From Elaine's CaringBridge Site
Journal entry by Laura Roberts — 7/3/2015
We are in the middle of week 5 and we are doing okay. We are still just trying to manage the side effects. Monday was the last treatment for this cycle. She has no treatment next week but we have a PET Scan scheduled for Thursday, July 9th. I trust that we will see then that this chemo is doing what it is supposed to be doing on this scan. Please be in prayer with us that we see visibly on the scan that the tumor in her foot and in her shoulder are shrinking and that there are no new places.
It is amazing to me the difference in how Elaine feels from day to day. You would think there would be some predictability with it but it is really a rollercoaster. A very bad day for Elaine is she stays in bed all day in a pain medicine induced sleep because she is either too nauseous or something hurts too bad to be awake. A bad day for Elaine is she stays in bed because she feels bad but she alternates between sleeping and watching Netflix on her computer. A good day for Elaine is when she feels like coming into the kitchen or den to eat or watch TV as opposed to eating in bed. A great day for Elaine is when she feels like playing a board game or plays the piano or picks up her phone and texts with her friends. On rare days she will feel like getting ready and getting out of the house. We usually can stay gone for about an hour and a half to two hours before it is time to get back to the house. We have only gone out (not treatment) two times. Last week when she was getting treatment all 5 days she felt pretty good Monday and Tuesday but by Wednesday we were taking her to her treatment in a wheelchair because she was too weak to walk the long distance from the parking garage to the clinic. By Monday she was back on her feet (it could have gone either way but she choose to walk) making the long walk. Its a marathon and not a sprint.
Elaine's hair is almost all gone now. We ordered some headscarves that she is trying. With any new piece of clothing for a girl it goes on and comes off and goes on again and comes off again. She is working through the process of getting used to her new look. She very bravely went out to a restaurant with a head scarf on her head. Of course she thought people were staring at her and we had to stay in the car while she decided if we were actually going in or not. But we went in and ate dinner and she did great. #WarriorStrong.
Saturday, July 4th is Elaine's 16th birthday. Truthfully, she would like to skip her birthday altogether but with the help of the psychologist at Children's, she agreed to having her grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousin over for a birthday celebration. I've been wanting to have a huge 16th birthday party since she turned 15 but it will have to wait until she turns 17 and 18 and 19 and every year after. I love a party but Elaine is having trouble being center of attention. Even when she was well she wasn't too big on having the attention on her. Her driver's license picture will be taken with a head scarf. I know it's only temporary and we can go back and get a new picture when the hair starts coming back. We can get a new picture a month if that is what she wants but the whole thing of turning 16 and having to get a license picture with a head scarf instead of her hair just plain stinks. Elaine was down about it all so I told her about Zechariah 9:12 that says "Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you." She listened so I hope she takes that verse to heart and claims it. This is big but God is bigger! Please pray that Elaine's feels good on her birthday so she can enjoy the day.
Though this is a tough road we are going down we have received many, many blessings since all of this started. Here are some of the blessings from just this week.
We haven't had to go to the emergency room this week; actually two weeks. Yay!
We met a cancer survivor that was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma at 15 and has been cancer free for 7 years. She is a graduate of Auburn University and has her first job fundraising for Auburn. Elaine got to talk with her about things like hair loss and being a homebound student among other things.
I received a message from someone I've never met telling me about their child that was diagnosed with liver cancer as an infant. Saturday, July 4th (Elaine's birthday) will be the 10th anniversary of this miracle child being cancer free. A coincidence? I think not!
Brent found an article on-line of a boy that was diagnosed with ARMS (the same cancer Elaine has) at 15. The cancer was in his trunk in many places (worse that the number of places that Elaine has). This child is 2 years cancer free and is 19 years old now. Encouragement when I needed encouragement! God's timing is perfect even when we don't understand everything.
Many delicious meals from wonderful friends and friends of friends that are new friends. It's amazing the blessings we have received from people we had not previously met.
A very generous birthday gift to Elaine from CSA, a longtime client. You've heard of "It's just business" well with some clients its more like "its just like family". You spend a good part of your life with the people you work with and sell to and provide customer service for and some clients are more than just clients and CSA and their utilities certainly fall into that category for me.
Happy 4th of July to all of you! Next week there will be Pet Scan results and a recap of Elaine's 16th birthday...maybe with pictures. Since cancer she won't let me take pictures of her so I have to sneak to get some or annoy until she just agrees. :-)
Rejoice and exult in hope; be patient and steadfast in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." John 13:7.