Gratefull! Hopefull! The Journey Continues, part 3

By the time this issue goes to print, I will have two treatments left of the six initial chemo treatments prescribed. April 6th would have been my last, but low platelets and hemoglobin at what would have been #5 treatment gave me an extra ten days to recuperate. To say I am elated at the prospect of these coming to an end would be an understatement for sure, but I can’t say I haven’t enjoyed the extra time to feel good! I mentioned side effects in my last update and while losing your hair ranks very high on the list, losing your appetite and the changes you experience with regard to taste has really become a bigger issue. Imagine nothing tasting as it currently does for you. Things can have a metallic taste of sorts, but mostly they just taste different and not in a good way. The things I love to eat the most are off the radar for now. Popcorn and a Pepsi are my absolute favorite snack in the whole wide world, but both are a definite “No” for now. Ask anyone that knows me well, and they will tell you what a picky eater I am. I often kid that I have the taste buds of a twelve-year-old. It’s not something I’m proud of, and over the years I have honestly tried to increase my options for a more mature palate but to no avail. Fruit and pasta have been my saving grace, and for some reason still taste the most normal to me. Thanks to my husband’s insistence, I’m able to survive off that, and his protein shakes. The first week after chemo is the worst, and I’m so thankful that it starts getting a little better each day thereafter, or I might be down to a size zero before this is over.

I was recently asked to be part of a student-led fundraiser at Wake Forest University called Wake & Shake. It benefits the Brian Piccolo Cancer Research Fund and all monies raised will be donated to the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest Baptist Health. The effort and energy of these students is nothing short of amazing! One of their event taglines is, “It’s about being a part of something bigger than yourself.” How wonderful that these students take the time to do just that! We are at our best when we put others before ourselves. I believe God created us to do just that. I’m benefiting from their hard work and all the people that do similar fundraisers to find a cure. Every day they learn more and develop new treatments that give hope to patients and their families.

I continue to be humbled by the outpouring of love and support! My family and church have been nothing short of amazing, and I count them among my largest blessings. My work team has done everything in their power to help me and have picked up my slack the entire way. Folks I haven’t spoken to in years have reached out and offered words of encouragement. Neighbor Dan has supplied me weekly with enough soup from his café to feed an army. Prayers, cards, and food abound. Rebecca, my daughter’s friend from work let me borrow her pink boxing gloves. We had a little too much fun with that one…imagine the Rocky theme playing in the background. While there seems to be so much unrest and divisiveness in our world, I remain hope-full and grate-full by all the good!

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