Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Chemo War

Where did I last leave you? Oh, that's right...I was going to come back after I had recuperated from my last chemo. The thing is I never recouped.
First though, before I delve into cancer issues, I know some of you guys may be disappointed, bored or don't want to read about cancer (not in a bad way, just in a I can't relate way). I just want to say, I get that and I totally understand. In a "blogger" perspective, I'm doing everything wrong...infrequent posting, blogging outside my niche and too far too often, getting "too" personal and probably a whole host of other things that I'm not even aware of. But, I just want to say that if you are here, if you are reading, I want to thank you. Lord, I just typed that and I just rolled my eyes at myself....but if I were in your shoes, would I want to go from reading a fairly active DIY, decorating and crafting blog to reading about cancer??? I don't know. 
Now that I am wearing those shoes, I think about things in a different perspective. I'm not the young go-getter with non-stop energy working all the time and trying to build a brand and get my foot in the door of a world I thought I wanted to be in....Maybe that is what God is trying to teach me? To slow down, look around and enjoy what I have and stop the incessant need to be constantly moving forward, perhaps in the direction He doesn't want me to go. To be at home, to spend time with my boys and family....to...COOK, for crying out loud! :) To teach me to except who and what I am right now. Right here. And not think about petty things that really don't mean anything. I am not talking about giving up on my dreams, I just mean...I'm getting my priorities straight. So, if you're here along with me, I so appreciate that...you guys are this net of lives that when I fall, you catch me and help me get back up. Ugh. I said too much again didn't I?....
SO. I had the new drug...if you remember, the tumors had grown, the doctors switched my chemo after only 3 treatments and I started something new. It was a weird regimen too...chemo on Day 1 (which ever day I started), Day 8, Nuelasta shot on Day 9, then treatment again on Day 21....then the cycle would start over. I had my first treatment on Day 1 and it was ok, we sort of have a routine down now, basically my MIL takes over for me till I feel better...I was so tired and that is normal, but I never started feeling better. Now it's time for Day 8. They always do labs first and I couldn't have chemo because my white blood cells were too low. 2.2 and I think the range starts at 4.4...so I couldn't get chemo and they sent me home. The next day, they call me in to get a shot to help my WBC, something similar to Nuelasta, just fast acting. I went back the next day to check my blood. If the counts had been low still, I would have gotten another shot but they weren't-they had shot up to 13.9!! That is off the charts! I went back home, chemo was to resume on Day 21. I still did not feel good at all and was sleeping a lot...and then the effects of that shot took effect. I still don't fully understand, it is suppose to stimulate white blood cell growth which in turn has a side effect of bone pain. The shot that they gave me was a 'fast acting' type of Nuelasta and the bone/joint pain was so severe, I was laying there on the sofa in tears.
Day 21 is slowly approaching...I am still shuffling around the house and my biggest accomplishments are "I loaded the dishwasher today!". The Sunday before President's Day, Logan and I are at home alone. I get up to go to the laundry room and come around the corner to see that Daisy (our beagle) has gotten into the trash. Ugh. So I'm cleaning up the mess and something happens. I am still not sure exactly...I started getting REALLY hot, dizzy and darkness over my eyes....I walked a few feet and felt this incredible urge to lay down. So I did. Right in the floor. I can't move my arms or legs, I can't get up. I am able to talk and I tell Logan to call Grandma...luckily, there is an icon on my phone, he didn't have to dial any numbers...I hear him calmly tell her that mommy is sick and laying in the floor...I still cannot move. Elaine (my MIL) rushes over so quick she didn't even put shoes on...she's trying to figure out what was happening...I've started hyperventilating....and she decides to call the paramedics (thank you Webb City Paramedics!!!). Anyway, long story short, I finally put my head on my own pillow around 4 am with absolutely no idea what caused what I now refer to as my "episode". I had a follow up appointment with my doctor, I explain to him what happened and he tells me that I had a type of seizure brought on by the antidepressant that he had started me on. Just great. Needless to say, he took me off the antidepressant. Day 21 came around and because of my issues, the doctor dialed back my chemo drug by 20%. Let me tell you...I could really tell the difference. I was still tired, but I started feeling better by the end of the week. I have even had another treatment (another Day 1) and by yesterday I was feeling better (annnnnd another week goes by). I have Day 8 tomorrow, so I hope to bounce back again in a week or so. It's such a tiresome cycle.
That's why the doctor started me on an antidepressant....I mean this chemo thing is just never going to end. I know the reality of my situation...I am terminally ill with stage 4 cancer, at this point the chemo is just a measure to try to stop it from spreading. That's the reality of it...my latest "spring craft" is not reality...not that I have one. :) 
More on reality, I have been trying to eat better to maybe help myself.....who knows.... Steve Jobs was a vegan his whole life and still died of cancer....so I am holding on to the knowledge that everyone is different in cases of cancer. Not that I am going vegan, but vegetarian, with a few slip ups here and there. It's not easy changing how you've been eating your entire life overnight....but I have been trying and that is what counts. 
You might remember that I am a big fan of Kris Carr and inspired by her with her battle with cancer and she recently put out a cookbook for healthy eating (if you are with me on Instagram or FB, you know this). I've tried several of the recipes and I gotta tell you, for meatless-but-you-wouldn't-know-it recipes, I love the book! I have made crab cakes that didn't have crab, but SO good...Justin went crazy for them! Quesadillas made with black beans and avocado and cashew cream cheese that even Logan ate...I mean, maybe I can do this! I bought a food processor people, that is how serious this is!
So that is everything that has happened the last month since I left you...geez, the drama. Some fun DIY news for the near future though...we are going to start on Phase 2 of our Kitchen Facelift. I would go into it now with you but this has just been entirely too long as it is, so I will save it for the next time. 
I want to say that I will talk to you after I recoup from chemo tomorrow, but I don't want to jinx myself!-Ha I will just tell you that I will talk to you soon and thank you so much for your support!
If you want to catch up with me from everything from the Chemo room to my newest necklace ;) find me on Instagram at sweetsomethingdesign or on Facebook: Michelle Edwards.....If I was savvy enough, I'd link to those two things.....but anyway
2011-12-013

64 comments:

  1. Good to hear from you ... sorry to hear of your struggles, but love that I still hear your spirit in your words ... know I'm sending positive energy your way.

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  2. Hi Michelle... I originally found your blog through one of your home posts. And I will be the first to admit I am one of those people you describe above. Just in the "I can't relate" aspect. But I am not disappointed, or bored. I am still reading. I am still here. And I am thinking of you and sending you good thoughts. xo

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  3. I'm so glad I follow you along on Instagram! I had been wondering about you and praying as always about your sudden hospital visit.
    Thanks for the update and no need to apologize at all; you are far more important then completing a DIY project and post. Stay positive and know you are always in my thoughts and prayers. You can do this!

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  4. I am here always looking forward to a post from you!
    I am not sure if I missed it or if you never said,but my heart dropped when you said stage 4.
    I am praying for you and your family. Always happy to hear from you ,off to Facebook to friend you!
    Big hugs

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  5. you are very brave and courageous to take us on your journey, it is so reassuring that you can find comfort from others as you share such a private, painful and personal road. i admire you so for being so candid and honest, your family must be so proud of you. may love surround you and keep your spirit light, may your days be pain free.

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  6. Hello! Sweet friend, I am always so happy to hear from you even the bad. I am so sorry you have had a rough time of it. I was on Pinerest yesterday and found your cloth pin art and I have working on art for my laundry. Thank you! I am praying for you my sweet friend. (((Hugs)))

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  7. Hello, Michelle,
    Well, I feel bad now. Here I am feeling sorry for myself for all the things I'm dealing with, and here you are being so brave and positive. I have a very dear friend who is going through a similar situation. See is having bad effects from the chemo, too, and your post helped me a lot. You inspired me to stop feeling so down, to get up and busy myself to get my mind on other things, to count my many blessings, and mostly to trust in God and know he IS in control. I will pray for you on your journey.
    Donna

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  8. Michelle, I am a relatively newish follower, but a loyal fan ever since. Thank you for sharing your struggles with cancer. I feel honored to read about your life. Your words inspire me to put my own life into perspective as well. You were sincerely missed. I was needing some inspiration the other day, and I was specifically looking for your blog. If you look at the long list of blogs I follow, you will realize that's saying something. Your talent stands out. My thoughts are with you.

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  9. I really hope you find peace and comfort and have the strength to do the important things (family, not blogging.) Don't worry about pleasing your readers. We don't live with you and your family is the one you'll have for eternity, not your readers.

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  10. Please don't feel that you have to blog about only the happiness in your life. I feel your strength coming through your blogs about your struggles with cancer and I thank you for that. You are an inspiration no matter what! Blessings to you.

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  11. I'm so sorry for all of your struggles. Although I cannot relate to the "cancer aspect", your strength is a huge inspiration. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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  12. Michelle, thank you so much for your post, and NO, you aren't "too personal" or any of what you said. You are sharing yourself with us on a deep and genuine level and I for one am fighting right along side of you. We understand you can't post all the time. Doesn't matter. You are in my prayers always and when I see you've posted in my Google reader, it matters. I stop looking at everything else and go to your blog to read your post and leave a bit of love and encouragement here. You are amazing and I'm always so glad you are a sister-in-Christ. You are glorifying Him before the entire world by your blog. I know He still heals people. Not everyone. Not every time. He hasn't healed me yet, or you, but it doesn't matter. He can. He does. He's God, and I am so grateful for His being with me through all this, every moment, so patient, so tender, so strong and keeping my gaze on Him and keeping me trusting in the salvation He's promised me. You keep holding on to Him too girl! With Him, we can do this no matter how it turns out here. Sending you love, encouragement and prayers! Lynette

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  13. Hola Michelle, I would like to have a better english nivel to explain you how much I like to read you and how much I admire you! I Start to read your blog for your awesome decorations tips, and slowly you brought us into your sickness, your family and your life..... you are an example of strength for all of us, my words can not explain my feelings, I just want to send you a big hug, very strong!! Carmen.

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  14. So good to find you posting. The tightrope that you are walking is a never ending path of twists and turns. I lift you in prayer. I think that writing this post might have been the equivalent of a day trip. I know that you cherish your moments of any measure of energy. You are a champion! Look forward to hearing from you again. Cherry Kay

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  15. Michelle,
    Although I love reading about your crafting and DIY adventures, one of the biggest reasons I read blogs is to learn about the lives of other people and their experiences, many of which are vastly different from mine. Thank you for sharing this personal part of your life with us. I agree with many of the other comments here -- you are an inspiration on many levels. xo -amy

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  16. Dearest Michelle,
    I think of you fondly, and I'm sorry to hear of your struggle with cancer. You are such a kind person, and always think of your readers. Please take care of yourself and know that we are here for you quietly in thought. I wish I lived near you so I could help you run errands and be a face-to-face drop by friend.. We understand if you cannot blog as often, and it doesn't need to be long. Just take this time for your healing and know that we admire you.
    A big hug to you . . . Jackie

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  17. Michelle, I am with you. It`s difficult to say something I want in a forein language:) and I even cannot understand your possition (I mean your desease) but I try to understand you. I prey you could feel overwelming love of God in those difficult days. I often think about you, about your struggle. You are a brave woman for me:)
    God bless you!

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  18. Ya know, you are taking full advantage of this unique opportunity to share your personal story with all of us readers. I so admire you for that. I am so glad that you've decided to tell us about the ups & downs. I love decor blogs too, but this is so much deeper than one more kitchen re-do or another crafty project. I am impacted & inspired every time I read your posts. Fashions will fade, decor trends will come & go ...but the life lessons we can glean from your story will last so much longer. Thank you, Michelle. I'm blessed to 'know' you.

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  19. Michelle,
    I have been blogging since 1996 and have seen many changes in blogging. Back in the day, (wink,wink) I felt a sense of closeness with the authors of most of the blogs I read. Yes, the majority of content was craft/sewing/home decor related, but the personality of the author was always apparent. As it became apparent that blogging could be a source of income the number of blogs exploded. There is no shortage of home decor or crafting inspiration to be found and that's a good thing, but I really do miss the old days. All that to say, I may have found your blog because of your lovely home, but bottom line, this is your blog. You control the content and at this point in your life that's not what is important. Please never apologize for writing about what is important to you. I know different people have different opinions about the matter, but I'm willing to be most prefer to read a blog that comes from the heart. Sorry to ramble on so. I'm just one reader who wants you to know I am feel honored that you shared so much of yourself. By sharing the struggle you are going through, you allow so many to lift you up in prayer and send loving positive thoughts your way.

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  20. Dear Michelle, my heart aches for you. I want you to be happy, healthy and thriving. Instead you are struggling in the worst way there is. I will pray for you as that is all I can do. Don't give up. Say strong. Carol

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  21. Yeah well, if I wanted all imaginary perfect life posts there are a lot of blogs out there that fit the bill...but my heart is with God, and my feet are firmly on the ground. So I love anything you share! You are so brave to let it all out. You are a genuinely creative mom and wife, with a gorgeous home and cancer. It sucks, but I love you for taking us along on this journey. You're in my prayers <3

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  22. My sweet Michelle, You are always in my thoughts and prayers. It's amazing how much you have touched me without having met. I hope you know how much your readers care for you. I wish I lived closer so I could help you in some way. Thank you for sharing with us.

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  23. Michelle, I've been following your blog and on Instagram for some time. While I initially started following for your awesome DIY and tablescapes ideas, I now feel like I know you. I look forward to hearing how you're feeling and how the treatments are going. Prayers and virtual hugs coming your way from Ohio! ~Lisa Welsh

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  24. I admire your strength, courage and humility. Thank you for helping me today. I am ashamed of how selfish I am and my wrong priorities. You are inspiring.
    I pray God will heal you from this disease.

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  25. I came across your blog a few months ago and looked at it because your home in lovely. We all know someone or have known someone who has or had cancer. You are an inspiration and very brave woman. Keep fighting, I will continue to think of you and follow you as you continue to fight this disease with your wit, strength, and honesty. Don't ever feel bad about sharing your feelings. We are here to listen and give you support. I know you live in Missouri as I do and if we lived closer I would like to meet and give you my support in person.

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  26. Michele, please keep writing to us as we are here to listen and give you support. I pray that you will stay comfortable and keep up the fight for you and your family. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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  27. Sweet Michelle,

    I'm so very sorry that you are going through this. Please know that there are many "out here" that are praying for you and your family. Sending you a big hug.

    God bless you,

    Barbara

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  28. My prayers are with you and your family. The journey you are taking us through is a gift that I know everyone will treasure as cancer has touched so many people in the world. Thank you for sharing your personal journey, and helping the rest of us to become better people and supports to you and to those around us. God bless you!

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  29. Hi Michelle,
    Remember what Meg Ryan said in "You've Got Mail?"
    "What's so wrong with being personal. Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin with being personal."
    Don't apologize to us for sharing your journey. We are here to lift one another when we are down, and you allow us the honor of lifting you up in our prayers and hearts. This makes us better people. So you are helping us to become more caring, more compassionate people by sharing with us. That's how it works.
    And yes, I am praying for you, dear!
    Debora

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  30. Thank you so much for sharing in such a transparent way. You are in my prayers...<3

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  31. Thank you for being so real in your posts. I was told I had ovarian cancer almost a year ago. My type of ovarian cancer is very rare and has a high recurrance rate. Chemo is not effective for my type so surgery is my only option. Cancer is a beast. Your thoughts are very encouraging to me.....live life. Do things. Redo the kitchen. I tend to dwell on the negative and really need to think on the postive. I'm breathing today....life is good.

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  32. Hang in there...one step at a time. I'm praying for you and your family in CA.

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  33. I feel so bad for everything you are having to go through. Your openness and honesty really put life into perspective for everyone. It's crazy how focused people can get on things that don't really matter. Stay positive and hopeful! Praying for you!

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  34. My thoughts are with you and your family. For as much as your blog has inspired me, if I can lift your spirits in any way by reading your new type of posts, them I am here.

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  35. It is always wonderful to hear from you and DIY/cancer/personal... it is all important and inspiring. Don't ever think you have to "BE" a certain way. It is your blog and your life. We are just lucky to be a small part and hopefully be your cheerleaders! Praying for you as you start this next round!

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  36. You are such a strong go getter personality that you have turned a very hard time into an inspiration for many. Each time you post it reminds me to pray a little more and a little harder for all of the people out there fighting their own personal battles. Know that you are in my prayers.

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  37. we're here, and we're reading it all. keep talking to us.

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  38. So good to hear from you. Hope you are feeling better soon. Keeping you in my heart and prayers.

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  39. Good to hear from you! Praying for you and hoping that God gives you strength. Stay strong, and know that God is in control. And He does answer prayers...
    Hope you are feeling better and better with each and every day!

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  40. I like where you're going with the blog and you're doing what you need to do for You. Isn't that what blogging is about - sharing ourselves and seeing if anyone out there can relate? When you started posting about your cancer, I could only relate from the perspective of a Mom and how hard that must be for you and your family. Since then my Mom has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, and moved in with our family while she goes through treatments. Now I can relate even more to you. (By the way, my mom had an "episode" like yours - they said caused by her blood pressure dropping incredibly low). Anyway, keep it up - we're out here - do your thing!

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  41. I started following you last year! I love that you are still able to have some humor when you are going through some real struggles. I want to hear your struggles with this disease, crafts can wait...I want to pray for you and hear you are having a good day. You are in my prayers! Donna

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  42. I love your posts no matter what they are about! You are amazing and please don't stop blogging! You are in my prayers.

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  43. Dearest Sweet Michelle, My heart breaks for you. I hate cancer so much, why oh why is it so horribly unfair and merciless? You are so beautiful, so brave and talented and inspiring.

    Lifting you up today and every day, Michelle.

    Cindy

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  44. Michelle, sending prayers. You are an inspiration to us all.
    ~Liz

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  45. I've just found you blog and am amazed by your strength to even be able to write a post. Not to worry about what others think..this blog is yours. It's about you and your life including the struggles. I hope that reading all the posts left by your readers, bring you strength and peace just knowing so many people from all over are praying for you and are here to listen. One day at a time.

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  46. All of the previous posts say what I want to express. I love reading about your faith. Your posts are powerful. I love reading about your lovely mother-in-law. Mine passed away before we could meet so I just love hearing about her. I love seeing your pins pop up on Pinterest. You have great taste and are so creative. I will continue to pray for you, your family and the doctors. Peace!

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  47. Michelle, I have followed your blog for quite some time because I love all your creative tablescapes and mantle decorations. Since you've been battling cancer, I have worried when you don't post for quite some time and love seeing an update pop up on my google reader! Please continue to blog as you are able. We all want to hear how you are doing and care about much more than a new spring craft. Please know that I am praying in Texas, with great faith knowing that our Lord is the Greatest Physician of all who can bring healing to your cancer. Praying for your strength, your family, and your doctors as they continue to help you fight cancer.

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  48. I am so glad you gave us an update! I check back to your blog daily. I care more about reading your cancer update then some silly DIY. Your life is more important then painting some furniture! I pray for you and your health!
    Take care,
    Carrie

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  49. I can't imagine that anyone is disappointed or bored reading what you write. I think we all know someone that has walked your journey and we know that any day it could be us. Mostly, when I read this I just feel so much for you and for your struggles and your fears. When you used the word terminal, I just wanted to cry for you...but, I guess terminal really doesn't have an end date and some live a long time with that diagnosis. That is my prayer for you. I am so glad you have the support of your family. Those of us in the blog world can't bring you dinner, or watch the kids...but, we can pray and listen and send all of our positive energy your way. Keep fighting...Hugs.

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  50. I began reading your blog two years ago and was captured by your wit and creativity. Today I still read for those same things. I suffer from a chronic illness and know what it's like to have your life make a 360 on you and head in a completely different direction....only to flip flop again and again. What I am trying to say is I love reading your words and whatever you want to share with us is just fine with me. This is your story, your life and your journey. We will be here praying for you, for your health and for your precious family. Thank you for sharing your words with us. Heartfelt prayers and warm thoughts from Arizona. Hugs.

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  51. Hello Dear Michelle! So glad to hear from you and get the update. I, too, am more interested in how you are doing than what you are working on!
    My family continues to pray for you. I believe the ability to change our priorities and really live is an answered prayer in itself. Thank you for taking the time and energy to keep us up to date. My heart aches for the pain your body is enduring. God's healing, blessing and peace I pray for you and your family. Hugs, Diane

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  52. Hi Michelle! My heart ached as I read your post. I am praying, but that seems so small. Please continue to post updates as often as you can.

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  53. Hello sweet friend,Iam praying for you and your family. Don't give up stay strong.....hugs Pat

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  54. I don't even know what to say except that you are one strong women. I hope that if I was ever faced with your situation I could be the same. I pray for you and your family

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  55. Michelle, I've been popping by for a couple of years now and I love to hear whatever you want to tell us. I find you to be the bravest woman I've ever "known". You are inspirational and I pray for you and your family!! Hold them close.

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  56. I don't even(really)know you but often, you and your struggle with cancer will pop into my thoughts out of the blue. I'm not sure if it is because I love your design style and all the things you create or if it is because of the fabulous way you write your posts but I feel a connection to you through your blog posts. I admire you tremendously and love knowing how you are doing. Thank you for sharing so many details with us, I'm sure there are pros and cons to it. I pray for you often.

    DD

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  57. Michelle, you are absolutely amazing! AMAzING! Selfishly, I am glad that you post, as well as what you post about. It's not at all too personal for me. Blogging is more than what we make and share, we become involved and vested in each other and real life though we may never meet in person. Know that I am thinking of you from my tiny little corner of the world, and am wishing you all good things. You truly are an amazing, inspiring woman!

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  58. You hit the nail on the head! Some things are just not important.
    Thank you for sharing and I will be praying for you and your precious family.

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  59. Keep posting Michelle. I found your site a few years ago and I check it when something sparks a thought of you. Which happens frequently...I don't know why. You just touch my heart.

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  60. Thank you for the gifts of your posts and your open heart! Still praying for you and yours in California!

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  61. Hi Michelle. This post didn't come in my email, like usual, so I decided to look up your blog to see when you last posted. Please, never, ever worry about sharing about the cancer battle and your treatment. We care about you and want to know what is happening. I think of you often and keep you and your family in my prayers. Along with your husband and boys, I am so glad you have your dear MIL there. What a blessing she is!! I will continue to follow your journey and am still praying for these treatments to help. Sending hugs from TX. GinaE

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  62. Continuing to pray for you and your family. You are such an amazing and courageous woman. I am completely inspired by your optimism and reality of your situation. Many blessings.

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Thank You for taking the time to comment! Because of the insane amount of spam comments, I had to stop anonymous comments-sorry for the inconvenience.
Michelle