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  • Writer's pictureStephanie

Vacationing with Xeloda

Ice cream with a view

Ricky and I were able to go on vacation for a shorter period of time than we originally planned. We weren't able to do much but it just felt so good to get away and to spend time with my family. Waking up to the sound of my nephew's little feet running around was so much fun! If I haven't said it before, I truly have the best family. I love them all so much and I am so grateful for their constant love and encouragement throughout this journey.

I even snuck off to the beach one day for an hour -- don't tell my oncologist! I just needed to see my nieces and nephews enjoying the ocean. I was exhausted and hot but it was well worth it.

This is an 'on' week for chemo. It has been a rough cycle. I am experiencing pain in my fingers, toes and feet, nausea and gastrointestinal side effects, on top of the typical exhaustion. I haven't been able to get off the couch the past three days.

My heart has to work much harder to do things due to my anemia. This is what happened to my heart rate just from carrying something upstairs

My iron tests came back looking pretty bad. To give you a little bit of insight, my ferritin is at a 3 and the low end of the normal range is 11. So yeah, my levels are very off. My oncologist wants me to see a hematologist for further testing and to decide on a course of treatment. My appointment is today, August 9th, at 1 pm. I will keep you posted. There is a possibility I will need an iron infusion; you'd think after all I've been through I wouldn't be scared of anything, but I'm nervous about this.

I've been feeling a bit blue lately. I am turning 33 this month and I have an oncologist, a radiation oncologist, a breast surgeon and now a hematologist. I've had to give up teaching - a job I truly loved. I don't have children and it will be at least another two years before I can hope to get pregnant (using IVF and the eggs I had saved before I started treatment). I'm out of shape, pale and I miss my hair. Some days it just seems unfair.

One year ago, I was in Disney World and the lump in my breast was merely a teeny thought in the back of mind. I was on a dream vacation, waking up to my favorite animals outside my balcony in the morning and going on dinner dates with my handsome husband every night.

Honestly, I just want a little piece of that magic back. I'm tired and I just want to escape my "new normal" with cancer for a few days.

Updates & Prayer Requests:

  • I will finish up cycle three of Xeloda tomorrow. The plan is to start my fourth cycle of Xeloda Sunday, August 18th.

  • I developed some pretty bad mouth sores from the Xeloda while on vacation. I was prescribed a special mouthwash and it has cleared up but this is a side effect I will probably deal with for the rest of my course of treatment.

  • Despite these miserable side effects, my oncologist still wants me to increase from 2 pills 2x a time to 3 pills 2x a day. Please pray everyone involved has wisdom and we make the right decision. And if that right decision is to increase, that I would have the grace to deal with the side effects.

Hope you are enjoying the last few weeks of summer!

All my love,


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