Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chemo 1 out of 4

Thank you Thank you Thank you for all of your prayers, words of encouragement, hats and scarves, verses, texts, emails etc. I could go on and on and on.
Every good action and every perfect gift is from God. These good gifts come down from the Creator of the sun,moon and stars, who does not change like their shifting shadows. James 1:17
First of all I just have to say The Lord is amazing and continues to walk right beside me or in better words carry me through this Journey he has aloud in our lives. You know by now I can't really tell a story unless I get into detail... Story telling is not a gift of mine without the long version so here it goes.....
Friday was a difficult day seeing where I was going to spend 5 hours every 3 weeks, but The Lord layed it on my heart that there are others in these rooms that probably have no hope. I felt that my attitude needed to change a bit before going today so that if He called me to something I could be obediant. It always amazes me at the immediate peace and comfort you feel when giving something up to Him. Last night as I said goodbye to my girls, as they had to spend the night with their grandmas, my little Halle bug just melted in my arms and said to me "mommy I hate that you have to go through this"! She is 6. I comforted her and held her as we talked through it a bit and then had to leave so we could get up early. I cried the whole way home asking the Lord WHY? Why do my girls need to endure this pain too? I then looked down at my phone lit up from my sweet friend Lori who wrote to me assuring me my Hal bugs will be ok! Oh the Lord gives me people and words just when I need it. We got up this morning and headed into UCSF to meet with Dr. Moasser (my oncologist) first to go over blood tests and any questions I might have. I just love him and can talk to him about anything and he will take as much time as I need. Another one of Gods blessings. We were headed out the door and Dr. came running in and said the nurse needs to speak to you stay here. She walked in and said the immunity shot Dr. wants to give you hasnt been authorized yet and I'm not sure we will get it in time for you to have tomorrow. She said if they can't send it to you ,you will have to drive here tomorrow and have it done here. I sat there for a minute got onto facebook and told everyone to pray! 1 hour later we got a call from the insurance saying they are overnighting it and it will be at Jeffs office by the morning! Praise Jesus! Only problem is Jeff will be giving it to me, more prayers please (hahaha)
We left the office and Jeff and I were able to go have lunch before my infusion. I love spending time with my sweet hub, there is nothing like it. We showed up a bit early hoping to get in sooner and that we did. Now as soon as I walked in Satan reminded me how emotional I was and how was I going to minister to these people when I can't even hold it together? I was emotional but the other part was a lie that I chose not to believe. What I did realize is that most of the time you don't have to say a word a witness can be about your actions. The nurse came over and sat me in a room filled with 5 other people. Now walking in is very uncomfortable, you see everyone has IV's going everywhere and some of them don't look very happy and all eyes are on ME! You know how I do with that. One thing I did notice about today though was it seemed a lot less heavy. More people smiling, more people make eye contact and more people talk to you. Amazing what happens when you give it up to Him. She puts the IV in twice and then started me on saline as she began to tell me about the other two drugs. She told me that there is a pretty good chance I can get an allergic reaction to the medicine so if you feel anything other than how you feel now you need to tell me and I have emergency meds here for you. By the way she says "I will sit here and watch you for about 15 minutes" Can you say PANICK ATTACK... I started to let my mind go there and then I had to remind myself again who is in control and if it happens big deal she has drugs! Needless to say I never recieved any emergency drugs just a pat on my arm saying ok girl your out of the woods! YEAH. I finished up all of my meds after about 4 1/2 hours and I did completely fine. During this whole time I pulled out my biblestudy off and on and the Lord continued to speak to me. I was studying in John about when He sent His disciples out in the boat and a fierce storm came. The men were scared and Jesus walked out to the boat and said to them "Take courage it is I. Do not be afraid". I needed to be reminded of this all day and I was. Jeff was also and I didnt even know it. You see he didnt tell me because he was afraid I would discourage him but he brought encouraging letters to ALL chemo patients today. Thinking about it brings me to tears. I will write it at the end if you choose to read it. I know the Lord gave that scripture to me all day but I think it also prepared me for what was going to happen next. My IV was pulled out and the nurse said you are free to go. I look up and can't find my hub. All of a sudden I see him handing things out to the patients. I am thinking to myself what is he doing? Get me out of here... (seriously). We got out to the elevator and he handed me the letter. I just balled and balled. I was so proud of him because the Lord had been laying this on his heart since Friday and he was obedient to Him. Thank you Lord Jesus! Next we head back downstairs for my gene test result. Long story short NEGATIVE!!!!!!! Yeah
As we drove home Jeff and I chatted about our day together and both agreed that it was a really good day! I may have had to sit and do a chemo treatment and be scared at first, but once again the Lord gave me peace, comfort and answered every pray today quickly! One thing that I loved about today was that my sweet hubby was given the courage and he prayed hard all day for every patient in that place and not only did he do that, he gave them a letter and let them know.
As I close I want to remind all of you. These little trips are to help me and my physical body but more than anything they are helping my spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ. You don't have to be sick to serve him or to share about him you just have to be obediant. Lord Jesus help me to continue to be obedient to you!
Please continue to pray for the next 3 cycles and 64 days that my body will endure and pray for my family that they will have strength. Also pray that sickness is bound from our home as I am now at a high risk of infection.
Thank you all so much and I love each one of you
P.s Here is Jeffs letter to the patients

Today is my wife’s first treatment and we weren’t completely sure what to expect. We got the tour last week and everything felt a little (Ok, a lot)overwhelming. I do know that tuna sandwiches and leftover fish in the microwave will probably be frowned on. When we were told by the nurse that from start to finish treatment would be about 4 hours, one of my thoughts was “Wow, what am I going to do for four hours in that little chair”? I am not much of a reader (my wife is) and my simple Sports Illustrated magazine will only kill about an hour. So I have decided to use that time to pray. Not just for my wife, but for each and every person getting treatment in here individually. I prayed today for you and for your family and friends that are going through this with you. I prayed that your pain and your nausea will be little and that you would feel peace and relaxation during your treatment. I prayed that the medicine you are receiving would kill every single cancer cell in your body. I prayed and gave thanks that every person in here is blessed to be able to receive the best medicines at one of the best cancer hospitals in the world by some of the best doctors and nurses around. I will continue to pray for you and for every person I laid eyes on today getting treatment, and that when your treatment is done you will NEVER have to step foot in the oncology department again for as long as you live.
Blessings to you and your family

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Journey the Next phase

Thursday night as you all read was an amazing night with all of my girlfriends. We had such a great time of prayer and get together the night before Jeff and I left for San Francisco once again.
As Jeff and I woke up Friday morning to get ready for chemo teach there was a heaviness among us. It wasn't a loss of hope or a non trusting heart, it was just a heaviness of what was to come of the day. We knew we would get a lot of information that day and would we really be able to process it. As I was putting makeup on my very swollen eyes from crying so much the night before (haha) the thoughts of what was to come was forever playing in my mind. Was this really real? Are we really in this position? How are we really going to handle this? and much more...
As we got into the car it was very quiet and Jeff continued to ask if I was OK. I kept telling him yes just a lot on my mind. I really can't even put into words the way I was feeling. Jeff prayed and off we went. We arrived at UCSF to meet with Dr. Moasser's (my oncologist) nurse to go over what was to come in the next couple of months. I felt very comfortable with her and felt as if I had known her for years. She started to go over all of the details with me on what medications I would need to pick up from the pharmacy and what will help me with my nausea. After that she started reading off a list of side effects that I might get from the medication that he is giving me, now remember I had my mind set on so many things, and so many things have changed. First I was going to go in and tell the oncologist I didn't need hormone therapy and he came back and told me my test was high so not only will I need hormone therapy but I will need chemo. Next I wasn't going to loose my hair because I could do the 6 month. SURPRISE I have to do the 3 month and loose my hair. The next thing just on Thursday I was telling all the girls oh I really hope I don't lose my eyelashes because I'll tell you what if I have to loose my hair I need my eyelashes. Well number 1 on the side effect list is GUESS WHAT? Loose my eyelashes... I actually found great humor as I listened to her say this because I keep fighting the Lord with my idea of treatment and He keeps saying NOPE Heather you are going to do this my way! As she went on down the list the next thing said weight gain, swelling and bloating! Oh great now I have to loose my hair, my eyelashes and WHAT gain weight! I really started laughing because it is very humorous when we try and take over and the Lord puts a stop to it really quick! My point in telling you all of this, is just when we think we can control what our future holds or control our situation we are fooling ourselves. We just need to let it go and give it all up to Him. I seem to need to do this daily if not hourly. Especially after continueing on in this Journey I realized how much I did "try" to control certain things in my life because now that they are out of my control I mean REALLY out of my control It is so much easier to just give it up! Now all of the side effects she gave me might not even happen to me but they are forever going through my mind. She also began to tell me that every time I come for treatment I have to go give blood first, see Dr. Moasser and then go up to floor # 5 for infusion. Once I am up on floor #5 I will be there for approx. 4-5 hours. We completed our time with the nurse and she took us up front to schedule our next 4 visits. She told us we should go to floor #5 to make the infusion appointments and maybe walk around a bit and check it out. Now she had talked it up a bit before we left. Jeff and I got on the elevator and hit floor #5. As we walked out there was a sweet receptionist who helped us book our appointments and invited us to come on back and she would hook us up with the charge nurse who would give us a tour. Jeff and I walked in and my heart dropped into my stomach. There was something about it that at first I couldn't figure out. The smell of it was something I probably will never forget. There was a heaviness with all of the patients reclined in their chairs 6 sometimes 8 patients per room. No one had a smile on their faces, noone even really said a word. As I walked through my thought was "I really don't need to be here I am not sick". Again I had to remind myself why I had to be there. My husband, my children and my family and friends, but most of all The Lord! The Lord needs to be displayed here. Now some of them probably do know the Lord maybe all of them do, but there was a heaviness among that area that I noticed and something needs to be done about it! I told Jeff that if I have to be there he better make me laugh constantly. Even if he has to start making stuff up he better make me laugh. He told me that was a lot pressure and he would do his best. After walking around I told him we, him and I need to figure out ways to be an encouragement to others in there. Share with them, laugh with them, make them smile let them know there is hope even when we don't feel good and are sick.
So here is the deal. I still would love for you to pray for my family and I as we enter into a new phase of my journey but I also would like you to start praying another way to. There are a lot of hopeless people out there and I am one that has a lot of hope. I am getting chemo for reoccurance they may be getting chemo to prolong their lives a bit. I want to be a light for the Lord in a very sad and dark place. I am praying the Lord clearly shows me people that I need to share my journey with there or even just smile and talk with. I love to talk about Him and whenever I get a chance I will. But pray specifically that He will use me in great ways for His glory!
Thank you so much for your prayers and support. I am truely blessed by all of you.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Surprise Again Sweet Friends

Once again I am in awe of my God. This week has been a really hard week. I have been feeling depressed and really down about all of the anticipation of what is to come. Not knowing I guess you can say. Just when I think I want to go crawl in bed I have to remind myself who is in charge? Who is in control of my journey as I walk this scarey path.
Tonight The Lord showed me once again by using my girlfriends and my moms. What I thought was going to be a quiet sushi night out with 2 girlfriends ended up being a huge hat and scarf party all for me, for me? Who am I Lord that they would get together and plan something like this for me. The one that wants to go climb in bed and not talk to anyone? This is just it! Just when I feel like giving up the Lord reminds me through people that it is not about giving up! It is about continueing on for His glory! Tonight I had the priviledge to be with some of the most amazing women I know. They brought me gifts knowing that I will need them down the road so my head doesn't get cold (how sweet). They brought food so that we could eat and enjoy each other. They took the time out for ME to show me their love and support. As I was finished opening my beautiful hats and scarves they pulled out a chair and sat me in the middle of the room (I never do well being the center of attention, but tonight was different) while each girl surrounded me and prayed the most beautiful prayers. As I listened to each one pray for me and my sweet hub, my girls I was in awe of my God. I listened and I heard these words, Jehovah Raffa, strength, courage, love, support, health, miracle, healing, pray, Lord Jesus, and many more words. I was overwhelmed with the love and overwhelmed with support. I don't know how people go through something like this without the Lord! I can't imagine.... If you are reading this and you are going through this journey like me and you don't know the Lord, YOU NEED HIM! John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life"
Come to know Him and He will give you peace. Whenever I am weak (this last week especially) He is strong and He carries me through every little detail of this Journey. Thank you Lord Jesus.

Please be praying for continued peace for my family and I and that my chemo teach goes well tomorrow 10/16. I start chemo on October 20th please pray for my family and especially my girls as they are a little anxious about what to expect.
Thank you all so much for your continued support and prayers through this Journey of mine.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Great Friends

As my journey continues and I await treatment I still have to keep reminding myself that I have had breast cancer, that I have had surgery And I still have to have chemotherapy. I don't look like im sick I don't feel sick in fact no one would even know from my outside appearance what I have been through in the last 8 weeks. This side of the journey is about to end. Soon people on the outside will know all of the above. The "looking" normal is about to be over. I don't know if I will be used to the fact that soon I will be bald until it actually starts to fall out. The Lord continues to remind me that it is not about me and what I look like. This, I think I now understand. I am here for a reason and that is to be a witness and in my small little brain I have tried to do! BUT ..... The Lord wants me to go outside my Heather comfort zone and go further into this"world" to be a witness. The average person that I come into contact with will now know my story, they will now know what I have been dealing with for the last 8 weeks. They will know I have had cancer and that I am in"treatment". My job now is to tell them how I am getting through it! Who is helping me! Who has healed me! Who has given me the strengh to continue on when I felt like giving up. Jesus is that answer and I want everyone to know it! Today was a very special day for me! I went into my last hair appointment(for a while) and there were my girlfriends surprising me and putting a pink stripe in their hair to support me with my journey! The owner of Streaks salon in Modesto opened her salon up to us and the stylists all took one of us and put color in each of our hair! All of us wearing Save The Tatas shirts. I was in awe of the way the Lord blessed me today! As I entered the salon with knots in my stomach knowing this was my last appointment for a while, I left there blessed with such supportive friends and ready to take this one on!!!!! I realized today how much the Lord has blessed me with great supportive friends no matter what! I left there wondering what I did to deserve what I got today? I left there realizing that the Lord continues to put people before me that shows His glory to me through them! Thank you my girlies and Streaks salon for supporting breast cancer awareness! Even though I am about to lose my hair I am excited to see the people the Lord will touch through this! It has taken me a while to get here but I am ready to rock the bald head and the funky scarves! Thank you all for continueing to pray for my family and I.
My treatment starts October 20th. It will be every 3 weeks for 3 months. Please pray for my kiddos through this part of the journey as I am sure it will be difficult.