Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Plan

Mark and I had an appointment with the oncologist today to discuss the plan for chemotherapy. This kind of chemotherapy is called adjuvant chemotherapy. The whole purpose is to prevent recurrence and prolong my life. Next Tuesday I will have outpatient surgery to have an IV port inserted into a vein in my chest. The following day we will begin chemotherapy. 

Chemotherapy will involve three days every two weeks. Wednesday will be a 5-6 hour infusion at the oncologist's office. I will then go home with a pump infusing continuous medication over the next 48 hours. Thursday I will have a two hour infusion at the oncologist's office, and then Friday I will go in to have the pump disconnected. Needless to say, I will get to know the staff at the oncologist's office really well! 

The most common side effects of the drugs I will be taking are tingling and numbness of the hands and feet, diarrhea (the story of my life!), and hand/foot syndrome (the pain, redness, and peeling of the skin I had before). They do not expect me to lose my hair, although there is a slight chance that could happen. Having an ileostomy, diarrhea will be the most serious side effect for me. I already lose a lot of fluid each day so I will have to be careful that I don't get dehydrated. 

They will also be monitoring my blood cell counts. If I experience a drop in white blood cells then they will add another medication that will help my bone marrow produce more white blood cells. This is a possibility for me due to the fact that I had radiation. Many of the bones that normally produce blood cells may have been damaged by the radiation. The doctor does not want to give me this medication unless I need it because it can cause pain in the bones. 

So, that's the plan going forward. Here are the specific things you can pray for me as we get ready for this new chapter in my treatment:

1. Pray that these drugs do what they are designed to do - kill any remaining cancer cells, especially in my liver and/or lungs.
2. Pray that the side effects will be non-existent!
3. Pray that my bone marrow will continue to produce the white blood cells that my body needs to fight infection.
4. Pray for successful insertion of the IV port next Tuesday without complications.
5. Pray for wisdom for the doctor and nurses as they monitor my treatments and make any necessary adjustments.
6. Pray that I will not be bored out of my mind as I sit still for a 5-6 hour IV infusion every other week!! LOL!

My words could never express to you how grateful I am for your continued prayers and support during the past 4 months. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have so many friends who love me and pray for me; and so many others I've never even met who have joined me in this battle. Thank you for caring enough to pray.

"The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17


  1. Sounds like a trip to the library or Barnes and Noble is needed. Continued prayers for you and Mark are being sent "up stairs!" "This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it"

    Miss seeing you!
    Paula P.

  2. Your prayer list is printed and will be beside me daily.

    I ask God grant you, through this time of getting peeled like a banana, the most incredible and amazing experiences over the next 6 months so that when you look back over this time period, you will look back in awe of God's 'singing' over you.

    And...... !!!!!!! For those bothersome hours of sitting trapped in a chair... If you haven't discovered Sudoku.... I suggest Will Shortz -Light & Easy to begin with. I like spiral bound.... Sudoku will evaporate hours of your day without you even being aware of the time flying by.

  3. Those 5-6 hours will fly by imagining your heavenly Father singing lullabies over you. You could rent some movies or tv series you've always wanted to watch and catch up on those. Those ports....we're a pro at those! Lifting you up for the specific requests. Thanks for allowing us to stand in the gap for you!

    Counting our blessings,

  4. So thankful for you! We will be praying these specific things for you, Laura. I agree with the others, we need to get you a little portable dvd player and some good movies, up your itunes/ipod and find some great books and magazines you like. Maybe you can nap too. Can you bring people in to sit with you?

  5. Dear Laura,
    Sounds like you have a strong team of doctors looking out for you and of course the Great Physician is right there too! GO FOR it girl, you CAN handle this. You don't want to look back at this part of the journey and think "what if". Don't be scared of the hair loss or bone marrow drugs if need be....but you WON"T have those as side effects :). I'll be praying for zero effects. I do have some beautiful hand painted scarfs I would loan you and your hair might come in curly curly like mine did HAHA The drugs for the blood cells are not that bad and can be handled too. I wish I didn't live so far away because I would sit with you in that chemo bay. Love you my friend! One more day closer to having this behind you.

  6. Hi Laura, it was so good to see you tonight at the womans's group!! Thinking of you often and praying for you and Mark!! With much love!
    Vickie D

  7. Laura, what a wonderful opportunity to take along a small dvd player and watch the superb lessons you have from damon and mark..rewiring my brain is the one im doing this week...!Larry