In Christ Alone: Our Journey through and after Breast Cancer

a 37-year old, christian, mother of four, missionary/pastor's wife and her families story

Ups and Downs and Ups June 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — awilmeth @ 1:10 AM

Chemo Side Effects, Car troubles, Dental Issues, and a Cold….the last couple of weeks have been filled with some downs.  It has been neat to see how God has answered each of those downs with an up.

It started with my week after chemo.  The doctor wanted me to try taking the steroid pills and anti-nausea pills to help control my nausea better this time around.  He said to take the steroid pills on Sunday and Monday and the anti-nausea pills as needed, so I followed his direction.  Usually the chemo hits me on Monday night or Tuesday.  Well on Tuesday I was feeling really great!  I wasn’t even tired at all.  I can’t remember when I have felt that good since starting chemo.

But then things started going downhill.  On Tuesday night during dinner my bridge decided to fall out.  I’ve had it for about 8 years with absolutely no issues and then it just fell out.  And I have no dental insurance to boot.  Then Wednesday morning I woke up hurting everywhere, and it only got worse as the day progressed.  It hurt to move or even to lean up against anything.  I did have some nausea too, but the anti-nausea pills seemed to work pretty well as long as I kept something in my stomach.  I had the usual sensitivity to light and sound, as well.  (My kids think it’s funny to see me wearing my sunglasses in a dark room with no lights on!)  Whereas Tuesday was one of the best days I’d had, Wednesday was probably one of the worst.  I am so thankful for my wonderful husband and that he can work from his home office and take care of me during these tough days.  I did have a lot of time to spend praying for all those on my prayer list though, since I couldn’t do anything else.  And then I decided to share my burden on facebook and was so touched to see about 30 people post that they were praying for me within 3 hours of my post!  And I know many, many more were praying too.  I had periods of being able to rest and by Thursday morning was feeling a ton better.  After looking back, I realized that these side effects were the same as my first chemo treatment, where I also took the steroid pills.  According to my doctor, some people are more sensitive to them, and I am one of those.  Coming down off them really hits me hard, so I’m not planning to take those again any time soon!

By Saturday I was feeling pretty good again, just in time for a group from our sending church, Slater Baptist Church in Slater, IA, to come out to work on our “Honey Do” List for us.  It was such a blessing to have them come and just catch up with good friends.  They also worked very hard while they were here and in one day were able to stain our back deck, install 3 ceiling fans, paint 2 bathrooms, install railing on our front steps, do some landscaping, and plant flowers and plants in front of our house!  Others from the church also sent along casseroles, cookies, and homemade breads to stock up our freezer.  They are such an encouragement to us!

After a wonderful Sunday at church, Monday came and brought with it my dentist appointment.  I had been praying and asking others to pray that the dentist would be able to put my bridge back in without any other work needed, as I didn’t have insurance and would have to pay out of pocket.  God answered those prayers and he was able to recement it back in with minimal cost!  The only downside was that my mouth was supersensitive at the time of the work from the chemo and I ended up getting mouth sores from it.  It hurt to eat or even swallow for the next week, but at least I could still eat well enough to keep my weight stable.

We were then able to head to Iowa where Eric could work in the Des Moines office for a couple days while the kids and I got to see family in Indianola and Ankeny.  My Grandparents came up from Wapello, IA to see us too.  They offered to sell us their van at a VERY good price to help us out since both our vehicles are having issues at the moment.  We are so excited to have a nice new-to-us van that will be reliable!  PTL, another answer to prayer!

We ended our trip to IA with me speaking at the Ladies Meeting at Slater Baptist Church Wednesday night.  It was so wonderful to see everyone again and to have the opportunity to share how God is working in my life, even through cancer.  They presented me with a prayer quilt that they had made for me and a smaller one for Faith (She absolutely loves it!).  They let everyone in the church have the opportunity to tie a knot in it while they said a prayer for me.  It is such a precious gift to me.  It’s a tangible reminder of all those praying for me from Slater.  They also showered us with gift cards that we’ve already been able to use some to get things we were needing.  Thanks to all who were praying for me as I prepared and spoke.  God really calmed all my nerves AND kept my cold at bay for the evening.  I pray that my testimony was an encouragement to all who were there that night.  I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength! (Phil. 4:13)

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