Monday, March 21, 2016

Something to celebrate ...

Let me talk about something good for a change ... I was able to go and see T swim at the 2016 Pennsylvania YMCA State Championships this past weekend! If you had've asked me Friday morning was I going to make it I would have answered no, but I felt stronger throughout the day, and with a significant amount of Divine intervention (answered prayer), and dear hubby driving, we were able to make the 1.5 hr drive to State College without stops!!

After checking into our hotel around 7:30pm Friday evening {and a just-made-it-in-time "visit"} we headed to the Penn State University campus to find the Natatorium (after all we had to check in at 6:30am Saturday morning!), parking, and subsequently The Creamery - for ice-cream!

We walked around the McCoy Natatorium at Penn State University to give T a feel for what to expect the next day
{and maybe in her future??!!}
Saturday we arose at 5:30am, found our way to the pool by 6:30am, found some team moms in the spectator gallery, and set up camp for the next 6 hrs or so!

All of our kids' core group of best swimming friends/teammates (about a dozen 9-10 year olds) had made it to States! There are 78 YMCA teams in Pennsylvania. For our kids to make it to the top 24 swimmers (top 6 in each division) in their events is pretty A.MAZ.ING!

T's events were Girls 9-10 200 yard Medley Relay (50 backstroke), in which she was the first to swim in the first event of the day ... talk about pressure! Her team swam fantastically and took nearly 9 seconds off their best time to finish seventh! T placed 14th in her individual 50 yard Backstroke. Another great swim! And of course we cheered on all her friends :)

First swimmer (of Medley Relay) in first race of the day ... no pressure!

T swam 50 yard backstroke in the Medley Relay & individual event. 

T cheers for her teammate in the girls 9-10 200 yard Medley Relay

The WSY 9-10 girls 200 yard Medley Relay team ROCKED at States!!
Many of the kids were there for just one event, and a number of parents laughed that they drove 3 hrs (round trip) and spent a night in a hotel, not to mention meal costs, to watch their kids swim for about 35 seconds!! It's what we do! STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS. PRICELESS.

As for me ... I think these past weeks might be akin to cruising in a tropical storm. I was looking forward to my week off chemotherapy last week and to feeling better. Truth-be-told, I don't feel better. Still sick-to-stomach, still get the chills, still have the runs, still fatigued, and now hives added to the mix ... oh, there is a silver lining in that my mouth lining is smooth again and my lips feel almost normal and not sunburned.

I hit an all-time {so-far} low on Thursday when my esophagus was in so much pain (burned by reflux) that I cried, hard — and prayed. A call to my doctor and yet another prescription remedied that within 12 hrs. I can't believe what so many cancer battlers have endured.

Needless to say, I was not looking forward to today's weekly check-in with the Chemo doc, as I was scheduled to be hooked back up to the chemo pump on a lower dose ... GOOD NEWS ... no chemo for this week either! And finally, some anti-nausea meds to add to my daily regimen. Before all this, I was apt to avoid even over-the-counter meds, and I don't think I have ever finished a prescription antibiotic ... now I am supposed to take 10 pills a day!?!

Be joyful always - God is watching over us. I got to watch T swim at States! No chemo for another week!
Pray continually - If there is one thing I do more regularly it is pray! Especially for those I know enduring any medical treatment, and for their family members caring for them.
Give thanks in all circumstances - Our friends & family continue to pour out expressions of love, encouragement, and hope, and bless us in ways we never imagined, not to mention some fabulous meals!

Thanks for your support.

By God's grace,


Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV

Monday, March 14, 2016

Choppy seas ...

It's week three of my 'cruise' and I will tell you the waters were choppy this past week.

The first week was relatively smooth sailing. Bit of an upset stomach, but nothing major.

Last week, week two, I had a significantly upset stomach, and the lining of my mouth turned to sandpaper, among other symptoms. It peaked this past weekend with flu-like symptoms, and had me laid out for the whole day on Sunday, dealing with chills, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, 'sunburnt' lips (one layer of skin left on them), sensitive fingertips, and frequent bathroom visits. Worst thing was that I missed T's YMCA district swim meet (in which she made YMCA States next weekend!!) - but we had the best-est of friends transporting her to/from and cheering for her!! :)

A discussion with the {chemo} oncologist during my weekly visit today determined that my chemo dose was too high and all my side effects were significant enough to take a week off to recover some before starting back on a lower dose next week. They also gave me a 4-hour infusion of hydration fluids, with a cocktail of anti-nausea meds, detox meds, potassium chloride & heartburn meds.

My stomach still feels a little funky, but overall I feel a whole lot better than I was yesterday! I am looking forward to a week without chemo and the 1.5 lb [pump] hanging from my waist. I hope my digestive linings will recover some - the funky mouth/stomach not only affects my ability to eat, but also to concentrate. Hence no blogging for the past while ... and lots of early nights to bed. Most of all I hope to feel well enough to travel to & watch T & her best friends swim at States next week!

Radiation treatments going smoothly. Around 5 minutes a day aimed at my three tattoos {dots} in secluded places! My only complaint is the far-from-anatomically-friendly bed I have to lay on {face down}. Let's just say that I may be inspired to design one for women ;)

Wonderful friends are providing delicious meals two nights a week on the nights that Matt teaches & T swims. And most of the meals are feeding us twice! My work schedule is flexible enough to allow me to attend all my appointments and take care of myself as needed. Friends are hosting play dates and transporting kids to/from activities. My mother-in-law is on speed-dial. And I am buoyed by so many expressions of hope, encouragement, love, and prayer. I am blessed in abundance.

My theme song for this cruise is "Oceans {Where Feet May Fail}" by Hillsong United

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus, you're my God!

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Listen to it here:

Be joyful always: The joy of the Lord is my strength
Pray continually: I am praying daily for those I know battling cancer & other medical issues, and also for my own healing and comfort from side-effects.
Give thanks in all circumstances: I give thanks for all of you and for your support. {{HUGS}}

I Thessalonians 5:16-17

By God's grace,

Sandii :)

Part I
Part II
Part III