Wednesday, August 20, 2008

3rd Round

Having been a runner for most of my life I've been mentally comparing my chemo treatments to workouts or a races. The mile, or 4 laps around a track (which also happened to be my favorite race in high school) works nicely since I've got 12 treatments of chemo that I'm shooting for, every three is a lap. Figuratively speaking I'm just about finished with my first lap of a mile race, and feelin good!

I haven't had much to report by way of news since round 2, it turned out to be much better than round 1, and I only had a few days where I felt really bad. I have noticed the nueropathy side effect more in rounds 2 and 3. My hands and feet have been a little numb, clammy and at times a little weak...some people have lasting problems with this after they conclude chemo treatments and others don't.

For this 3rd round the doctor switched me to a new anti-nausea medicine and I'm happy to report it seems to be working the best out of the three I've tried with little of the blurred vision, headaches etc that the others seemed to cause. I spent my time at the clinic yesterday watching the Olympics and chatting with my one neighbor, Maryanne, a fellow Colon Cancer patient. I'm not sure how old she was, I'm guessing late 60's early 70's, but she was very up beat and positive. She was on her 10th of 12 chemo treatments, which is always inspiring for me to see someone finishing strong.

Another reason for the lull in blog entry since round 2 has been 'blogger's block'. I mentioned that in my next few posts I was going to attempt to articulate some of the things I've learned up to this point...its proving to be a much harder thing to do than I thought. I started a few posts but was never able to finish them or feel like I was expressing what I wanted to express.

So here is a brief, but very humbling lesson that I've learned. I've mentioned this before, but words just don't express how supported I've felt from friends and family. Every email, voicemail, comment on this blog and text message that I've received have meant more to me than the people leaving it will ever know. The same goes even more so for all the prayers, and the good I know they are doing.

We've had more offers to come help out with chores around the house, and yard, dinners and errands than we know what to do with. There is really no other way for me to describe it other than just a complete outpooring of love. I've had several friends say to me something like, "I'm so sorry that it takes something like this happening for me to really make the effort to stay in touch." I'm equally as guilty and wonder what kind of friend I've been through the years to people as they have gone through difficult experiences in their lives...and what kind of friend I've remained in my 'ordinary friendships' where there haven't been any major events to motivate us to stay in touch better. Why is it that I haven't made more time to keep in touch? Well I guess the answer is easy, I thouht I was too busy. Knowing this makes all the support we've received all the more humbling, followed by feelings of not being worthy to receive it.

So this is the lesson I'll say has been reiterated instead of learned: People are good, and they have good hearts. I say reiterated, because I've never had the belief or thought that mankind as a whole had 'bad hearts', but through this experience I've just been reminded of the goodness of people. They have gone out of their way to show love and support to myself and family. I'm inspired to try and be the best I can be because of their examples.

As always thank you for your prayers!

18 comments:

Andréa Morrow said...

you deserve every bit of kindness and everything! I'm glad you can feel like there is somewhat of a light at the end of the tunnel even at this point :) have you guys really thought about going camping.. if you're up to it..we are going labor day weekend I think, if you were feeling ok, I will provide the food! let me know

erika said...

susan, you are amazing! i have been keeping you in my prayers each day and love reading about your progress. keep up the smiles!
ps, this is erika (wallin)....rachel's friend and also was in your dad's ward when he was bishop

Kimber Brown said...

I want you to know that I am a silent reader. I check your blog everyday just as I check my email but not too often (never) leave a comment. Today's lesson learned is a great lesson though. You are so strong and inspiring. You are exactly right when we all travel through life, in our own zone thinking we are so busy and we are in our own way. But what matters is what we do when someone we know, knew or are close to needs us. How we respond is everything. I look forward to hearing about your progress. Take care and stay strong!

Paul Corbett said...

Susan, you touch people everyday with the way you are handling this. Your lesson learned is an important one for me because it can be easy to get caught up in the day to day routine. You remind me of what is truly important in life. Cindy and I are 1 of many "silent" readers you have. We check regularly and pray for you every day.

Ben and Amberly said...

Susan, I love your analogy of running laps as chemo rounds. Before you know it you will finish your race. You are such a strong person. Just know that we are always thinking of you and Justin and hope the best for you guys. Did you know my husband Ben and Justin went to school together?

Gail said...

I am glad that the last two "chemo laps" seem to be going better than the first. You are an amazing person Susan... Wise beyond your years! You are in our prayers daily. We don't want to be instrusive, but know that we are willing to do what ever you need, when ever you need it. I hope that you and Justin can get some rest and relaxation at the cabin over Labor Day weekend! We will get a key and a map to you this next week.

Love,
Gail (and Kent too!)

Ken Tierney said...

Susan,
I was so excited to link back up with you via Facebook. Then, just checking out your profile, I run into your webpage and find out the news. First and most importantly, you are in my prayers. I have some catch up to do in reading your blog, but I read your first 2 posts and the most recent one. I remember watching you run the mile in High School. You ALWAYS dominated it. I have a feeling you will be equally successful in your race with Chemo. Your courage is inspirational. I don't want to ramble on here, but I will be in touch.
Lots of love!
Ken

Rachael Romney Carlson said...

I wanted to let you know about the Virginia G. Piper Center up at Scottsdale Shea, if you haven't heard about it already. They offer free yoga and nutrition classes for life to anyone with a cancer diagnosis- you don't have to be a pt at the hospital. They have a bunch of other cool stuff too- let me know if you're interested and I'll get the number for you. Glad to hear things are going as well as they are! Did Zofran work for you or was it one of the bad ones?

Brittney said...

You're in my prayers and I'm amazed at your class in handling this! Your amazing! Keep fightin' girl!

andrea said...

So good to hear that you are on your 3rd round and still feeling great, you are such a great example me. We'll keep thinking and praying in your direction. Stay strong!

Julie said...

We don't know each other and I'm not sure how I came across your blog, but you have inspired me with your positive attitude, Best wishes to you and your courageous fight with cancer. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that the last two "chemo laps" seem to be going better than the first. You are an amazing person Susan... Wise beyond your years! You are in our prayers daily. We don't want to be instrusive, but know that we are willing to do what ever you need, when ever you need it. I hope that you and Justin can get some rest and relaxation at the cabin over Labor Day weekend! We will get a key and a map to you this next week.

Love,
Gail (and Kent too!)

Ed and Kathy said...

Susan, please know that you have been in our prayers and that we have fasted for you. Your blog is so inspiring. You have an amazing attitude. I just read this quote and thought of you. "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." You seem to have adopted that goal of dancing in the rain. I love your blog name-Lemonademakers.
We are in Utah and while watching the Olympics, I kept seeing the Huntsman Cancer Institute commercial about their research. One of their ads features a woman who said that at age 29 she was blindsided by stage 4 colon cancer. It ends with her saying, "I am a cancer surviver."
Keep up the race. You are a winner! Ed and Kathy Cole

Claney said...

Susan,

You are such an inspiration to me. I have always wondered how I would react to the type of situation you are experiencing. I watch how you and your family are dealing with the challenges and it is truly inspirational.

Last week, I had a visit with my dermatologist. As you know I battle multiple forms of skin cancer mostly squamous cell carcinoma. Thank goodness I have not had any form of Melanoma which is much more severe. He prescribed a form of chemical therapy called Aldara. It basically triggers your Immune system to attack the cancer cells. I have been treating my lip and it is a mess and quite painful. When I think that I am unfortunate to have this issue, I just think of you and your strength. Our prayers and thoughts are with you on the work front. Stay strong.
Chris Laney

Anonymous said...

You are one tough customer Susan. I would have woosed out a long time ago. Your tenacity & strenth are an inspiration to us all. It is indeed an honor to say I am your uncle & friend. You are constantly in our thoughts & my prayers.

Hang in there kid.

I am confident you will beat this thing.

The good lord is wathcing over you and with him anything can be accomplished.

All the best,


Uncle Bob.

hlmortensen said...

Hey Suz!
Just droppin' in to say hi! Hope you are feeling good today. :)
Heidi, Mike and Jamie (From the Show Low library :)

The Bostock Fam said...

What a great post! I am so happy that you are upbeat and inspired through all of this. You have a great support system. I ran into Megan the other day she is awesome with nothing but good to say about you. Stay stong only 3 laps to go! I ran the mile too. I love it. Now after watching the olympics I am jsut wishing that I were a 3 minute miler:) (right) Once again tell Justin that Rachel says hi and I also am willing and eager to lend ANY and all support needed. Just email me and I can and will do ANYTHING

Rachel
rachbos44@yahoo.com

Jenny Nielson said...

Susan,

Just wanted to let you know that I am still thinking of you and praying for you. I have told many friends and family of your story and your example. It has been an inspiration to so many people that you don't even know. You still look stunning as ever.

I am grateful that we have Jesus to lean on during these hard times. I know He really is there. Way to press forward! We are praying for you and hope you are feeling well despite the treatments--

Jenny