Hey there…it’s been a while. Let’s play catch up.
My counts were a little questionable for the few days leading up to Round 3. I knew that if they weren’t high enough, we would have to postpone this round several days. Not gonna happen. We’re on a schedule and this OCD lady isn’t changing it.
So when we got there on Monday morning, they put me in my room and immediately took my labs. They did it through my port, like they normally do. And then, my nurse, Teri (LOVE HER), came in and said that the numbers came back unusually low and that they were going to draw blood again, but this time from my arm. She had a feeling that because they had just flushed the line with saline, the blood may have been diluted a bit, making them appear lower than they actually were.
At this point, I told her to do whatever she needed to…and that I wasn’t leaving. I didn’t have to start chemo today, but I was staying in the room with all my stuff. I’m.Not.Going.Home…until this round is done.
Fortunately for them, my numbers were good enough to get started. Phew. I bet they would have hated to carry me out kicking and screaming.
Monday was my mom’s birthday, so when Danny and I got their bright and early and we knew I would be staying, we decorated the room. And oh, did that make my heart happy! (I’m looking for an excuse to decorate the room during each round of treatment. I love it, but so do the nurses. They all comment about how they love coming in this room because it’s bright a cheery.) Because mom was choosing to be with me at the hospital on her birthday, I wanted to be able to celebrate her. Every hour, on the hour, she got to open a card and/or a present from people who love her. I loved it…that may have to be become a tradition.
This round was pretty uneventful…and I like that. I watched episode after episode of Parenthood and a whole lot of HGTV.
Once I got settled in and got the chemo flowing, I got a call from the kiddo’s daycare. Fabulous. Anytime I see ‘Friendship Corner’ calling, I can almost guarantee one thing–Hud is sick. He had a 102.4 fever. Fortunately, Danny’s mom was able to scoop him up and take him to the doctor…ear infection. Again. He got on an antibiotic and seemed to recover pretty quickly. That boy is going to have an immune system made of steel before he starts Kinder!
Hud stayed with Amy and Jim for the week so that we could essentially keep Harper from catching anything. Harper stay with Danny most nights…she needed that. Not only did she need the time with her daddy, she needed the consistency of being at home. Sweet girl is going through a lot right now…we wanted to keep it as consistent as possible. She even got to come up and see me on Wednesday. [Insert Heart Eye Emoji] We were able to FaceTime each night, which is think was good for both of us. Typically, I have a phobia of FaceTime. I don’t do it. I hate it. I hate seeing myself on the screen…but when your 4 year old misses you and wanted to see you through FaceTime, you do it…as much as she wants. 🙂 Each morning, she would have Danny take a picture of the outfit she was wearing and would have him send it to me.
I had several of the same nurses for this round that I did the last. I know I’ve said it before…but the nurses on that floor have been such a blessing to me. I have loved every single one of them. Yes, it’s typical to connect more with some than others…but overall, I loved all of them. Whenever they didn’t get assigned to me, they would still come in and say hi during their shift and that made this girl happy. In my next life, I’m going to be a nurse. For real.
Because this round went as planned, we decided to move forward with the intrathecal lumbar puncture…but it wouldn’t be until the following Monday. I would come back to the hospital, have the procedure done, and then be released shortly after.
Several days before I went in for Round 3, I decided to take a leap of faith and sign up with a company called SeneGence. I’m not a fan of multi-level marketing ventures and I’m absolutely not a sales person…so let me share my “why”. Why would I sign up to do something like this, right now?
Since losing my hair, I have been getting used to my knew “look”. I was absolutely terrified to lose my hair because I always felt that my hair was what made me feel pretty…and then, when I finally lost my hair, I found that it was LipSense that gave me back the confidence my hair used to provide. While things weren’t ideal, I knew that I could put on LipSense and rock my bald head with more confidence than I ever imagined.
LipSense is one of many SeneGence products. It is an all-day lasting lip color that comes in over 70 shades and is one of their most popular products. This company offers a 100% customer satisfaction, money back guarantee. I hope you will try some of their amazing products…you won’t be disappointed.
So there you go. I’m doing it because it’s a product that makes me feel a little more “normal” when things aren’t so normal. And as a bonus, maybe I can bring in some money…not getting a paycheck has been a struggle…but we’re making it work. We’re able to make it work thanks to hundreds of people who have blessed us financially since my diagnosis. So no, I’m not selling LipSense for the money…but it definitely doesn’t hurt if I can bring some in. With that being said, if you’re interested in trying some of the products, let me know! You can visit my page on Facebook by searching for Kiss & Make Up with Ashley.
Just as with Round 2, I got discharged on Friday evening. This round was a lot less busy since people were back at work. Don’t get me wrong, I love having visitors, but this time I was able to catch up on sleep a little more than I was able to last time. I had been struggling to sleep at night, so I found myself sleeping more in the morning/early afternoon than I had been. I needed it.
While in the hospital, I got a few more #TeamAshley pictures…one of my favorite things.
Just like last time…I was a train wreck leaving the hospital. I was just so overcome with emotion. I’m not sure why it hits me then each time, but it does…and I can’t seem to control myself. I hugged the nurse who was discharging me and as I was being wheeled out, nurses that I was familiar with were all waving and telling me they would see me soon. They know how to make this girl feel special. The nurse I had on Friday mentioned that she would put sticky notes on the calendar to mark when I was coming back for the next several rounds so that I could get some of the same nurses.
You know you’re being well taken care of when it’s time to leave the hospital and you can’t get yourself together because you’re going to miss the nurses. Who does that? Most people are ecstatic to be released from the hospital. I was just so grateful to have received such incredible care while I was there. #weirdo
On the drive home, I just cried and cried. I was trying to explain to Danny what was wrong, but I couldn’t quite articulate it. I was just so overwhelmed with the endless support that we have received throughout this process. Every single day something else pops up. Someone makes a donation, someone offers to bring dinner, etc. It’s endless…and for that I am forever grateful. I was telling Danny that I just feel so undeserving…why me? Why has everyone gone above and beyond for me? I’m not sure why, but I can promise you that when it comes time for me to love and support someone else, I’ll be there in a heartbeat. #blessedbeyondmeasure
While we were driving home, my sister in law sent me a picture of my nephews with the Instructional Coach at their elementary school…all three of them wearing #TeamAshley shirts. I’m not sure why it hit my so hard, but man, it did. I knew Elizabeth (the IC) from curriculum writing several years ago. We knew each other, but we’re close friends or anything. I hadn’t talked to her since we wrote curriculum together…and here she was, wearing a #TeamAshley shirt that she had purchased. Somehow she made the connection with my nephews that we were all related…and they planned to wear their shirts together on the same day. How amazing. What an incredible way to show those boys how to love someone. Elizabeth Hoppe, I am so thankful for you and for your support…thank you for loving those boys!
Once we got home, Hudson was asleep, but Harper was wide awake and ready to party. She was SO excited we were home…it felt so good. In the picture, you can see that I had cried a few tears prior to taking the picture…but I don’t care. I was home with my girl.
I felt pretty good Saturday and Sunday. So good, in fact, that our dear friends Wes and Lindsey came over and the kiddos got to play. (Background knowledge–Hudson and Emmy are getting married in 22ish years. They’re okay with it. And so are we.) Here comes the bride…
They are about 6 weeks apart…but man, Hudson looks like a little beast compared to her. She is so petite, just like Harper was. He…well, he’s just fat. They are pretty dang cute together. Emmy liked trying to eat him…I don’t blame ya, girl…he’s got a lot of meat on those bones!
Sunday we went to brunch with some of our dear friends at a place called Nerdvana. It.was.amazing. It doesn’t really matter where we go, when we’re with these people, I’m in heaven!
Monday morning rolled around and it was time for the lumbar puncture. My sweet sister in law took me in at 8, they got us back pretty quickly, and off I went. Before the procedure, the nurse came in and explained the procedure and then the Radiologist himself came in and went through it as well. One thing I’ve found at this hospital is that they are incredibly thorough. It brings about a level of comfort that I know not every hospital has.
They took me back and we returned in less than 15 minutes. It was so fast, and painless. At one point, Dr. Spivey said that he was now going to be taking the needle out…well that’s weird, I didn’t even realize the needle had gone in yet.
I had to lay on my back for about 30 minutes before I was released. One of the biggest risks or side effects of this type of procedure is what they call a spinal headache. These are caused by spinal fluid leaking out of the puncture. There is no way to tell it’s happening because it’s under the skin…but apparently it brings about a pretty insane headache. #nothankyou
Because of this, I had to be on “bed rest” for 24 hours. Being up and around meant that it was easier for the puncture to leak, so they tell you to stay horizontal for the next 24 hours. I wasn’t too worried about it because I knew this meant I could sleep. Anything to keep away a headache!
Tuesday came around and I was now able to be mobile again. Slowly, my bones started ache, just like they did the last round. This time, I’ve got a stronger medicine…here’s to hoping it works.
It’s now Thursday and oh, boy! The aches are here and in full effect. I can’t quite describe the type of pain, but man, it just plain sucks. However, I know it’s only temporary. This won’t last forever. I keep telling myself that since my body is hurting, that’s proof that the chemo is doing it’s job. Can I get an amen?!
In the mean time, I spend most of the day in bed or in a warm bath. There isn’t much else I can do that feels even just okay. When I feel good, I try to take advantage of it…sometimes that leads to overdoing it. Double-edge sword, you see?
My PET scan is on Friday. Starting Thursday at noon, I can’t consume any sugar. Before cancer, this would have been a beating…I love me some sugar! But as we speak, there’s not a whole lot that sounds good…so bacon and eggs it is.
Because he will be out of town, we don’t meet with Dr. Stone until Tuesday for the results. I foresee that being a long few days…but what can ya do? We’re hopeful that the chemo is working and the tumor is shrinking. I’ll post again once we get the results…as I know everyone will be waiting on pins and needles…kidding.
Thank you for your unwavering support…I am reminded daily that we are blessed beyond measure. Without the support we have received, I’m not sure this experience would be manageable. So, thank you.
Prayer request…because some much is unknown right now, my plan for work next year is up in the air. If you know me, you know this is causing
some a lot of anxiety. Please pray for clarity and direction. There are several possibilities in the works that I will share at a later time…but for now, there is one that is ideal. Please pray that the stars align and we will blessed with the unspoken opportunity that is on my heart.