Leslie's Journey.....

Thank you for being a part of the journey.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Up and back down...

They call them "cycles" for a reason, I guess... Breathing is getting more difficult again, and nausea/ vomitting is returning. I'm just trying to encourage her (without frustrating/ annoying her-- a tough task sometimes), by just reminding her that a) this is STILL better than Day 19 last cycle, and b) Days 15-18 were SO MUCH better than last cycle-- signs that we're moving in the right direction. She is encouraged by these reminders... but it doesn' treally make the suffering much easier.
We did have a good weekend-- made it to the reunion in Indiana. SUCH AN ENCOURAGEMENT to see all the family-- so many of whom have been such great prayer warriors and supporters. And we made it to Church on Sunday, too! So over all, it was a super weekend. Just last night she was starting to head back "down-hill". As hard as it is for her to struggle through the agony of the moment, we have been expecting this... that by Thursday this week she'll be feeling like she's got tumors in her chest again. And then, a week of misery. Followed by a couple weeks of feeling better again... and so-on.
We are encouraged, though, because we're figuring out (trial and error) how to make the first 5 days as easy on her as possible-- lots of iv fluids... and drugs. And also, the "good part" of the cycle seems to be getting longer. We're praying the momentum continues... and that these next 7-10 days fly by.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Good News--10.15pm Friday

Well, it's official. Leslie's treatment plan is working-- the "medical", "physical", "will", and "peace" are all coming together, little by little. The greatest piece of evidence we could have received to that fact came today in the form of a phone call from Dr. Clark. Leslie's CT scan shows definite shrinking of the key tumor areas in her lungs and lymph nodes. PRAISE GOD! She IS definitely feeling better, now that we're into the third and final week of this cycle, in comparison to last cycle. Still no walks around the block, but we're happy to have the conversations, even laughs. She doesn't need anyone's help to shower or do other bathroom-related things. :) She's bored of lying in bed-- which is a tribute to the clarity of her mind, now that she has been able to come off some of the "as needed" medications. Over-all, we're starting to see the "improved quality of life" the doctors were shooting for... and we have renewed hope that God just may so choose to not stop there...Tomorrow, we're going to try traveling-- an hour-plus drive into NW Indiana for a one-day (partial-day for us) reunion with the Bucher family. It will be so good for her to look up and see the sky through the sunroof and see the miles pass by. (I only hope it doesn't trigger her car-sickness nerve again...) And of course, just to be with her extended family will be such a blessing.Yesterday, Leslie's sister took her to her chemo (it was an "easier" week) and CT scan appointment at the hospital, which freed TJ and me up for a special treat-- We took the train to his first ever Cubs' Game! The Cubs looked terrible (reminding us that they ARE, after all, still the Cubs)... But TJ did great-- made it through all 9 innings, nailed every word to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game", and ate his body weight in peanuts and hot dogs. THAT'S MY BOY! His eyes were like softballs-- taking in everything. The skyscrapers down-town. The Metra and EL. He giggled with glee at his first glimpse of the grass, dirt, and bright white lines on the infield. He even thought the Taxi ride between stations was fun, looking up to me, grinning as he held on to his seat with both hands, as if to say, "I have ARRIVED!! I AM a big boy!" (It just dawned on me he's never been in a car without his car seat.)Praise God for a good couple of weeks, and for the realistic hope of more to come! We are truly cherishing every "good" day. And every not-so-good-day does have a way of passing by, leaving us with the hope that tomorrow just may be better. We were just talking tonight about how our definition of a "good day" has changed so much-- a "good day" today might just as well have been the worst day of our lives a year ago. Feeling well is a relative concept. (Which reminds me-- the CT scan also picked up some early signs of pneumonia in her lungs, so add another antibiotic to her list of prescriptions and prayer to the list of needs for the next 2 weeks...) But still-- right now, I just want to stay in this place forever... tasting the sweetness of these "normal" little conversations... seeing my wife and my boy love on each other... enjoying her friendship and her clear mind... Speaking of which-- time for me to go back upstairs. Just finished putting away groceries and she's still up. Maybe she's up for a game of Rummy...Good night. And a round of Hallelujahs on me.--Tyson

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Big Day...

It's been a pretty good week. Leslie was able to be off the oxygen tank for extended periods of time. Able to get up and down the stairs about once or twice a day. Able to sit up and eat dinner with us. Able to cuddle with TJ and read books and what-not. And able to have good conversation with us (her mom, sister, and me). Not nearly as much coughing or throwing up. Like I said, a good week.Today, she's going in for a land mark CT scan of sorts. The 2nd cycle is nearly over, and the treatment plan almost 1/3 complete. "If" this is working, the doctors should be able to see it in this CT scan. Our start-of-new-cycle appointment with Dr. Clark isn't for another week, but they typically like to have these things several days in advance of such appointments. We pray for our anxiety to be curbed, and our emotions not to wreak havoc on us, whether the feedback from the scans be good OR bad. We'll let you all know what the update is, when there is one to give.On a bright note, by this time "last cycle", Leslie's breathing was starting to get a lot worse, and her energy was starting to wane-- and today, she's feeling pretty well. Week One was absolutely HORRIBLE (not that any of us need to be reminded of that fact), but Week Two was pretty good (although maybe not quite as strong as last cycle-- needing the O2, no walks around the block, etc...). And now, Week 3 is off to a better start than last cycle. Now, we've been constantly comparing the days, the cycles, etc... to try to establish some sort of conclusion as to how this treatment plan is working... but we know 2 cycles are not enough of a "data pool" from which we can start to draw conclusions, point to trends, etc... All the more reason why we both look forward to and dread this CT scan today. As always, we appreciate your prayers.-Tyson

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Minute by minute

I know it's been forever since I have written. Honestly I just don't know what to say. My feelings physically/emotionally change so often that by the time I make it downstairs my thoughts have shifted and I get distracted by something else. I am thanking God this week for increased health and strength and MUCH needed time with my family.After a wonderful last 2 days with Tyson and TJ, I find myself sad tonight. My body is just not allowing me to do all I want so badly to do. I can sit and watch a 2 hour movie forgetting that I am even sick until the second I stand when I immediately start gasping for breath! I can have the greatest night of sleep, sit up in the morning feeling just fine and then again, be out of breath before I make it to the bathroom. I see a dirty house that I want to clean, but can't. (No, this is not a request for house cleaners! I have those, but I WANT TO DO IT!) But most of all I see a delightful 2 year old boy who giggles with glee when he can go on an outing with his mommy AND daddy, even if he has to sit on my lap in my wheelchair (thanks, Matt). I want more of these outings. I want more dates with my husband. I have never appreciated them so much in my life, and I WANT MORE!!!! There just isn't enough time in the day to spend with them. I'm tired of laying around because my body isn't as well as my mind. Last week I thought I might die because I felt so sick. This week I just want to LIVE!Are you confused yet?! I am. I've never been so thankful, full of love, full of sorrow, confused, angry, sentimental, hopeful, and so unsure about my future all at the same time. No wonder I am tired.I need to say some huge thank you's this week that are way over due. Thank you, Liz for holding us together during the week! You take such good care of us, and I couldn't be resting if I didn't believe that you truly love my little boy and he loves you! Thank you, Tyson for being the glue that keeps this house from falling apart!!! Forgive me for not always appreciating "your ways of doing things". We wouldn't be able to function if you weren't doing all that you are doing. I love you more than ever. Leslie

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pray for all the "Mike's & Tyson's" out there

The post you are about to read is from Jessie Rosebrook. Leslie and Jessie have not had a chance to physically meet but have become very close through their battles with cancer. Jessie is married to Mike and they also have a little boy, Luke. Her blog address (http://www.forjessie.blogspot.com/) has been posted on this site for some time now. Jessie just finished round 9 of chemo and wrote this in her blog after the treatment...

"Last but surely not Least, a tribute to all the "Mike's" out there. Cancer surely is miserable for the one with the diagnosis but it's miserable for those who are there with you. Those of us with cancer get the sympathy and the prayers but sometimes forgotten is the one who is holding our hand the whole way! Mike is the one who carries all the weight on his shoulders. Holding up his job, a side job, a rowdy little boy, a sick wife, a home, and trying to be the strong one all the time. His burdens are not the same but just as big. I'm also blessed with a mom who would give me a new brain if she could and a family that would do anything to "fix" this. I also have found that I have great friends. I read once in some cancer book that your friendships will change throughout this and it was right. Some friendships have faded and others have been made so strong. Each and every person who stands by someone who is fighting cancer is truly fighting cancer too. So THANK YOU to ALL of you!!"


Please keep the "Mike's" and "Tyson's" in your prayers as they battle cancer alongside their wives.


Made it through...

So we made it through. I'm going on about 3 hours of sleep, (and most of that on the bathroom floor with TJ), depending on how you compile the minutes. TJ threw up probably about 8-10 times from 9 until about 4 this morning (and 2-3 more times during the day yesterday). Seems to be doing better now-- had some toast and Gatorade for breakfast. He hasn't "pukeded" yet. Leslie also seems to be doing okay. She had another bad coughing spell about an hour ago, but didn't throw up. It was just time for cough syrup, I think. She's not up for eating (again/ still‚), but sleeping pretty well, when she's not coughing.Praises to the Father this morning for "getting us through" that night. And for the new (and beautiful) morning. Tyson

Tuesday Night Prayer

God, I'm having a hard time understanding You tonight. How is it, that in the MIDDLE of a bed-time prayer with Leslie, during which I pray (again) for peace and rest which leads to renewed strength in the morning, that she begins coughing violently, then sits up, and proceeds to puke what little nourishment her emaciated body has been able to take in tonight. In the MIDDLE of our prayer for just the opposite...?!You KNOW we believe You are God, You are here, and You are good... ALL the time... All we're asking is that You show it a little bit... You don't need to prove Yourself. You have nothing to prove that's not already written on the hearts of every man, and throughout all of Creation. Yet still You HAVE done just that-- proven Yourself time and again through the ages... through the cross... in our very lives. We're just asking to SEE it... first hand... just a little glimpse... tonight. Are You testing us? Trying our faith? You KNOW we're not going anywhere. You know our faith is steadfast. We have Job, Habakkuk, David, Peter, Paul, and so many others who have gone before us. (Not to mention our dear brothers and sisters who have also tasted this kind of suffering, first-hand, and turned gratitude and praise back to You in the midst of it.) We know that in life there is suffering, and even in suffering, You are there. We have learned of new dimensions and depths of Your goodness in the midst of this nightmare, and have claimed it. But... in the MIDDLE of our prayer tonight...?Yes, we fail to understand. But we don't fail to trust. We don't fail to love You... to call out to You. It's just Your method that leaves us wondering. Seriously... is THIS what it takes for us to bring You the glory You desire from us? Yes, we wonder tonight at that. At that, and at the fact that we're just not quite sure whether Leslie's vomiting is from the chemo... or from the FREAKING VIRUS that has had TJ puking his little guts out all day and night as well. ARE YOU SERIOUS?? Now we're begging for mercy on our 2-year-old as well??! I'd flippantly challenge You to just hit me with it while You're at it and just make it a "full house"... but truly, I'm fearful You'd do just that... for some unexplicable (albeit Godly) purpose. So, I find myself begging for mercy, to not be stricken with whatever it is TJ has... and either has or hasn't already been passed to Leslie. I guess I'll take the opportunity to thank You for making TJ such a wonderful little kid-- a "warrior" like his mommy-- getting up from his make-shift, toilet-side bed all by himself, while I was tending to Mommy, to direct his vomit into its proper place... He was so proud of himself, and made sure I took a good look before I flushed it. He's been such an angel this evening, and yes, I thank You for that... because I'm not sure how else we would've got through the night. (But then again, we're not through the night yet. Please God... get us through the night... with some peace and rest.)Father, I'm finding myself even scared to type these words... fearful of how You'll answer in all Your infinite wisdom... mysterious as You have proven Yourself to be. I'm scared to ask for bread, lest You give me a stone... Yet You have PROMISED in the Gospels that You wouldn't do that...???... I guess... tonight I just pray... claiming again that promise... Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses... our feeble minds... Our lack of understanding. Our self-pity. Our arrogance that may suggest that we somehow know better than You... Bind temptation and all kinds of evil from us. Deliver us, tonight, oh Lord. For this is YOUR kingdom. We are witnesses to YOUR power. Forever.Amen. ..................Tyson

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Misery Loves Compazine

So, today wasn't the peaceful day of rest and recovery we were hoping for or expecting. From bed-time last night until sometime this afternoon, Leslie only slept for an hour at most at a time, waking up for violent spells of dry heaving, coughing, and gasping for breath. Not sure if it was the fact that she got a "full dose" of the Oxaliplatin this time, or what... but it was pretty bad. "Doesn't God HEAR me?" Leslie whimpered to me, as I rubbed her back, trying to comfort her, in the midst of one of these "spells" at one point this morning. The routine was that we'd sleep for about 45 minutes, wake up and wrestle and pray through the next 20 minutes, "clean up", and then try to sleep for the next 45 again... and so-on.What do you say to that? I mean-- certainly he feels her pain. Hears our prayers. Indeed, hears the prayers of THOUSANDS of brothers and sisters across the world, literally... and still, He seems to sit by and allow her to suffer. "He hears you, Baby. He's right here. He hates to see you going through this.""But He could STOP it, if He wanted to... He could make it better..." Tears were rolling down her cheeks as she panted, now... the words barely a whisper. Panic in her eyes.Eventually (seemingly hours later-- more like 10-15 in reality), the attack subsided, and she was resting again.Anyway... after I made several phone calls to various parties within the Loyola network, Karen the home-care nurse stopped by around 1pm today, with orders from Dr. Clark, to give Leslie 2 liters of IV fluids (she was so dehydrated) and 2-3 different anti-nausea meds. That eventually settled her down. As a result, she's been sleeping pretty soundly since about 3 or 4 this afternoon. Before leaving, Karen said-- "This will NOT be like this, honey. We're going to up your med's and up the fluids. We'll get you through this.""See, Babe? God heard your cries," I tiptoed in and whispered in her ear, giving her a kiss on her feverish cheek a few hours later. "Thank you, Father." She nodded in agreement, giving silent thanks, not able to open her eyes, and then drifted back to sleep.Phew. That was a rough one. It's so wonderful to see her sleeping so deeply now-- rosy cheeks, breathing slowly and steadily. I'll probably sleep in the basement. She's sprawled all across the bed, and I don't have the heart to wake her. She's got TJ's baby monitor in her room, and one of the receivers is in the basement, so I'll here her if she wakes...Tomorrow we try the day on our own. I'm praying she sleeps... oh, about 20 hours or so out of the next 24. TJ and I have big plans. Breakfast and then a baseball game in the back yard. (He's been a little angel again, over the past few days. The one thing that brought me actual joy today. What a blessing!)Anyway... each day is an adventure. This one has a happy ending. Good night. We're resting easily in the shelter of Almighty arms tonight. Thanks for your prayers today.--Tyson

Friday, June 13, 2008

Cycle 2, Day 1

This "Day 1" was better than the first. Leslie didn't throw up until after all of her drugs were infused this evening. She's pretty miserable now, but in reality, doing MUCH better than she did 3 weeks ago-- feeling proud of herself that she got her full doses in. (It's a drug called Oxaliplatin that is the really mean one. She gets it 1x per cycle, only on Day 1, and last time, they had to "cut her off", because it was just too much for her body to take.)We got back from the hospital about an hour ago. She's sitting up, now, talking with her sister-in-law, who came up from Indy to watch TJ during our trips to the hospital yesterday and today. Again, relative to the previous cycle, we're encouraged with how she's doing tonight. The next 4-5 days, we know, will be pretty awful. We'll get through, though, and are looking forward to another week or so of feeling quite well after that, again.We're not sure if it's the cracked rib (Dr. Clark's unofficial diagnosis of what "popped" in her side), or the fact that it was just time for another shot of cancer-poison... but she's having a lot of trouble breathing, again-- almost as bad as her pre-chemo days, when the tumors were "squeezing" her lungs. Her O2 saturation wasn't where they wanted it to be before they released her from the clinic tonight, so they sent her home with her very own oxygen tank, which is now hooked up to her nose. She won't need it all the time-- just when she has her "attacks", which seem to be pretty predictable/ regular, whenever she gets up to go to the bathroom, go downstairs, or whatever. Really, the O2 tank's a bit of a "security blanket", because those attacks can be so scary, as she struggles to stay calm and catch her breath, unable to fully inhale. So, while "she's on an oxygen tank at home, now," sounds pretty bad, it's really a relief... just a little something to get her through the tough moments.We praise God that her mind is clear, and her strength and spirits are up. She has a quiet (albeit uncomfortable-- nearly miserable) confidence about her. She's looking forward to feeling well again, and knows this is necessary to get her there. The goal for the next 4-5 days is to get her as comfortable as possible, so she can sleep off as much of the "chemo-hangover" as possible... Sweet dreams, Baby. See you (that is, the REAL you) again when you wake up... in a few days.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"...Singin' -- for the glory..."

We go in to see Dr. Clark today. He will give us his feedback on how he thinks the chemo is working. Funny... I should be scared of what he might say. I'm not. Just another trip to the doctor. Tomorrow, Leslie starts the cycle 2 of the chemotherapy. She'll be nearly unconscious and miserable --(I guess if you're miserable, might as well be nearly or fully unconscious)-- for the next 4-5 days after that with the flu-like symptoms. Then, we're looking forward to/ hoping for another nice two weeks of feeling better and being a "whole" family again.

I was humbled and honored to receive an email from an old friend on Sunday. He and I go way back to church "youth group" and "camp" days. He's now a school principal and serves on the weekends with his church's worship team in Ft. Wayne, IN. It's a HUGE church with 3 services on Sunday, and my friend said I "was on his heart" through all 3 services as he sang this past week. We've received so many words of encouragement to that effect, from people in various situations. And, as my friend states, it's just amazing to witness how God's Spirit moves people to specifically think, pray, etc... (He hadn't yet heard/read, at that point, of Leslie's cracked rib, or whatever it is.) Anyway, I know I've babbled on in the past about the importance of "Worship in the Storm"-- giving God glory in the midst of hardship. But as I reflect over the past few weeks of posts, it seems like the "blog" lately has been more focused on the "storm" than the "worship"... So, today, I'll just give you an excerpt of my response to my worship-leader-friend-guy... as a reminder to myself, more than anyone else, of just WHAT, "in Heaven's name", this whole thing is about...

It's good to be thought of and prayed for. Especially when the prayer (or prayor) is in the midst of worship. It's amazing to me how my heart is moved to sing in the most difficult of times. Those morning drives to the hospital to see my sick wife. Those nights at home alone, when she's still in that hospital bed. In the shower these mornings, getting ready to go to work before she or TJ get up, sleepy from too short a night, not wanting to leave them for the day... All I can do is pray and sing. This is the Holy Spirit, I know... the stuff stories in the Book of Acts are made of. Stephen, in the midst of his trial, looking up and seeing the glory of God. Paul in chains, singing songs of praise until the prison walls crumbled. Dude must've had some PIPES! :)

I had the opportunity to lead worship for a Sunday evening service with my church this past weekend. It had been 3-4 weeks since I'd been to church, let alone in front of a microphone leading worship. Leslie was having a pretty good week, we felt like we were able to do the church thing, so I called the director and told her I could chip in this week. Of course, that was before the whole cracked rib/ strained muscle thing... Leslie ended up having to stay in bed the whole weekend... But anyway... We only have "Community Nights", as such services are called, once a month. And typically, the people who show up to these services are the ones who are passionately connected to the body, desiring to worship, etc... It's more of a casual event... no sermon. Just testimonies/ sharing, prayer, "church business" discussions, and worship-- sometimes baptisms. This particular week, we had no morning service, so people came in "hungry". (It was a "The Church has Left the Building" Sunday-- we've done it a couple times-- when instead of meeting for church, we organize and meet for various community service projects around the area. We then get together for a "Community Night" celebration that evening.) It was so good to worship corporately with my "family" again. And unbelievably emotional. I hadn't planned for that, which made my over-all vocal showing a little weak, but no one cared. And the old guitar skills had grown a little rusty, too. But, worship happened... as I've learned it typically does when the "leader" is broken, and the congregation is just in love with their God. He was glorified. And it lifted my heart, soul, and mind to the point that it's getting me through the week this week.

(As a side-note, the most beautiful part of the evening was looking down and seeing TJ sitting with some friends, singing along at the top of his lungs, dancing around, to one of his favorite songs... "Mighty to Save". If there's one thing I want him to take and to OWN from this period of his life, regardless of wherever this path leads us, it's this: "My Savior-- He can move the mountains. My God is mighty to save, mighty to save! Forever, Author of salvation, He rose and conquered the grave. Jesus conquered the grave!")

The human response to suffering and hardship is "Woe is me." The response which God desires-- the response for which we were created-- and the response for which the grace of Christ provides through His Spirit, is "Hallelujah!" (That is, "a joyful noise," or, "a song of praise".) The battle cry of our little church, as it's been growing in depth and numbers over the past year is... "God is good! ALL the time!" And it's amazing, but not surprising, to see God work to lift the human spirit when we just turn to Him and worship in such difficult times. Again, it doesn't necessarily make our troubles go away... but it lifts our spirits... He "gets us through". And, most importantly, it fulfills our God-ordained role and purpose-- it brings Him glory.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Post from a post...

Comment from Kara:
Sigh... sorry, once again, for the setback. Keep holding on... Love you, Kara

Response from Leslie:
Since I haven't written forever, I thought I would at least make a comment. As you said it best, Kara, "SIGH" is about all we can say. I have never had a body that just keeps falling apart and refusing to cooperate. Surgery after surgery, procedure after procedure, it tries to bounce back, but this cancer just won't seem to let it. We are praying that as I begin Round 2 of chemo this Thursday we will see more dramatic results in the improvement of my breathing. That is the most terrifying thing, when I just can't seem to catch my breath even after a short walk to the bathroom! The days get very long, but we will get through this. Love you all...Leslie

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Another bump in the road....

Leslie either cracked a rib or pulled a muscle coughing on Friday night. Dr. Clark said it very well could be either, and there is nothing they can do about either, except up the pain med's a little. She was having a very nice evening, was just starting to lay back in bed, and coughed in an awkward position, kind of twisting/ leaning back. She heard something "pop" on her right side, near the scar from the biopsy, and a night of misery ensued. She couldn't cough, breathe, or move without severe pain shooting all around that rib-- front to back. Yesterday was a little more bearable, but barely. It made for a rough one, since her body was just starting to get stronger, her mind getting clearer, her heart feeling a little more like a "normal person"... and then being able to do nothing but lie there and look at the ceiling. Every little pain, odd sensation, bump that she hadn't remember being there prior... everything was just amplified by her restlessness and inability to distract herself.We had a great talk, prayer, and foot-rub time last night (I was corralling TJ all day, and couldn't give her my undivided attention very much), and she's a bit calmer now. But it's just so frustrating to see another setback. She was just starting to get her "wind"-- literally and figuratively-- feeling a bit of that "peace" and "will" we keep discussing. All we want to do is be able to take a short walk. Sit together at the table and have dinner. Sit up and watch the latest Office episode. Have her rock TJ at bed-time. And we were doing all those things for a week or so... and then this. We're not asking much... Just to make the most of the reprieve the medicine is giving her right now. *(&^!@!!Today, the pain is a little more manageable, but it will be another bed-ridden day for her. She did make it downstairs once yesterday, but it took everything she had. She's back to that scary, panicky feeling she had prior to chemo-- like she can't catch her breath. However, we're confident it's just a "setback". Each day is a little better, and soon she'll be back to having "a good week"... it just might not be for a week or two. (Thursday this week she starts a new cycle, so that will take her out of commission until Tuesday or so of the following week... but by then, her pulled muscle or cracked rib or whatever shouldn't be hurting as badly... so we're just "getting through, moment by moment, breath by breath" until the 17th or so.) We know our cries are heard. We know our burden is lifted... but yet it seems so heavy. He has provided the very tangible love and support of His body/family. We are grateful for His obvious presence, but we are again frustrated at another bump-- or rather, a traffic-stopping, February-in-Chicago-esque pot hole-- in the road that he's stretched out before us. Tyson

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

More like Leslie.....

The last few days have been such a sweet relief. In the 32-year scheme of things, Leslie's still not healthy (obviously...). BUT... the chemo is definitely doing what it's supposed to do. The "bad stuff" from days 1-6 has (apparently) effectively had its way with the tumors, and its side effects are now dwindling. Leslie is feeling better-- able to get up around the house several times a day, hold a "normal" conversation for a while, etc... We even took a family walk around the block yesterday! She's still sleeping quite a bit, but feeling much better. Coughing and vomitting much less. The coolest thing, for me, is that when she's "up and around", she's got that flicker in her eye again... My girl is getting her groove back. Her spunk, her mind, her love and passion... She's "Leslie" again-- albeit a more tired and weak version. It's just so amazing to think about how this is working. I mean... they're basically poisoning her body, and the cells that were killing her are so aggressive that they've been exponentially more affected than the other cells. We were so afraid of chemo, but really, she's feeling so much better, for now, than she did when the cancer was running rampant, chemo-free. We need prayer now, more than ever... the doctors basically predicted this. Now it's just a matter of how her body decides to take up the battle for itself. It's only a matter of time, we know, until the cancer starts to grow resistant to the chemo drugs... when the good cells start to be affected more than the cancer cells... when the negative side effects outweigh the potential gain in the battle. Then... it's up to Leslie's own body.
But for now, we're enjoying just feeling a little better. Feeling like we're living again. Work is busy and going well. Many fires to put out. And she's back to being a mommy... with a little help here and there. It's good for all of us to concentrate on-- and put some energy into -- something else other than cancer now and then. So... this is what they mean by "quality of life". Meanwhile, it's allowing us enough energy to catch just a glimpse of the "Will" it's going ot take for her to beat this thing.
I'm encouraging her to blog one of these days, now that she can think (and type) clearly enough to piece a paragraph together... Stay tuned. In the meantime, blessings abound. I'm not getting tired of thanking you for your prayers and encouragement which have sustained us through the past several weeks... I hope you're not getting tired of reading it... Thank you . And praise GOD!