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Jenni's Breast Cancer Journey: Chemo Roller Coasters and Chemo Tips
| Date Posted: 10/21/2021
Jenni Abbott’s Facebook profile says, “Wife, Mom, Christ-Follower. Lover of Books, Music, Food and Fun.” In early February 2021, the Southern Pines resident added “Breast Cancer Warrior” to her list of roles and accomplishments…and took her friends on family on a virtual breast cancer journey with her. Jenni graciously agreed for FirstHealth of the Carolinas, where she is a patient, to chronicle her journey through a recreation of her social media posts. She offered raw insights about her experience but always infused optimism and faith. This is the fifth of eight blogs about Jenni and her breast cancer experience. Read the first, second, third and fourth blogs here.
Here we go Round 4! Never did I think I would be “happy” to get chemo... but I am so thankful for God’s favor today. My surgeon & oncologist were back & forth about me having my treatment today b/c of the rash.... He decided that we would remove one of the chemo drugs this time to see if I am reacting to it.
So, no Taxotere today. This lets me stay on schedule and also, learn more about my body & medications. Thank you for praying in agreement with me. “For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 8:35 NLT
🥊 Punching breast cancer in the face! Round 5 today!
Today I am thankful for so many things, and none of them are things! My mom is back! My husband & kids are resilient and so strong! My care team consisting of my surgeon, oncologist & nurses are knowledgeable, skilled, caring & good listeners! And, all of you, my dear sweet friends! All the prayers and love are sustaining me. XOXO ☺️💞
Remember when they were talking about changing my chemo meds because of that crazy rash? Well... they did. I’m now taking Taxol instead of Taxotere.
Biggest change is that this one drug needs to be infused weekly. So, Tuesdays are officially Chemo Tuesdays. I’ll still have my big Round 6 with all four meds on June 15. And then finish the one medicine chemo appointments on June 29.
Not gonna lie - I was super fearful/anxious about having my medications changed. I didn’t want to change my experience because I knew what to expect... My “control freak”/Type A personality wanted the familiar circumstance, the familiar side effects... But guess what?! As usual, God knew better than me!!
My side effects since last week were minimal to my experiences before. I wasn’t as tired. I didn’t have the “bad days” I was used to. My appetite stayed good. Believe me, I still had the crappy chemo mouth taste, I still took a daily rest/nap, but it was more tolerable than before.
Change isn’t always bad. ☺️ I’m trusting this process. 🤞🏻 I am healed, in Jesus Name. 🙏🏻
Chemo Tuesday - Taxol only!
I sleep through most of my infusions. They give a heavy dose of Benadryl as a pre-medication… puts me out pretty quickly. Funny fact - I bought this travel pillow for, well, travel. I never remember to bring it when I fly. It’s really a good thing to have in the chemo chair. If you know someone going through treatment, I would recommend one! Other functional suggestions to gift to would be wireless earbuds, playlists to listen to while sitting, a pocket calendar/cute notebook to use as a wellness journal to write down side effects & info doctor shares, quality lip balm, quality hand cream, cute gripper socks to wear during infusions, & a non-metal water bottle.
Next week, I’ll have my official 6th round with all 4 meds! Then 2 more Tuesdays to administer the Taxol only. Checking these things off one at a time! ✅✅✅✅
#6. The day I thought I would be celebrating & feeling relief because it was my last day of chemo…. But instead, I’m feeling kinda blah. I’m emotional, tired, exhausted & realizing that this marathon still has many more miles to go. 2 more weekly Taxol treatments. Genetic testing. Radiation. Targeted therapy infused every 3 weeks until March 2022. See what I mean?
I’ve always preferred a sprint to a long-distance race…. A quick burst of effort/energy versus the endurance of the slow & steady. So, this is new. And hard.
God is speaking and as a follower of our Lord, Jesus Christ, I recognize His voice…. He wants me to slow down, lean in and stop being so self-reliant. He is proving that in Him is true rest and success isn’t measured by checking off my to-do list or squeezing in one more thing. The race doesn’t have to be fast. It can be slow. And success is determined in the actual running - each step counts.
My body IS a temple, designed to do good works that glorify Him. And I pray that when you see how I am walking through this hard season, you see Christ in me. Only through Him, can I continue to put one foot in front of the other - fast or slow - I’m on the trail/street/path to succeeding & beating this.
Thank you for your continued prayers. Much love. 💟
FirstHealth of the Carolinas offers CARE-Net, a buddy system that pairs specially trained volunteers – oftentimes cancer survivors -- with patients who need a sympathetic ear, a caring heart or a helping hand as they navigate the health care system. Learn more about CARE-Net.