Tuesday, December 8, 2009

my favorite time of year...

Many have asked for an update so I guess I need to be better with the blog...
No news is good news though. I am cancer free and feeling great. My hair is growing back and I no longer wear hats.... YEAH! I am however sporting the "chemo curl" but glad to have hair. I have had board straight hair my entire life and now having to learn what to do with frizzzzzzz. Every day is a new hair day.

Life for us has been full.... We moved into our new house on Halloween day and have been trying to get the house in order ever since. We are finally settled (and decorated) and now it is Christmas season which for me in my job is a busy time of year.

My challenge has been to slow done and enjoy this season. I love this season and really want to be able to sit and soak it in.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

We are moving....

The week I found out I was in remission or NED (no evidence of disease) we also got a contract on our house and made an offer on a new house. It was a busy week but very exciting for us. The day is now approaching our closings and we are getting excited.

I am a little sentimental towards my house because it was my first house and I
have had a lot of first things happen while living in it. I have
loved my neighborhood and really have great relationships with some of my neighbors that I will miss.

our current house....

But, we are SO EXCITED about our new house. We are moving on Halloween to a great neighborhood and cant wait. Michael's sister and brother-in-law will live across the street so we will get to see our niece and nephews a lot! We can't wait. This house has a great back yard and is exactly what we were hoping to get in.
our new house!

Friday, October 2, 2009


I am officially in remission! We are so excited. I will begin the phases of coming off of different medications and begin a different chapter in life. Thanks for praying for us throughout the past 10 months. It has been a hard journey but we have been able to see the Lord work in our lives in powerful ways. I now can say I am a cancer survivor!
I will blog more soon, but wanted to get the word out today.

We have had quite a week. We got a contract on our house on Monday. Heard I was in remission on Wednesday, and put a contract on another house today..... If you want to know what it is like in our house... this is it. Stick with us to get the news of next week!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

the "GO RUN"...

Saturday we had the opportunity to go out and participate in a 5K that raises money for my specific cancer. It was a really neat experience to think that the money they raised goes to the research for cancer's that are not hardly ever heard of or rarely mentioned. My oncologist is in the middle of me and Michael and does lots of research. He is a neat man that has been incredibly encouraging to us. I am very thankful for all he has done for us and for all the cancers he researches.

This weekend really is the first physical thing that I have done since January when I started chemo. It was a great feeling and I was excited to be "on the move" again. I am playing tennis in a league again starting in October, so I hope to begin to get some stamina back. I never really knew how much chemo stripped me of everything.

On the hair front.....I think I might have a little growth beginning. It is slow and I am not 100% sure that it is not just wishful thinking but I am now hoping to be able to be hat free by Thanksgiving. My niece did tell me tonight that I could keep my hat off cause she could tell my hair was growing back. Usually she brings me my hat as soon as she sees me to cover my head. My first dream was hat free by Labor day then it went to Halloween and now I have pushed that back to Thanksgiving. I am still wondering what color, texture, and whether it will be curly. Hopefully just a few more months and we will know.

Friday, September 4, 2009

still not there...

Well I realize that I have not updated in a while and I was hoping to update after getting word that I was in remission. Well, as you might can imagine the last three days were not as we hoped. We had an appointment Wednesday and my oncologist wants to wait one more month. I realize that this is not that big of a deal and in the long term what is one more month, but I was EXTREMELY disappointed. I have been doing a daily count down for the past month and could hardly sleep Tuesday night because I was SO excited.
Oh well maybe next month! Please pray that we get the word on September 28.

And the good news is that my favorite time of year is here! Fall, Foliage, and Football. Cant beat that. We are excited to go to the first ever USA JAG football game tomorrow and tailgate.

If you are praying here are a few of our request:
1.) continued healing and restoration of my body.
2.) my hair to begin to grow back
3.) our house to sell
4.) Young Life as we begin another fall and continue to raise money in a tough economy.

thanks so much for sticking with us on this journey!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Time is flying but at the same time seems like it is standing still....

Have you ever felt like that? I feel like this summer has flown by in some ways and other ways I feel like October will never get here. I have really enjoyed this summer and come to a few conclusions that I will share with you. These are very random thoughts but this is what has been on my mind these days.
1.) Work weeks should only be 4 days. I think that America needs to establish 4 day work weeks or institute much more vacation.
2.) Milk should not cost so much.
3.) Mobile needs a Publix
4.) There should be one nationally celebrated and recognized by all holiday every month!

that's my thoughts!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Feeling Normal"

This past week has been an incredibly hard week as well as an amazing week wrapped in one. I got the opportunity to take some high school friends to a Young Life camp and I would say most had the best week of their summer. It was so much fun. I had mixed emotions going but also had an amazing week and it felt great getting to do "normal" summer activities to be. The day we left for camp was my due date. I believe that this day brought about emotions that I was not expecting but it was good to be occupied with all the details of going to camp. Going to camp really helped me begin to believe that I am on the road to recovery and I am beginning to believe that remission is coming.

I had blood work done this past Monday and met with the Oncologist and he believes that everything is looking good. My "counts" are where they need to be and we are moving forward and waiting on time to pass. I am now released to travel where ever I would like so Michael and I are going on vacation in August. I cant fly until October so it will be close by. We are still very excited. I have also no longer have to go get blood work every week! We will decrease our visits over the next few months so in the end we will only be going once a month. How exciting. I have only missed two Mondays since the beginning of the year so I think after 7 months of doing the same thing every Monday we will celebrate.

My hair has slowly stopped falling out....it still is a little. I look everyday for new growth and have not started that phase yet. I am so ready to not have to wear a hat to leave my house and that day is coming soon hopefully.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

staying the same...

I went for blood work on Monday and happy to say that my results from my last blood work stayed the same....THIS IS GREAT NEWS! I have now passed the six week mark with no active cancer cells. Michael thinks this time has flown by, but to me I feel like it has dragged along. Only 4 1/2 more months and the Oncologist will officially declare remission. What a blessing that will be...

On a side note...we got the bill this week for my last week of chemo that I did. That week I went every day (Mon-Fri) and so we had a total of 5 sessions for that round. Well, thank God we have insurance because just the chemo drugs were close to $5,000 per day. Yes, you read that right. I about feel out of the the chair when I read the bill. That doesn't include everything else, that is simply the DRUGS! But it worked, so I thank GOD for expensive drugs.

I am headed to camp on Sunday. I am very excited to get this opportunity. This is the first trip that I have been released to go on and so that makes me feel like I am on the road to remission. I am very excited about our group. The girls going are mostly from my campaigner group (which is just my small group that has become a large group) and I have had them for two years. This time last year they were all in my wedding, so they are very special to me.

Hope you have a great 4th!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Getting Stronger....

We have been celebrating a week with no doctor visits. This is a huge milestone for me. This is the first week in 27 weeks to not be in a Doctor's office having blood work, test, or chemo. WHOOO HOOOO! I do have to go next week but I believe I have begun the "every other week" routine as long as my blood work looks ok Monday.
I am feeling stronger everyday and can not wait to get to go to summer camp with my Young Life friends. I know that getting the opportunity to do normal summer things for me helps me feel like I am on the road to recovery. Michael and I are headed to Montgomery this weekend for a marathon wedding weekend. We have a rehearsal dinner Friday night, then two weddings Saturday (Congrats Steph and Jay and Trey and Kim). We are excited to get away and just enjoy feeling good enough to go!

On a side note...today is Drake's "GOTCHA DAY." I cant believe that I have had this puppy for 4 years although my dad claims to have kept him half his life....

The day I got him...

Drake has been so much fun!

Friday, June 12, 2009


Well I cant quite get the nerve up to just shave my head but I did go and get my "cancer cut" today. This is the shortest I have had my hair since I was an infant. I had more hair as a three month old than I do now. This hair cut does a good job of disguising the holes of missing hair. You can still see my scalp in many places and I will eventually lose it all but at least this will give me a chance to transition. so....drum roll.....here it is....

As I am trying to come to grips with losing all of my hair, I went and tried on wigs this past week. I will share with you a few pictures from my experience. It was very surreal and I am not sure that I will go this route. I might be more of a hat and scarf type person but nonetheless here is some pics....

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

out, out, and away

My hair is officially falling out.  I am not sure if it is all going to fall out or not but I have begun to have bald spots.  This has probably been the hardest part of this whole journey (other than the initial shock of "you have cancer" and "your cancer has returned").  So, next time you might see me, I might be bald or have a hair cut that matches my husbands.  Each morning I get up and there is a ton of hair in my bed.  I have decided to quit brushing my hair altogether to see if it will slow the process.  It is absolutely amazing (or depressing) how much hair comes out if I run my hand through my hair.  People have asked if it is coming out in chunks..not mine...it comes out in sheets....And in case you did not know....Losing my hair has hurt.  My scalp has a constant pain.  It is much like if your hair was in a french braid real tight for way too long.  When you take it down that sensation is what I have constantly.  
I had REALLY THICK HAIR....not so much anymore.  This is a small portion of what has falling out in the last day or so.....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

No chemo for now!

We are excited to say that I have no more chemo for now.  We met with the Oncologist on Monday and he has consulted with the "World's expert" in my type of  cancer and they are going with a wait and see mentality.  I have 0% of active cancer in me and so we are praying I am cancer free for good. I will be closely monitored each week for the next 6 months.  There is a 10% chance cancer could return and most likely it would within the first 6 months.  We are praying and would love for you to join us in this 6 month journey.  We are super excited that I will not have to endure any more chemo now.  I am still trying to recover from the first round but I feel so much better.  Thanks for all the emails, phone calls, and facebook messages.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wow...Praise Jesus!...but let's keep praying

Well, let me start today's post with Macy's good news....her number is 2!!!  For those of you who may not know what that means, we are talking about the level of hCG in her blood test.  Anything from 4 to 0 is considered 0 and means that the mass is gone and cancer is gone.  Last week, when she started the new chemo she was at 21.  Way back when all this started she was at 93,000!  Even when we thought this was gone about a month ago, the number was 8 and leveled off.  So for the first time she can say no cancer.  Thank you Jesus!

Now, where does she go from here?  We will be meeting with the doctor, as scheduled on Monday.  He has always said two treatments past zero.  We are hoping that maybe that will not be the case, but we will wait and see.  Macy is still dealing with the effects of the first treatment and will continue to until well after she is finally stopped with chemo.  So she still needs your prayers in that regard.  She is not officially in remission until further down the line and we are sure the mass doesn't grow back.  So we need prayers in that regard as well.

I can't tell you the emotional lift this was for Macy and for me.  And we are very excited and thankful.  But she and I are both cautious and know that this chemo still sucks and still will be hard and we are just ready to get her through this.  I am ready to not have to watch her suffer so much and for her to be healthy and strong.  And I know she is ready to just be healthy and back to her self.

So join us in our excitement and continue to pray as Macy goes through more chemo next week and help us get to the other side of this.  And let's pray this stays at 0 and stays gone.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Catching everyone up...

Well hello everyone!  We wanted to catch everyone up on what all has been happening.  Sorry, I am not as good at keeping you all in the loop as Macy is.  She will try to  blog soon.  But for now, it my job and I just don't do this thing well.  But enough about that....

So, Macy finished out the first treatment week of the new chemo and Friday night we both thought that maybe this wasn't going to be as bad as we thought.  They do a great job of taking care of her during the chemo and medicating her so that she can make it through.  But come Saturday, as the weeks medication wore off, the residual effect of the chemo began to take its toll.  Macy got very sick and we tried to keep her hydrated and but she basically spent all of Sunday in the bathroom or trying to get sleep and keep medication and liquids down.  Well that didn't work so to make a long and awful couple of days short...I took Macy to the hospital early on Monday and she was checked in and stayed overnight.  They gave her medication and fluids and Tuesday she was able to go home and try to get back to normal.

Macy is such a strong woman and has done an amazing job dealing with all this.  She definitely needs your continued prayers, especially as it comes to dealing with the weekends after treatment weeks.  Also, please pray that she doesn't have to do this chemo too long.  We need it to be effective and quickly.  It sucks to watch her go through this and I know it is so tough for her to go through.

Thanks again for all your support and for the food and prayers and help.  Want to especially say thanks to Dr. Lightfoot for coming down to the hospital at 6AM on Monday to help Macy feel so much more confident.  That was above and beyond and really helped a lot.  Thanks again to everyone for the help.

Love y'all and later...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Three down, only...

Just wanted to check in with everyone.  Macy had a tougher day today, but as always, she is a champ and continues to blow me away.  We have had a few more frustrating moments with our doctor/nurse, but Troy, the new chemo nurse is fantastic.  He really took care of Macy today and is great with an IV needle.

On a side note, Drake, our dog, is really worried about his Momma.  He knows something is not right with Macy and he is being so sweet.  But his Aunt Sara is doing a great job of taking him for runs.

We appreciate all the support and all the meals and especially all the prayers.  Let's knock this cancer out quick.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Many have asked how to help Macy and Michael at this point and I got permission to update her blog with how.  A website has been set-up to help with meals.  You can go to www.takethemameal.com and enter her last name: Schultz and the password is 5479.  You can sign up for a night if you would like... Hope this helps.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ever had a take home I.V.?

Well, it is Monday and we have lots of news.  We met with the doctor and after talking to him and hearing what he had to say, we decided to do the test and we also started chemo today.  We...who do I think I am...Macy started chemo today.  She is a champ!  The picture here is of Macy's new take home I.V.  Basically, this IV will stay in for a few days so she does not have to get stuck every day.  This chemo is given through the IV, rather than a shot. 

Macy will be doing chemo every day for a week and will then not have treatment the following week, and then will be back on for the following week.  We are hopeful that this will be a short term solution and will knock this thing out this time.

Please join with us in prayer.  We feel them and need them.  Thank you all so much for the support and help.  We are not sure how this chemo will be effect Macy.  Not sure how sick it will make her or what all the side effects will be.  This first week will tell us alot.  So far tonight, she is doing okay.

Thanks for checking up on Macy...and us!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What the...?

Well, Macy asked me to update everyone today.  It has been a crazy and somewhat confusing day.  On Monday, Macy went in for her check up and they took some blood just to make sure she was still on the right course.  Well, at about 8:30 AM today, she called me and was very upset.  The nurse called and said her number was back UP to 14!!  So, we had to go see the doctor and talk through the options.  So here is what we know...

Macy did a CT scan today to make sure the cancer is what it is and to just dot the "i" and cross the "t".  If all is "normal" and the number is still in that range, which the doctor expects, then Macy will be starting a new chemo treatment on Monday.  This chemo will be a little more intense and with more possible side effects.  Also, she will go in every day for a week to get the chemo and then will have a week with nothing, and so forth.  Again, once we reach the zero point, she will get about two more treatment weeks past that.

We don't know if this is same or new or what.  Basically, the false positive that was hanging at 7 or 8 seems to have not been right or for whatever reason Macy's cancer seems to be hanging on and fighting back.  So the doctor is going to a second bullet.

Please pray for Macy.  This was obviously a very emotional and hard day, but really, we just want her to truly be done and on the road to remission.  So pray that this agent does the job and does it quickly.  Pray that she gets to zero and that it stays gone.  And pray for her strength-emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

I love my wonderful wife very much and I admire her so much for how she has fought this fight and I am so awestruck at how God has worked in her life and in our marriage and in our family and family of friends.

Thank you for your prayers and support and love.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Awesome is the LORD Most High!

I wish you could hear me shouting cause I have not quit since about 10:oo this morning! Praise be to the Lord! I am through with CHEMO! Yes, you read that right! I am THROUGH with chemo.

This morning Michael and I left for the oncologist not really knowing what to expect but we surely were not expecting the news that I am through with Chemo. I think in the back of both of our minds we were preparing for news that would have been far worse. Michael will hold out and tell you this is what he thought but I cant even tell you that it was on my radar.

Let me give you a quick overview. My numbers have not dropped in 5 weeks. I had extra blood work last week that was sent to different labs at other cancer hospitals. All my labs came back by Friday confirming that my numbers were indeed between 7-8. There are three possibilities of what this means....
1.) I still have cancer and will continue on with same drugs to continue to fight it.
2.) My cancer has turned into persistent disease and has become more difficult to rid. This would require us changing chemo regiments.
3.) I have developed an EXTREMELY RARE antibody in my blood that conflicts with the antibodies used to get my blood counts and creates what they call a false-positive. (Ok--for you Doc's out there reading this....that is about the best I can do...Dr Rocconi--how did I do?)

Well you guessed it... They are going with number three! Praise God! This phenomenon is really hard to confirm and the test insurance does not cover and it cost $1000. SO, we are going to wait 3-5 weeks to see what my body does and will eventually have to have this but we are waiting right now.

So, what next..... I am THROUGH with Chemo. Because my numbers have been the same for the past 5 weeks, they believe that I have had my extra weeks that were initially needed. So, today was it. I will go weekly for the next few months to have lab work done to make sure I have no changes and after 6 months of no change I will be considered in full remission. PRAISE GOD!

Many of you have asked about the emotional side of this and I have lots to write. But, I can tell you that every morning these are the lyrics of the songs that I sing over and over. I have moved from these two songs to the song in the title. I am not blog savvy enough to make them play when the blog is loaded but please read the lyrics and know this is what has carried me through the past 4 months. It has been hard. But, the Lord has wrapped me in His arms even when I could not feel it.

Praise you in the Storm (Casting Crowns)

I was sure by now,God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn I
will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away

I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth

You Never Let Go--- Matt Redman

Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I'm caught
in the middle of the storms of this life
I won't turn back I know you are near
And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me
And I can see a light that is coming
for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We'll live to know You here on the earth

Yes, I can see a light
that is coming f
or the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

Wow...What a day!
Now I shouting...
AWESOME is the Lord Most High-- Chris Tomlin
Great are You, Lord
Mighty in strength
You are faithful
You will ever be

We will praise You
All of our days
It's for Your glory
We offer everything

Raise your hands, all you nations
Shout to God all creation
How awesome is the Lord most high

Where You send us
God, we will go
You're the answer
We want the world to know

We will trust You
When You call our name
Where You lead us
We'll follow all the way

We will praise You together
For now and forever
How awesome is the Lord most high

How awesome is the Lord most high

Monday, April 20, 2009

We have no clue...but at least trust and believe in a God that does!

We really thought that we would know a lot of information today and that I could share with you the plan for the next few weeks.  However we really once again know nothing.  

We met with my Oncologist this morning and left with two possible reasons my numbers have not dropped.  One being persistent disease (meaning I still have cancer and it is just becoming difficult to rid) and the other reason would be that my blood work was creating a false positive.  We were hoping for the false positive which in the Oncologist words is EXTREMELY RARE and just a very strange phenomenon that my body would have developed an antibody that reacts with the test they run on my blood.  Not only is it rare, it is difficult to confirm.  

So, I continued with the same chemo today.  I got my count back a little while ago and it did indeed drop which leaves my Oncologist even more baffled.  Because the drop was more than 10%, he believes that I might still have persistent disease.  I am going in tomorrow for more blood work that will try to confirm this or give the doctors a different direction to go.  As for now, we are waiting again.  We will probably not know anything more until next Monday when we get the results from the new blood work.  Good thing-- I am back to meeting with the Oncologist weekly instead of every other week so maybe it will not be so long in between information.  

Thanks for continuing to pray.  

Monday, April 13, 2009

No change to talk about....

I still have not had a real drop in "the count" to really speak of.  I had a one point change this week so naturally I am really frustrated and scared.  We do not really know what all this means and what my oncologist will suggest but I do not see him again until next Monday.  I spoke with the nurse and she said my Doctor was following the numbers and would just talk to us on Monday so for now it is just a waiting game.  I think the waiting part is the hardest.  

For now...just pray! 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Just Pray.

My count did not change at all this week.  We don't really know anything because this is not what my Oncologist had prepared us for.  I have called back and the nurse is going to consult with the Dr because she also has no clue what is going on.  

Today's appointment with the Oncologist was to prepare us for the next 6 months and that was hard enough.  We had thought when we got to zero, we were going to be able to put this behind us, but today we were told we have six more months to journey down this road.  That six months period begins when I reach zero, which we were anticipating today but did not happen.  

Today was tough.  I had many of the same emotions today as when I was first struggling with this reality.  But-- God is still God and He is still in control.  I have to trust that because currently my ability to feel in control of anything is not there.  I am weary of chemo and most definitely ready to be through.  I am ready to feel healthy and energetic 7 days a week.  I am ready to be able to say I am cancer free.  I am ready for closure in this chapter of my life.  

Please continue to pray.  I appreciate your pleas to the Lord on my behalf more than you will ever know.  It is comforting to know I have friends to pray when I dont have the words to pray myself.  Thanks.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Falling again....

I made real good friends with a nurse in chemo and learned today that having friends in high places works.  This morning while in chemo I found out that she could get "the count" a day early. I wished I had this info a little before now, but oh well!  So....I called her direct extension and got the number early.  I am back to falling again...Praise God.  The count is 10 which means I still have cancer producing cells but I am getting real close to not having any reproducing cells.  Just think...11 weeks ago "the count" was at 93,000.  I am real excited and feel like I am close to an end.  We are hoping that I will only have 3 more weeks of chemo.  I AM SO EXCITED.  We meet with my oncologist on Monday and are hoping to get a better direction from that meeting.  Please continue to pray.  Pray specifically that this chemo will kill these last few cells.  We are praying to have heard the word remission by Easter!  

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I found this is my bed....

This morning it was pouring rain off and on in Mobile.  I opened the back door so my dog could sit on the back porch (where he loves to sit and watch it rain) and have the freedom to go in and out.  At about 7:30 this morning my wet dog brought me a present.  He dropped this in my bed and began barking.  I could not figure out what he was barking at but I knew it was most likely alive!  I quickly jumped up and realized it was a turtle.  A MUDDY TURTLE IN MY CLEAN BED.  Drake loves turtles and they will entertain him for hours.  I took a shower, went to the office and came back home and he was still in the backyard playing with his new friend.  I am just glad all the neighbors are at work because I know he barked for a solid 4 hours.  He is still in the back yard now asleep on the porch with the turtle next to him.  
Hope your dog will bring you a gift today....

No change...

I really dont have much to report.  I had hardly any change in "the count" this week.  I dropped from 21 to 20 which is definitely not what we were expecting or hoping for.  We talked to the nurse in depth and it seems like we are more concerned than her.  We are now in a waiting period to see how my body will respond this week.  Many have asked if I can tell physically how my body is responding that particular week and I can not.  I wish I did have some kind of indication but I do not.  

Please pray.  We are really wanting for the count to fall significantly this week.  Many people have asked how many more weeks and we still do not know.  Once I get to zero, I will have 3 more weeks.  So, this leaves us with at least 3-4 weeks now.  There has been a rumor that I am through with chemo and as much as I would love for that to be true, it is not.  I still go weekly for chemo.

Thanks for sticking with me in this process.  I will be rejoicing in remission soon!  

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

a little bit closer...but still not zero

Well my nurse called this morning with "the count" and it is not what I was hoping for. It is still dropping and that is the most important thing. The frustrating part to me is that I want it to be zero and it is just taking my body a little longer than I was hoping for to reach this point. I have never been a "patient waiter" and so this is really giving me fits. But, the good news is that it continues to fall and at least "the count" is going in the right direction.

I seem to be tolerating week 8 of chemo better than week 7. I have not had near the side effects so far this week so that is definitely good for my spirits. I hope I am not speaking too soon but last week, I knew things were going to rough by about Monday afternoon. I am counting on a great week!

Michael had a guys weekend with a bunch of friends from college days. He had so much fun and looks forward to this weekend every year. His main comments were about how good they ate. Since he was gone, I decided I was going to have girls time. My mom and grandmother came this weekend and it was great to get to hang out with them. (Dad...well turkey season opened yesterday and you can imagine where he was all weekend) My grandmother took a really bad fall a while back and broke her wrist and had to have stitches in her face and the last time I saw her she did not look too good. But, this weekend she was back to her spunky self and looked great.

that is what we have been up too....

Hope all is well with you and that you are able to enjoy the spring weather all week!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Getting closer!

This morning the nurse called to tell me "the count."  I knew it was going to be zero and actually my Oncologist for the first time yesterday said he thought it would be as well so I did not even call her.  She called first so I knew when I saw the caller id what she was going to say. I picked up the phone ready to hear the news.  I heard the count, but she did not quite say what I was wanting to hear.  Bottom line... I still have a count.  It did drop and I am now in double digits which is still good...still ahead of schedule....and still disappointing.  This count indicates that I still have active cancer cells.  Maybe this week will be the end of this.  

I had my 7th round of chemo on Monday.  I wish I could tell you that I know exactly what to expect but one thing I have learned through cancer is that I have so little control over my body.  I literally have no "EARTHLY" idea what is going on to happen.  Every week seems to be so different from the week before that I feel like I am on this surprise journey until Friday's.  Usually by Friday, enough of the drugs are out of body that I am feeling almost back to myself.  Weekends are so looked forward to in our home.  

And since weekends are so good let me share just a glimpse of this past weekend.  Last Thursday I received a phone call that a very special lady wanted to give Michael and me a weekend at the Grand Hotel. For those of you not from the area, this is about 45 mins away and is a little piece of paradise nestled on the Mobile Bay.  I was blown away.  Well, I ended up spending Friday night with some college friends for a girls night over there.  I was attending a Women's Conference with them and Michael thought it would be good for us to stay and have fun.  Fun....we had fun!  It was the latest I have been up in a really long time.  Michael came over on Saturday and we had an amazing time. It was so fun to feel well enough to really enjoy the Spring weekend!

So...where do I stand....

I am hoping that next week will be my week to hear zero!  If that is the case, I will have about three more rounds of chemo to endure after that.  We will begin more scans, ultrasounds, and test as soon as I get to zero and from that point I will hopefully receive a "partial remission" status.  I will continue to monitored and tested for a year and then hopefully hear that I am in full remission.  

Thanks for caring, and following this blog.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Still not zero, but still dropping!

Well, I am sad to report that "the count" was not zero today, but it did drop and dropped a lot.  My count today was 219 and that is still more than cut in 1/2.  We are praying that next week will be the week that I hit zero.  

I am still feeling pretty good.  I did have a lot of nausea last week but I have changed medicines and that seems to be working a lot better for me.  My mouth ulcers are still hanging around but over the weekend the mouth wash seemed to help a little.  Overall, my body is tolerating the chemo great.  

Thanks for staying in touch. 

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Things change fast....in the cancer world!

Yesterday I heard from the nurse that I was going to need a little help getting my WBC (white blood count) back into a safe range.  I was headed in to get an IV when they called and said that I would only need a few injections...YEAH.  I thought this was much better because it would be so much quicker.  Twenty minutes later, the nurse got in touch with my doctor and he said he was going to do NOTHING!  Hip hip Hooray!   My oncologist said that the range is expected with the amount of chemo I am on and that he would watch it for another week before doing anything.  So, there was no visit to "the institute" yesterday.  That is about how fast things change in the "cancer world."
Someone asked me yesterday what the worst part of this whole experience has been.  I am not sure I can really put words around that yet.  As of now, I would say the first weekend when we found out and the excruciating wait over the weekend.  As for side effects with my chemo, it changes each week.  This week the mouth ulcers have been especially bad.  I told someone yesterday that I feel like I have "chicken pox of the mouth" but without the itch.  When I looked in my mouth this morning that is the thought that came to mind.  I have a great mouth wash that usually helps a lot but for some reason this week the ulcers are laughing back at that wash.  Oh well....I know this will pass soon.  

A little story that should be in the category of "out of the mouth of babes...."  My 5 year old neighbor came over yesterday and wanted to pull on my hair.  So, I bent over and let her and she looked me straight in the face and said, "God answered my prayer because your hair is not going anywhere."  I smiled and considered it a kiss from the Lord.  I have my hair and he answered her prayer.

Thanks so much for following this little blog.  I hope that it keeps you up to date and as informed as possible.  It has been great hearing from so many people.  Thanks for taking the time to call, email, or facebook us.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Finally under 1000!

The nurse just called to give me my news of the week.  It is pretty crazy how much I anticipate that one phone call.  She gave me great news...."the count" is down to 919.  I am very excited. However, my white blood cell count is way too low so I am headed into the the Institute to have a little IV to get that more balanced.  It has been low for a couple of weeks but apparently this week it is too low to wait until Monday.  Oh well.

Another bit of good news, is that they are letting me travel to Montgomery this weekend.  I am very excited.  This weekend we will be celebrating my grandmother's 80th birthday and I did not want to miss it. 

I also want to tell you how blessed I have been by some friends.  As I walk through this journey, it has been great to have a community of people around me to be a support.  We have had friends fix meals for us weekly.  We have had friends that every Monday send us messages.  I have a friend who made me a basket of goodies and I open one each Monday (this week was silly string).  I have friends who have brought me my weekly supply of gatorade.  I have a friend who sent me personalized stationary to write all my thank-you's.  I have a friend who comes and walks my dog on my bad days.  We have been so blessed.  Thank you!

And for a few questions that we have been asked.....
Do you feel as good as it seems?
I have great days and days where I dont feel like getting out of bed.  The typical cycle is that Monday I go and get chemo and I am real sore from that.  The chemo is powerful injections that damage the tissue around the injection spots.  Tuesdays are a little draining.  Wednesdays and Thursdays are my toughest days.  By lunch on Friday I am usually bouncing back and that makes the weekends pretty good.  Then the cycle begins all over again. 
Why can't I travel?
The biggest concern is blood clots and infection.  With the location of my tumor, blood clots have been and will continue to be a concern.  And to be honest, I have not been up to traveling.  I think my bed time lately is about 8:30-9:00.  And no, I am not kidding.  I am pretty zapped of energy by night and so sleep is the best thing for me.  ****But, I am released to go to Montgomery this weekend so we will see how that goes.  
Can I drive?
Yeah!  I drive and many weeks even drive myself to chemo.  Michael meets me down there to go with me but I can drive myself.
Am I working?
I am still working full-time.  My schedule is flexible on some days and that makes things very nice.  I have used some vacation time and sick time to get me through a few of the weeks and I have canceled a few of my morning bible studies but we are back on now and things are pretty much back to routine.  I think I do better when I can keep as normal of a routine as possible.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More Pics of My Monday's at "The Institute"

As promised, here are some more pics of my experiences.  Enjoy the glimpse into my Monday's!

Here I am sitting in one of the comfy chairs waiting on my chemo.

Here is the nurses station in the chemo room.  This is where they get ready to give me the shots and where they hangout with me.

This is the world's greatest help if you have to get a shot...this freezes the spot before they stick me and I love this stuff so much.  It is the same stuff they freeze off moles and warts.

Here are my chemo shots.  Yes they are bright yellow.  Yes they get stuck in my butt.  Yes it hurts a bit.  Yes, my nurse Terri is great and I appreciate how much she tries to make it as painless as possible.

Here is a picture of the chemo room.  The nurses try to make it as pleasant a place as possible.  As soon as you walk in, they call me by name and ask me if I want a drink.  I can sit where I want and they always have a smile for everyone in there.

Well, that is a look at my Monday's at the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute.  This place has become a part of my life and I am so thankful that we have a place like this here.

It is Fat Tuesday...so we have to wait for the results!

Here in Mobile, a lot of places are closed for Fat Tuesday.  Well, apparently the USA Cancer Institute observes the holiday as well so we will wait until tomorrow for my results of the week.
I did go in Monday for my 5th consecutive week of chemo.  As Michael and I were waiting for the doctor, we talked about how crazy it seems that we are 5 weeks into this journey.  It really seems that some weeks fly by, and others have seemed to go on forever.   My oncologist basically said that I am on track and hopefully headed for remission.  He believes that I will have a minimum of 4 more weeks of chemo.  This was somewhat of a disappointment for me, but I think he might be surprised again. 

Many have asked about my experience so here is where Monday starts...

This is the University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute...
...more pics to follow

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

And they keep falling.....

That is "the count" keeps falling. I am very excited to tell you that the number is now 3500! My typical pattern has been that "the count" is cut in half each week. THIS IS NOT TYPICAL. I am way ahead of schedule. I was really hoping for a 0 count, but I will take 3500 all day. This is better than half of last week. The nurses and my Oncologist are still amazed that the numbers are falling so fast. I am amazed but not surprised.

Monday marked my 4th week of chemo. My parents came in town this weekend and went with me to get my chemo. This was an experience! My dad is not the most patient man, and we had to wait forever this week. We were in the chemo room for over 2 hours, and my dad got to know all of the other patients, the nurses, and every piece of equipment in the room. I have realized that it is deep within every man that goes into a new surrounding to touch and explore all the different pieces of equipment in the chemo room. Michael and my dad have both explored this room thoroughly. The main conversation in the chemo room this week was why gas stations serve the best fried chicken! Rest assured that no chemo patient was talking about this, but all the visitors and nurses were intrigued by this concept.

I still really know nothing more about the cancer other than my counts are falling and that is good news. We are praying that I will hit the ZERO mark in the next few weeks and then proceed with more scans and tests to see where I stand.

As far as questions.....
How many weeks of chemo do I receive?
Indefinetly. I will receive chemo as long as I have cancer. When I get to the remission point, I will still receive chemo 2-4 weeks after that and then be monitored monthly for a couple of years.

How is Michael?
He is great! He is relieved that the numbers are falling and that the cancer is gettin' a whoopin' and that I am feeling so much better. He has been the greatest support I could have ever dreamed of.

That is about life as we know it. We are still keeping a busy schedule and really loving life still. We have really been blessed to have so much community around us right now. It amazes us and encourages us to get facebook messages, emails, and phone calls each week to know people are thinking of us and then checking on how I am progressing. It truly has been a blessing that we can not put words around.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

You Prayed: He is answering!

Yesterday I had my third week of chemo. We have almost gotten into a pattern and know what to expect. I know when my side effects seem to peak, and I know when I will feel the best. We have also gotten into a routine of anticipating "the count" on Tuesdays. This number is the determining number to tell us how much longer we will be on this journey. Today I began calling at 8:20 to find out that number, and I am sure that I am driving the nurses crazy. A little after lunch she called and gave me GREAT NEWS!

I should first back track and tell you that this number should be 0, so that is our goal. The first week, my number was 93,000. (It is never good to hear the Doctor say you have "a count" that is through the roof.) We were prepped and coached on what to expect, and so we were not really anticipating any significant change until next week. The Dr. had actually told us not to expect a change unless the number INCREASED first. Last week we heard that the number had dropped significantly, and that was to around 67,000. (That is when I thought I would jump through the phone last week...see previous post)

So, this week we were not sure what to expect. I think I honestly thought it might go up this week. When my nurse finally called on Tuesday, she was excited to tell me that "the count" had dropped to 22,269. Yep! You are reading that right. "THE COUNT" is dropping so FAST. The nurse said she had never see someone respond so well to chemo! Yeah, I screamed again, and I still think she believes I am crazy. I then told her that when I go into remission, I would be more than glad to do a commercial for her. We are so excited, and we know that the Lord is answering your prayers as well as ours.

and more answers to a few more ?'s we have been asked....

Did I have a Molar Pregnancy to cause this?
No! I did have a miscarriage, but I did not have a molar pregnancy. The type of cancer I have is not from or caused from a Molar Pregnancy. It is a totally different cancer.

How long will I receive chemo?
We do not know. I will receive chemo as long as I have cancer. After I go into remission, I will receive 3-5 more weeks of chemo.

Am I sick all the time?
No! I have more good days than bad. I do have some side effects, but I know that they will pass as well.

What is the worst side effect?
Depends on the day you ask. My blood is thinner, so I have been able to relate real well to my grandmother who freezes all the time. But, my worst side effect is probably the mouth ulcers caused by the chemo.

We still covet your prayers. We realize that we still have many more weeks to go but want to celebrate what the Lord is doing right now.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

yes I heard the words: "You have cancer"

I have pretty much refused to blog or create a site to go into what is going on basically cause I did not believe I was that sick. After hearing so many mixed stories, and people begging me to set up a site, I decided I would just blog what we know and a few of our feelings. Besides, then Michael can't make fun of me for not blogging--- although he does not even really know why people blog in the first place.

First off, you should know that I am not hiding anything from anybody. However, I am a pretty private person that is dealing with some of the hardest emotions I have ever had, and to be honest I have personally been trying to figure out how to process these emotions. Michael and I do value and need your support, and especially your prayers. Our families also need your support and prayers. We have leaned on you, and the encouragement you have given us to make it through the past few weeks.

Here is a summary of the past few weeks:
On Friday (1/23/09), I went to the doctor because I have just not been feeling well. I went in the Tuesday before to have some blood work. On Friday, I had an ultrasound and began to realize by the U/S tech and the Doctors that came in, that something was not right. After just a few minutes, the Dr moved me to her office and asked me to call Michael to come meet me.
Over the next hour, we were told that I had cancer. They found a peach size tumor in my uterus. They sent us immediately to the hospital so I could have a MRI. Michael's sister came and sat with us at the hospital and immediately began calming our nerves.  It was good to have some one who understood medical jargon with us, especially since Michael was calling my cancer "cardiocarcinoma."  (AND NO I DO NOT HAVE HEART CANCER)  Cathy straightened him out.  The MRI was a not a good experience for me....I do not go to tanning beds because I get claustrophobic, so those of you who have had an MRI can only imagine the type of panic I had when they sent me into what I have dubbed "the Hole." The lady thought by placing a washcloth over my face, that would help.  NO, it made it worse.  After the MRI we were sent home to wait for the results. They called shortly thereafter to confirm that I did have cancer. They set us up with the Oncologist on Monday morning.
That was the longest weekend of my life. My mom did come and do ALL of our laundry and cleaned our whole house.  It was amazing and we did not even ask.  She said she had to keep busy.  My dad came and about ate Wintzell's out of oysters in a 24 hour period.  That is how they dealt with the stress.  Michael and I sat and starred at each other all weekend wondering what this meant. I can tell you that I was scared to death. Monday (1/26) we went with "a clan" to meet with the oncologist. HE IS GREAT. He came in confident and with a plan, and this was a tremendous relief to us. He spent a great deal of time with Michael and me, and then met with our group of family and friends that were with us. He laid out a plan of treatment and told us that my specific cancer is one of the most aggressive, but this also means that is very responsive to chemo. It has a cure rate of 99+%.
I began having chemo shots that day. I will receive chemo shots every Monday until the cancer is gone. I never dreamed that at my age I would see the inside of the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute and the chemo room, but I guess there are always firsts. It is such a nice facility, by the way, and I am so thankful it is in Mobile. There are only 3 Oncologists in our region that treat this type of cancer and two are in Mobile. This is a blessing.

So where are we today?
We got great news Monday that my CT scans came back negative which means the cancer has not spread! What a relief. Then on Tuesday, the nurse called and told me that "my numbers" (this is the number that determines where we stand in the process of ridding the cancer) had dropped 30,000! This is huge because it indicates that my body has already begun to respond to the chemo. YEAH! Still a LONG way to go, but we are on the road to remission! Although we are still scared to death, I can tell you that I slept better last night than the past 10 days. When the nurse called to tell me this, I screamed REALLY loud. If I could have jumped through that phone, I would have. She already thinks I am crazy, so I thought I should just confirm it for her. Then the Doctor called to talk, and I just told him that Jesus was going to heal me. You can only imagine his response. So, I will continue to have chemo every Monday, and we will update you on how it is going.

And for the ?'s we have been asked the most:
Am I contagious?
No I am not contagious. Fortunately you can't catch what I got!
Am I going to lose my hair?
As of now, no. If my body responds to the drug I am on I should not.
What about the specific names?
I can only spell about 2.1% of what they say, and we have decided that every word with cancer has 17 letters involved, so I am going to give you the shortened version.
Do I have brain cancer?
We have laughed out loud at this one. NO! I do not have brain cancer, I have Uterine Cancer.
Will I be able to have kids?
This is our prayer, and we are praying that the Lord will bless us with that responsibility one day.

So, yes I have cancer. Yes, I have started Chemo. Yes, you can call me (please do not avoid me). Yes, we are still scared. And Yes, we believe that the Lord is going to heal me.

If you have questions, I will be glad to try to answer them if you email me-- ylmacy@gmail.com.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Do people really read other people's blogs?

Last night, my husband became intrigued that I would actually read other people's blogs. I laughed at him and said I thought it was so neat to be able to catch up with so many friends from high school through their blogs. He laughed and said I was not "catching up" but rather getting in the know. I agreed but came to the realization that I still LIKE IT! I feel like I am more connected to so many of them. So, I like the blog world! I am not great at it but I am going to venture more into this thing and see what I can learn myself.