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The cough.  Ah yes, the cough.  Zion and Jacoba each caught a cough/cold type thing and lovingly passed it along to me.  It is a cough with no fever and so my doc said I could take any over the counter cough medicine to help.  It helps me sleep at night if nothing else and Janine, I haven’t tried the sock and Vick’s vapour rub thing yet because it’s been too hot to sleep with socks on lately!  🙂   But, if I get desperate, I will try it and let you know how it worked.

Unfortunately, the cough has made me more tired and that kind of stinks because by now I should be feeling a bit better as it has been 2 weeks since chemo.  In saying that, this type of chemo hasn’t given me that ‘crappy, blanket over me’ type feeling and for that I am thankful.  Dr. Tozer also mentioned that I might feel tingling in my fingers and toes and so far that hasn’t happened.  I am also VERY thankful for that.  I would not want to do the hand/foot syndrome thing again.

On Sunday, Mendelt and I divided and conquered.  Mendelt took the 3 kids with him to Sascha’s birthday party (Sascha is our niece, visiting from BC with her mom Monique and her brother Matheo) and had a really nice day.  Jacoba stayed there for a sleep over and the 2 Z’s and Mendelt came home to sleep.  I went with my parent’s to St. Thomas to my Uncle Tom and Aunt Maria’s house for a get together to see my cousin Julia and her husband Matt and their 2 month old daughter Marika.  Julia is the one I mentioned and asked for prayer for because of an infection she caught that sent her into septic shock (I think I got that right!).  It was so great to see her and her family and my cousins that live out that way and my uncles and aunts that live there (my mom’s side of the family).  I cannot begin to describe how meaningful it is to connect with family again and to appreciate the bonds that we have.  After a brushing with death it is so important to live, laugh and love in each new day that we are blessed with.

After visiting with family, we (my mom and dad and I) drove back to Brantford and I got to sleep at the old homestead again–always a pleasure.  Today, I got to meet up with my sister Monica and enjoy lunch and shopping together while our mom and dad left bright and early this morning for London for my mom to get an eye operation done.  Her left eye got operated on 16 (I think?) months ago and now she got her right eye done.  Everything went well and she see her eye doctor tomorrow morning to make sure everything is all right and then she gets to come home.  She’ll be loving cared for by my dad and should be up and around again after a week or so.

And that, is how it’s going.

PS–Sonya, so sorry we missed each other!  And John and Charlene, sorry to have missed you guys by a day too!  Annette–give them a big old hug for me okay?  🙂

Love Marisa

Marisa is still toughing it out.  She has developed a cough over the last couple of days which causes her difficulty to sleep at night.

But she doesn’t ever complain.  Ever.

Marisa is a star, shining in the universe.

Jesus must be so proud.

The ‘new’ chemo regimen is now 5 days old.  When Marisa and I met with the oncologist, he told us that while he was walking his dog, he came up with an idea that Marisa should try this set of drugs.

A quick story about our oncologist.  His name is Dr. Tozer and at the end of our very first meeting, (7 months ago) I asked him if he believed in God.

He responded, “I believe in faith and miracles.  I’m Anglican.”

To which I responded, “I believe in Anglicans.”

Marisa is feeling good.  On Thursday Marisa needed to go for a unexpected ultrasound due to some stomach issues that were arising, literally.  Her stomach was bloating and they wanted to know if it was because of the blood clot, the needles, or the chemo.  We will find out the results early next week.
Today is her last day of steriods so the adventure is soon to begin.

Thank you for your comments,

Peace and love,

MdH

It was another fairly long day at the chemo clinic today. The whole process took more than 6 hours which is a long time when you are at a place you’d rather not be.

Marisa felt good today and thankfully those steriods are with her for the next few days.

We laughed when we needed to and greived when grief was called for. Marisa is such a tough cookie. I told the chemo nurse that Marisa is tough and then the nurse said “yah, a fiesty broad eh?” Then I poked her with the nearest needle.

We are filled again with trembling hope.

Peace,

MdH

(post script – I did NOT poke the nurse. That was a Marisa encouraged joke)

The appointment went as follows:

Marisa is stopping the chemo drugs that she is currently on and on Tuesday will start a whole new chemo regimen, cycle and drug.  This chemo is typically for people with lung cancer and in the oncologist’s term “can have a dramatic effect on tumours”.  We are holding out for that.

As you can’t imagine, Marisa and I have been a bit low for the last couple of days but we are starting to prepare ourselves for the new fight.

The cycle for this drug is a 21 day cycle, with the first three days in the cancer clinic and the rest of the drugs at home.  Apparently Marisa will be on this regimen for 4-6 cycles at most.

I know that love can not be rented, but I do ask that you keep the comments coming, Marisa sources much strength from them.

Peace and love,

MdH

The ultra sound has determined with 98% sureness that what they saw on the cat scan was indeed a blood clot and not a tumour.  This means that I need to take a needle every day (yuck–Coba, I’ve joined your ranks…) which will help my body fight this blood clot and hopefully shrink it.  My thrombosis doctor was very positive and uplifting.  That was helpful to me.

Both my dad and Mendelt thought that maybe the blood clot was getting in the way of the chemo making its way to the liver.  We’re going to ask our oncologist that tomorrow when we meet with him at 4 pm.

Not much else to say.  We wait some more.  Me, not so patiently….  🙂

Love MAV

Well, I passed one test.  My heart is fine and I can keep going with chemo.  Before I can continue with chemo though, they have to find out if I have a blood clot in a vein in my liver or whether it is just part of the cancer (a tumour).  Apparently this ‘thing’ has been there since February but a different technician read my cat scan this time and called it a blood clot.

So, after meeting with my oncologist, Mendelt and I met with a thrombosis (blood clot) specialist and they are not 100% sure that what is on my liver is a blood clot. SO, tomorrow, I get to have more tests done.  I’m going for an ultra sound and hopefully that will give some more answers.  Then on Friday we meet with our oncologist to set up the next chemo date.

The saddest/hardest part for me was that the cat scan also showed that the lesion on my liver went from measuring 7.2 cm to 7.4 cm.  It’s original size was 9 cm.  The oncologist said he’s not ready to throw in the towel with the type of chemo I am on yet and wants me to keep going on it.  I asked him if this type of chemo isn’t working for me anymore and he said–“it may be losing control”.

More waiting, more uncertainty, more ‘not knowing’.  After hearing the news it was really hard for me to not be negative, angry, frustrated, and to just throw in the towel.  I know that is not an option though.  My faith is taking a beating and at this moment God seems far away.  Right now, this isn’t making any sense to me, but hopefully it will soon.

We hope to have some more answers by Friday.  We’ll keep you posted.

Love Marisa

Last night all three kids were in bed until Jacoba (age 3) came out of bed and asked if she could play.  We said ‘sure’. 

She played in the playroom for about 20 minutes, came out and we talked about how much we love eachother.  She said,

“I’ll love you for one hundred years.”  Sheesh.

Dear God, please send your healing water.

So, the tests went well on Tuesday–I got to be radio active for a bit. The technicians are always friendly and kind. Upon talking to some people though, I’ve discovered that we have neglected to let you know about our results day….so sorry.

My oncologist is vacationing in Turkey and won’t be back until next week, SO, we meet with him on Wednesday, the 11th and he’ll tell us what’s up. At my last appointment (3 weeks ago) he told us that my appointment on the 11th would be a wellness check. That sounds a lot better to me than ‘results’. At any rate, we are hopeful for good news and that the chemo can start again so that it can end soon!

On a different note, I’m not wearing my bandanas as much these days, with the heat and all, and so by accident I went out last night to my quilting group from church without anything on my head. The other members in my group both thought that my hair was starting to grow back. A few weeks back Mendelt, Zion and my family also thought my hair was starting to grow back. I’m not sure what this means, but maybe it is a good thing….

Thanks for everything once again and we continue to be blessed by your comments, cards, meals, gifts, plants and prayers.

Marisa

Tomorrow is the day for the big tests.  Marisa’s good friend Kim called the CT scan, the Crazy Test.  Good one.

Marisa is feeling better today.  For the last 10 days, Marisa has slept till past noon.  This can be tricky with 3 glorious-wonderful-tiring-energetic-full- outstanding-demanding- timeconsuming children but thankfully the weather has been nice and we can play outside.

The 5 of us spent the last couple of days at Marisa’s sister Monica’s house in Simcoe.  We ‘camped’ for two nights.  The kids had a great time.

Please pray for peace for Marisa.  We know that she will be healed but we would rather it be here on earth than in heaven.

Peace,

MdH