Friday, May 24, 2013

5/24/13 One week to go!!!

Dear Friends and Family,

Gabrielle here.  I am thrilled to report that I completed chemo #17 today in four hours, 15 minutes!  After five days of the Neupogen shots in my stomach my white cell counts are good again.  Not only is this great in terms of allowing me to get chemo, it also frees me up to do a few more things (safely be in the grocery store, a restaurant, etc.) and has helped me avoid catching the Steve, Daniel, Renee horrible cold!  Amazing! 

Due to Daniel's cold, I went to chemo alone today.  But to my delight, Steve had a little break in his day and was able to ride his bike over from work long enough to cream me at Scrabble.  Now in my defense, you must know that we started to play EXACTLY when they started dripping into me a huge bag of Benadryl.  If you have ever taken that, you know it makes you SO sleepy!  Try playing smartypants Steve in Scrabble with sleep drugs dripping into your veins.  I'm not a poor loser...really I'm not...I'm just explaining the extenuating circumstances of my slaughter.  ;-)

Another happy surprise in the middle of chemo was that they brought me the most delicious dessert!  We often bring them cookies, so today they said it was my turn.  They brought me lemon cake (lemon has been my favorite flavor when nauseous), with lemon curd filling, topped with vanilla bean ice cream and whipped cream and fresh raspberries and blueberries!  Oh my was so delicious.  I ate it for lunch instead of the quick string cheese, wheat crackers, and apple slices I had brought.

One shout out to Daniel--even though he has been sick as a dog all week, he arose before me this morning to pack my chemo bag and make me breakfast.  When I got home, he had gardened and then made a fabulous veggie lasagna and homemade foccacia bread topped with fresh garden rosemary and salt for dinner without letting me lift a finger.  And we only get to keep him for three more months, then he's off to live near the U.W. campus.  Twenty-something women of the world--if you come across a guy like this, grab him quick! (Daniel better not read this...he will be mortified.) 

As usual, I want to thank those who sent me loving, encouraging cards this week.  There is one friend who sends cards EVERY week and she knows who she is.  You are precious to me, as are all of you.  :-)  And thanks to the world's cutest newlyweds, Ami and Matt, who brought us an amazing Thai Food feast last night (Thurs. nights being my least nauseous night).  So good to spend time eating Thai food, playing Canasta, talking, and eating my Martha Stewart homemade hot fudge sundaes and Daniel's cookies for dessert.  Ami and Matt can eat like true Dudleys! 

I wish you were all here to see my little, tiny, minuscule, almost non-existent pink chemo paper chain.  Seven little links.  I'll ask Steve to put on a photo for you (most of you know that a technological genius I am not).  The end is in sight.  God, and all your prayers, love, and kindnesses have seen me (us) through.  My heart is overflowing with joy and hope tonight. 

In closing, on this Memorial Day weekend, we are to remember.  Let's remember and thank God for those who have given and risked their lives and limbs for our freedom and security...and "I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember your wonders of old."  Psalm 77:11.  I will always remember His faithfulness to me and my family and the gift of you who have been on our "rope team" for these last five months!

Love, Gabrielle

P.S.  This week's prayer requests--for Renee and Daniel to be healed of their colds, for me not to catch them (the colds, not the kids), and for the chemo-induced neuropathy pain in my hands and feets to quiet down and when chemo ends, to go away.  Thank you!!

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