Lately, this common phrase has proven true with Kelly. Her PET scan will happen sometime near the New Year, allowing the radiation to take full effect and her body to heal. Around our Thanksgiving table, these are a few things for which we are grateful …
Hair: Kelly’s eyebrows were the first to fill in and her hairless head went from peach fuzz to about 1/8”. Many of you have asked: “Is her hair coming in a different color or texture?” It’s too early to tell. Ask us in about 6 months.
Strength: Like the hair, progress is slow. The week after her treatments, a short errand was followed by exhaustion and a three hour nap. But being outside the house was an improvement. Now, three weeks later, longer errands or outings are possible. She still needs naps (occasionally 3 hours worth) and rest, but knowing this progression won’t be interrupted with more treatments is encouraging. It is expected to take 6-12 months for her energy level to return to its prior level. It’s SO good to see her feeling better and able to do more!
Good food: Her appetite went through many phases! After days of no appetite, overly hungry from steroids, an altered taste of food, only able to eat bland food, only able to taste very spicy food, painful swallowing, an upset stomach and more, food that actually TASTES good is a reason to be thankful!!
Sense of Touch: Loss of feeling in hands and feet are common during chemo. Most of the time the feeling returns, but frequently it takes a long time and occasionally not at all. Kelly is one of the fortunate ones and hers has returned.
Eyesight: Kelly has worn glasses since first grade, and contacts since 5th, but her eyesight changed several degrees during this illness. Also, her eyes burned during chemo and she was unable to wear contacts. It took a couple of weeks before she had the energy to go to the eye doctor, but she now has a new prescription and new contacts.
Thinking and processing: Chemo brain is a real thing. At it’s worse, sleeping and watching TV programs she’d already seen (new shows took too much processing) were the only things Kelly’s brain could handle. She continued the online class she had begun before the diagnosis, but thinking and processing were difficult. She utilized the times her brain felt clearer to keep up the class. While not fully returned, Kelly reports it has came back more quickly than her hair or energy, and we can tell the difference as well.
Friends and Family: Each of you have meant the world to us! There is no way to repay or even thank you. Perhaps the best way to express our gratefulness is to pass it on to others. Please know that your thoughts, prayers and actions have been the hands and feet of God, and health, family and friends will be the central theme of our family Thanksgiving.
Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!!
Lydia, Steve and Kelly