Archive for April, 2009

Update 4/30/09

April 30, 2009

For those of you not on my update list, here is the latest health update.

April 30, 2009
Hello Family and Friends–

Wow! Has it really been a month since we last updated everyone?  I guess that’s because I’ve been feeling good!  I went this morning to see Dr Boyd (my medical oncologist).  Jerel and I felt really good after talking with him.  He thinks that I’m handling the chemo and effects really well.  He sees improvement (about 2/3 of the redness is gone…which is good).  We really don’t have a good measuring tool yet—he will do a tumor marker test in a few weeks ( to compare to last month’s number)–and also a scan at the end of 6 treatments.  But it’s a little hard to tell exactly how I’m responding ( last year, he actually got out a measuring tape and measured the tumor….but this year , there’s no tumor mass to measure).  So, that is good and bad–I like to see results!!   But Jerel and I are both constantly learning that we have to patient and “wait on the Lord”– and having to be ok with NOT being in control.

I was supposed to receive my “big day”of chemo today after meeting with Dr. Boyd.  (I say big day because once a month, I get all 3 drugs).  So, I got settled in my “favorite chair”–it’s the corner recliner that so far this time, I’ve gotten all 4 times.  (you have to look for positives anywhere!)—but when they took my blood -like they do everytime….my white blood cell count was too low to receive the chemo today.  My hemoglobin is also low (and has been, but it’s not lower than last time).  Anyway, Dr. Boyd wants to delay the treatment for one week. So, hopefully next Thursday, my white count will be up and I can get the chemo.  We were a little disappointed, because in a weird way, getting the chemo in the body is a peace of mind thing– but Dr. Boyd said that because the count is really low–it means my body is still processing the treatments I’ve had–so it’s still at work!

So, now I’ve got another week to hopefully build my count up–there’s nothing I can do about it.  I asked about resting…eating better….maybe even some shopping (no, i didn’t really ask that)—but it just needs to bounce back on its own.  There is a shot I can get (if I continue to have trouble) that will help with the counts.  I just need to stay away from crowds, keep my hands clean and pray! 

Please continue to pray for us.  So many of you have us on your church prayer list, and we are so thankful and appreciate every single prayer lifted up.  My sister-in-law (and her friends) got together and gave me a devotion book (among other awesome gifts!!)–it’s called “Streams in the Desert”–my mom has a 70 year old edition and has always talked about it.  The version I have is a newer edition–but it has been SO great…I hope to share some things from it in my next update.  But it has been very helpful in this physical, emotional and mental battle.

Love to you all–especially a happy birthday to my sister, Dana–
Susan

We’re Back!

April 10, 2009

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We are back from Orlando!  We left Friday and came home on Wednesday.  We had a wonderful time… we went to Sea World and Magic Kingdom.  The kids loved every minute…and so did Jerel and I!

I’ll post more pictures and details later.  🙂

Basketball, Chemo, Disney…

April 3, 2009

Well, I started chemo again this week.  It’s weird, my first day of chemo last year was April 2, and this year it was April 1.  Next April–I hope I’m doing something else!!  The medicines I’m on this time around are supposed to be easier on me than last year’s.  So far, I feel better than I did last year. It’s weird how these drugs can kick in–but we’re hoping that I do well.  One good thing is that I am only on one anti-nausea drug for 2 days afterwards.  Last year, I was on 3 anti-nausea drugs and steroids for 5 days, and I felt terrible! I will go back next week on Thursday.   Now, on to more fun things…

If you have been around me the past few years, you know that I’ve wanted to take my kids to Disney World for a long time.  I was always just waiting to have enough money (do you ever?)— well, for the past year and a half, I’ve saved some money from my part time job (monogramming items for my neighbor’s business)–and Jerel has saved some and we have some money kicked in from family.  (Does it take a village to afford Disney World? YES!)  My mom and dad gave us Marriott points for our hotel, so we planned a trip for Spring Break. Ironically, we planned it for April knowing I would be done with all my treatments. Little did we know that I would begin chemo the week of our trip!  But we are not letting that get us down!  I can be very stubborn when I want to be –so we headed out today (Friday) and we’re driving half way.  Then, Saturday we’re arriving in Orlando.  Because we’re not sure how I will be feeling,we’ve made a few adjustments to our trip…instead of doing 5-day pass, we are going to parks 2 days and then hang out at the hotel or explore more “laid-back”things (like riding the monorail) on the other days. Our kids are super-excited. We will take LOTS of pictures–so look for post about Disney World sometime after Easter.

While we’re gone, UNC will win the National Championship. Ha ha, I know I probably just jinxed us. (Is jinxed really a word?)—Jerel and I will definitely find a good TV to watch the games on.  Our kids are really loving Carolina Basketball right now. Here is a picture of what they wore to church on the day Carolina played beat Duke back in March.   It was probably a little obnoxious, but really fun!  I’m glad we have a church that we can come as we are!!

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 Bailey (9), Christopher (7) and Luke (4) were so proud that day!  And that was before we even beat Duke!

I came in the house a couple of weeks ago and saw Jerel with the kids lined up on the couch.  He was showing them something and I realized that he was giving them their first lesson in “Bracketology”– so I grabbed my camera.  He was attempting to explain the NCAA Tournament to them.  They all were interested (Luke was faking interest I’m sure)–but Bailey and Christopher thought it was all very cool. Christopher even asked us to print out a bracket for him and he filled his in.  Not sure what his criteria was for choosing a winner–but he has UNC and UConn in the finals!  Here a couple of pictures to enjoy.  GO HEELS!!  

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Update 4/1/09

April 1, 2009

Hello! This is what Jerel sent out last night.  I will write more later on here…but wanted to get this out quick. 

March 31, 2009

Hello Friends and Family–

We met with Susan’s medical oncologist, Dr. Boyd, today to get his assessment of her and his recommended course of action over the upcoming weeks and months.  The headline here is that Susan is going to start chemotherapy TOMORROW, Apr 1 (boy, do we wish this was an April Fool’s joke…).  We knew that she would likely be doing chemo next, but we didn’t realize that meant tomorrow.  A few things got our doctor to this point: 1) discussing Susan’s case again last Friday at the Breast Cancer Forum with a dozen or so other surgeons, oncologists, and other specialists; 2) knowing that the pathology of the margins of the last area removed were not totally clear; and 3) seeing a very recent increased soreness and redness in the breast, caused him to want to waste no time getting her on this next regimen of chemo drugs.

One cycle of chemo will consist of 3 weeks in a row (one day each of those weeks) of treatment, followed by one week off.  For sure she will have 4 of those cycles, and possibly 6, or more.  There are a few tests along the way that will tell us if things are working as they should.  We will keep you posted along the way as we get more info.

Please continue to pray for Susan and her healing, as well as for her peace in the middle of this trial.  We know God is in control, but the truth is we really wish He would do this one a little differently.  But we also know that we don’t get to choose the road we walk down, just how we walk it.  So we are asking for prayers for boldness, courage, and peace in the middle of this.

Thanks for how you support and love Susan and our family!  None of us could do this without you.

Much love,

Jerel Law