halfway there…

I know, I’m due for an update. I’m sorry. The past few weeks have been a real roller coaster ride and there hasn’t been a lot of energy for updating.There’s a lot to report, some negative, some positive—so here goes:

Treatment #5 was the worst yet, I think because it coincided with a good case of bronchitis which hung on for a couple of weeks. Of the normal 14 days between treatments, I was sick for most of them.

Thankfully, on the day of my 6th treatment, I got to meet with my doctor and tell him what a wimpy antibiotic Cipro really is! I told him if I had Zithromax I’d probably be feeling better. “You want me to write you a prescription for Zithromax?” he said. (I’m not use to doctors being so flexible. I guess when your on chemo, you can get pretty much whatever you ask for! Hmmm…. ) That offer was like Christmas morning to me! “YES!” And by that afternoon, Zithro was working its magic! That antibiotic is like the atomic bomb for chest and sinus infections!

The chemo journey has gotten harder up until this week. Seems like each treatment takes a little longer to hit and lasts a little longer each time—but it’s also hard to know whether I’m dealing with chemo, neupogen, or another illness (like the bronchitis) because the side effects and experiences of each are similar in many ways. One thing I know for sure—the chemo steals my brain function for a few days in a way that no flu ever has! It’s like going into a dark cave where thinking, talking, or logic are nearly impossible. You just get in bed and wait it out, but the good news is, after a few days, it generally goes away quickly and the sun comes out again! Clear mental abilities are a real treasure!

Treatment #6 has been a bit more predictable. Treatment was on Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday I had a few good hours in the middle of the day, made it to church, and was able to take Dana out to lunch on Thursday. By Thursday evening the cave was approaching. Friday was toast and Saturday morning brain waves returned by about lunch time. Except for a lack of energy, I had a great Sunday, and this week the sun appears to be shining. Thanks for your prayers.

The first encouraging news—I negotiated with my doctor to lower my neupogen shots! Since my blood counts were good, I only had to do four this time. I really HATE those things!

Second encouraging news—as of today, I really am halfway done with treatments! The thought of six more is a bit overwhelming, but the thought of crossing the halfway point is encouraging. The first week of May cannot come fast enough!

Finally, in the next week I will have two critical tests—the mid-treatment scans. Tomorrow morning is the CT scan which will primarily show the tumor masses and how much they have shrunk since starting the chemo. Pray that they are very small! The second will be hopefully next week—a PET scan which will show how much cancer still remains. If chemo is working, this test should show a greatly reduced amount of cancer in the five areas that were growing.

Family-wise, Dana and the kids are doing well. They are patient with me on my sick days and taking good care of me. I don’t deserve it! And good days are days we all treasure and try to make the most of. Work-wise, I’m doing my best to get as much done as I can on good days. I’m thankful for Pastor Chappell’s encouragement and a great team who are covering for me!

I sure miss being fully engaged in all of life! But, as Pastor preached last night from Philippians 1, even when we feel as though we’re sitting on the sideline of life, God is still doing His good work in us and through us.  Thanks for your prayers and encouragement!

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Related posts:

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  2. updates 10.9-11.6, 2010
  3. back in the chair
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5 Responses to halfway there…

  1. John and Laura Downey says:

    So glad to here of the turning of the corner; hopefully it will begin to feel like it is going downhill. (Meaning and easier ride). We will certainly continue to pray for you and the family as you have your CT and PET scans, that the results will be VERY positive, indeed! Love you all

  2. Kelli Royal says:

    Thank you for taking the time to post an update. : ) I’ll be praying for you as you go to have your CT scan in a few hours. Any idea how long it will take to get the results of that scan? I’m praying for a miracle! You’re such an encouragement and blessing to me and my guys.

  3. Vivian Cone says:

    Brother Schmidt – I was reading your latest post and I must say you have described the “Cave” so eloquently! I can relate… the treatment concoctions rob us of cognitive function. God is definitely working through you – I know it is not easy going through these treatments. Your faith as you face this time of trial is such an encouragement to those of us who are dealing with health issues. God’s power is so evident in your life. I read this in my time of devotions this morning and I thought I share it with you “When the tears fall, when balance and peace are gone in our lives – God will wipe away each tear, collecting each one so that He can pour them back into our lives as a refreshing rain of restoration. Then he wraps his strong arms around us, bringing the peace and balance we so desperately need.” Spending time with God and watching you deal with your trial with such faith, courage and strength speaks volumes of God’s peace and strength to me. My husband, our boys and I continue to pray for complete healing for you and for God’s Grace for Dana and the kids.

  4. Sherry Tierney says:

    Our family loves you and continues to pray for you and your family—you are such an incredible encouragement in so many ways! Your desire to glorify God in all that you are going through speaks volumes! We love you and your sweet family!

  5. Pat Ash says:

    I so appreciate your strength in this time of your treatment. You are truly a blessing! I once took care of a 3 yr old in our home who was being treated for leukemia with chemo. It caused her to became a 1 year old, then would gradually get back to her regular self. She and Dolly shared a room. One day I stepped in and she was sitting on Dolly’s lap. (I was so proud of my 9th grade daughter comforting her through this ordeal.) I hope the newer medications you are on give you some comfort. Love and pray for you all the time.

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