Fight like a girl!

3rd chemo down!  A couple of weeks ago I wrote 2 down and 10 to go, but my sister has decided to do Taxol weekly for 12 weeks.  The side effects will be less and no Neulasta!  So she has to endure 2 more Neulasta ingections and the side effects and then no more (hopefully).  There is a small chance that the Taxol could lower her WBC and she will need to have the injection.

Today she was given half the dose of steroids which made a huge difference!  No heightened senses, the tradeoff could be more nausea but so far just fatigue.

With 12 weeks of Taxol her last chemo should be 7/11/17!  Thank you in advance to all who are bringing her dinner this week, My aunt Ofelia, Crystal and Carol, words can’t express how much we appreciate the support!

Embracing her bold new look!

It’s been a good couple of days that I thought I would share a fun video with all of you.  My sister is embracing her new look, and I’m not sure what Sam is doing lol!

 

Video

Praising his name!

My sister had an ultrasound (US) today and after 2 chemo treatments the tumor has shrunk, her surgeon was surprised at how much it has shrunk after 2 treatments!  This is great news, it means the chemo is working to kill all the cancer cells.

The genetic testing did confirm a positive BRACA2, and as I said in my last post this does not change the course of treatment just the surgical options.

Since a positive BRACA2  increases her risk for breast and ovarian cancer she has made the decision to have a double mastectomy, this will prevent any  re-occurrence of breast cancer.  This surgery will take place 3 weeks after her last treatment.  Then the ovaries and fallopian tubes will be next.

The last two and a half months have not been easy for my sister, they have been emotional beyond words.  My sister never thought she was a strong woman, but I disagree, battled with fatigue, nausea and in her words “looking like a baby bird” she has made these difficult emotional decisions.

Please continue to keep her in prayer, your words of encouragement through texts, and FB posts have been a blessing to her.

My hero

As you know when my sister was first diagnosed one of her doctors wanted  her to have genetic testing done.  The results positive or negative were not going to change the course of  treatment with the exception of surgery.

Her BRCA2 came back positive, we are still waiting for the BRCA1 to become available, to say I have done “a little” reading is an understatement, and to say that I understood all that I read is just plain insane.

Let me see if I can explain BRCA genes.

BRCA1  and BRCA2 genes produce tumor suppressor proteins, their function is to repair damaged DNA  and  prevent cells from growing and dividing too rapidly in breast tissue, this ensures the cells genetic material.  When DNA is damaged cells are more likely to develop genetic alterations that can lead to cancer.   Specific inherited mutations increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are inherited from either your mother or father, offspring of a parent with a positive mutation have a 50% chance of inheriting the mutation.

BRCA1 (BReast CAncer gene 1) or BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene 2)

This is BRCA1 and BRCA2 in a nutshell, there is so much too read and process, information we never wanted to know or deal with, but here we are reading, researching and processing all this information.

Even with all the doctors visits, lab draws, chemo sessions, hair loss, fatigue, nausea, bone pain, my sister amazes me.  I know she is tired and has her emotional moments, but she always wipes away the tears and is ready for the next leg of the journey.

It’s just hair

The 2nd cycle of chemo and neulasta were pretty taxing on my sister, the joint pain lasted longer, which only increased the fatigue.  It was also very emotional for her since she started losing her hair this week.

If I could I would trade places with my sister so she would’t have to go through this, her strength has amazed and inspired me.

We firmly believe  God has a plan and he knows all things, and be cause of this he will get her through this.

Big shout out to Nicolette Horn for coming over the past few weeks providing hair cuts and telling us how beautiful we were with every inch she cut.

2 down 10 to go!

2nd chemo down, and with the exception of the side effects from the steroids she did very well.  Her RN today was Mara and my sister said she was awesome!  All you RN’s out there it’s the little things we do for our patient’s that make a huge difference.

We were not able to paint last weekend, a few of us are trying to get over this bug that’s going around.  We are on for this weekend, paint has been purchased, and I’m ready to delegate.

My sister is starting to lose her hair and even though we knew it was going to happen, it was still very emotional for her.  She has decided to go for the G.I Jane look, and I know she will rock that look!  I just can’t say this enough, my sister has been so strong, always able to find the positive, and ever so faithful and praising God for everything.

We have been monitoring the lump, and it is getting harder and harder to find THANK YOU JESUS!  She has an appointment on Monday for an ultrasound to see if the chemo is effective, and I just know that God is in control!

I want to thank everyone in advance that is bringing meals this week for my sister and her family, we are so fortunate for the wonderful family and friends we have.

Rebecca and Joanna Ramirez, Toni Lopez, Jackie, and Bernice Wallace

Oncologist visit

My sister saw her oncologist today, he wanted to see how she was doing after chemo.  I have to say she looked good today, she said she felt like she did before the cancer diagnosis.  She is fatigued but has felt fatigued for over a year.  Lab work from yesterday looked good!  White blood cells (WBC) are border line low, and red blood cells (RBC) and platelets are great!

One week till next chemo, need to prepare some freezer meals and create a spa retreat!

 

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Deuteronomy 31:8       

From Johanna Alvarez

See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.

Isaiah 43:19

I can do all this through him who gives me strength

Phillipians 4:13    

From Rebekah  VanNierop

A quick note to start the week……

Another good day!  My sister went to church, we had Sunday family dinner then went to see The Shack.

Sister I pray this week brings you more energy, peace and restful sleep!  I love you!

 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

From Tia Lupe

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.

From Teresa Green-Moon

Today was a good day

Finally a good day!  My sister said she had no idea what to expect after chemo, she had heard all the horror stories and pictured herself kneeling over a commode vomiting.  The past few days she has been fatigued, and spent most days resting, the worst day was the day after the neulasta injection, immense bone pain, and feeling like her limbs were heavy weights, and just wiped out.  The bone pain was alleviated with OTC anti inflammatory medications.

She want’s everyone to know that she feels your prayers and ask’s that you continue sending your prayers her way.  She  prays everyday over her body and as she prays she acknowledges every organ and prays for healing those organs.  She is also steadfast in her belief that your prayers are getting her through this journey, so please continue to pray.

My sister was showing me a news segment about an opera singer that has stage 4 breast cancer, and she was also feeling the fatigue, heavy limbs and bone pain, and instead of laying down she started running!  She runs everyday to contend with the fatigue and pain.  My sister is encouraged by this and is going to start walking hoping to decrease or even eliminate the side effects of  the chemo.

Today we spent all day organizing and even decluttering certain areas of her home so that she could always find a place to rest and pray, like I said today was a good day!  Appetite was good, little more energy.  I am still amazed at my sister, a few months ago she would not have let go of “things” but today she was ready to bless others.  We really wanted to do this before the chemo started, but time did not allow.  We are hoping to paint next weekend, she would like her bedroom to feel like spa retreat, so we will make it happen!

 

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Sent from Heather Pluhar

Day after………

My sister  was a little tired, but today was better than yesterday!  Spent most of the day resting,  she was nauseated but was able to get by with just one dose of anti nausea medication.  She enjoyed home-made chicken noodle soup, thank you Tonya Devine!!

Neulasta auto injector kicked in about 4:30 this evening, so we shall see if she has any side effects from this medication.

My sister was pretty nervous yesterday, however she said there was a volunteer named Pat who eased her anxiety and shared her own story with my sister, thank you Lord for volunteers!

Many thanks to Carol Reynolds for bringing over a doTERRA diffuser, we used the citrus oil in the diffuser and loved it!

Please continue to send prayers and words of encouragement, it is truly appreciated.

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
Psalms 46:10 NKJV

From Toni Lopez