Monday, February 25, 2008

No more chemo!

Gunter took his last ABVD treatment today! Here he is posing in his celebratory "I'm a chemo grad" shirt. He's not feeling great tonight, but knowing that this is the last one will make recovery a whole lot easier. He'll go back tomorrow for his Neulasta shot and on March 6 for a PET scan. We'll find out the results March 10.

The last few days were probably the best Gunter has had for quite a while. Wednesday through Sunday, he was just about back to his old self again, and we sure did enjoy it! After a few weeks that were a little on the rough side, this past week was an uplifting gift from God, a glimmer of hope for lots more feel-good days.

I can't believe we made it through all 12...There were times (even recently) when I had my doubts. Thank you, Lord! And thank you to all our friends and family so willing to help out, encourage and pray for us! Keep praying for good results March 10.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sunshine today

I've gotten lots of encouragement since I made the last post. Thank you so much -- you know who you are! It's a beautiful day.

Gunter just got his blood checked, and his counts are surprisingly high (I guess that's a good thing?). I'm not sure why or what that means, but I'll just consider it a blessing.

Just to add another photo, here we are at the close of our church's Valentine banquet -- a little tired, but happy.

Yesterday and today, I'm thinking on Jeremiah 29:10-14.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Post-chemo #11

Chemo #11 has come and gone, bringing with it either another case of bronchitis or a toxic reaction to bleomyacin. We went to Montgomery Friday afternoon for a chest x-ray, and that was the verdict. I’m leaning more toward bleomyacin problems because Gunter has been bumping down his steroids the past couple of treatments, which are supposed to combat reactions like this. If it goes unchecked, a bleomyacin reaction could cause long-term lung damage.

Gunter will take his last treatment Feb. 25 (woo-hoo!) and have a PET scan sometime during the first week in March. We’ll find out the results March 10.

Karen B. drove all the way to Andalusia yesterday to eat lunch with me. We sat and talked for over four hours. It will have to happen again soon.

Gunter and I tried the Huddle House in Andalusia for the first time last night. It excites me that we have something Waffle House-ish right down the road, just in case we get a craving for cheese eggs and hash browns in the middle of the night. Ha!

I thought I’d share a photo of one of my favorite things… These happy flowers were planted by Mrs. Moore, who used to live in our house. A whole row of them still come up every February and brighten my day. When she planted them, I bet she didn’t know that her work would benefit others later.

“All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet…Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” – Hebrews 12:11-14

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Happy birthday, and goodbye flu!

Happy birthday, Gunter! I can't believe he's a quarter of a century old. He got breakfast in bed this morning, and now he's listening to his new Brooklyn Tabernacle CD. Talk about a happy camper. And, phone calls from my side of the family have's tradition.

Last night, we accompanied our pastor and his wife to First Baptist Montgomery to hear Henry Blackaby speak, along with a Korean children's choir and Dr. Billy Kim, a Korean missionary. That might sound like a dorky way to spend a Friday night, but we had a wonderful time! We made a Krispy Kreme run afterwards and got home a little after midnight -- the latest we've been out for a long time! We're getting old. One of the night's highlights was seeing the lovely Butler sisters and Chase C. It was nice to see some familiar faces from our college days (actual people our age!), and Karen and I will make a point to see each other again soon. She's always been such a true, loyal friend.

This week, one case of alleged bronchitis has turned into two cases of alleged flu -- even though one of the victims actually took the flu vaccine this year. I've never had the flu before, but Dr. K thinks the flu shot saved me from getting hit with it much worse, if flu is actually what I've had. He says our area is at the beginning of a flu "epidemic." To illustrate how bad it is already, Wal-Mart had run out of Tamiflu when I went to pick up my prescription, and the in-store wait to get a prescription filled was three hours. Those were only for the people who had actually gone to the doctor and taken prescriptions to Wal-Mart that particular day -- that doesn't even count all the sick people walking around who haven't been to the doctor or who got prescriptions filled elsewhere.

Surprisingly, I've been dealing with this whole germy situation better than I expected. I guess it makes me feel better that Gunter only has two treatments left. I also realize that there's not much I can do about it. At this point, I don't see a change in schedule as quite as risky as it would have been earlier on. Also, when we reported his fever to the Cancer Center, they just told him to take Ibuprofen and Tamiflu instead of that emergency fever kit we literally carried around with us like a security blanket for the first few weeks of treatment. Apparently, they think his white blood cells are strong enough to fight this off.

I'm completely over my bout with flu, except for just a little cough here and there, and Gunter still has some chest congestion. He seems to be on the upswing.

Tonight, we're helping with a youth fundraiser -- the annual Northern Heights Baptist Church Valentine Banquet. Youth and volunteers cook and wait tables to raise money for summer activities. It's sure to be very romantic, and a good time for everybody!

"This is real love -- not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." 1 John 4:10