Another Chapter finished!

I know it has been a while since the last blog entry. Since then, I have gone through 25 radiation treatments. I am finished with them, so another chapter is over in this journey! Thank you Lord! The side effects during the treatments were minimal and the staff that administered the radiation was wonderful! Now that I am done the treatments, I am having some discomfort and tenderness from the cumulative effect of the radiation. Should pass soon.

The next step will be a drug therapy, though that has not been decided or prescribed yet. That is the normal sequence for my situation.

People have asked me how my kids are handling the situation. Here is a poem that Cambria wrote for her creative writing class that reflects some of her feelings:

UNKNOWN FUTURE
(by Cambria Gysi on 9/2/10)

It was a day like any other
with a blue sky and blinding sun
life was good in the Gysi household
going to field hockey, basketball and volleyball games
life was good and God was amazing

it’s nothing to worry about

mom was up at church working at the clothing boutique
a ministry run once a year
that’s when she received it
it was May 13th

our family hadn’t been very tight or close recently
at times we rarely even saw each other
it was the first family meeting in a while

I’m going to be okay, don’t worry

as much as I wanted to be strong
as much as I wanted to be the one who carried my family
I couldn’t be the one
I cried
it’s okay to cry I was told

mom’s eyes were bright lobster red
big brother had a sad look in his eyes – something rarely seen
dad was our rock

time passed by and it seemed like nothing ever happened
everything was normal
we were normal

Give God your worried thoughts

the last day of my first year in high school it occurred
people came around me that day and hugged me
she’s going to be okay
like anyone who is having surgery ever knows the outcome at the end

the small cancer in her breast was removed
but it was as scary as jumping off the Empire State Building
not knowing what will happen in the end

no need to worry, trust God and He will do the rest

I wasn’t home
not that I could be that day anyway
it was July 13th
Dad called me
we didn’t think we would have to do this
the doctor suggests it

not knowing what will happen
how she will react
is the scariest part
fatigue, muscular tightness, loss of hair
who knows the other side effects

try hard not to worry
never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God*

have you ever felt so blessed that you don’t think it is humanly possible to be blessed any more
I have
friends, family, and others come along side of you to bolster you
let me tell you this – it is an amazing feeling

one small thing
even breast cancer
can bring a family together
closer than before
living every day as it comes
not living for tomorrow
because tomorrow might not be so great
then you miss the greatness of today

*quote by Corrie Ten Boom

Posted in Cancer Recovery | 9 Comments

Gysifamily.wordpress.com 2010 blog in review

Thank you to everyone for your reading and interaction on our blog!  MOST importantly, we are grateful for the prayer and encoruagement that everyone has shown us in 2010!  Below are some neat stats on our blog…

We will continue to be posting our family journey in 2011…so stay tuned!

Drew, for the entire Gysi Family.

 

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 7,600 times in 2010. That’s about 18 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 36 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 12 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 603kb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was May 27th with 487 views. The most popular post that day was About.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, mail.yahoo.com, mail.live.com, netmail.verizon.net, and twitter.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for gysi family blog, lynda diane gysi, http://www.jamescrooke.wordpress. com, cheryl gysi blog, and lorraine mazenko.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

About May 2010
131 comments

2

Just beginning… May 2010
17 comments

3

Surprise Call… May 2010
3 comments

4

Met the surgeon May 2010
16 comments

5

chemo decision July 2010
18 comments

Posted in Family | 1 Comment

vacation & radiation update

Here is an overdue update! We had a wonderful vacation! I felt like we were gone for a month! It was warm once we got to the islands, but not terribly hot. Most of the days were in the low 80’s. We got to visit a centuries old fort in Puerto Rico and snorkel in St. Thomas! We experienced rural, real life in Dominican Republic when visiting a home where a family grows coffee, cocoa, pineapples, bananas, coconuts, etc. we also went to a mini resort on the edge of Haiti, where the guys got to ride jet skis. That is where we were for Cambria’s birthday! The cruise ship was immense (17 decks) and beautiful. The food was beyond excellent, which means that I am carrying one of my souvenirs around my waist! Thank you for all your kind words and well wishing for our long-awaited family vacation!

The day after we returned from the cruise, I started Radiation treatments (Nov 29th). I will go every week day for 5 weeks, with treatments ending on Dec. 31st! I am excited to start the new year with all treatments behind me! The radiation is administered at Grand View hospital, which is 10-15 minutes away. The actual treatment time is very short, so some days I am in and out of the hospital in 15 minutes! Usually I am there a little bit longer though. The therapists that actually do the treatment are all very nice and friendly, which I am grateful for – makes the whole experience easier! Only side effect presently is a little bit of swelling.

People have been asking me if my hair is starting to grow in yet. Well yes. and no. Some of my hair is an inch or longer. Some of it is closer to a centimeter. Some of it hasn’t shown up yet. I am fighting impatience. The other day I was complaining to the Lord that I can’t keep wearing this wig for several more months while my hair takes its time coming in. HE gently reminded me that I don’t need the patience to wear it for months, I only need to decide if I want to wear it for today!

I hope you are enjoying the holiday season and are able to focus on the most awesome gift of Jesus!

Posted in Cancer Recovery | 4 Comments

Chemo chapter almost over!

To my surprise and delight, recovering from the 4th chemotherapy treatment has not been as tough as the third one was! I am doing well, have my strength back, and ready to move on! The next step is to meet with the Radiation Oncologist and set up radiation treatments. We will meet with the Dr. (Dr. Hightower) on Wed Oct 27th. I expect that treatments will start after Thanksgiving. We would start sooner, but we are going on a cruise at Thanksgiving time, so wont be here for 9 days! We had planned a special family vacation for this past summer, but had to cancel due to the cancer treatments. So we are thrilled to be able to work out a special trip at Thanksgiving! We will be going to the Eastern Caribbean – four different ports. And, while we are on board, Cambria will have her 16th Birthday – she is excited and says “this will be the best birthday ever!” We will also be celebrating some other milestones early – Spencer’s Graduation and our 25th Wedding Anniversary! Now we have another event to celebrate – finishing chemotherapy!
I am not officially counting myself as done this chapter until Monday (Oct 25), since that is when the 3 week cycle is actually over. I can feel myself getting impatient about my hair growing back in. During chemotherapy I was able to be patient, but since that is over (almost) I want the hair loss to be over too! So, now I will depend on the Lord for grace to wait for hair growth. HE gives us grace and strength for the moment!
Posted in Cancer Recovery, Cheryl, Family | 6 Comments

Here for the last round…

Cheryl and I just arrived for her final chemotherapy treatment. Please pray that there will be no difficulty in finding the veins and that this last treatment will eradicate any “rogue” cancer cells.

We are trusting the Lord that He, through this final treatment today and the upcoming radiation treatments, will bring about a full eradication of cancer from Cheryl’s body. Please continue to be in prayer with and for us in this journey!

Drew

P.S. If you can, write a comment of encouragement and/or send a passage of Scripture for Cheryl…for I will read them to her in the upcoming days as she recovers from this chemotherapy treatment!

Posted in Cancer Recovery | 13 Comments

One More Treatment

It definitely took longer to bounce back from the third chemo treatment. I am finally feeling really good and have for the last few days. Unfortunately, Drew is not. He came down with a very nasty cold. Please pray that he would get better quickly and that I would not get it. Presently he has banished himself to the basement to keep from spreading the germs through the house. Poor Guy!

I have one more chemo treatment left – HOORAY! The Lord has definitely carried us through this so far. I am trusting HIM to carry us through this next cycle as well. I am a little anxious at times that there will be an unexpected turn in the journey, since there have been several of those since we started! The next treatment is Tues Oct 5th.

The first encouraging Bible verse I received after the cancer diagnosis has continued to be a blessing and source of strength to me:

“For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.'” Isaiah 41:13

I love the promise of His presence and care. I love that He takes hold of my hand instead of waiting for me to hold His. I love that I can give my fears to Him and depend on His help. The Lord is so good!

Posted in Cancer Recovery | 6 Comments

Intense Fatigue

It’s Sunday Sept 19th, day 6 of the third chemo cycle. I’m afraid that since Thursday, I have been basically horizontal. I’m grateful for the privilege to be able to just lie around and rest and nap and read. I don’t feel terrible, just exhausted. The Dr. said that the side effects may increase in intensity during each cycle. The fatigue definitely has. So, please pray for my energy to return and for wisdom in what I do and don’t do. I am planning to teach preschool tomorrow, but as soon as I’m done, I can rest for the remainder of the day.

Drew is taking excellent care of me! We really appreciate the love and care you have shown us & the meals people have provided have been a tangible expression of this love.

(by the way the nurse had no trouble at all finding a vein on Tuesday when I had the chemotherapy – this was a very specific prayer request and I thank the Lord for His grace to me and for the prayers of His people)

Posted in Cancer Recovery | 6 Comments