all of us!!

Your prayers are working so keep them coming.  I love all of you! And I thank you for following us on this journey and always knowing when and where we need the prayers and support.



P.S. I have tried to download a video that Whitney captured of Ryan clapping after she shared with him my good news, for some reason it won't play.  So disregard, I can't figure out how to delete it and the big kids are still asleep and the little ones are yelling for breakfast, so disregard, but if you know what I need to do, you can share with me and then enjoy a super sweet video that brought me to tears yesterday at chemo when Aunt Whitney sent it.  Enjoy the one that looks to me like Ryan is praying and the one where Justin is giving me a huge #1 for my good news!  

Friday, September 7, 2012

3 Down-Barely

Okay, I am in need of more prayers I think!  In a little bit of a pickle, but not anything this women won't get herself out of!  Started out yesterday, I went over lunch, dressed in my wig, in dress clothes and make up.  I have my blood drawn and I make a deal with the nurse that the only way I want a call (yesterday)  is if my hemoglobin was higher....I was already counting on a transfusion, so I didn't want to know anything more, unless I needed to know I didn't need one.  I felt good, not great, but I was okay with going either direction today.  The nurse and I joked.  I said watch, I'll be like a 4 (remember I was a 8.9 and anything under an 8 is transfusion time) and she said, No, you would know it if you were.  She agreed I looked too good to be that low.  Even a few of the regular nurses and desk staff didn't recognize me.  This is because again, I was dressed in work clothes, had my wig on and more make up.  When I go to the cancer center, I'm not impressing anyone.  Yoga pants, sweat shirt, turban head wrap and maybe if they are lucky, I throw on some eye liner.  This is just so I don't scare EVERYONE and the hope that I can get some brownie points with Dr. Hantel...Again, I know I can't flirt away my illness, but if it makes me feel better, LET ME BE!!

So I get back to work and the phone rings, the nurse begins to question if I have checked my temperature, have I fainted, bled, etc.  This can't be good!  She tells me my WBC is 1.3 (0 is no protection at all) and my hemoglobin is a 6 (healthy people are 12, chemo around 10).  WHAT!?  I immediately checked my temp (yes, I carry a thermometer, anti-nausea meds, Ativan, Tylenol, wipes, pacifier, sometimes a McDonalds toy, a NASCAR and a wallet and check book in my hand me down Coach purse) and no temp.  The nurse tells me that she has not talked to Dr. Hantel, but this will probably mean no chemo on Friday.  That it would only consist of a transfusion.  I'm not going to sugar coat my emotions, I melted!  I closed my door for the first time in months in my office and just cried!  I questioned everything.  What am I doing getting out each day exposing myself to germs? What if Justin brings me home something from Kindergarten or day care?  Why am exhausting all of my energy at work? Is this because I have not gone to see Liz lately?  Do I need to control my diet more than I have been? But mostly, Why in the hell do I NOT feel like I'm sick with levels in the garbage can like they are???  I can not say my age is getting me out of this one.  My levels are not controlled by my young vibrant age of 33  my blood counts are out of my control and that is damn scary.  

I next went to my wonderful boss Brian and told him I needed to leave.  This was hard for me, I have realized through this, everyone has an outlet with cancer.  Mine has been work.  Call me crazy!? Right?  This is the place that I can escape to and not think of my illness.  I can honestly say I spend 8 + hours there on a good day and the word cancer comes to my head maybe 1-2 times.  I work really hard while I'm there to block out the bad.

To some, they might think this is selfish or backwards and that I should be spending my time with my family and working on healing.  Don't get me wrong, I am doing all of this, but I noticed when I was home for the almost 2 weeks after being diagnosed, I was making myself crazy with the "what ifs" and looking online to learn about my horrible, aggressive form of breast cancer.  When I returned to work, I started to come back together. Not every day is a good day, but I was able to get into "work mode" and that is when I knew being there was my outlet.  Some may run, eat more or go on vacation, I go to work.  Who cares? Plus, lets face it, Justin is an active 5 year old.  He has A LOT of energy and mommy doesn't.  It hurts to not have the energy to play soccer, or even play a game or get him his nightly ice cream fix.  And Ryan, aka sumo wrestler is ACTIVE.  He is getting so big and is heavy for me to cart around. I have realized that quality over quantity is key with them.  And they are getting quality mommy time.   Plus, I do not want either one of them to have the memory of this illness.  So sometimes I feel like it is easier to distance myself from them.  

It is so frustrating not having all of my answers of if I am doing the right thing here, but I have to trust what I'm currently doing is working.  Yesterday I stepped back and I think I am.   I have to trust I am doing the right thing and will know if I need to slow down.  So that is what I have chosen to do with all of this.  Just continue marching forward and following my "minute by minute day by day". cancer (notice no cap for the "c", a cancer survivor taught me this) is somewhat of a mind game I have learned this short time. I can have bad days and get angry, but only I can control my fight.  I get the chemo is doing the majority of the work, but I can't give up and I have to constantly keep going. Working 8 hours a day and escaping my bad dream works.  My thought is maybe the stupid tumor is getting jealous of me not giving it attention and it will decide to leave.  Again, this is my theory and no one Else's.  Also remember my mind goes a million miles a minute and later tomorrow I may have changed my mind!  But this is as close as the way I feel I think and wanted to share. 

Today I had my "chemo fix" at 8:30 and they reminded me it will be a long day.  We started the Taxol, only after they paged Dr. Hantel one more time to confirm he wants to move forward because they realize my Platelets are below chemo levels too.  This would explain the pin size bruises I have all over my legs from sitting on the floor with Ryan while he gets so excited to see me that he kicks his whole bottom half of his body off of the floor and gets my legs every time.  I haven't learned to back up so I do not become a purple mess.  But Dr. Hantel still agrees with me that we push forward.  So Taxol until around 11:30 and then we moved on to 2 units (bags) of blood.  Each takes 2 hours.  It was weird to see a bag o blood on my IV pole, but I have to admit, I feel better and it was cake.  I hope never to have to walk someone through this, but now I can.  The nurse that saw me yesterday came in and shared her true feelings.  She said wow, when I saw you yesterday I thought for sure your levels were high, but seeing you this morning, there is no doubt you need this.  THANK YOU MISS WONDERFUL!  But as the day has gone on, I have perked up more, even Don said he didn't realize how pale I was coming in here this morning.  So I guess this is what I needed.

I still need the prayers that my WBC will rise and that I can stay healthy.  I have almost nothing to fight off infection right now.  So please pray for me.  Unfortunately the transfusion will not help that count.  This experience has reminded me how dangerous and scary all of this is, but I am doing my best to stand up and fight off the fears and just continuing the fight! And after watching the Stand Up To cancer, I think I am back to where I need to be.   I need help though and prayer is what everyone can do for me.  THANK YOU as always, and keep them coming!

I sure hope between the steroids and the super hero blood I received today, I will have a great weekend with my kids and family.  But I have to listen to my body and stay away from germs to get back physically where I need to be.  Mentally I'm almost there again.  Just pray!

Have a wonderful weekend and Love to all!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day

Happy Labor Day,

Thank God for a day off, right?  I'm sure I'm not the only one who needed this extra day!  We had a wonderful weekend at the lake again.  The weather was perfect and it was a good end to summer!  We headed up Friday evening after Chemo and came home this morning.  Justin played with friends in the water and sand and Ryan just hung out and was an awesome baby like usual.  I was able to get a nap in on Saturday and go to bed early both Saturday and Sunday night.  We all usually sleep better up there, probably due to the abundance of fresh air, but I really slept good this time around....Without the assistance of my Ativan.  This is a first since June!

Chemo was somewhat uneventful on Friday.  They ran my blood work and discovered my Hemoglobin is a little low.  It was not low enough on Friday to require a transfusion, but they know it is coasting in that direction so we are prepared for a blood transfusion this Friday:(  I'm nervous and scared.  I know people donate all the time for exactly this purpose, which makes me feel great, but it is just another scary first for me that I really never thought I would ever have to go through!  Other than that, the chemo itself was uneventful.  The drugs took another 2 hours and the blood work about a 1/2 hour.  I always quiz my nurse to see from start to finish what time we are looking at being done.  I just can not relax and I think this helps to get me through, but then when it takes longer or we get held up, I get a little annoyed.  Just once, they should give me a completion time a little longer out so they aren't on my bad side when I leave there!

I have already prepared for this Friday.  I guess with a transfusion they do the chemo first (2 1/2 hours) and then the transfusion (4 hours!)  YIKES!  I am in for a long day on Friday!!   To speed this up, even if it is just a 1/2 hour going forward, I will start to do my blood work the day before.  The cancer center is by my work, so I can get there over lunch to give blood if that means the following day I don't have to sit for a 1/2 hour to an hour waiting for my blood results.  The problem is, they can't start anything until they get my blood results back, so it is literally just sitting around waiting.  I don't have time for this and if it means less time there, I am willing to do this!

I'm feeling pretty good, I am wiped out, but this fatigue is a little different than what I experienced with the first set of drugs.  I actually feel worse when I just wake up in the morning or from a nap and then gradually feel better.  They did warn me about "under-doing it", which I do not think I even come close to this with 2 kids and a full time job, but they did say that sometimes you feel worse if you nap, but I need my naps!  And again, I think their idea of under doing it has to be a lot less than what I manage to fit in during a given day. Tomorrow will be the test when I return to work.  If I feel better without squeezing in a nap, I guess I will admit that I "under did it" this weekend!  Other than that, I still have an appetite, I can taste, my fingers and toes have not become numb and I have not had any return of heart burn.  These are all the nasty side effects of this drug and so far, I have not experienced any besides 1-2 days of heart burn.  So I have a lot to be thankful for!

Please keep up the prayers this week!  I would love it if my Hemoglobin bounced back, but I do not think that will happen being hit with chemo weekly and I have come to terms with it.  Just pray the drug is working and doing what it needs to and that my little body can keep up!  And of course for my family!  They are my rock!