News is News

Written Mar 14, 2013 12:56am

So I will settle for “what if” option 2.  My scan revealed that the cancer is still present.  It is not necessarily smaller, but is not progressing.  It is in the lining of my diaphragm.  It is a persistent booger, and so I will remain patient as I continue chemotherapy.  At this time, I am scheduled to receive one treatment in March, April, and May.  Then I will take 6 weeks off, and repeat another scan.  I pray that the treatment will eventually kill these microscopic cancer cells.  This is my hope.I must say that I was a little floored when I heard the news.  Was I wrong to believe that the cancer would be gone, and I would be given a reprieve from chemo?  Was this some crazy dream that I had that was never really a possibility?  Not necessarily.  Yet, my doctor reminded me (and perhaps I heard him more clearly this time), that recurrent ovarian cancer is very tough to get rid of.  It may be that it will never entirely go away…but that with chemotherapy, I can continue to live with “quality of life.”  This is true.  I am very much alive, and enjoying most days with great gratitude.  I am so happy to be able to participate actively in most moments/events.  No, I do not have great strength and stamina.  Particularly after each treatment, I am knocked down a notch.  But, thanks to all of you, I have the support I need to handle my self care and the care of my family.  I can truly appreciate the old adage “it takes a village.”Since Friday, I have been a little down.  I have been “sitting” with the result of my scan.  It has taken a while to settle in.  I have been through the different stages of disbelief, denial, avoidance, anger, remorse, despondence.  Ok, I cannot remember the exact names/ order of the stages of acceptance :) .  Anyway…it has been a long week.  I will receive chemo this Friday.  Again, I have asked for assistance to get through the week.  Gordon will be out of town on business.  Although I still have trouble asking for help, I know from experience that I cannot do this alone.The fun news is how great the past month has been.  We had a great Valentine celebration.  Gordon and I went on a “fancy” date to a nice restaurant and movie.  We celebrated Emma Kate’s birthday.  It was a blast!  Simple and FUN.  This week has been spring break and it has really kept me in the moment.  We stayed in town; Jack had a baseball game four days this week.  We have mostly played in the yard and stayed in our pajamas as much as possible.  The weather has been decent.  Good family time with the children…but we sure do miss daddy!!!!!  I will be so glad when we can all live in the same city!

So I will close with this brief verse, Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

I pray for you as you pray for me.  I love you guys so much.

Peri

Nesting in Assurance

As I near time to receive another chemo treatment, I begin to prepare….completing tasks, cleaning, organizing, planning.  I guess it is my nesting impulse knowing that I will soon be down for the count. As the day for treatment nears, I feel a certain angst, yet not really knowing why.  And then it hits, and I fully remember.  It is as if I block out the memory of the side effects; and as they return…I tolerate them as an unwelcome visitor.  Each time is different and also very much the same.  Even with my best efforts, I cannot prepare for everything.  This time Gordon was out of town on business.  If it weren’t for the combined efforts of Grandy, Gran, Velma, Sally, and Debbie, I would have surely struggled to survive.  To top it off, we had a house showing on Saturday.  I barely remember the “event.”  And no…no offer yet :( .  Gordon did come home Sunday, poor thing, because I was barely conscious for his entire “one day” in town.  Wow, it is Wednesday, and I just now feel lucid enough to relay my thoughts.

On Friday, Feb 8, I met with the doctor.  He reported that my blood work was good, and I would receive my scheduled treatment.  He stated that I was due another echo cardiogram (because my chemo drug may result in serious side effects to the heart) for monitoring purposes.  This is scheduled for March 4.  Then on March 8, I have another CT scan and meet with the doctor to review the results.  1) If there is no evidence of the tumor, I will be released for three months. 2) If the tumor is still present, but still shrinking, I will continue with the same chemo regimen.  3) If the tumor has not decreased, or is larger…another chemo treatment will be prescribed.  What if, what if, what if….I think I will choose “if” option 1.  As so often stated, I am “done.”

So where is God in the picture?  I have not mentioned my God or my faith lately.  I talk to God often as I lay wakeful.  I ask that He show me the way.  I am still inspired to be of service and to follow a path of good will.  Sometimes my path is blurred by my own self absorption and fears.  But, at night, when all is quiet (well not always because I have three children who cannot sleep through the night!!!)….I find God once more and am reminded of how rich and full my worldly life is.  I choose not to be cynical, mistrusting and defeated, for what good would that do.  The alternative better serves this world and my God, for in my time here, I would love to have made a positive difference.

This journey with cancer is physical, mental and emotional.  I try not to let it consume me but it surely shapes who I am.  I also feel that it has shaped those in my life.  My friends, family, and acquaintances who have come forward to rake leaves, play with my children, send a card/text/call, drive me somewhere, bring a dinner, flowers, gifts for the children, buy fundraising items, pray, pray and pray some more.  We are all connected, and this is why I believe in God, and why my life means so much to me.

Thank you to everyone who shares this journey with me.

Love, love, love hugs and kisses for a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Getting Closer

Happy New Year!!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, enjoying time with friends and family.  I know that I sure did.  It was a true blessing to be feeling well, and to have Gordon home for such an extended period of time.  I miss him so when he is away.

We had the pleasure of visiting with my mom, and my brother Bill and his family, Cecilia, Emily and Juliet.  This was great, for in my opinion we do not see enough of each other.  We were all able to get together at the “Thomas” house for Christmas day, and Saralene blessed us with her holiday feast.  We were showered with gifts and the blessing of home.  It is a warm and cozy place to be.  Over the holidays our friend, Jamie Rouse stopped by with his beautiful children Allie and Thomas, and all played with cars, jumped on the trampoline, ate lunch…..good kid times.  And finally, the Lehfeldts stopped in and spent the night before the girls’, Hannah Beth and Grace, swim meet.  Johanna brought yummy soup and salad for dinner, and Conrad washed the dishes.  What a treat to visit, laugh and reminisce with great friends – and be “waited on.”

Well, I must share the good news.  I had a CT scan yesterday and it revealed that the treatments are working..and that the cancer is shrinking.  Dr. Tillmanns reports that he is pleased with my progress.  I also had a treatment yesterday, and I will have just one more and repeat a scan.  If fortunate enough to receive a “ned status”…I will be released from treatment and return to monitoring….thus a scan in three months.  YYYYEEEEAAAAAAA!  This is such good news to me.  I can’t wait to be free from the burden of this medicine.  I am very grateful that it works, and I would prefer NOT to have to take it anymore :) .

Kisses and hugs to everyone who is with me through this trial.  It is tough sometimes and I could not do it alone.  Let me know about your holidays and what’s new with you.

Overflowing with gratitude….

Peri

Smiling!

Ok, I am slowly emerging from my drugged state.  I don’t usually respond globally to your guest entries…but I must.  They help me SO much.   Your messages have me smiling…AND LAUGHING!!  Thanks for the funnies from Patty and Donna B.  Also Jawanda, I caught the video of Rachel Mast, and remarkably I am reminded of the gifts of persons with Down Syndrome.  You are helping me and don’t even know it :) !  Too bad you can’t come decorate my house haha.

I love you all.  Keep writing, calling, visiting, mailing, etc.  It really does help keep my head afloat.

I love you all.

Peri

Chemo is black and dark

‘Tis Tuesday, and I have weathered another chemo treatment.  I have some residual nausea, but am coming out of the deep dark hole.  I look forward to the weeks ahead as my health and energy continues to improve.  We will spend Thanksgiving in Knoxville this year with Gordon’s “side” of the family…a nice treat to be together as a family for an extended length of time.

We have had no house showings since the last.  I am patient.

Halloween was fun.  I included a few pics.  Jack helped me take the little ones door to door (thank goodness), for surely I would have lost someone without him.  He is a great support to me.

I have been very nostalgic lately….maybe because it is “the season,” or maybe I have more time and more things to think about.  Anyway, I remember when my father was ill with cancer.  When undergoing treatment, he stayed in the bed most of the time unless made to get up.  He spoke of fatigue, and the taste of metal in his mouth.  He reflected on how busy everyone was, and that folks did not stop to talk, reflect, remember, and make memories.  At the time, I was working full time-as was Gordon, with two small children.  We were “busy” not only with self care, child care, but also the care of my dad.

I do not like feeling sick and tired, and yet feel blessed in a way.  I am given this time of reflection…this time when I start to feel better, and yet am too weak to move and act and do.  I dare not watch television…yikes!  But I watch and listen, to my family as they scramble about the house – doing.  I watch and pet my dogs and cat.  I hear and see with uncluttered keenness for I have no agenda…at least none that I can do at this time.  I treasure all that is around me and feel happy and peaceful.  Since I have had cancer, I do this more often.  I try to do nothing; mark things off my list.  I sit and watch and enjoy……, or actively participate in my children’s “nothingness.”  I call others and check in.  I too write notes or cards for “no reason.”  Get crazy!

I look forward to the holidays.  My dr. says that I have one more chemo, and then a scan.  If the tumors have shrunk, then we will continue with more treatments of the same chemo regimen.  If there is no change, or they have grown…I will be given another chemo to try.  So far, so good, for today.

Love to all.

Peri

October has been a busy month!

georgeemmkateWe began with World Communion Sunday and a joint service with Grace Korean Presbyterian Church.  It was really fun and eye opening to meet and worship with new and “different” people.  I love my church!

From there, it seemed like each weekend was choc-full-o activities.  There was Step Up for Down Syndrome, birthday parties, soccer games, Nacome church family camp, fall break, trip to Chattanooga….whew!  Fun, fast times for the Thomas gang.

My cancer-free outlook is still promising.  I am continuing to get the Avastin every three weeks.  My ongoing pain seems to be the result of mild neuropathy.  Oh well.  Such is life.  It is better than cancer.

I am scheduled for another scan November 18.  I will keep you posted.

Loving life.  God is good.

Take care everyone.  Peri

Checking In

ClaytonI have been meaning to check in sooner.  Having Clayton home for the week was a busy time.

George and EK (and Donna & Gordon) had a blast in Disney World!…a whirlwind of an adventure.  It was perfectly awesome, and all were glad to be home.

Clayton’s and my week included the overnight to Village Creek, riding the trolley, riding the carousel, having a play date with a school friend, getting a hair cut in a “salon!”, and going to Nacome church family camp.  I have included pictures.  (Sorry, no pictures yet from the Disney trip).

As for me, I am tired!!!  These weeks following chemo were very busy.  All three children took a turn getting sick, fall breaks, travel, etc.  Gratefully I have not been sick.  Go figure.  Yet in these busy times, sweet angels swept in to my rescue….bringing meals, sending cards, phoning me to lift my spirits, getting me out a bit.  Saralene even kept George for Nacome weekend.  Yes, having packed everything but the kitchen sink, I picked up the children ready to leave and George had a 103 temp – the second time he has been sick this month :( .  Gordon was out of town, and would be meeting us there.  George had to miss camp, but Grandy doted on him making it a “special” weekend.

My next chemo is scheduled for November 2 – so far, so good.

The best news is that we had a house showing today!  It has been weeks, and I was starting to become disheartened.

I ask for your prayers.  I pray that God lead our family and keep us mindful of His will.  I pray that we remain patient and courageous.  I pray that God protect us and shine His light upon us.  I pray that I maintain gratitude and humility, for the bountiful gifts we continue to receive.

I love each and everyone of you so much.  I pray that you have love and peace in your heart as you live your journey too.  I am glad that we are connected, and a part of one another.

Gratefully yours,

Peri

Break On Through to the Other Side

YAHOO!!!

I have made it through the worst of Treatment #2.  There was a slight “delay” in my side effects this time, and I was wishful in thinking that I would just bypass them.  No such luck.  It is strange to me that such quirky phenoms can occur specific to certain medications, and multiple people have the same side effects.  A weird voodoo this chemo is!

Today, Gordon, Emma Kate and George have left to join Aunt Donna for an adventure to the Magic Kingdom!!!  Aunt Donna is our beloved hostess with the mostest, a hands down winner for Aunt of the Year award (Sorry Missy and Cecelia).   Donna has taken all of her nieces and nephews on this magical journey, and now it is time for the next two in line. They are SO excited!!! (adults as well as kids).  They will have four days of a fun filled menagerie before returning to the homestead.  I can’t wait for the pics.

Clayton?  Well we have opted to delay his trip to Disney.  Give it a few years and maybe a solo trip will better serve “King” Clayton.  For his fall break, I have in store an array of “mini” adventures, to include sleeping in a cabin..one of Clayton’s all time favorites.  He will have fun too!

Thanks again to all of you for pulling me through with prayers, thoughts, cards, food, calls, visits, etc.  I could NOT do it without you!  I know I say it a lot, but I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH !!!!!  I continue to coast in a weakened condition trying to follow the routine of my “physical” reality versus my “mental” reality.  I greatly appreciate your showing up to lend a hand; it helps keep me from trying to do too much.

Some of  you have referenced my Bible verses that I have selected for my journal entries.  God is great.  God is awesome.  God is my everything.  So, I hope not to dishearten you by leading with a song title from The Doors….but this really is a trip.

Peace Out!

Peri

Quick Note

Hi friends.

I was able to get treatment today.  Yea! which means my blood counts were decent.  I will check in next week; this evening I am bathing in the calm before “the storm of feeling ill.”

…But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.          Psalm 131:2

I am loved and blessed.  I have family and friends who take good care of me.  I am so fortunate to be in this place and time.

Love to all and talk to you soon.

Peri

Hanging In, Hangin On

GeorgeTime passes by.  I continue to feel okay, and take it day by day.  I find myself sometimes living in surreal time.  It is strange to be in a kind of limbo…waiting for “something,” yet waiting for nothing.  There is no plan, no boundary.  I have cancer but to what degree?  to what end?  We do plan to move, but when? where?  The puzzle is not complete, yet there are pieces are on the table.

Therefore, I choose to live daily.  Some mornings I am on the top of the world, reveling in God’s light and beauty.  Each person I meet is a gift.  I easily follow a path of service and gratitude.  Other mornings, I feel lost and unable to put one foot in front of the other.  I pray, mindful of the fact that each day requires minimal “duties.”  I concentrate on the needs of my children, household, and try to do just the necessities.  These days are tough, but still, I am able to move through them.

Chemo is not knocking me down.  It does slow me and fatigue me, resulting in feeling burdened.  This is where I find my greatest strength…my friends and family.  So many of you have reached out to me and I am so lucky to have you.  A hug, a call, a text, a journal entry, a meal, a household chore…each small act reminding me that God is so good, and reminding me how truly blessed I am.

This weekend I took Taylor to Chattanooga to pick up some belongings left behind.  She and I had a wonderful time 1:1.  The drive was really pretty, and I so enjoy her company.  It was a long trip for two days, and this week I am tired.  Gordon left Monday morning and I miss him already.

Today, George turned 5.  WOW!!! As I said…Time passes by, much too quickly I might add.  And as said, I choose to live daily.  George is so cute!  It was a good day.  I took donuts to the school.  Grandy and Missy stopped by and brought gifts.  My friend Karen brought dinner and stayed to eat.  It was great food and great company.  She brought gifts and stayed to play Uno.  We had a blast and it really lifted my spirits.

I stay strong knowing that you are praying for me and holding me tight.

Several years ago, I prayed over Jodi Fryling when she left for Afghanistan.  I searched for the perfect scripture and this spoke to me then.  In my present circumstances, it still speaks to me now.

Habakkuk 3:18-19 
…yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength;  he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.  For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.Much love to you all!!!

Peri

**check out the pics!