Giving Thanks

Good morning, everyone; Emily here again.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I don't think any of us imagined that Thanksgiving 2008 would look like this, with Serry still in the hospital, looking ahead toward some pretty intense treatment. However, this year, I think more than ever, it's forced our family and friends to look harder at those things that we are truly grateful for. Will you indulge me?

I am thankful for my FAMILY.
I am thankful for my FRIENDS, especially you who read and post here.
I am thankful for the BRILLIANT MINDS who are giving Serry the medicine to heal her.
I am thankful for a GOD who cares enough to hold us together.

I was going to go and visit Serry last night, but decided not to in the afternoon--she needed her sleep and didn't need me there bugging her all evening! :) Serry's feeling pretty run down... being in the hospital and not feeling well aren't really an energizing combination! Her throat still doesn't seem to be healing well, which makes it impossible to eat or drink, or really even to talk. She's had ear infections, frequent nausea, and just plain doesn't feel that great.

So... if you're the praying sort, here are some specifics for our favoritest Serry ever! :)
* Nausea needs to GO AWAY. (that may help some other issues, too)
* Serry's throat needs to HEAL so she can drink, eat, and take medication... and then GO HOME. :)
* Ear infections clear up and her hearing is restored to what it was PRE-cancer.
* That Serry realizes even more just how much she is loved, liked, and treasured. That she can wake up every day and KNOW how important she is in the lives of so many of us.

Would you do me a favor? In honor of Thanksgiving, if you've actually MET my sister, would you post what you are most thankful about in her and your time together? I think it would be a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving present!

SHE'S DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just a quick note (since I'm in a class all day!) but...

SHE'S DONE!!!!!!


Still in the hospital, still getting meds/fluid/care there, but DONE WITH RADIATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quick Update

Just a quick update... I have yet to talk to anyone THERE, but Serry was admitted to the hospital today. Sounds like she was having a bit of a rough time of it, and hasn't been able to eat or drink for awhile, so this is going to be a perfect solution (at least in my opinion!). It means she can be hooked up to an IV that will get fluid and things in her--including all of her medicines!--so that she doesn't have to swallow using her poor burned throat.

So please say a few prayers for our Serry--and remember... only TWO DAYS OF RADIATION LEFT!!!

If you're a reader here, post a comment today! :) (and NO, it doesn't matter if you don't personally know Serry... If you're one of my friends, you can at least tell her how cool her sister is! hehe)

Monday, Monday....

...So good to me...

Well, to SERRY, that is. It's her LAST MONDAY of radiation. Anybody want to raise the roof?! :) 4 more days, one more chemo (of this cycle) and then it's OVER!!! Here's what we need:
*Continued high white blood cell counts
*SOUND sleep
*Peace and rest for Serry AND the family
*More calories going in and being digested (the radiation is burning Serry's throat--so it's pretty painful to swallow "real" food)
*The effects of the current chemo to dissipate over the next few weeks.

OK, I've promised this for awhile and (now that it's past my bedtime) it's time for me to give you a little peek into the future. Here goes:

As we all know, radiation and this round of chemo ends this Thursday (YEAH BUDDY!). :) After that, Serry will need approximately 6 weeks to recover from the treatment she's received. It's pretty amazing that the things that are designed to help us also hurt us. Therefore, I think she's looking VERY MUCH forward to some recovery time. They've said that it'll take a few weeks for her to start feeling better and for some of the symptoms to dissipate. That puts her feeling better a little before Christmas--HAPPY! :)

During her recovery time, Serry will still be actively healing. She'll be making trips up north again to allow the doctors to harvest her stem cells. There are a few ways that they can do this, but, last I heard at least, they'll be hooking her up to a machine that will filter cells out of her bloodstream. I'm not exactly sure how that works, I just know that it sounds MUCH more pleasant than withdrawing bone marrow--which was another option! They will store these stem cells for use after her next rounds of chemo.

So that brings us to the chemo discussion. After her 6-ish week "vacation," probably around the first of the year, Serry will begin chemotherapy. If you remember, the chemo that she's on right now is sort of a generic chemo. It's given to many cancer patients, and is often used as a "wake-up call" for the body. Sort of a starter chemo--like an unpleasant appetizer. The chemo that she'll be getting in January is... well, intense, to say the least. We're killing cancer here, and they're going to be treating it as aggressively as possible. After she's given the chemo, she will need to have her stem cells transplanted back into her body. The chemo will have killed off her white blood cells--and the stem cells are what will make her body produce more. This process lasts about a month. Then it's Rinse and Repeat... four times. It will be a long four months... but it will only be a memory in April or May.

If you're the praying sort, please keep Serry in prayer in preparation for that time. I'm not really sure what we're going to be facing ahead... I haven't done much reading about stem cell transplants or anything--I know it's going to be hard, but---and Serr, this note is for you---Serry can do ANYTHING she sets her mind to. (You should have seen her as a kid... shimmying up trees that shouldn't hold anyone's weight, sledding on the edge of the gravel pit--she's crazy.)

Oh, and a special note just for Serry's friends at CB (did I get the acronym right? I always get it mixed up) at WSU:
You. Are. Amazing.
Seriously. Serry got your cards and gifts on Saturday night... and cherishes everything. Your hearts, your generosity, your love... Serry was in tears--she misses you so much and can't believe how much you care. THANK YOU.

That's all for tonight.

Last Friday!!

Guess what everyone?! Today is Serry's LAST FRIDAY of Radiation!!! Just 5 more, and one chemo next week, and she'll be DONE with this phase!!

To the radiology doctors and nurses (I know at least one of you reads this!) - THANK YOU for everything you're doing to take care of my sister! :)

Everyone--congratulate Serry!! Just 5 more rads and she's done! :)

8 More Days...

Emily here... just a note tonight.

Serry has 8, count them--EIGHT--more days of radiation left. Serr - I hope you don't mind, but I snagged this off Facebook. Below, folks, is the bell that Serry will be ringing off the hook on November 20th. Ringing OFF THE HOOK. *I* can't wait for that day and I'm not even the one getting the radiation. I'm so proud of my sister!!!
I also hope Serry's Dad doesn't mind... but he commented on Facebook and I wanted to share a little. :) (I'm just plagerizing bit... I hope it's OK! It's nice to hear from more than just me on here!)

Ser was home with me (Dad) this weekend. She was tired, but got lots of love from our Peke's and especially from our "Momma Kitty Callie", who soo loved laying on Ser getting "good rubbins" as we watched tv. Callie really loved Ser!

Ser got to see Kait all dressed up for a audition in Seattle. The three of us watched several movies and I got my share of hugs..... :)

I took her back to her Mom after today's radiation session (8 left). Very soon Ser will have time to recover from these sessions and she can get back to feeling better. I expect that she will get back here for another "Pig Pile" under all of our Peke's :)


(Note to Kaiti - I hope the audition went well!!! :))

Please pray for strength for the next week and a half. It's almost a memory, but it's going to be tough these next few days. Strength, endurance, and most of all, I think, hope. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. ~Hebrews 6:19a

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

That's James 5:16. Thank you for your prayers. Serry's white blood cell count jumped to 2600 today. THAT is good news. :)

I'll keep you updated with more later. Night!

Want to post a comment...?

...but haven't been able to? Look to the instructions on the right, under Serry's picture. :)

Radiation, Chemo, Bloodcounts... Whew!

Good evening, everyone, and happy election day...

I just returned home from a visit to see some birthday people and our Serry!! (It's so good to see her so much--I just wish it was for a better reason!)

I took Serry up to radiation on Monday--I got to meet the amazing staff up there... they're SO nice, fantastic at what they do... and you can tell that they really do care! I love it. :)

We had a big event this weekend... Serry is now a "free" woman! Free of the burdens of hair falling out that is! It's pretty amazing to know that with or without hair, my sister looks pretty darn amazing... and it's fun to rub her head!

Here's a specific prayer request for you pray-ers out there... Serry's white blood cell count is going down (as is expected with this kind of treatment). However, we don't want those counts to get TOO low--that could lead to other complications that we just don't want to have to deal with. Could you please pray that her counts stay where they are? We want them to stay above 1000, if possible. (Of course, the numbers don't mean much to me, either, but sometimes it's nice to have those specifics!) Thanks, everyone!

Serry's feeling pretty run down these days... again, expected. I know she has much that she wants to say to each of you... I hear your names and see the smile she gives for you all. Know that even if she doesn't post much on here, or call you, or tell you thank you herself, her heart is saying it daily--it's written all over her.

So, for tonight--thank you all. In one of the next posts I'll try to update you about our next steps (stem cell harvesting, heavy doses of chemo, etc.). For now, know that she only has TWELVE days of radiation left! WOO!!! Thanks for the love on here, everyone! Good night!

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