Next round of chemo starts Monday

Here we go again! The latest round of chemo starts Monday! And I was just starting to enjoy Oreo Blasts from the Sonic. And eyebrows.

Well, Pepper and I have always been “whatever it takes” – “roll with it” kinda folks when it comes to cancer treatment. But I will miss ice cream…and eyebrows.

Just like the last round, it will be all day Monday, take home a bag of continous flow chemo meds, all day Tuesday, take home the bag of chemo, then go back Wednesday to remove the bag. The chemo makes the skin in my mouth hyper-sensitive to cold foods. It is actually painful to have a drink with ice in it. Like someone socked you in the throat. Sometimes foods like bread or chips scratch the skin in my mouth and throat and it feels weird. And sometimes–particularily the days of chemo– it can be hard to swallow.

There are all kinds of weird side effects. Toward the end of the last round of chemo, I lost half of each eyebrow and had bald spots in my very thin hair. It is still thin, wiry and weird, but my hair is starting to grow. But, my hair stylist (Jennifer Harrison at Reflections) says it is growing back grey! I don’t really mind. I have said from the beginning of all this that I had lots of hair and weight I could lose. It’s okay. I am very blessed to have it, and besides, I have plenty of hats and scarves that I am ready to try out!

I have just two very small tumors, but we are going to attack them every two weeks for six months.

The good news is Dr. Hill says my symptoms from the pulmonary embolism should be getting better in August or September. He said it takes most patients about six months to get to feeling more like themselves. I am ready! It takes 100 percent strength and sanity to listen to Hee Haw singing and dancing every night (though it is quite entertaining!) I am even starting to let him win at our Wheel of Fortune game! WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME??? #GODISGOOD

After all that work…

There are still two tumors in my liver. They did shrink and now are slowly starting to grow again. After all that work with regular chemo and chemo embolisms…

I think it was in April that my tumor markers were at 2 (under 2.5 is considered remission). As of Thursday’s visit to Dr. Hill, the tumor markers are at 7. Not terrible, but shows slow regrowth.

They are scheduling a PET scan and we will be doing another round of chemo.

Over the past few months, I have been home, recovering from a tough last round of chemo and the massive pulmonary embolism from March. (Dr. Hill says I should be able to breathe better and do more in August or September! Yay!) It has been “slow-go” for quite a while now but I have had the muscial stylings of Pepper Sisson to keep me thoroughly entertained! (He also had carpel tunnel surgery on both hands during this time to cut down on severe nerve pain in his arms–so for a time there, the dancing was limited, but the singing NEVER stopped!!!)

After a lot of prayer and seeking advice, we have decided to not put FBC Eupora through another round of chemo with us and I am planning to apply for disability. It was a very hard decision, because the members have been so good to me. I have said repeatedly that FBC Eupora has been so good to us that I “would work there until I retire,” but it is not fair for them when I will be gone so much to doctors visits and chemo and whatever else! Working there has been an incredible blessing for me and Pepper. We will always consider FBC Eupora a part of our family.

I am sad about it, but it is the right thing for the time being.

Now I will have to learn to adjust to twangy Hee Haw singing and dancing 24/7!!!! Pray for me!


To add to the craziness of recovering from Chemo, Chemo Embolisms

and Pulmonary Embolism, Pepper had to have carpal tunnel surgery on his right wrist about 2 weeks ago. (We will schedule the left wrist surgery on Thursday when he sees the doctor to remove the right hand stitches.) CRAZINESS!!!! I am getting up and cooking a little. Doctors said getting up and moving around more would help me recover faster, but all I can tell is it is making me sleep more from fatigue!!! I will have to say that I have a new appreciation for all that Pepper has done for the past several weeks and months (aside from singing and dancing)! And we are repeating daily the mantra–what does kill us makes us stronger!!!!

Last stomach shot…thank goodness!!!

Last stomach shot from the pulmonary embolism experience! YAY! (Chemo side effect) Only one more regular chemo left! WHOO HOO! This one’s been tough y’all! Then I’ll start preventative chemo once a month or every three weeks for the rest of the year. Still getting out of breath quickly, but will be working to get past the extreme exhustion of chemo. Slowly but surely, but getting better every day! I was officially in remission last week, but it is going to take a little longer to get over the cure! My white blood cell count has been down, so if I am not going to a doctor or chemo, I am hibernating! And oh, the Hee Haw songs…I am still amused, but Buck Owens and Conway Twitty are getting crazy-making!. Lucky for me, the dance moves are getting more interesting each day! Ha! #GODISGOOD #REMISSIONISAWONDERFULWORD

#FRIDAYFOOD Everyone’s favorite holiday food — dressing

I love my momma’s chicken dressing. When I think of the holidays, I think of her dressing. I can almost make it. But I am getting something wrong. It is close, but not quite the same. I think it was the water that you boil the chicken with. Who would have thought water would make such a big difference, but she loads hers down with celery and onions and carrots. She doesn’t put any of those veggies in the actual dressing, but strains them for the broth. It is all about the broth, apparently. My problem was not enough veggies in the water for the broth. But, I will keep trying!

I asked Facebook and Twitter friends and followers to share their favorite dressing recipe, and there was a LOT of responses. Everyone seems to LOVE dressing during the holidays.

Marsha Woods is like most of us, learning to cook by watching our mom and grandmothers. Continue reading