Monday, November 28, 2011

Chemo Week 1

As you may or may not know, we decided to have me start chemotherapy. We were trying to avoid it. We were trying to find another way that would give us the same results.

The thing that we were doing before chemo was a type of light therapy that Jess talked about. Photo Dynamic Therapy or PDT. It is very similar in concept to radiation, but has way less side effects. I was first injected with a medicine and then would wait 2 hours. This medicine, because of the way that it is administered, is attracted to the cancer cells in my body. After the long 2 hour wait I would lay in an infrared bed. Looks just like a tanning bed, but the lights reacted with the medicine and would destroy the cancer cells! This was very exciting to us as w thought we had found the answer to avoiding the toxicity of chemotherapy.

infrared light bed

I'm inside!

Well turns out it was working great, except that I was allergic to the medicine. Big, huge bummer. Cell die off was definitely happening, but because of my allergy and the location of the cancer, the swelling was too much for me too take. This us when I was in debilitating pain. Kerry (my best friend) and Jess (my husband) blogged about this time period.

The burning, the stabbing...the never knowing when I could get relief was beyond words for me. Still is hard to put myself back into that place. Almost feels like it happened to someone else...or like it was a terribly bad dream. A memory, fuzzy around the edges. I'm sure I subconsciously do that to protect myself from remembering every awful detail.

So needless to say, we stopped PDT...and what were we left with? Yep...chemo. Dang. The good news is that we know that it got rid of the mass last time. So we are pretty confident it will work. Bad news is that we know how hard it is and how crappy (excuse my the side effects are.

Alright. We swallow the hard pill and start chemo two Mondays ago. It sucked, but we knew that. By Wednesday night things took a turn for the worse.

Let me back up a bit. I say that I'm going through chemotherapy because I am. But it may be different than you are used to. IPT chemo is an innovative way to administer the drugs and minimize the detrimental side effects. Still super hard for me to go through apparently. Judging by my first week.

chemo drugs

Wednesday night nausea hit me and hit me hard. On the way to treatment on Thursday (Tues and Thurs I do treatments to help my immune system be stronger) I had a very hard time. No polite way to say it, but I threw up the whole way there. With nausea like that no appointment is going to go well! But they have magic medicine there and I got through it.

not doing so great

Making it through Thursday was a feat, but then came Friday morning. A morning I will remember forever. Both for terrible and beautiful reasons. be continued...


  1. Val God has so many purposes for you on this earth! U are one of the most amazing beautiful people ive ever met! I will continue to pray for you and your beautiful family! God bless you Val! Thank you for taking us along with you during your journey of "hell" and back! We all love you so much u amaze me!! Xoxo Kara

  2. Valerie. My name is Stephanie Rhees and I was recently diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma which I beat and have been cancer free since feb of this year. I wrote you back last year when I first heard about you just wanting to connect and what not but today I am writing for a different reason. I have had an overwhelming feeling to contact you for a while now and I hadn't received the emails or anything else for a while so you slipped my mind for a bit but now the emails have began again. You and I know some of the same people and it is a very small world. To get to my point I am really trying to find a way to talk to you and tell you what I did while going through Chemo that saved my life and cured my cancer and it wasn't the chemo. I have been working with a lady that has an amazing gift from Heavenly Father and I really feel like I am supposed to get you her information. Please call me asap, I feel it is urgent and you won't stop being in my head :) There is a time and place for everything and I think you are in my life now for a very big reason. I hope you are feeling a little better (Chemo is horrible crap!!)
    602-620-2620 delete this post after you get it please! :) thanks and I hope to hear from you soon.
    p.s. it is about the least expensive route you will ever find and it is completely natural and noninvasive. What more could we ask for huh?!