Holding Space

With Shelly Vaughn

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Today was the first of 12 weekly chemo treatments of Taxol. It’s supposed to be easier to tolerate than the last 2 months… I sure hope they’re right! I was nervous about the new drug and the risk of a reaction to it, but it went off without a hitch. The most common side effect of this one is neuropathy in the hands and feet. My oncologist does everything possible to keep it minimal and hopefully prevent it from being permanent. So she put my hands and feet in ice while I was getting the Taxol. It was strange, and uncomfortable- hard to relax like that. But if it helps, I’m all for it!
Another survivor friend came over tonight and it was good for my soul- relating to things only fellow chemo fighters with young kids can understand, and encouraging me by hearing of her life now after cancer. That will be such a wonderful time someday!
Rob got tickets for us to see a play in Cleveland tomorrow evening as an early bday gift for me. If you feel compelled, please pray that I feel well enough for us to enjoy the special night!
Sending love to the Caldwells in Strawpump (and those all over) as we remember my cousin’s bday who made her way to heaven after her own courageous cancer battle. So proud to share our mutual descent from that woman with a heart of gold. Love, love!



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January 30 Update

Thank you all for the messages and prayers today. It was long, but good. The port placement was actually really cool. Painful, but neat to watch them doing it (it was just a local anesthetic). The surgeon even turned the monitors toward me so I could see them better and watch what he was doing. They also had a nurse there to hold my hand and scratch my face if anything was itchy during the procedure! It was a really great surgical team. Then I had my chemo teaching… so i know what to expect for treatment. I’ll list the schedule below so that if you’re not interested in details you don’t have to read the whole post. 😉 Last was the biopsy of some lymph nodes- on the side opposite of the port placement. So I’m sitting at home with ice packs on both arms trying to relax. My mom and Rob were both there to help with everything today.
Best story of today- I was laying on the bed while the nurse was prepping me for the biopsy. I happened to look over at the pocket of her scrub top that had a small label on it. Guess what that brand label said- “Liana”. No joke! Who knew that was a brand of scrubs?! It was not a coincidence, i know that. It reminded me of why I have to be ok with this (and thankful it’s me going through it and not one of my children.) Like my friend Megan reminded me this morning- every step I take forward is one closer to putting cancer behind me. It helped me feel much more relaxed going into everything today, anxious but eager to take each step. Sorry that I don’t have time to write thanks and replies to everyone, but know that I’m reading and cherishing every message and card I’ve received. I feel so loved.
Chemo schedule:
I will start next Thursday 2/9. I’ll be given a combination of 2 drugs every other week for 2 months. I think they said around week 2 is when I’ll lose my hair. (at least i won’t have to shave my legs!) There are a ton of potential side effects- we’ll see which ones my body responds with. (ugh… none of them are much fun.)
After those 2 months, I’ll start a different drug weekly for 3 months. It’s not as hard on the system and shouldn’t have as many side effects. So after 5 months I should be done with the drugs and wait a few weeks after that to plan for surgery. That is determined by my lab results from genetic testing and how much the cancer shrinks with chemo.
This week: EKG on Thursday morning for a baseline. (chemo can have some negative affects on the heart) and MRI on my liver on Friday evening (not a concern, just ruling out a probable benign cyst that is common for women “my age”– I still haven’t figured out if that means I’m young or old).

Love and hugs to you all! 🙂

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” (This was going through my mind all day.)