Archivo para 26 marzo 2015

26
Mar
15

Coumadin

Here I am in the hospital, premeds in IV, waiting for the carboplatin. Had a pleasant chat with the IV nurse who worked with me quite a bit during my visit earlier this month as she set up the IV block for this treatment. J, who was my nurse on the oncology floor last time, stopped in to say hi. While she was here, C the cardiology specialist who monitors my coumadin dose called with this week’s update.

I’ve talked with C just about every week since discharged in January. She gets the INR (a measure of the thickness of my blood) from a blood test and from that adjusts the medication dose. It’s quite a “science” to calculate the right amount of coumadin (or the generic warfarin) to get the INR between 2-3.

How this has affected me:
In one word, humbling
Deuteronomy 8:3 And he humbled you, and suffered you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you knew not, neither did your fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of Jehovah does man live.”

Since I have been pretty healthy, I have not gone to see a doctor much nor had many prescriptions. All this going for blood work, appointments and treatment, and daily medications is completely foreign to me and, to be honest grates a nerve! I had no use for nor needed healthcare coverage, after all, GOD was my provider! It irked me to need medicine every day. And the idea of this lasting six months to year, and possibly for the rest of my life??!!! Jamas! (look it up or ask Remy)

Was He?

Overall, yes, but…

In reality, I found I was trusting in my own strength, my state of health. THAT WILL NOT DO. Cursed is the man who trusts in the arm of flesh. This is what I read this morning:

The eternal God is (your) dwelling-place, And underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27

The eternal God will not relent until He has it all.

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24
Mar
15

Enjoying the manna

While receiving chemotherapy in the infusion center, the hospital dietician emphasized the importance of flushing my system with plenty of water the day before, the day after, and the day of my treatment to eliminate the drugs quickly. He also mentioned a metallic taste to food that patients often had.

I have not noticed any change in the taste of food or any nausea-perhaps the best-known side effect. Because this is so common, a preventative dose is administered in the IV and a prescription given. I am not aware how many people do get nauseous or vomit in spite of precautions.

A surprising consequence of the carboplatin was diarrhea, enough to lose 3 pounds in one day! Surprising because the more common general side effect is constipation. Others I experiencd included:
face flushed-both during chemo & days afterward
lack of appetite, food tasting overly salty
sensitive gums
bumps on skin
tips of fingers & toes less sensitive
lowered resistence. I have frequent sore throats, coughing, drainage/congestion.
hair loss
Not due to chemo, but to clotting is the swelling of my leg with puffiness or occasional hardness around the knee

And this is from a person who is feeling good!

Manna, “What is it?” (Exodus 16:15)

As the Spirit of God continues presenting Himself, we can also expect Him to probe and pull back layers in our lives.

You gave also your good Spirit to instruct them, and withheld not your manna from thir mouth, and gave them water for their thirst.” Nehemiah 9:20

The Holy Spirit peels layers to expose what God wants to deal with and bring to light areas we may not be conscious of. The above scripture really applies to a recently revealed item the Lord put His finger on. What the Spirit taught me was how pleasing it is to our Father when I am thankful for what (manna) He has provided by showing me how disagreeble the murmuring and complaining the Israelites did about their food was to Him.

Frankly, when a person is impolite concerning a gift I’ve given them, they are not likely to receive another from me! God chose to handle it another way; He gave them what they asked for, but…

And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote them with a very great plague.” Numbers 11:33

‘Nuff said?

24
Mar
15

Jehovah ø Shammah the Lord is nøt there

The strongest after-effect experienced occurred during the two days following my initial chemotherapy infusion in January. I mentioned tiredness among side effects; on Friday I was so wiped out that I could do little more than sit. The weakness waned overnight, but picked up again around noon of the next day. In subsequent treatments this drained feeling reappeared on the second and third days in a manageable, greatly diminished form.

The other notable malaise started the Monday after my prolonged desensitized chemotherapy. I had chills and what I thought was accompanying body aches. Later the aching changed to throbbing and pain in my bones lasting for three nights. These pangs, concentrated in the bones of my right, woke me up frequently those nights.

I became facebook friends with a relative about 18 months ago when one parent was close to death. Periodically, reading one of their posts my heart virtually screams with sadness. The words are so caustic and angry. I can only imagine the hardship of walking every day in their shoes, because the Lord is nøt there.

I have another facebook friend whose life fell apart right before my eyes. Every week, we listened with astonishment to yet another anguished tale of betrayal and injustice. Although participating in our Bible study discussion, the cares of life sprung up like thorns and choked God’s Word. Increasingly jaded, this comrade eventually disappeared from our Christian community. Anger and bitterness pour out of that wounded heart in the words posted to facebook. How disquieting to know they have ceased to look to the Source of peace, Jehovah ø Shammah.

Where is the balm in Gilead? Is there no physician here?“(Jeremiah 8:22)

Is is because the Lord is nøt there, that we receive no comfort? I do not think so!

“For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest ye shall be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength; and ye would not.” Isaiah 30:15

20
Mar
15

More: signs, symptoms, side effects & preventatives

Preventative Measures~
To lessen common side effects of chemotherapy, “premeds” are administered in the IV before the actual chemo which usually include benadryl, a steroid, and a drug to prevent nausea. I absolutely despised what the benadryl did to my head, not to mention the restless leg syndrome it produced in me-as it does to many people. Even subsequent to disconnecting the IV!

After bleeding, nausea is ESSENTIAL to control. Beside receiving that preliminary dose to prevent nausea/vomitting during each chemotherapy, we immediately filled a prescription and strictly adhered to our instructions to stay on top of it and take the medication at the first sign of it. Following the overnight desensitized treament, my doctor’s partner recommended that this time I take it continually for a couple days, starting that evening after discharge. Due to the higher concentration, this seemed prudent. Since it’s important to keep food down, and regular bowel movements, the goal is to stop vomitting before it starts!

TMI???

As I began to deal with my condition when I was first admitted to the hospital, the Lord ministered this passage to me.

Isaiah 43:1-3
Fear not; for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by my name; thou art mine.
When thou passest through the waters, I WILL BE WITH THEE; and through the rivers, they shall not over flow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
For I am the Lord thy God.

Singing a couple old songs containing these verses helped me to reflect on what He was saying to me in the midst of it all. At this juncture God was emphasizing to me that He IS with me. EMMANUEL

Also in

Psalm 23:4
I will fear no evil, for THOU ART WITH ME; thy rod and thy staff comfort me.

These are two blades of the weaponry I used in recent battle. There have been numerous skirmishes during the last three months; it’s not a matter of fighting one time and DONE. Above all we need something to anchor our thoughts so having done ALL to stand, (we) stand.

Two elements in being able to remain firm are the God Factor and the Man Factor. At this moment in time, the God Factor was His assurance to be with me. Both factors can vary throughout our struggle. Your being aware of someone’s situation makes up part of the Man Factor. One does not have to do or say much to make a difference when a person is struggling.

19
Mar
15

Signs, Symptoms, Side effects…Preventatives

I don’t usually talk about or draw attention to symptoms or any difficulties I might be having, but this experience has given me insight into what others have gone through that I was not aware of before. The knowledge equips me to be more helpful. My hope is to help you benefit in someone else’s life.

One important sign we were told to be on the lookout for is bleeding which could be caused by either chemotherapy or medication. Is there any blood in urine or stools? Questionable amounts call the doctor’s office; profuse bleeding, go straight to ER. During both treatments at the infusion center there was a minimal amount when I went to the bathroom, and subsequently at home a couple times. The blood thinner produces an additional risk, when injured as well, because it inhibits the blood from clotting. Shortness of breath or constriction of airways and chest pains are also signals not to ignore.

God is a righteous judge, a God who feels indignation every day. Psalm 7:11

God is perfectly fair and just. He does not ignore nor He is He ignorant of what is going on, although it may appear like it to us. Remember when the sons of thunder wanted fire from heaven to consume villagers because they did not receive Jesus (Luke 9:54-56)? Jesus told them that they did not know the spirit that was motivating them. God seeks to save, not destroy.

In the book of Matthew there is a parable about tares (weeds) sown in a field of wheat. When the workers asked the owner if he wanted them to rip them out, he told them not to until harvest so they didn’t uproot the tender wheat as well as the weeds.

How would you like it if God’s judgment came before YOU were ready to receive Him because of the cry of some impatient followers? Or for YOU to get ripped out of the ground because some careless workers did not want to wait till harvest? God has an appointed time!

When the wicked spring like the grass, and when the workers of iniquity flourish, it is that they shall be destroyed. Psalm 92:7

17
Mar
15

Recognize and Understand

Of course, you know that I completed the treatment. Dr. S came in later with Dr. W, before performing surgery. She was very confident that the desensitized procedure would work as it was supposed to and that there would be no further difficulty.

The idea behind desensitized chemo is to introduce the element gradually in increasing amounts so that the body becomes used to it and does not reject it. Thursday I started the first bag, 0.3mg in 100ml. Friday we restarted with the minimum dose followed by a bag with 1.0mg of taxol, then 30mg, 100 mg, and finally 265mg in increasing amounts of saline.

Since I was concerned about having some reactions, nurse K stayed in the room for a while each time the IV Team hung a new bag. Some leg pain did occur with the first dose, then stopped; and again when beginning the second and third, but diminished each time. The final dose was started at 7:05 p.m. and lasted for 12 hours.

KNOW* that I am God. Psalm 46:10
*recognize and understand

Part of recognizing He is God is to acknowledge His lordship over your situations. Take a look in the Old Testament at how many times David consulted the Lord about his course of action before taking it. In the book of Numbers, the Israelites failed to go into Canaan even though Joshua and Caleb emphatically urged them. Shamed by their scolding, they presumed to enter in spite of Moses’ warning that if was too late.

When we acknowledge Him while making our plans, He will show us which way is the best one to choose. Proverbs 3:6
That I may know him, and the power of the resurrection.

16
Mar
15

CA125 #thestruggleisreal

Desensitized Chemo #5:

Sleep was slow in coming that night, not until after blood was drawn at 2 a.m. Next thing I know, it’s after five and nurse W is coming in because they forgot to get blood for the Coumadin dose. Next a tech pricks my fingertip for blood sugar level and takes my temperature (done every shift). It’s not necessary to get other vital signs since I’m hooked up to a monitor.

As I am eating my breakfast Dr. W, Dr. S’s resident comes in. She had “visited” my room on the oncology floor perhaps 18 hours earlier with very encouraging news. Prior to both this chemotherapy and the first treatment, blood was drawn for my CA125 level. This is a tumor marker which measures the amount of protein emitted by ovarian cancer.

A GREAT report: before my first infusion on January 22, the level was 280. It was now 30!

Psalm 46:10 Be still and KNOW that I am God.

I checked the verse in the Amplified Bible for the meaning of the word know since I sensed such a strong emphasis that Thursday night in MICU. To know that God was God meant to recognize and understand it.

We need to recognize Him in the circumstances of our daily lives. He is active, but often behind the scenes. Recognize also indicates acknowledging His lordship and authority over us!

Many times we resist the idea of authority. It is disagreeable for another being to tell us what to do or control and limit us. Lordship is even worse! Who likes the image of being lorded over?

Clouds and darkness are round about him; righteousness and judgment (justice) are the habitation of his throne. Psalm 97:2.

BUT God’s authority places us under His protection. His lordship is indicative of His position and ability to carry out everything necessary within the realm of His authority.

Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Psalm 97:11

AMEN




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