TGIF!! Last day of treatment. The nurse is getting ready to hang the last bag of chemo that will run for 24 hours, ending Saturday afternoon, then I am out of here for the time being! Of course the Comfort Inn is not a 4 star motel but it is clean. I hoping they will let me go home after a week. I can always be monitored at Gibson Cancer Center until I get stronger.
Well I fell asleep before I finished this. The fatigue is slowly sinking in but that is expected. I didn’t get to do my exercise today so that explains some of the fatigue. I most keep moving! It is one day at time now. We wait to see if this treatment was a success or back to the drawing board! God is on my side and I most trust and be patient. I will write more later. I am going back to sleep and have pleasant dreams. God be the Glory. It is only His grace that I am sustained and blessed! Pray for those that don’t know this because they need to know what He is capable of just because He loves us! We never know what He has planned for our lives but I would rather go with His plan than man’s plan! Good night until next time! XXXOO

One more day of this poison!

Today, Thursday, was much like yesterday. No new side effects yet. Steroid is still being awful but they give me things to counteract it. I had my first full night of sleep with a little help from my friendly klonopin. Unfortunately, the aide came busting at 7am screaming that she had to get my vital signs! As I startled, I wanted to instantly slap her! But I know she could have used her inside voice and I wouldn’t of nearly wet myself! Lol One more day and I am out of here on Saturday! I will go back to the hotel and go back to clinic everyday for supportive care since chemo will have set in and doing it’s thing by next week. My eldest, Aaron will come in Sunday to relieve his Dad on Monday. I haven’t seen him in a year. He will stay with me until I can come home. I won’t know when we will go to transplant until we know if the treatment was successful. I can’t believe it is not working with all 4 different types of chemo flowing thru my veins! Yes hair will fall out for the
up-teenth million time! No more bad hair days for awhile! Who needs it anyway!:) Thanks for
all the prayers and supportive love you all have sent me! It makes this journey a whole lot
tolerable! Well I am waiting for the stroke of midnight to have blood drawn and then I can have klonopin and go night, night until loud mouth comes in wakes me up! God bless you all,

Day 2 of chemo and counting

Well I have to admit that today, Wednesday, was not bad for the exception of the dexamethasone I get along with the chemo. It continues to raise my blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar and decrease the amount of sleep. They are treating the symptoms with anti-hypertensives, heart rate control meds, and something to help me relax and sleep. I know that the chemo will slowly start showing it’s side effects in the coming days. My wonderful caregiver, hubby continues his wonderful support. It tires him out but he hangs in here with his supportive care. Sometimes we fail to honor our caregivers as well as others fail to inquire about their well being. Caregivers play such an important part in our success of treatments, etc. Unfortunately they sometimes neglect their own health and needs to constantly care for their loved ones. I give a big, warm shout out to my husband, Dennis, for his continual excellent caregiving. He does so with selflessness and non complaining. He yields constantly to my needs and always prepared to kick in do whatever is needed to be done. He runs our household from afar and maintains contact with his office to make sure his patient’s needs are being met. Very few people realize what he does in the background of making sure I am taken care of. Thank you Dennis, I know you always recite our marriage vows “for better, for worse, richer or poorer in sickness and health, to death to us part” Amen. But sometimes I wonder how much sickness you can take. I strive hard to hold on to these too and continue to support you with my love and attention. We have been through a lot with God on our side. Thanks so much for all that you do! Love you, sugs! I will always be grateful and thankful, forever!

Can ride the dexamethasone high?!?

Well today,Tuesday, was the official first full day of the lovely cocktail I am taking but first they gave me anti-nausea meds, fluids and my favorite…..DEXAMETHASONE!! I hate that stuff. We do not get along! So they infuse the cocktail over 24 hours so you tend not to get a concentrated amount all at once which sometimes makes you sicker. I ate all my meals without returning them in liquid form. I don’t know how long this will last. Unfortunately the dex is kicking in and I am hyper and my pressure went up real high. So they are going to get it down!! They are doing another EKG as well. I have to admit they are told to make me as comfortable as possible. If I feel the least bit quesy or nauseated, I just cry out, “More drugs please! Bring the good stuff, zofran, kytril, ativan, whatever!” lol I also have a 30″ flat screen tv with DVD. So I can watch movie after movie as long as I want! Lol I have full access to as many Popsicles, ice cream, Ginger ale, coke, crackers and peanut butter and more, as much as I want! (Go Duke!) I might be able to do this after all!! It’s only for 4 days!Lol
My heart rate is high from the dex therefore pressure goes up. I have to take some more hypertension meds! They may have to discontinue the dex or reduce it! Anyway, I just wanted to update my goings on of my journey to a cure. I appreciate all of you! Icouldnt ask for a better supportive team of family and friends! All my prayer warriors are working over time and I am on church prayer list all over, from Anchorage, Alaska to Las Vegas, Nevada, to Arizona, Texas, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Chicago, Virginia (lots here), Maryland, DC, New York and many more! How awesome and humbling is that! Thank you all, you keep going and I can withstand this that much more! I will send update tomorrow night. God be the glory! May all of you have very good night! Be blessed,

Becoming a proficient roller coaster rider

Well it has been over 24 hours since we decided to change the coarse concerning my transplant. I am becoming a more proficient rider of this emotional roller coaster. To bale out and get off is not an option. You see life is just that, an emotional roller coaster. One can become a proficient rider and deal with the dips, curves and high climbs or you can bale out. Even though I don’t care for roller coasters, I do like living. I do know what the alternative maybe when you choose to bale out and not deal with the dips,curves and high climbs. Yes it is frustrating sometime. Tiring a whole lot of times but I ain’t giving up. So today as my dear friend Kadian said, “You have to come out of the house now!” Even though it was cold, she was right, I needed to pick myself up and climb aboard that roller coaster once again and ride like I know what I am doing. Let wind blow through my air, raise my arms high into the air as I plunge down the high climbs of the ride. Laugh and say this too shall pass and hopefully I won’t loose my lunch! So back to treating this despicable disease hopefully just one more time so I can precede to transplant. Yes it is tiring, unpleasant, and challenging to say the least but what is the alternative? Coach Jimmy V said to never, never give up! He was so right. I choose life and will continue fighting! God is able so shall I remain faithful. Bring it on!

11 days and counting…..

I hope everyone had a wonderful and blessed Christmas! We are counting down the days and preparing for my new journey. I have to admit that I now am having a hard time wrapping this upcoming journey around my brain. I am not fearful but just hate having to disrupt my family’s life. And yes I hate having to ask people to come help me. It is hard to ask someone to give a few days or week to come take care of me. I know I have to have help but it is just inconveniencing to so many. I start thinking that this is all my fault. I know it sounds silly but there are so many emotions that go along with being chronically ill and having to go through so many treatments/procedures. I am overwhelming grateful for all the outpouring of prayers, support and love. Without all that it would be even more difficult to go through what have to do. But again there is a certain amount of guilt I feel for being ill. I am constantly working on not thinking this way. So the rest of the time that I am waiting for D-day, I am in constant prayer and meditation. I know I am blessed and highly favored by the real Doctor so I must act like it. I am also human and am still constantly growing into the Christian He wants me to be. I know one thing though I am faithful to Him and His word. Thank you all for your love and support you have shown me and I haven’t even begun my new journey. May everyone have a blessed and prosperous New Year!! God bless you all!

“Me and Baby Brother”

Any one out there fans of 70′s r&b group WAR? Well I am still a big fan and have almost all their popular hits on my IPod. One of their hits was a song called, “Me and Baby Brother” and it starts out saying,”Me and Baby Brother, used to run together!” Now if you know WAR the song was kind of a ballad about two brothers hanging out together going to the corner to buy wine to drink down by the river. Brother gets in trouble with law and is taken away. The song goes on to say,”come back baby brother, I love my brother!”. So me and my baby brother will be running together not to drink wine but to do a stem cell transplant with 20 million of his cells. But who knows when we celebrate the success that it is going to bring to my life, we may drink a glass of wine! I love my brother, just as the song says. It has to be a little anxiety provoking for him knowing how dependent I am for him to be able to help my now worthless bone marrow. I just want him to understand that it isn’t anything he did or did not do if this transplant is not a success. I’ll be grateful all the same. I Love My Brother! My brother was here this past weekend because on Friday I had take him to the ABMT clinic to introduce him to my doctors and for him to get his final blood work and physical. He was so astounded by what they told him his stem cells will hopefully do for my now worthless immune system. He was in awe of the fact I will take on his blood type. For example, I am APos and he is OPos, so I will be OPos after his cells take up residency in my marrow. They had to assure him that he would not be loosing a sister and gaining a brother.Lol Of course he would be ecstatic if that were the case because he is the only boy out of 4 children. I told him I might get the urge to drink a beer and watch UFC contact boxing which I can’t stand either right now.Lol Thank you, Baby Bother for what you have graciously agreed to do for me. This goes beyond the role of a sibling. We used to fight like cats and dogs when he was 7 and I was 14. I would make him do his and my chores and dare him to tell or else. It wasn’t until I returned home from being at college after my first year and finding he had grown to six feet and was a puny 5’3″ when I left! We became friends from then on! Lol He maxed out at 6’2″ before he finished growing! I Love My Baby Brother! Thank you, Baby Brother!(to the beat of the song)

Irene’s Journey

Welcome to my world! And boy do I have a world!! It makes my head spin sometimes. I am setting up this blog so that everyone that wants to keep up with my status can as I go through another one of Irene’s journeys. Exactly a month from today I will be starting a life changing allogenic stem cell transplant. That is I am going to try and grow my dear brothers stem cells as my new cells in my bone marrow. They are going to kill off all my cells (they are worthless now) and give me millions upon millions of his cells that will hopefully take up residency in my bone marrow. It is a long drawn out procedure but I report my progress here and you all can log on anytime and check up on me. I may not report everyday but I will try to keep as current as possible. You can leave me comments. I am still learning how to use this and I will be adding different things to my page. I will post pictures from time to time. The toughest part of this journey is the waiting and of course waiting to get strong again! Three months in Durham is going to run me bonkers!! How many movies can one watch!!? I will let you know because I will be watching a lot of movies and reading a lot of books. I can place my books on my IPad so I don’t have to cart too many of them with me.
So basically I am preparing for my transformation by getting as strong as I can be and of course preparing for Christmas. My favorite time of year! So sit back and enjoy my newest journey of my world! Again, welcome!