Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Outside time

Today was a great day of therapy. I felt more confident in the transfer to the wheelchair and back to bed. I still don't think I am doing much, but they say I am. I did some great exercises and can see my strength improving.

The best news is that while I was doing some wheelchair mobility training, I got to go outside!! It was perfect weather and I just strolled up and down the large walkway/atrium of the hospital. It felt amazing to be out in the fresh air. My big goal is to stay straight in the wheelchair as I veer to the right because right now my left arm is a little stronger than my right. Lean to the left, wheel to the is a delicate balance that will come soon I am sure. I already felt some success with our time today. I also need to learn to pick up the speed as when we were heading upstairs, I missed one elevator for going so slow! That will come too.

I might have mentioned my arm pain in a past post.  There is a pain that make it difficult to extend my arm fully, or bend to my shoulder all the way.  I have just dealt with it for months now.  As my arm strength is vital, the doctors looked into it further.  My Rehab doctor, Dr. Mendez, looked over my past scans and found that my last bone scan revealed a tumor in the area of my pain. I never knew about it.  The tumor itself should not necessarily evoke pain, but I might have some swelling and/or fluid build up as well as some muscle soreness. She sent a pain management doctor to see me today.  He was very nice and told me there are some things to do now (I am starting a low dose of Celebrex) and he is going to review my scans and talk to Dr. Haley about some other potential treatments.  I am just glad to have some answers and doctors who are on top of it.  Another reason I am so blessed to be in this hospital for rehab with all the doctors able to both see me quickly, do scans, and all work together. 

My BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) small group came to see me for lunch fellowship today. It was so great to see them and they were so sweet to make the long drive up. It was a great break to my day to see them in between therapy. I will always have off from 12-1 for lunch.

My group also presented me with MANY gift cards to restaurants for Jake and the girls. Several other groups like our Sunday school, Jadyn's precious basketball team, and the girl's schools have done the same thing. It is a huge blessing as each night is different for Jake so gathering meals would be harder. Jake and the girls have been eating out a lot. Jake decided that they were going to start making healthier eating out practices, like no more french fries. Katelyn told Jake yesterday at Chick-fil-A, while eating chicken and fruit, "Dad, it just doesn't feel like we're at Chick-fil-A without the fries. It is just like eating... chicken... and fruit." Jake said, "Katelyn, you are eating chicken and fruit." I am very thankful to hear that news, as I am all for making it as healthy as possible during this time.

A friend emailed me for specific prayer requests I had for a prayer time she was having. Since I wrote them all out, I thought I would post them for you too. I love praying specifically and boldly presenting my heart's desire before Him. So, they are long, but here they are:

Physically, I am praying for specific healing of my nerves, that they would begin re-firing to each muscle group. Also, strengthening of my muscles in my legs as well as arm strength to accomplish daily tasks until my legs start working better. Also, we are doing very little right now to stop the cancer growth. I will be able to get radiation in 2-3 weeks to several areas which will help. I will then hopefully start some type of treatment/chemo with low side effects as I need all my strength for rehab right now. So, I am boldly praying that the cancer is slowing despite the lack of chemotherapy. Lastly, pray the treatment the doctor is giving me is correct and effective for my arm pain and I gain more mobility and strength in this area.

Emotionally, you can pray that I continue to have God's peace that passes understanding. I pray that I do not take one step without His help and lean not on my own understanding, but follow Him down the path He has paved for me. I am grateful for the extra time I have been able to spend in the Word and in Bible study while I am in the hospital.

Pray for my family to be taken care of completely in my absence. Pray for calmness and routine in the house and good attitudes all around. Pray that Jake is able to be both mom and dad during this time, remain calm under pressure and be able to have moments of down time for himself. Pray that the girls, Katelyn, Jadyn and Bryn have the ability to cope with all the changes and be stronger because of them.

Finally, pray that we as a family would draw closer to God during this time of struggle and challenge. Pray we would grow stronger as a family because of it. And that we would be a testimony to God's faithfulness, provision, grace, healing and peace.  

Thank you!
Much love and blessings,


Lynne said...

You have quite a team of doctors, family and friends... we wish we were closer to be of help. We send our love and continued prayers. Dave and Lynne

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us in your prayer requests. It is an honor to lift you and your family up to the Great Healer. As you walk this path it reminds me of a statement in last week's BSF lecture...The storms of life are where we see the strength of the ANCHOR. This is a big storm, but it will never compare to the strength of our Anchor-who has a perfect plan for you, His precious child.
In His Love,

Anonymous said...

You are truly gifted with your very transparent when you write, I feel like I am sitting right next to you and know your heart. Thank you for outlining your specific prayer requests... we are praying diligently here at home and are waiting in expectation for our Almighty God to reveal himself through you once again.

Anonymous said...

You are truly gifted with your very transparent when you write, I feel like I am sitting right next to you and know your heart. Thank you for outlining your specific prayer requests... we are praying diligently here at home and are waiting in expectation for our Almighty God to reveal himself through you once again.

Honored to be your friend,

Lisa Smith & family

Shandra said...

So glad to be able to read your updates. I added you to my Bible study prayer.list. I met your wonderful husband as well as your 2 youngest the other night. They all light up when they talk about you. Many blessings, Shandra

natalie said...

Hi Jess!

I LOVE your pictures of your girls! They are SO beautiful, and they all have your beautiful Red Hair - How Cool! None of my kids look like me - a blonde, a super curly top and a golden brown!

I was SO excited to tell you that I got the verbal results of my scan today and my bone mets are regressing and healing!!! My tumor markers came down to 36, almost in half in 2 weeks time!! The only thing I changed was being able to consistently use the Tykerb!! I can't remember what I wrote last time, but after my first dose of Iexmpra/Xeloda/Hereptin my markers barely moved at all, from 95 to
82. We dropped the Herceptin and added Tykerb but I had awful tummy aches and D and had to stop and work my way back up very slowly. In that 3 weeks, numbers dropped from 82 to 61. I finally worked up to 3 Tykerb every day and 2 weeks later my markers dropped from 61 to 36!! I am up to 4 now (dose is 5) and my scan came back clean and showing healing bone mets! I'll see actual report tomorrow and we will discuss possibly staying on a little longer, but I think we will drop the Ixempra and stick to one week on, one week off Xeloda with daily Tykerb. I don't think the Xeloda alone would work, or Xeloda/Herceptin, it's the Tykerb!! Maybe you could try the Xeloda/Tykerb, as it is pretty mild treatment. Remember my Bone Biopsy came back as triple negative, but now we know there is a Her2 componant by how I responded to Herceptin and now Tykerb. Talk to you Onc about it.

I'm so sorry you are having to deal with so much pain. I will continue prayers and hope you are healed soon.

I love you - Natalie