Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 8

One week down and two to go!

The Doctor came in today and did another physical and went over my blood work. No other cancer markers were found except for my thyroid globulin was extremely high. Go figure. He actually said these words, "I could just kick myself for not taking a picture of it (my tumor) right when you got here. It has gone down considerably." Praise the Lord the great physician!

He said the only lymph nodes that were swollen were on the right side of my neck next to the tumor.

 We went to the beach again today, does wonders for my spirits. Isn't this beautiful?
How much fun would it be to ride a horse on the beach. We've seen it a bunch. Here and in South Padre but never actually done it.

 I put these pics up on FB already but posting them here for my non FB family to see.

I continue to struggle with the food here. It is part of my medicine and although its not a stretch from my normal diet, beside being completely vegetarian and vegan, the lack of taste is starting to get to me. They purposefully keep the food bland in order to make it easier on my detoxing body. Not to mention the premise of the Gerson diet is extreme protein and sodium restriction. Please pray for me. Thanks.

Danica is still congested in the mornings and continues to cough to get stuff out of her lungs but overall is doing much better. The doctor said that both of our lungs sound clear. Praise Jesus.

Thank you all so much for your continued prayers. We have a very long road ahead but we can already see the Lord working and healing.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 6

Josh left today at 2:30 am to get across the border to go home and Becky got here at lunch. This morning was colder but at least it wasn't raining. It warmed up a bit so Becky and I went to the beach this afternoon. It was SO nice to get out of this room. I've been feeling down and a wee bit trapped.

I will say that to this point my most popular feeling is to run. Not necessarily TO anything but just away from the idea of cancer. I feel fine. Except for the lump, I'm not aware that I have cancer. Its seems that I'm going through all of this, mainly being away from my boys for no good reason. I keep having to remind myself that this is real. Cancer is real. I have cancer. I'm doing this for my children. It is all a strange sensation.

Today we started the day like normal with my injection and then starting my IV fluids that run from 7am until around 2 or 3 pm. The nurse put a clay pack on my tumor and let it dry. After that I took a shower and we changed the dressing on my catheter. Here is a pic of my catheter held in by stitches.  Please don't mind my ridiculous face.

 More beautiful pic of the beach. Loved going down there. It did a lot of good for my attitude.

Danica and her aunt catching up on emails.

Danica and I are feeling better. Not 100% but definitely on our way. yippee!
Josh made it home safely. Becky made it here safely.
For no flare ups or reactions yesterday or today.
For being able to fall asleep in my hubby's arms last night.
For sunshine!
For the wonderful staff here.
Thank you Jesus!!

Prayer requests:
God's continued healing
For time to fly by quickly so I can get home to my boys! Oh how I miss them.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Day 4

Today was remarkably better! Praise Jesus! I only had a tiny flare up today but I took a nap and a coffee break (not at the same time) and felt better right away. Plus the flare up was minor aches and no shaking.

Even though I haven't had another ultrasound to get an actual measurement, from the outside my tumor feels smaller. Granted I can still feel it and see it but it isn't as prevalent. Yippee!!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers. Josh got here last night and has been a huge help.  I've decided I just have a cold because my aches are gone. Danica has serious congestion and a bad cough and now Josh says he doesn't feel right. His tummy is upset and he feels nauseous. ugh. Granted he could just be detoxing. I was having those symptoms the first full day here. I gave him some ginger root so hopefully he will feel better.

Specific Prayer Requests:
Danica to be well!
Josh to feel better.
Continued healing.

Praise be to God!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day 3

Each day is proving to be harder than the one before. I had a flare up and/or another reaction today except this one was quite terrible. Mainly I think because I also got the flu or a cold today also, yippee. The doctor said that it is possible that I'm having a flare up so soon because my previous diet gave me a good immune system that is responding well to the treatment.

I have to say I actually started looking forward to my coffee breaks today. With all the toxins leaving my body the coffee breaks actually expel the toxins and help with the reaction. For example I had a horrible head ache this morning after my reaction and once I took my coffee break it was gone. The coffee breaks have gotten more tolerable and not as painful. Praise Jesus!

We were up at 6am again today and my injection and IV meds started at 7am. If the injection yesterday was a 1 then the one this morning was a .5! Thank you Lord! They changed the IV med that gave me a reaction yesterday so I was nervous when they gave me that today but it was fine. Then they started the second round of IV meds right before breakfast at 8:30am and at 8:55am I was being helped back up to my room with violent shakes. My temperature jumped up to 103 degrees plus. It was very painful, the shakes lasted for about 30 minutes and then I was sore the rest of the morning from the shakes.

The staff here is really great and they stayed with me and watched Danica while I was having my reaction. Even though they are great and even hold her while I eat, I was still having a hard time once they left. Josh flew in this evening to help me through the weekend until Becky, my sis-in-law, comes on Sunday.

Danica is sick. I think this would be a hard treatment plan normally, then add in a baby, then add in you have a cold and on top of that add a sick baby. ugh.

I'm so thankful that Josh is here now. I am thankful that we have the option to get this treatment. I'm thankful that I can still breast feed Danica. I'm thankful for my boys who are well and happy. Thankful for an amazing family that is helping with me and the boys back home. Thankful for all of you and your prayers.

Specific Prayer requests:
My cold/flu to go away
healing of the cancer
no more reactions to meds

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day 2

Thank you all who left me messages on FB or through email. It brightens my spirits to hear from you. I'm sorry I haven't had a chance to reply to each one but my days are very busy. Just know I look forward to them and appreciate them.

My brother left last night so today was my first day all by myself. It started early with Danica waking up to feed at 6am. She has gotten back on a good schedule now and it doing better to sleep through the night, Praise God!

The nurse gave me my injection this morning. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most painful I would rank the injection from last night as an 11 and the one this morning as a 1. It was night and day. I know many of you were praying about that injection specifically and I thank you for it. Praise the Lord! He answers prayers.

After a few crossed paths I finally got in to see the surgeon today who put a catheter in the right side of my chest under my collar bone. It was extremely painful all afternoon and made nursing Dani or even lifting her very hard. The pain has subsided and I now have use of my arm. It is painful to the touch, they put in stitches to hold it into place. I'm sure I will get more and more used to it as time goes on.

I started my IV treatments this afternoon. I had a normal but intense reaction to one of them and started shaking kind of bad. It only lasted for 20 minutes but it did make feeding the baby and changing her diaper difficult. I ended up calling in the doctor and he held Danica while I waited out the shaking.

The coffee breaks were easier today and I didn't dread them as much as yesterday. I'm hoping to get better and better about them and able to retain them longer to speed up the detoxification process.

This evening I was able to share our adoption testimony with the doctor and his wife. They were very excited to hear it.

Specific prayer requests:
I think Danica and possibly myself are getting a cold.
Asher, Bohdan, and Caius back home, they might be getting sick. ugh
God's continued healing.
For the coffee breaks to be easier.

This is the view from the balcony where I eat lunch. 

These are the pictures from the beach from the night before

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Day 1

We had some internet problems so the post from yesterday published today but the internet is fixed now. Unfortunately skype only works with video or audio not both at the same time. At least I get to see my boys, oh how I miss them.

When the Lord led us down this alternative medicine route we knew it would be tough and to be completely honest it is really tough. Today we continued on the diet and the coffee breaks. If you want to more about those you can read about it here. My body started to cramp during the coffee breaks so I was quite uncomfortable all afternoon. I have finally gotten relief tonight, praise the Lord.

We walked down to the beach to watch the sunset, it was beautiful. I will post pics sometime. unfortunately we missed the surgeon who was came to put in my IV catheter. The Doctor will take me in the morning to the hospital to have it placed. I will be leaving Danica here with the nurses. Please pray her schedule works out so she will be asleep while I'm gone.

I received my first injection today, in my hip. Owww!!! When the fluid went in it was quite painful. The severe pain lasted about an hour and now, 3 hours, later I don't feel it. The nurse will give it to me in the morning and she promised that she has a more gentle touch. Oh how I hope so!

The Lord is so faithful and has blessed us with a wonderful staff. Upon arrival the doctor's wife, who is the sweetest woman, prayed over me. Other nurses have offered up prayers for me. I truly believe just like all the other struggles we have faced prayer is the most important thing.

We are at the clinic.

My brother, Danica and I arrived today. Treatment started upon arrival. We have been SO busy. We are 2 hours ahead so we are all ready for bed. I will update better tomorrow.

Before I left I filled in Asher's calendar with dates we will be gone and when we are coming back. Josh got a great idea and made Asher a map and put our names on the magnets so he can move the magnets around to keep track of where everyone is and when. So cute! I miss my boys already.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

New road ahead

I originally started this blog as a way to keep people updated on our adoption. I haven't kept it up like I wanted to but have instead enjoyed the time with my kiddos. We are now embarking on a new journey and I will be updating everyone using the blog again.

The Lord has been so faithful to us. These last few years since Caius was born have been extremely difficult but God has remained our constant and never held back His grace and peace. I don't know what we would have done without His truly amazing grace! It was very hard to accept Caius' diagnosis but the Lord shared with me through David Platt's book "Radical" that we are here for one reason and that is to bring glory to God. I have to say that Caius has done that more in his short 3 years than I have done my entire life. I know God has great plans for him and Bohdan.

With that thought in mind I will now share our new journey.
I was diagnosed with cancer in December 2012. I have Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma. 

Doctors say that if you have to have a cancer this is the one to have. The prognosis with conventional modern medicine is 40 years.  This involves removing my thyroid and then a dose of radioactive iodine. We have done much research regarding our treatment options and have decided to forgo the modern medicine route in lieu of alternative treatment. For us the sacrifice of losing my thyroid and stop
breast feeding is too great.

I will be receiving treatment by Dr. Rogers at the Baja Health and Wellness Clinic. We are praying that my body responds well to this treatment and I can get complete resolution of my cancer without having my thyroid removed or stopping breast feeding. As with anything, it is not 100% but we are trusting God through this and praying for complete healing.

The first question I get is "how did they find the cancer?" I actually found it when I was putting on my lotion one morning. If you want to see it check out our family picture on the previous post and look at my neck. It is very apparent there. Others ask "how are you holding up?" I wish I could say that I was ok but to tell you the truth this has been a hard thing to come to terms with. Having the lils who take up most of my time with meds, therapies, diaper changes and such, plus having a newborn it is hard to imagine fighting cancer too. I do feel better now that we have chosen a treatment plan are close to starting. I have never doubted God's ability to heal me but in my humanness tend to get anxious over the path ahead. 

We don't know why has chosen me or this time in our lives for us to walk down this road but we pray He will be glorified every step of the way. God has time and again shown His grace and mercy to us and we know He will walk with us through every step of this journey. I'm leaving tomorrow with Danica and my brother to start treatment. I will be gone for 3 weeks and then will continue treatment at home for the next 2 years. Thank you all in advance for your prayers and support. 

We are taking the road less traveled and I know many of you will not agree with our decision. We have already lost support from some our family due to this, however I do ask that you keep your comments positive and uplifting. Thank you.

Happy 2013!

Here are some pics and a kiddo update:

Caius wearing Daddy's snow boarding goggles, Love it! 

 Here is our 2012 family picture. This is nothing short of a miracle. No one was crying, everyone was looking forward, no tongues were out and no fingers were in anyone's mouth!

Asher and his baby sister! 

 Here are some newborn pictures. We had them done at Griffin Photography in New Braunfels.
I love the colors!

Best wake up call EVER! 

 Bohdan LOVES loves loves his sister! He sits next to her and holds her every chance he gets.
Notice his legs are under her. He will even put his head on her and love on her.

Bohdan is doing well. He was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder during the summer so that has been difficult to deal with. We thought we had dodged that bullet but alas it showed up later than usual. We have been meeting with a psychologist who has been helping us navigate his new behavior. He is responding well to the therapy and is doing much better. He started school a few weeks ago and is liking it. He is walking with the use of a walker and has started taking about 10 steps unassisted. Hoping he starts walking soon! He is still on pureed foods and doesn't do well with textures or solids due to his sensory issues. 

Caius is now bigger than his big brother Bohdan but people still think they are twins. He is taking about 3 steps unassisted but not walking yet. He is also still on pureed foods and shares Bohdan's sensory processing issues. However he has problems drinking liquids and is working with his speech therapist to drink from a straw. We call him our rough and tumble destructor. He LOVES to wrestle even if his opponent isn't wrestling with him and he can destroy the play room in a matter of seconds!

Asher is in preschool and loving every minute. He is very proud of his siblings. When we are out people will say Hi to him and responds by saying "this is Bohdan, Caius James and Danica" Ha! He is a big help with his brothers and enjoys playing with them and bossing them around.

Danica now weighs 9 lbs 6oz at 3 months old. She is petite but very strong! We got her reflux under control and she is a super happy girl now.

We have been so blessed!