Monday, April 28, 2008

Last Wednesday I returned to the dreaded cancer center. After having almost two weeks off I actually caught myself acting feeling and thinking like "what cancer"? but just like a great vacation from work or school it was back to work on kicking some cancer butt.
This last appointment was a long one as I have to see my doctor and check in with her. She basically has to look at my labs and me to make sure I am hanging in there. I must say, she is usually one that doesn't beat around the bush so that when she told me I have lost too much weight and looked dehydrated I knew I better start eating and drinking more. Much love to my friend Diane who waited out the day with me and was not timid in the least to get me good pain drugs so that I can sleep. Thanks Diane, I had so much fun with you and cannot believe how the day just flew by. I paused many times in that chemo room praising God for the laughter and obvious presence of the Holy Spirit. Even when I thought the nurses were going to have to call security on you and Hal. You have a way about you that comforts me and reminds me that things are going to be okay. You are a true angel and I love you dearly!
Diane is not the only outward reminder that I have of God's love and true concern for me. Last night Linda had a scarf party for me where everyone brought a yard of fabric to make a hat with. The room was filled with so many women whom I love so much and I cannot begin to express my gratitude for who you are to me and my family. Thank you all for the beautiful material and fun night. Thank you Linda for opening your home to us and for always trying to figure out another way to make my life easier and better. I love you.
Hal's mom Judith will be arriving on May 15th to stay with us off and on during the summer. What a blessing she will be to me and the girls. Don't forget to pack your bathing suit grandma!
While I am on the subject, big love to Robin, Terry, and Timmay. We had such a great time on our weekend together. It is so great how we can just pick up where we left off and never have blink. I will see you again very soon!
My week off was great. I have learned that as long as I get good sleep, it makes a tremendous difference in how I feel DUH! The last 3-4 nights I have slept great (thanks Diane) and come Friday (2 days after treatment) while I could feel the chemo hit me, I was still able to do a load of laundry or unload the dishwasher and not be attached to the couch or bed.
My week consists of PT on Tuesday, acupuncture on Wednesday and chemo on Thursday.
PT continues to strengthen me and I can really see results. Acupuncture really helped me with digestion last week. He gave me an extra needle in the stomach and immediately my appetite returned.
As always, thank you for your prayers. It is an unbelievable feeling to know that so many people are praying for us and it really makes a difference. God's plan is working, it is working through each one of us. Keep it going.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bald Is Beautiful

I couldn't stand it any longer. The hair had to go so we made it into a little party. Each kid and even some friends got a chance to cut a piece of my hair before Hal shaved it all off. All of the kids were so fearless and accepting of what was going on. I guess that is what Jesus means to be childlike. Look at things as a child does, with love and acceptance. Just when do we lose those traits?
Thanks to everyone who attended and thank you so much for your support and love. Thanks especially to Kathy Minor for coming over on a moments notice to take some great pictures. I love you Kathy!
This will be short as Grace has been sick and now Hal has caught it. The Schierts family could use a good night sleep tonight!
One last note, I mentioned earlier in my blog that Blingspirations was having a jewelry party at Heidi's tomorrow evening. This has been cancelled as I am embracing my truthfulness and the truth is I just don't have the energy.

Friday, April 11, 2008

What aSurprise

Well, just when we thought things couldn't surprise us! I had my bags packed and the girls taken care of overnight, but God had his own plans it turns out. My echocardiogram showed that the fluid had shrunk form 1.1 cm to .8 in a week and there was no reason to do an extraction. The power of prayer really does work or perhaps Jesus didn't like the thought of being sucked up by a needle from my heart and decided to take up residence somewhere else. Anyhow, I was free to go but will be watched closely form here on out. The doctor does not think that this amount of fluid can account for any fatigue or shortness of breath. The chemo can take full responsibility for that. Anyhow, I plan on taking the next two weeks off and relaxing with good friends and a good bottle of wine! Depending on how I feel this Sunday, all are welcome to come over to the house. I thought it would be fun for all the kids to take a whack at cutting my hair and voting on the best hairdo. After that we could shave it all off. How many opportunities does a child have at cutting someone else's hair?
Please continue to pray for us. We can feel it! Love to you all,

Thursday, April 10, 2008

One Month Down!

My last treatment in this first cycle is done. I have two weeks off from chemo now so will not have to return until April 23rd. My doctor has said that would stay this course for six months so only five more to go! For those of you who have been asking, the chemo I am on is Avastin and Abraxane. I get the Abraxane one times a week for three weeks with one week off and the abraxane every other week with one week off. Today's treatment was just as uneventful as the past. Uneventful as no reactions to the drugs, no problems accessing my port you know medical stuff. Linda went with me this time and we got a little bit of Relay For Life work done. I think she was glad to have my attention as I have not been the best at checking e mails and attending meetings. Thanks Linda for always knowing what I can handle and always lifting the load for me. Linda has also brought to my attention that I am not being truthful in my blog. Yes, I am a farce.
See how she knows me? I am sure I am not fooling anyone else out there either! Thanks Linda, only a true friend could tell someone on their way to chemo, "hey tell the people the truth not what they want to hear". So here it goes. I am not doing well. I am tired all the time. I am frustrated that I cannot be a good mom, I am mad that this is my life!!!!!!!!!!
Ughh, and my hair is falling out! Ok, I feel better now. Actually I do feel better. God sent Marisue and Diane a little whisper to call me, I needed them. Marisue thanks for reminding me that it's okay that I don't get out of my pajamas until noon some days. So what? I don't have to be anywhere. Diane reminded me (for those who are reading A New Earth) that it is important for me to live in the present even though the present sucks. That this is my life right now and is here before me just like any other part of my life to learn something. While I can still count the months down before chemo will be done or the cancer will be gone, I must live today and make today count even if I feel like crap. Thanks Marisue and Diane.
As I stated earlier, my hair is falling out. I did my usual pull on the hair test and lots came out. It looks like a head shaving party is in our midst perhaps this weekend. For those of you who are local, I ask that you talk to your kids about Mrs. Schierts sudden haircut, since it is sudden and pretty weird.
More news that we got yesterday is that they are going to drain the fluid around my heart tomorrow. I requires an overnight stay in the hospital so that they can monitor my heart. It also entails them sticking a long needle under my rib cage into the peritoneal cavity and extracting the fluid. For those of you that watch ER this is that same cool thing they do when someone has had a massive heart attack and the fluid has really built up and is life threatening and they stick the needle in their heart without any anesthesia. Anyhow, I should be home on Saturday sometime.
I am really excited about my great friends Terry and Robin coming into town next week. Zoe and Grace are really excited as they love to hear old stories about mom.
Thanks to all of you for the prayers, cards, meals, childcare and calls. They really keep me going and remind how much we are loved.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

She's Up She's Down

My treatment was on Thursday and I started feeling it this time on Friday. Thank goodness Hal's parents were here to sweep the girls off after school and take them out for some spoiling. Saturday also had me either on the couch or in bed and then half of today (Sunday) while I was still tired, I was feeling much better and then by end of the day even took a walk with the girls.

So, it looks like I can depend on 2 1/2 days of feeling awful and 4 days of feeling semi human.

My thanks to Heidi for bringing me to treatment last week. I love the fact that we can talk about anything at anytime and obviously anywhere! I love you and am so thankful for your help and constant care for me and my family. Another huge hug and bowing down to two friends Lori and Kelly who finished the St. Louis marathon on Sunday. Your endurance, strength, commitment and craziness amazes me. Lori even called me in the middle of it (can you believe that she could talk)? and told me she was thinking of me. I know how much pain she must have been in yet took the time to call. That gave me such strength for the remainder of the day. Thanks friend!
It is a dreary rainy day in Kansas but the sun is still shining for the KU fans. Rock Chalk Jayhawks. It's a good day to get caught up on mundane chores and snuggle with Grace.
I have treatment on Thursday and another echo cardiogram on Friday. These are getting tiresome and hope they can end soon.
For those of you locals, I am having a Blingspirations party at Heidi's house next Wednesday. I haven't been taking orders due to my lack of energy but this will be a fundraiser for our Relay for Life team. So stop over and take a look at my photo jewelry as I have a few new pieces.
That's it for now. Sorry for the lapse in blogging but you would be amazed at how much energy it sometimes takes to type.
It is such a great feeling to have so many prayers being said for me and my family. Keep it up, He hears you! Be good to one another......
The Lord sends us tribulation and infirmities to give us the means of paying the immense debts we have contracted with Him. Those who have good sense receive them joyfully, for they think more of the good which they derive from them than of the pain they experience on account of them.
-- St Vincent Ferrer