I had my 14th chemo treatment on Monday, & my veins are finally done for. Kathy (the wonder nurse) has been just awesome at always being able to find a vein & get the needle in with the minimum of pain & fuss, but it's been a bit more challenging for her the past couple of times. On Monday, she just couldn't find one on my left arm that would work at all--she had to put it in the right, which is not ideal since I had 11 lymph nodes removed from that side & have to be careful about anything involving the circulatory system in that arm. I am headed into LDS Hospital this afternoon for a small procedure to implant a port-a-cath into my chest that will make receiving the chemo & doing blood work extremely easy. You may be wondering why this wasn't done 18 months ago, because many people have this done before they ever start any chemo. Well, one of the downsides to it is that you then have to take a blood-thinner every day to reduce the risk of blood clots--although I've been told that the dosage is so small that I probably won't notice the side effects of it. And Kathy explained to me on Monday that they try to let their patients go as long as possible without a port, because when you first get that nasty cancer diagnosis there is so much that changes in your life & not having a port is just one more way that we can keep things somewhat "normal". I am really glad that I've been able to go 18 months without one--Kathy has been so good at doing my IV's that it's not been that awful & it's been nice not to have to have one more weird thing going on in my body. Soooo, as you can well imagine I am, once again, NOT excited about the upcoming swimsuit season.
On the upside, my CA-125 numbers dropped from 90 to 82--yea! It's not a huge drop, but because it's getting down under 100, it's not likely to drop drastically. It's just wonderful that it dropped! At this point in time, the plan is to keep doing chemo every other week until my numbers quit dropping. If & when they stabilize, we may continue to do the chemo, but just not as frequently--maybe every 3-4 weeks.
The last couple of weeks I have been trying to prepare for a talk I get to give next Thursday at a RS Birthday Social. The theme for the evening is "We are His Hands", & I have been spending time re-reading through the last 18 months of journal entries. This is honestly the first time in my entire life when I have kept a journal on a regular basis. I have really gained a testimony of the importance of writing our life experiences & thoughts down. I know it's a blessing at the time I write, because it helps my mind to focus on the good things that occur each day & increases my gratitude. But, I am now seeing what a blessing it is to re-read and remember the "tender mercies" of the Lord. Some people reading my journal might say that the things that occur daily in my life are small & insignificant--that many of the sweet things that occur are just coincidences. That is not how I see them--as I read them, I am reminded again of the love my Heavenly Father has for me, & the small & simple ways that He expresses His love. As I read the entries about the service that others have performed for me & my family, my heart swells once again with love & gratitude for them. I don't think my children read this blog-- but if they ever do, one thing I would tell them to do is keep a journal & write every day about the blessings & tender mercies they 've received that day. When you know you are going to write it down & express thanks to God for it, I believe your eyes are more open to the blessings & little miracles that He is continually bestowing upon all His children. Much love, Kim
Kim was diagnosed last Thursday, September 16, 2010 with ovarian cancer. As Kim's Family, Friends, Neighbors and Fans - we have started this blog to help share information, updates, support, and love with each other during her next few months of surgery, treatment and healing. We will try to update it whenever we receive information. Please feel free to leave a comment expressing your support, love, and encouragement anytime - as that is how we will all grow and strengthen each other - especially Kim and her family. We love you Kim, and our faith, prayers, and total support and dedication are with you as you embark on this "Journey"!