Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 1 CHEMO Reflections

C arol
H aving
E xcellent
M iraculous
O verpowering cancer therapy!!

I love it! (Thanks Shirley!)

Well, let me tell you about yesterday/today. We arrived at JH bright an early for the first of many blood draws. Robert, my personal phlebotomist, was my shadow for the day. He put in a port at 8 am and then followed me here are there throughout the day popping up once an hour or so to take blood samples to see how the Chemo was metabolizing. The initial blood work is passed on to the pharmacy who makes the chemo. At 9:30 I went upstairs and settled into a little cubby spot – it was basically a window seat, looking out a nice big window with a cushion, a back rest pillow and a little TV if I wanted it. (I should have brought my camera! Next week.) At 9:45, Ella Mae, my chemo nurse, started the anti-nausea drug, then the chemo. 35 minutes and it was all over. It was a weirdest thing…it was a big nothing. I didn’t feel anything, I didn’t feel odd, tingling, burning, sick, nothing…as I said to Sally, this is a like a total non-event! Not that I was complaining! But I sure felt the answers to all of your prayers. Wow, you guys are amazing …. and effective!

I did have an unexpected CT scan at 11:00 to check to make sure I didn’t have a blockage in my intestine (I don’t) so I need to add Colace and Maalox to my diet. Frank bought me a yummy turkey/cheese wrap from the hospital cafĂ© and at that point the not-unexpected nausea kicked in. I do remember saying “God, You there? This is yucky. I don’t want it to be like this….” I think He didn’t have turkey and cheese wrap on the menu for the day. But it started and it was over, just like that.

They gave me another anti-nausea drug that makes you very drowsy (ummmm, Carol totally fast asleep in the little cubby! Poor Sally, how boring for her.) Robert would come, take blood and I hardly realized he was there. The “Pain Management Team” came by, but I hardly remember them. They had lots of questions and advice. Thank goodness Sally was there like the traffic cop, with our special NoteBook that Peggy started, recording all the actions, inputs, meds, etc. (Frank was standing watch in the waiting room, doing food runs and pharmacy runs, reading all the literature and popping in an out with new food advice he was reading on the bulletin board…too many needles in that Chemo room for my hunny bun. He turns that alarming shade of gray when he sees a needle coming along! Hee hee.)

Blood draws lasted until 8 pm last night. We headed home – poor Frank was exhausted and had that 1 hour drive back to DC. I was snuggled in my blankie and slept the whole way! Christine and Erik were at home with a wonderful dinner and I just continued sleeping. Christine was hilarious. I have hazy recollection of her coming upstairs with a bowl of pasta and popping noodles in my sleepy mouth one at a time saying…”okay Mommy, open up our mouth….here comes another ziti…yummy, yummy.” Ha ha. I kept falling asleep from the meds. What a sight! But she was persistent, so I never had an empty stomach for the pain meds! Yay.

This morning we were up at the crack of dawn again to be back to JH for the 24 hour blood draw at 9 am. I had a little nausea again, so took another miracle pill and BOINK, nausea gone! It really is a bit miraculous the way that stuff works. From the stories that I had heard, they have come a long, long, long way in the chemo treatment. Oh! I just took the “4 pills” – the clinical drug— at noon. I take those, 4 each, twice a day. That’s my “booster” as I call it that takes the chemo right to the mother cell! GO GO GO!!

So, all that is just boring info, no real news, but I have received lots of “how’s it going? What’s happening now?” messages throughout the day yesterday that I wasn’t able (awake J) to answer, so forgive me if this is too much detail. After JH this morning we drove out to the Eastern Shore for the weekend. It is a beautiful sunny day. The daffodils are beginning to come up. Spring is here.

Please pray:

  1. That the chemo is the right “recipe” and is effective in killing/stopping the cell growth and shrinking the tumors
  2. That the FTS does for me what it has shown in all the other clinical trial participants
  3. That some brilliant scientist will find a cure for pancreatic cancer soon and I will be able to go from having a “chronic illness” to cured!

I am (again) wrapped in my blankie with my laptop, enjoying this beautiful day, resting in knowing I am the daughter of the King…and that THIS restful peace that I am feeling is not from medication…it is from knowing without a doubt that I am loved beyond measure, and have a God who knows me personally, loves me for who I am, made me just the way He intended, and He has every day planned for me. That’s peace.




  1. That's our Carol: as feisty and wonderful as ever. Hope you and Frank can enjoy a beautiful weekend thinking about fun things like weddings and looking back over this week and the successful beginning of your fight back.
    Hugs and many, many prayers,

  2. "God is in the details." -- Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

    Thank you for sharing the details. It gives us - your friends and fans - a foundation for our daily prayers. I'm happy to report that the Left Coast contingent of your prayer army is fully operational (and your "top 3" list is already in transit).

    Dave and Carolyn

  3. Southern Command reporting that all forces in the confederate states (no one ever told them the Civil War is over) have completed basic training in the 3 prayers and we will complete our mission!
    Carol, it is so heart-warming and reassuring for those of us who can't be with you to know that you are surrounded by such loving and compassionate friends, family, and medical professionals. Have a wonderful weekend.
    Much love, Shirley

  4. WE love the details Carol! Thanks for taking the time to type them all out! Boring, and non-eventful is good! Knowing God's amazing presence and comfort is even better!

    Enjoy your weekend, as we keep praying!


  5. An Upper Left Coast representative: Carrie MyersMarch 20, 2009 at 5:32 PM

    Dear Carol,

    Thank you so much for posting the "details!" I know it takes time and effort but it is sooo appreciated by your prayer warriors. The Upper Left Coast prayed Tues. about the enzymes and so glad to hear of the report. The next three requests will be sent out immidiately. I printed your pics in the hospital (so good)and took them to Bible Study so they were able to see for whom they were praying. They are very insightful people --- their comments = "She looks darling and full of life." I had to agree!! Your spirit of faith and hope is a beacon of light to all who read your notes. I am praying for your faith as well as your health. God is good and I praise Him for the wonderful people you have around you as did someone else on the blog. Have a great weekend enjoying each other and the coast!! Sounds beautiful. We are in the throws of Stephanie's wedding planning as well, for Sept. Allison will be having her baby tonight, I think. Yeah!!! Give Christine a big hug for me when you see her next. Praying for her wedding details too.
    Carrie, et al.

  6. Dear Carol,
    We are so happy for you and Frank that you got through the first huge day of chemo. Your attitude and faith are pillars for healing. We pray that those medicines are shrinking the tumors and zapping those bad cells, and that through it all you continue to feel strong and positive. And may those bright doctors know exactly just what to do to cure you. We love you, June and Steve

  7. Thank you for all of the details and the blow by blow. I feel like(and wish I was) right there holding your hand and praying with you. It sounds like everything is under control and going well. So nice to hear that they can control the nausea. Your descriptions are so vivid that I can picture you, Christine and Frank as if I was watching a movie or in the room. You are incredible Carol-so strong and faithful. God will carry you through this and we will pray that the super drug takes that chemo right to the bad cells. I love that visualization of the Pac Man gobbling up the cancer cells and blasting the tumor. Have a wonderful, restful weekend. Our love to Frank-Dan is not too great with the needle thing either. He would be there keeping Frank company in the waiting room and great at the running errands part!
    We love you,
    Nancy, Dan, and Sam

  8. Ali O'ModhrainMarch 21, 2009 at 12:37 AM

    Well here we are, Crystal and Ali sitting with a mac and a PC blogging you on one computer and looking at your great pics. on the other. Sending you love, and praying for the Brilliant scientist, the Fts to do its Pac Man thing, and that they are looking in the correct cookbook for your recipe!!!
    Love Crystal and Ali (at Ali's)

  9. Dear Carol,

    You are truly amazing!! Happily, the first treatment is over and now you (and we) have somewhat of a road map of where you are going. How lucky that you are in the study that has been going on for 2 years -- surely that means that you are receiving just the right "cocktail." That and your beautiful attitude along with your many, many prayer warriors will surely result in success.


    Pam Cook

  10. Carol
    Many prayers to God for your recovery
    From your CBS family
    Amy Baker

  11. Dear Carol,

    My very best healing thoughts are with you.

    Kind regards,
    Michael McDaniel

  12. Hi Carol, I am so moved by all the spiritual loving kindness that spreads throughout your blog as well as your heart and body. You are loved by so many and your smile shines bright in every photo. Your prayers are so pure that they will surely be answered. Know that you are in my prayers too. Your friend, Karen Wilson

  13. Carol,
    My stepdad is going into year two of remission from a stage 4 lung cancer and my husbands aunt has beat cancer with prayer for the past 15 years. Both of them have never given a thought to defeat!!! I have not known you very long but I do know you put out a strong feeling of good and that prayer will get you what you need. I am going to put in a request with our local dominican nuns for their support and constant vigil. Hope, prayer, understanding and faith are the tools that he give us to help us understand why we are part of his plan. I wish you all the best and will put up every prayer I can. God Bless you. Bernie Walsh

  14. Sweet Carol, Oh how He loves you and will be with you through these days... as you press on to fight this battle with the full Armor of God.
    Here is a prayer for you...
    "Dear Lord, Today I put on the helmet of salvation. Protect my mind from attacks by the enemy, and give me sound thinking.
    I put on the breastplate of righteousness. Guard my heart and emotions from assault. And let me be governed, not by my emotions, but rather by the truth of Your Word.
    I strap on the belt of Truth. Wrap Your Word around me... Around the very core of my being. Protect me from error by keeping me in Your Truth.
    I step into the sandals of peace. Use me to take Your peace and Your Hope into the world today, and let me stand firm in the face of any attack by the enemy. By anchoring me in Your Word, enable me to keep my footing. I take up the shield of faith. Let the attack of the world, the flesh, and the devil fall flat against this defensive gear.
    Finally, I take up the sword of God, Your Holy Word. Put Your Truth in my heart and mind in a fresh way, so that it is able to pierce the hearts and minds of those I encounter."
    Epheesians 6:10-18

    Carol, my sweet friend, I am holding you up in prayer to be fully armed with the Armor of God... dressed for the battle and equipped for the fight. I am convinced He will equip you and be with you. He promises to always be with you. And I am too! Love you, Lowrie

  15. Dear Carol, hooray! You are on your way to chemo recovery, which I know was your fervent prayer so that the y could start zapping those cancer cell and shrinking the tumor. Carol, your hope and optimism is such an inspiration. In RO12:12it says"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." That is a picture of you,dear one. "May the peace of the Lord that passes all understanding guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus." I will continue to pray without ceasing, Love in Him, Linda

  16. Carol dearie, we missed you so much at CBS today, you are close in thoughts and prayers, my daughter Daphne, just played this song When You Believe from Prince of Egypt and we thought of you, believing along with you for Miraculous zapping of cancer cells, luv, Lydia

  17. Thinking and praying for you. Did you make it to class,because I did not.

  18. If my memory serves me well (and it usually doesn't) I seem to recall that Frank Marshall has a birthday this month. Anybody on this blog know this to be true? If so, our wish is for you to have a beautiful day surrounded by family and to let you know we think of you often.

    Love, from Georgia

  19. Hi Carol, I have been reading and praying. Your last paragraph of this entry touched me so much. It is good for all of us to remember. God is holding you in His right hand. Your faith is an encouragement to me. Thanks for your witness through this blog. Your peace and your words are a gift to me. Love,

    Angie Thurmond