This is the email I will send out in a bit, after I cough some more & eat lunch. Thank you all for your support!! #17
Dear Family & Friends,
I know that for most of you, the last you heard from me was about a month ago on Friday night, January 3rd. I had been admitted to UBMC for unexplained high fevers and pneumonia-like symptoms. I stayed there two nights, and was released on the afternoon of January 5, 2020. Not a great start to my new year. I did have pneumonia, Dr G called it community-acquired pneumonia, and apparently it’s making the rounds this winter here in the Uintah Basin, along with Mono & Strep. I’m praying that I don't get either of those two diseases.
It has been 2 weeks since my fourth and final Chemo Infusion on January 16th, where I rang the gong at Huntsman to signify the completion of my Chemotherapy Infusions.
Ordinarily, I do send out an email within a few days of having a chemo infusion; however This Time my body felt so very Exhausted! I slept the greater of each day for the first Four Days afterwards, then I picked up a virus which has turned into a sinus infection. This extra illness has kept me feeling exhausted, lethargic, and left me feeling unable to do much. Just in the past couple of days had I begun to feel better, then this morning I awakened with severe congestion, coughing, and sneezing.
02/03/20 I definitely have a cold which is not helping me to feel energetic, instead I feel utterly exhausted.
However, I am soo extremely grateful that my Chemotherapy Is Over!! Many thanks to you all for your prayers!!
From here on, is a time of resting, recovering & healing. Healing & recovering still from my surgeries, which essentially was stopped cold by the Chemotherapy, and also healing & recovering from the effects of the Chemotherapy. I’m hoping and praying that when my body realizes that no more Chemo Infusions are forthcoming, then the healing will speed up. I will also begin to slowly resume my other activities and duties as my strength & energy return. For now, I am still asking for help with rides home for my girls as my limited energy is often spent by 1-2pm; I am going to begin “practicing” my driving again in mornings—I have limited upper body strength, but I’m determined in a month’s tome from now to be both dropping off & picking up my girls from school. I never before realized how much strength & energy is required to steer a car before. I am still walking in most afternoons, even snowy ones, and my goal there is to walk a little farther beyond 1/2 mile each afternoon without needing to come home and have a nap—many of my “pushing the limit” adventures end in a nap as my body recovers.
For the future: I have 3 follow-up, and one new, Dr visits on April 7 & 8, at three Huntsman facilities (Salt Lake Main, Sugarhouse & Farmington) with Doctors Ward, Matsen, Goodwin, and Mauer. At two of these Doctor visits, I will discuss future surgeries for 2nd Phase Breast Reconstruction, and removal of my ovaries because of my BRCA1 gene mutation. I am hopeful that these surgeries will be my last ones in relation to my Breast Cancer, and am also hopeful that they occur as quickly as possibly.
I have been asked if I am now cancer free. I believe that I am, but I feel that I may not know for sure until April’s blood tests and my follow-up Post-Chemo visit with Dr Ward.
I feel like I ought to be celebrating the end of my Chemo, but it's hard to feel that way when I just feel So Sick, and also a bit depressed still. I am trying to do things to help me feel less depressed (prayer, read scriptures, do for others, etc.), but joy is hard to feel sometimes. Maybe by this time next year, the finality & reality of my situation will have sunk in.
Over the next three months, many of you on this email list may not hear from me much, however I want you all to know how much I appreciate your support. I will happily respond to any of your inquiries between now & then; but I will likely not send out very many, if any, emails until I know more. For now, I am still bald & feeling sick.
Thank you all again for your support and prayers, your letters, cards and gifts, your time and your friendship.
All my love to you,
Gayle Peel Jackson