Sunday, July 31, 2016

Rough seas ahead ...

Five busy weeks have passed since my surgery ...

I finally got around to taking "Birthday" pictures of K-man, who turned twelve while I was in hospital. I can't believe how much this wonderful young man has changed in the past year! I think he grew a whole head taller! Gone is my boy soprano and he's been replaced with a squeaky tenor/baritone. This kid loves all things Star Wars!!

T had a great summer swim season, most of which I missed. {{Special thanks to my bestie Denyse and other team families who transported T to and fro.}} She snuck in a 'bonus' season as a 10/under swimmer as her birthday is a couple days after the cut-off. I was very happy to meet my recovery goal of getting to the three championship meets at the end of the season. It started with the Divisional (2A) Meet last Saturday (July 23) - six teams. Kids were only allowed to swim three events, so we picked her best: Girls 9-10 50m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke & 50m Butterfly (which she swam in the Medley Relay Team) ... See T's results below left.

The 16 fastest swimmers in each event from the combined four divisions advanced to All Stars the next day (Sunday), which is a championship meet for the whole league/all four divisions (20+ teams). See T's results below right.


And as if that isn't enough, the fastest 8 swimmers in each All Star event then move on to Mid Caps, which was held yesterday. (July 30) Mid Caps is a Central PA "east-shore league (top 8) vs. west-shore league (top 8)" championship meet. But after all her hard work I wasn't sure she would go to Mid Caps as T strained her shoulder mid-week. Rest (no practice), ice packs, and ibuprofen helped, and off we went. T's Medley Relay team placed second, she placed 6th in 50 Freestyle, and 5th in 50 Backstroke, very near her best times! A spectacular effort with a dud shoulder!! Now for a {welcome} 6-week break until the winter season starts!!

As for me, I continue to gain strength and endurance daily, thanks be to God. I move about quite freely now, though at a significantly slower pace than I am used to. I still have to be careful not to overdo it. I get as many tasks done as I can in the mornings, and I am usually laid out in the recliner for the afternoons and evenings. I started driving again around July 20 which has reduced the stress of arranging rides for the kids and I to our various appointments. My diet is slowly gaining variety, though that may be short lived. My ostomy is uncomfortable. The function and maintenance of it is going fine, it's my sensitivity to adhesives that is causing a problem, as the ostomy bags adhere to my abdomen, and are causing significant irritation to the skin underneath. Still consulting with a variety of doctors and nurses (and YouTube) about how to treat it.

I sail back into rough seas this week as I start the final round of chemotherapy on Wednesday, August 3. Long infusions (3-4 hrs?) and a pump for 48 hrs, every two weeks, for 8 sessions (about 4 months). This round of treatment is largely preventative. It further decreases my chance of recurrence. I'd appreciate your prayers going into this phase of treatment, as the side effects are likely to be much greater than the last round of low-dose chemo. Potential hair loss is the least of my worries, it's the nausea I am most concerned about. I can barely sneeze due to pain/tightness in my abdominal muscles - I don't think I can deal with full-blown nausea. I am eager to get this phase started but most importantly finished.

I have friends who are undergoing chemo ... one of them has been doing this every two weeks for years. YEARS. You probably know someone enduring the same. With so many people praying for me, my prayers are focused on my fellow warriors. My prayer for them is strength for each day, comfort from pain/nausea, peace that surpasses all understanding, a strong support network, LOVE in abundance, and a hope that is not disappointed... All the things I have been blessed with. I know God is listening and has answered so many prayers thus far.

Thank you for your continued prayers, encouragement, and support.

In Christ's strength,