Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Moving Forward

The week after chemo went very well. The nausea was even less than last time and I was not as tired as I was before. I did preach over the weekend and three services on Sunday was a bit much, but I got through it. I will not have to that again since I am not on for preaching on the weekends following chemo the next two times.

Today I inherited a cold with a wonderful barking cough, so I do have a call into the nurses to see what I can or cannot take to help with this. It is always fun trying to mix medicines with what I can take with the chemo and what would affect it and the work the chemo is doing.

Mentally I have been very upbeat lately. With everything going as well as it is, I am feeling that the chemo is doing what it needs to be doing. If there are any cancer cells hiding in me, then the chemo is wiping them out and I will be cancer free following all of these treatments. I am also looking forward to radiation - the more I can do to wipe this stuff out the better!

I have also started some planning for the future. We are looking at a short family vacation before the last session of chemo - a little chance to get away and enjoy some family time. And I am looking at at a solo trip up to the Cities after all my treatments to catch up with some friends. It is nice to be able to look forward once again.

All for now - will update more later.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Round 2 Update

Round Two went very well today. Things got started a little later than expected because the place was packed. There was not a free chair for over 5 hours - and i knew a good number of the people who were there. One thing that was cool was that I was seated with people from church all day - so we had some great conversations.

I am also very grateful for the people who came to visit and just chat. These great people made the time go by much quicker, and after being there for 7 hours, it was a blessing to have friends there.

So I am done with two rounds - tonight I will be up a bit, the steroid they gave me have that affect on me. The next few days I will be taking the anti-nausea meds and a number of naps, but I am still planning to be at work when I am not sleeping and I am planning on preaching this weekend (the gospel lesson is the first recorded case of deviled ham - gotta love it).

Round three was moved to a Wednesday because of the July 4 holiday - so in just over three weeks I am at it again. I will have more later this week. God Bless.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Monday - Round 2

Tomorrow morning I start round 2 of chemo. The morning starts with another blood draw (one of the great weekly joys I have nowadays), then a meeting with the oncologist, followed by 7 hours of having fluids and chemo pumped into the system.

The good news is that the last session went so smoothly that I am feeling very positive about this round. Days 3-5 afterward were the worst, but that just meant I was tired and felt a wee bit queasy. I know many people who have had it a lot worse than me.

I am also feeling good about how the chemo is working. My thoughts are that if I am feeling as good as I am, then it must be hitting the cells it is target (it may be wishful thinking, but hey - I am hopeful here:).

last week we had our first Cancer Prayer Support Group meeting and had a nice turnout of survivors, those of us going through treatments, and family and friends of those affected. It is always a joy to see the survivors because of the hope that they give to others. It is also nice to have a group to gather and shore stories. We also see how much humor plays a part in the healing process. Laughter is a true blessing in all of this.

I will report back later this week on how it is all going. And I am sure that I will have some humorous Facebook updates tomorrow. Have a blessed night.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Synod Assembly

This weekend we are going to the annual synod assembly - a weekend of meetings and reconnecting with friends throughout the area. It is going to be held in the Wisconsin Dells at one of the waterparks.

After being diagnosed I was thinking about this weekend. It is one of the few times that we pastors get a weekend off together and can catch up with others. I always enjoyed going, not for the meetings, but rather for the fellowship. I was wondering if I was going to feel up for it this year after surgery and a round of chemo. Luckily everything has been going very well and I am all ready to head up there. We are going a little early as well, so that the girls can splash around with us before the assembly starts.

The reason I bring this up today, one of the reminders I have been given through this disease is that times of fellowship are more important than we sometimes realize. The friends, the family, those who are important to us - we need to make the time to be with them because that time we have may be limited.

So today - celebrate those who are important to you in your life. Go out to coffee with a friend, go for a walk with a family member, spend some time with someone who is important to you. Celebrate this gift of life - for it is a real gift.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Feeling Good and Looking Forward

Well the first week after the chemo treatment was much smoother than I ever expected. The side effects were quite minimal and after 6 days I am almost at 100%. I truly hope and pray that the next three sessions are as smooth as this one.

The three minor side effects I had were a small bit of nausea (which was well controlled with some great meds), being tired, especially days 3-5 (naps are a blessing!) and the one that surprised me - the chemo hiccups. It turns out that the chemo I was given and the steroid that went with it can cause hiccups in some people. I got that one. On Tuesday night I got the hiccups four times, each one lasting about an hour. Luckily I now have a new med that I can take if it happens again.

On Tuesday (yesterday) I went in for my weekly blood draw and all of the panels look great. My system is adapting to the chemo extremely well and I am up and starting exercise once again. I am continually amazed at how blessed I have been through this entire ordeal. I feel good and I am full of hope that these treatments will wipe out any cancer cells that are hiding in my system!

After going through all of this I have come up with a couple of ministry ideas as well. The first one I am putting into action is the Cancer Prayer Support Group. We will be meeting on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at Our Saviors and it is for anyone who has been affected by cancer either themselves, family or friends. I also know that there are many people who cannot come to Beloit for this group meeting, so I started a group on Facebook that will tie in with it. On that page I will get the names of people who are battling cancer and we will hold them up in prayer during our regular group meetings. If any of you want some info on this please let me know.

Now may all you be blessed with open eyes to see all of the great gifts life has to offer you today.