Friday, September 08, 2006

Aug 28 Update

Dear Family & Friends,

This is the first“Update” I’m sending out. Since I’m still working on adding email addresses to my list, it’s a worry that I may have left someone off by mistake. So please email me if you’re not reading this so I can add you on. (How do I find out whoI’ve missed?)

I saw the oncologist on Thurs (24th). He is very optimistic that the treatment regimen will get the cancer under control but he basically said I’d be doing chemo once a week for the next 6 months to a year and then periodically the rest of my life. The first treatment starts this Tues (29th) andwill last 3 hrs. After that, they will be shorter.

Besides the chemo drug, I’ll be getting Herceptin – a fairly new non-chemo drug which works with your immune system to attach to the cancer cell and bring other immune cells to help kill it. There are side effects to everything, so more meds will be added to combat those (one of my pet peeves with medicine). I have a nice short haircut and a wig waiting in anticipation of losing my hair.

Some of you know I’ve been taking and even selling a nutritional product (Reliv) that helped my son-in-law overcome his horrible problems with Crohn’s disease. Unfortunately I didn’t understand that I still had cancer cells running amok so the minimal maintenance dose I was taking wasn’t enough. In the last 6 weeks since my diagnosis, I’vebeen flooding myself with this nutrition figuring it couldn’t hurt and there wasn’t much else I could do. My lab work came back showing the white count (indication of your immune response) was the highest it’s been in the past 3 years! In fact, the doctor’s comment was, “It looks like your immune system is working overtime.” I also have a friend who says Reliv helped her tremendously with the side effects of chemo. This is my hope as well.

As an anti-chemo, alternative, nutrition-seeking person, it is difficult to agree to this treatment. But for some reason, I feel at peace with it – at least for now. My dear husband also really wants to be aggressive with treatments from all angles. So our plan is three-fold: Determined prayer, heavy-duty nutrition (Reliv), and chemo with Herceptin.

Thank-you for all the cards, emails and phone calls. My wish is to respond to each one but I’m having a hard time doing that. Whether I answer or not, please know that I read every word that comes to me and appreciate the brief ones as well as the long ones. Your encouragement keeps me going when I feel discouraged.

Feel free to call if you like (some have asked if they may). If I don’t feel up to it, I’ll let you know or you can leave a message.

Thanks again for the prayers and support,

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