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

Chemo day

1st day of chemo done!  Today was a very long day for my sister, but for now it’s behind her.   Prior to getting chemo she gets anti nausea medication and steroids, the steroids have made her very jittery and really heightened her senses today.  The chemo itself last about an hour and forty-five minutes, this will go on every 2 weeks for a total of 4, then the next cycle will go on for 12 weeks.  Chemotherapy can reduce white blood cells which can weaken her immune system and put her at risk for infections.  To help boost her white blood cells she also has a Neulasta auto injector, the medication is delivered over 45 minutes approximately 27 hours after it is activated.

Tonight she is pretty tired and I hope she is able to rest and get a good nights sleep,  her body has been through quite a bit and needs time to recover, sweet dreams my sister, I love you!

Sunday afternoon

You go girl!

Another trip to Tucson, today my sister did her part in helping future breast cancer patients! My sister is participating in a trial research which required another biopsy.

The research is being conducted at Purdue University, they are using a form of light therapy that will detect how a specific tumor will respond to chemo drugs, this research will not change her treatment, but it may change the treatment of other women 5 years from now.

I really have to share something with you, through this journey my sister is truly facing her fears, I know when this all started she questioned whether or not she could fight this cancer. But with every doctor’s visit, biopsy, CT, US, MRI she has faced the procedure and conquered the fear!

The love, support, and prayers of family and friends and even complete strangers has been truly amazing, and we are eternally grateful.

Please continue with your prayers, she is pretty sore tonight, between the port and biopsy finding a comfortable position hasn’t been easy.

I am in total awe of my sister, she continues to be positive even in pain, and more importantly she continues to smile.

To learn more about the research go to www.anidyn.com

 

Hello

This blog is dedicated to my awesome sister Christina, and her courageous battle with cancer.  My sister is 45 years old, a beautiful wife to Sam who is a RN, wonderful mother to Maya and Sara, devoted daughter and the best sister anyone could be blessed with. Oh and I can’t forget Harley, my sister’s faithful four legged companion.

My sister has one of the hardest jobs out there as a full time mother and wife, and after our mom passed away, she and her family moved in with our dad to care for him also.  We just lost mom to pancreatic cancer less than two years ago and now my sister got her diagnosis.

Just to be clear, I am not a writer by any means, I am an RN so I will do my best not to get too clinical unless it is necessary to assist others.  I am just someone who loves her sister and wants to tell her story.  We have been blessed with loving family and friends who want to support in any way they can, and I thought this would be a good way to keep everyone informed of her progress and eventual triumph!

My hope is that by telling you my sister’s story, we can help others who have just been diagnosed or just be here to offer support.

My sister’s story starts in January of 2017; earlier in the month my sister found a lump in her breast. After a visit to her physician, a mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy, on February 2nd she was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) Stage I Grade 3.

I simply can’t articulate how hearing that diagnosis felt. We were at a loss for words and feelings!! Just hearing the word cancer broke my heart, It has been less than two years since we lost mom to Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, and, to be honest, I truly don’t think we have completely processed our feelings.

Despite our shock and heartbreak, Sam and I just jumped in and started making appointments-breast specialist, oncologist, every “ist” she will ever need. The past 22 days have been a roller coaster ride, as soon as we received the diagnosis we immediately made an appointment with a breast surgeon that came highly recommended.  During this visit he went over the pathology report and the treatment plan, her type of cancer- a triple negative- meaning the cancer will not respond to hormonal therapy.  The following week she met with the medical oncologist who spelled out the short and lomg term plan.

My sister will be starting chemotherapy next Tuesday, and in preparation, yesterday she had an electrocardiogram to make sure her cardiac function was good because chemotherapy can cause cardiac problems. She also had a port inserted for the chemotherapy agents.

IDC accounts for about 80% of all breast cancers.  It is the most common of breast cancers and it’s considered invasive when it has spread to the surrounding breast tissue.

My sister is faithful in performing her self-breast exams. I encourage all women to perform self-breast exams every month.  For more information on breast cancer go to www.breastcancer.org <http://www.breastcancer.org> .