Lazy Mornings

Yesterday was a pretty normal day. Work, then household tasks, including making an egg bake, mostly for Dan, and some baked oatmeal, mostly for me. Eggs have been making me feel kind of sick, and mornings are the worst anyway so the combination hasn’t been great.

Usually as the day goes on, I get less nauseous; by dinner I can usually eat whatever I want. Fatigue has been better since I got the blood on Monday.

Since I always go in late on Wednesdays, Dan decides he could go in a little later today too. It was nice to get some extra time together this morning.

I already did most of the things I usually do on Wednesdays, yesterday, so I took a bath and watched a throwback meet – 2005 Visa Championships – and I miss that quad! Dang. I also stretched some.

I hadn’t done any kind of hand or arm balancing really since treatment started, because I just didn’t trust myself. More recently, I was just afraid I wouldn’t remember how or wouldn’t be capable anymore. It’s nice to know I still have a few tricks.



Day 11

Today is the 11th day of the second round. It was no surprise to me when my labs revealed my hematocrit had dropped right back to 22 – I am so tired and cold. My platelets are also trending down, so those are scheduled for Friday. I am going to be here all day again on Friday, and they’re thinking of adding blood too. It’s going to be a long one, because the injections are done as of today, and now we’re back to infusions. This week’s is scheduled to last 4.5 hours. Yikes. My nurse is also going to get me a new prescription for zofran, as I was still using what I’d received while in the hospital!

I want to go back to work but my blood is taking FOREVER. I thought I’d be out of here by 4pm but I still have about a quarter of the bag left. And then I have to battle traffic back to Bothell.



This morning, I was listening to Steadfast by Sandra McCracken and thinking about several different things that have come up over the last week or so.

Dan and I had a discussion about the book of Ruth a little while back and I said that I spent a long time hating that book because I’d only heard it taught at women’s Bible studies, where I was repeatedly told that the point of the book was that if you are a smart, industrious woman like Ruth, you too will find a husband.

It wasn’t until I read A Loving Life by Paul Miller that things changed for me. Instead of emphasizing Ruth and Boaz, he examines the relationship between Ruth and Naomi, and what it took for Ruth to love and serve her mother in law in a foreign land. Miller introduces the concept of Hesed, one of several Hebrew words for love. It is often translated as steadfast, but can also be found as kindness, faithfulness, goodness, and mercy. It is a love of loyalty. Miller describes it as combining sacrifice and commitment; it is “love without an exit strategy”. What is important for us to see, is that this steadfastness is made complete in a holy God.

Lauren Chandler describes it this way in her book Steadfast Love, “It is the committed, unchanging, loving determination of the Lord who will never give up on those whom He has chosen for Himself”

I was thinking about that, and another passage I memorized long ago: 2 Timothy 2:8-13, particularly verse 13

If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

On our worst day, when we trust and believe God the least, He remains with us, because He has called us His own and to walk back on His promises to us is simply not in His nature. It is impossible for God to lie and to be anything other than holy, holy, holy.


Double nap day

We went to church in the morning, and though I felt awake when we left, I was falling asleep in the pew by the end. I also felt kind of nauseous and just generally sick. We got home and I slept until it was time to go to the doctor for my shot.

They were running behind for once so we were there the longest we’ve been for the injection. We went to Costco and Fred Meyer for some ingredients for the house, and specifically for some Thai peanut chicken and veggie wraps. By the end of our outing, I was tired again. I didn’t think I was fall asleep tired, but when I awoke on the couch two hours later, I had been proven wrong.

My body can’t decide if it’s going to throw up or not. That’s what it feels like. Dan did a ton of work while I was sleeping both times – prepping salad toppings, cooking chicken, kitchen clean up, and mopping. I did make the sauce for the wraps but then I got sick feeling again so Dan had to put them together. I took compazine but I don’t know if it’s helping.

Tomorrow is going to be a very long day. I have to be to work at 7:30am, and then I will leave right from there to go to SCCA for a blood draw, results review, and they already have a transfusion scheduled, which means I will have to have a sub do my first class, and I will likely be late to the second (which is ok because they can warm up with my co-coach for up to 45 minutes). Then I won’t be home until about 9pm. Hopefully I can do all that – the transfusion should help a little.



Yesterday, I got up for work and left a little early so I would have time to get my free drink at Starbucks on the way. My boss was there subbing, and she had flowers and a gift for me, and she had fun making all the kids guess how old I am. The best guess was 27 and the worst was 6. Close. I was a little nauseous at work but when my prescriptions didn’t quite seem to have it handled, candied ginger took care of me.

After work, I stopped home to change and get presents from Dan. One was actually a long time coming – he had intended to give it a long time ago but didn’t finish. It was extra sweet because it, a handwritten copy of the book of Lamentations, had a letter in it from June 6th when he thought it was going to be a wedding present. June 6th was also the day that it was confirmed I had cancer. He also wrote a new letter in the front and it was a joy to celebrate no longer fearing the future.

Then we went to SCCA to get a chemo shot and stopped at molly moon’s on the way home because I have a thing for their s’mores ice cream (only in August so go soon if that sounds good for you). I wanted to take a bath when we got home, and when I never came downstairs, Dan came up to find me and we both took a really solid nap.

Our dinner plans need some explanation and I don’t know which end to start at. As mentioned the other day, Dan had never been to a Chinese buffet and I decided we had to go. Last year for my birthday, we had won a photo shoot, so we were dressed up when we went to this hole in the wall Senegalese place. So we decided to also overdress for the Chinese buffet. However our thunder was stolen when we realized there was a wedding reception was being held there. But it was still very fun and we ate too much and had a grand time. We went to V Star in Everett and were very impressed with the selection – not only did it have all the regular things you’d expect, but also dim sum, a sushi bar, a Mongolian grill, and entire freezer full of ice cream. The Mongolian pork was a highlight for both of us, as were the sugar donuts we had to cap it all off.

Dan wasn’t quite done, and when we got home, he broke out the champagne and two crystal flutes he’d acquired on a secret mission earlier today. We toasted to a lot of things, but most important to being cancer free and to us.

Hi 28!



I walked in the door last night and laid down on the couch with Dan. He held me in silence a long time and I cried some more and then he read the first ten psalms. It opened the door for us to slowly let a mostly normal and decent night to unfold. My stomach only wanted plain buttered noodles for dinner but other than that…oh and I also got Dan to watch a condensed version of my favorite gymnastics competition: 2008 Olympic All Around final.

We listened to some Harry Potter and I gave him a link to some very specific bath salts I hope he buys while he’s at target in the morning spending wedding presents and doing home projects. I fell asleep easily but of course woke up five hours later.


A different tired

I didn’t want to get out of bed today, but it was less physical fatigue (although the early morning blood draw really doesn’t help) and more emotional.

I was in an off mood last night after work and it rolled over into this morning. I used to do fun things on my day off – take dance or yoga classes, go hiking, bake bread by hand from scratch, make spritz cookies. Now I just go to the doctor. I’m tired of that, and not looking or feeling like myself and driving to Seattle. This round is a lot harder on me than the last one. I was doing this thing where I don’t even try to be in a better mood. I just wanted to wallow. It reminded me of a quote from a book I read a long time ago.

“In a weird way I must have loved my little collection of hurts and wounds. They provided me with some real nice sympathy, with the feeling I was exceptional. I was the girl abandoned by her mother. I was the girl who kneeled on grits. What a special case I was”  (Sue Monk Kidd, Secret Life of Bees p 278)

You can tell I saved that from college because of the page number. Cite your sources or die.

Anyway, the morning was basically just me going through the motions – making a breakfast I ended up not really eating because it made me queasy, packing up for the day. I cried when Dan and I went to our cars and kissed goodbye. He’s probably going to be spend the day being worried about me because he is a tremendous worrier.

I made good time to SCCA and had a pleasant nurse for labs. She said I’m the first person she’s ever heard say they don’t mind lumbar punctures. I was surprised because they are just really not a big deal to me. I bought my post lumbar puncture coke at the cafe and headed up to the fourth floor to wait for the labs to be done.

Well, my hematocrit was down to 22, so I will be having another transfusion today. My neutrophil count also dropped so I get to start a new medication tomorrow. What fun.

Maybe not on the transfusion. My hold sample with the blood bank expired yesterday so they have to process it again and it takes four hours. Sarah and Christen wanted to see if they could get it done at a decent time so I’m not here so long on my birthday tomorrow. I’m either here longer than expected today or tomorrow and frankly I’m not in the mood for either so I really don’t care. I was going to visit Elizabeth at work and go to the cookie counter for the first time in months before Dan got off work but now with a transfusion I’d probably just go home.

I did get my sweet heated massage chair over on the infusions wing, so that’s something. I have been freezing today so I gladly accepted the blanket offer for once. Otherwise, I am still in quite the mood. The assistant who walked me back asked how my day was going and I told her I’ve been here but I thought to myself “well I woke up at six am on my day off to be too nauseous to eat the breakfast I made, battle traffic, and get stuck with a half dozen different needles so I will let you guess how that is going.”

(The blog did something weird and I can’t undo it. Sorry).

Well they scheduled the blood for 3pm and it will take 2.5 hours. Today sucks honestly. I thought I was actually going to get to do something fun and instead I have 10 hours at the doctor.

I decided to walk to a close restaurant for lunch because I didn’t pack one because I thought I’d be leaving by 11. After surveying my options, I chose the grilled cheese experience both for its proximity to SCCA and it sounded good. I got a super deluxe (aged chipotle cheddar, house smoked bacon, caramelized onions, farm greens, sun dried tomatoes, and fresh avocado on Parmesan crusted sourdough) and tomato soup. They were very good, though the soup was a bit salty. The sandwich was spectacular though. Just being outside made me feel a little better, but I do get tired pretty easily so just walking around until 3 is not an option for me.

I finished my lunch and went up to territory I had previously not charted: the sixth floor. I checked in at the Bezos immunotherapy unit and settled in.

I fell asleep on the couch and awoke to a nurse telling me my blood had become available early so she took me back to a room to get vitals and access my port (it was de accessed after the blood draw because I thought I was just having a shot today). We’re just waiting for the blood to come up from wherever they keep it. I got another warm blanket and an even fancier chair. When I said I’d been running cold today, the nurse said that’s part in parcel with having such a low hematocrit. I don’t remember that from last time, but it also wasn’t quite as low and it was warmer outside as well.

I just wish the blood didn’t take so long.

I only finally felt better listening to excerpts from William Wilberforce’s book on the way home. It always amazes me how timeless his message and critique of modern society is. He wrote in the 18th century and yet the gospel he preaches is just as necessary today.