The laptop we were keeping here at the hospital broke [Side note from Brandon: To quote a co-worker, "[I'm] probably the only person on the planet who could give a Mac boot errors."], so I haven't had internet for the past two days and won't for a few more. Brandon has been printing everyone's comments and e-mails for me. They are all so encouraging to me. I received ever so many cards today -- my nurse commented that he hardly ever delivers mail to any of the patients and I had two large stacks. I feel so blessed -- I can't thank you all enough.
I won't lie -- the past few days have been really hard. My white blood count has plummeted, making me vulnerable to anything and everything. Gary has a cold so I haven't been able to see him in a few days, and Brandon is now also sick, so his visits are brief. He has to wear a surgical mask and can't touch me. I've been running a fever off and on all week. At one point it was over 104, and earned me a crowd of infectious disease doctors asking hundreds of questions trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Antibiotics didn't seem to make a difference, and Tylenol wasn't always effective in breaking it. When I say antibiotics I mean some SERIOUS antibiotics. One of them causes what they call "red man syndrome" and mom said it turned me beet red. They had to weigh me to determine the appropriate dosage. I haven't had a fever all day today. God is gracious! I feel really yucky when I do, and just beyond tired. I still don't have an appetite -- eating has become my biggest challenge I think. I dread mealtimes, but know I need to eat. I've dropped down to 101 pounds and lost most of my muscle tone. I'm still throwing up more often than I'd like, but all in all the new anti-nausea medicine they are giving me seems to be o.k. They thought I had thrush for a while so they started giving me Nystatin (?). I'm still using that, and still have a sore throat, but they are now saying it's just sores, typical of chemo. I have had incredible stomach pain the past few days, rivaling labor, but pain medication seems to help, and I've quit trying to be such a tuffy. Overall today has been a much better day. Yesterday Dr. Perry said my platelet count was up (which is good) even though he had absolutely no idea why. (It's a God thing, I'm sure!) Today it was down again, and my iron dropped a full point overnight, so I received another unit of platelets and two units of blood. I think that puts me at 6 units of blood and four units of platelets since I was admitted. (Which if I remember correctly means I've had about half of my blood replaced in the last 13 days.) I have a new appreciation for donors -- I've never been able to donate due to weight restrictions. For those of you who have, I thank you. The blood refreshes me, and transfusion days are usually good ones. It's not much fun. Each unit comes with the risk of rejection and serious allergic reactions, but so far everything has been fine.
I am so thankful for my God and for the peace He has given me for this trial. I think if I were reading this that I'd have a hard time believing the person. I never thought I'd be able to stand anything like this. But I can't, it's God, and it's not about how much faith I have, it's about HOW MUCH GRACE He has. I pray that you may all know Him as I do. I am so grateful that He loves me enough to put me through this, to grant me the privilege of a deeper knowledge of Him than I ever would have had otherwise. He is SO good to me.
I don't know yet what will happen if my bone marrow biopsy comes back clean next week. (It is scheduled for next Monday, the 17th, at 1 p.m.) Statistics are against me that only one round of chemo will put me in remission, so I am resigned to trust my God with the results. The thought of chemo again is very overwhelming, but His mercies are new every morning. I will ask the doctor tomorrow if I can go home if it's clean, so we'll see what he says. I really, really, really don't want to go through another biopsy because they really, really, really hurt, plus just seem really, really, really freaky! It's like the worst shot EVER. But like dad says, I don't really have any options. Kind of like the other day when I realized the Hickman stint in my chest has to actually be surgically removed. Some things you just don't want to go through more than once.
I still have my hair. Doesn't seem to be thinning unusually yet. Part of me thinks maybe it won't fall out, but I know that's silly. I don't fully understand how chemo works, or how the whole hair falling out process happens. One of the nurses said a lot of people just shave their heads at the beginning rather than waiting, but I don't really want to do that. If I start looking too much like a scraggly mutt I'll do something about it then. Originally Dr. Perry said I would lose it all within 3 weeks, so I've got less than 2 weeks to go. I think I'll look really weird without hair, but I'm looking forward to finding some cool scarves. Mostly I'm afraid of drawing my eyebrows on. I hope I'm better with that than I am with eyeliner, or else I'm just doomed.
Pray that my family will feel better soon, and for their endurance as they serve me. I haven't spent a moment alone in the 13 days I've been here so far. Amy means "Beloved" -- my parents named me well.
I love you all!