Thursday, August 24, 2017

snapshot of my days

I felt like I was in trouble, physically, from the moment I awoke Tuesday morning.  That sense can loom over us before we completely understand it-  is it fear?  Uncertainty?  Just what are we feeling? Why?

I rolled out of bed convinced I'd muster the strength to get through the day.  I had labs, then a visit with Dr. P, then off to infusion, and an afternoon visit with our Fourward group.  Whew.  That is a full day.

But everything was wonky from the start.  I simply couldn't breathe.  A step here, and maybe another and I had to sit or everything felt like it was slipping away from me.  I was so short of breath, and lightheaded at the same time.  Bathing, dressing and getting ready were a tall order.

So we were running late- I simply had no control over what my body could do.  I apologized from the start of arriving at Roger Maris, and the wheelchair was not even questioned but rolled out to me instantly.  

Roger Maris was very accommodating and forgiving of me running behind.  I was soon taken back for labs and then taken to Dr. Panwalkar.  But the lab was behind too.  So when Dr. P walked in the exam room door, he got right down to business.

"A wheelchair?  Why a chair?   Oh what is going on with you?"  he loudly proclaimed.

He sat and faced me right away.

So I told him.  How late I had been, and how physically I wasn't feeling well.  My breathing, my ability to walk and stand and do anything, truly diminished.  I hadn't left the house in 3 weeks.  

Where were those labs?  It had been enough time, but they still weren't back.

Dr. P performed his thorough exam of me like always.  Surprisingly my lungs sounded clear and good.  I really didn't show many symptoms that explained how I was feeling.  The photo of me above, shows how well I can look, even when things on the inside don't match the outside.

What would tell us the most, were my lab results.   The labs just hadn't come through.  Dr P needed to move on with his day.  

So Rick maneuvered me out the door and I heard Dr. Panwalkar say, "Oh, I can get her."  The next thing I knew, I looked behind and sure enough, Dr. Panwalkar was pushing my wheelchair!  In case my adoration of him wasn't as high as it could possibly be, he shows another level of compassion for me.  You could say,  the picture of me in the wheelchair to him, didn't match my words either, but he went with his heart and treated me like I said I needed.  He even took the time to move chairs and steer me perfectly into a waiting room spot to sit and wait.  My heart was bursting for all the right reasons.

Soon, my infusion nurse, Casey, took right over with the deep level of care and concern as we continued to wait for the labs.  It was my doctor's nurse, Angela, that brought the final word to me.

The labs were back and my hemoglobin had fallen to a 5.8!  That is low- extremely low.  And it completely validated why I felt so lousy! She relayed to me how Dr. Panwalkar looked relieved too.  The way I felt and everything I had said matched the results in the blood work.     I needed fresh blood- ASAP.  They could get me in upstairs, in two hours.  I needed to come back in a week to do labs all over again, and see if then I could do chemo.  Angela completely understood the range of emotions we were all going through, and went out of her way to help me maneuver it all too.  I don't feel like I can ever thank her enough for all she does for me.  

Then Angela saved the best for last- a kernel of the best news possible was buried in the mix of some not so great news.  My tumor marker?  Had dropped- from 52, all the way down to 40!  The chemo is working! We just need to get my body up to a quality that it can take another dose of the chemo.  

The rest of my afternoon, was spent lying in a bed up on the old family birth center floor.  I watched tv, rested, and relaxed as the drops of blood started to restore me.  Its a feeling of the light coming back on, after the darkness has swallowed you up for far too long.  I could breathe.  I could walk about. Everything became so easy peasy again- as it should be.  Even when Nolan came to take me home from the hospital, he pushed the wheelchair ever so gently, guiding me down to the car.  But I felt like I could have walked on my own.  

A wonderful dinner awaited me at home.  I did happen to gain 3 pounds and it was all due to the wonderful meals and treats we've received.  I've enjoyed the food so much and it truly made a difference in my life!  Thank you to all who have done so many things to encourage and uplift my whole family so much.

I still have a lot of recovery to achieve.  My counts need to all go higher before I will be able to do chemo and get all knocked back down again.  Most of my time is still spent sitting, or lying down, between my chair and my bed.  So I'm doing all I can to just stay in today and make this day count.

One of the things I've managed to make progress on, with the help of a wonderful friend, is turning this blog, into a book!  Without her guidance, her talents, and the her gift of time, this project may never have taken flight.  She's managed to wield a kitchen chair, wedged between my bed and a recliner for me, and the weight of many posts from my blog- woven together with her deft hands.  She's seen me at my lowest, and always helped me to give my best despite everything.  

We're not quite finished, but we see the completed project on the horizon.  

Love to you all! 


  1. I hold my breath for a moment every time I see a new post from you. We've never met, but after five years, I feel as if I know you very well, and you had your family have become very precious to me. I was so happy to see the kernel of good news buried amongst your scary symptoms. You are always in my prayers.

  2. This started out so dicey and concerning but then my spirits SOARED at the good help you received and the blessed donation of blood (thank you, blood donors everywhere!) and the great tumor marker numbers! Thank you, Father! And then your blog in book form?! How exciting! And yes, PLEASE. I'll be ordering my copy! Sending love!

  3. Way to go ! Praying for good numbers to continue your chemo. Praying your are turning a corner. And you do look lovely in your photo. xoxo

  4. Sometimes reading your posts makes me hold my breath! I'm grateful that you include us in the journey, you give us a sense of the struggle. And when the answer comes, we rejoice along with you. Your team at Roger M. impresses the heck outta me. All reasons to give thanks, and most of all, keep lifting you all up in prayer.

    And a book ... yes!!

    P.S. great photo, you look lovely

  5. Good morning beautiful! I am thrilled to know it was weakened blood counts, that caused all these alarming symptoms. And then I am so grateful it was discovered, and help was given asap!! I am so grateful for the love showered on your family. The meals, cards, and gifts from the heart. You touch lives and what one puts out, comes back. You are a gift a priceless, cherished gift. Through all the hard, sticky, down right messy and those laundry room moments...were you let the tears and pain flow... Your grace shines through. Your spirit and real, so much stronger...then you even know. It touches all who know and meet you. Your book will be such a gift! I love you, Beautiful friend!

  6. It is always with a deep prayer, an in-breath, a pause, that I open an e-mail from you. Today I am filled with hope, and joy and my faith is fully expressing as I know that that low hemoglobin was behind your challenging time....and a book! what a gift to the world this will be. I look forward to holding it in my hands.

  7. I just don't know how you do it. You must have such inner strength! One tough lady for sure. That line about how you need to get stronger, so you can get knocked down again...God be with you. There are always blessings every single day though, as you are experiencing with all your loving and thoughtful friends.

  8. My dear precious soul sis,
    Oh my goodness. As I read every word, I found myself barely breathing and then like in a roller coaster ride, crashing down and then chugging up to the top again. I am thanking God, over and over again, for Dr. P and all of the people there who give you such wonderful and humane care. I could just imagine Dr. P pushing your wheel chair and his elevated voice as he sees
    you in a wheel chair. His care for you, both physical and emotional, just makes my heart sing with gratitude. And SUCH GREAT NEWS... the tumor makers are down and they figured out why you were feeling so awful. I just loved it when you said that Nolan wheeled you gently, but you felt like you could walk!! Praise God for answered prayers!!! And now...for all of those pesky counts to get up there so you can have chemo again, because it is working!!! Hurrah!
    And on top of all of this good smile is from ear-to-ear, dear friend, as I hear about how well your book is coming along!

    Oh sweet Vicky. I hope you know that we (all your prayer warriors) will not stop praying and that we are ecstatic with so much good news!

    Love you to the moon and back, soul sis!

  9. oh and yay for chemo working and tumor markers going down! thankful for blood transfusions!! Praying strength and life to you!


  10. I am so excited for you about this blog becoming a book. Just as this blog has been an encouragement and inspiration to others, so will your book be! Thankful too, that your chemo is working and knocking those tumor markers down. Saying prayers my friend, as always. And, sending love and warm hugs.

  11. Just wondering how you're doing? Can't wait to see your blog in book form. Praying. Lynda in Michigan.

  12. My dear friend - I am sending you so much love today. You are a shining light.

  13. just what you to know I think of you and your family, and whisper a prayer several times a day.Vicki you have been such a wonderful witness on how to have pure grace. Wishing you a great day, one with no pain

  14. Such good news about the markers and your book!
    Love and hugs,


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