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Updates

Read the story as it happened. Starting with the first e-mail I sent to my family and friends, I've compiled my updates I wrote as the story unfolded. Take a few minutes to experience More Great as those who love me did. 

Update 26: April 28

Melody Raines

12 mph! That's my top speed on the stationary bike. I can't go farther than
half a mile at that speed, but that's how fast I biked a full mile a year
ago. I'm amazed at how quickly I can pedal to "Billy Jean" and how I can
forget to stop pedaling to "How Great Is Our God." But some days I'm barely
pedaling at all. When I checked the heart rate chart a few days ago, I
realized I had biked the GREAT WORKOUT of a 63-year-old (no offense, Uncle
Danny). That's what happens when I don't get steroids.
 
I haven't had steroids lately because chemo man changed my cocktail again.
I've lost so much feeling in my fingers that I'm dropping things (Mr.
Downstairs can't be happy about that). I've lost so much feeling in my toes
that I'm often wrapping them in Band-Aids. Chemo man doesn't want to cause
permanent nerve damage, so he cancelled my last three weeks of Taxol, the
drug that causes this side effect.
 
Because he's not giving me any more Taxol, he dropped the steroid and
tripled my Herceptin. Bad idea. It was like having the flu, strep throat
and bronchitis all at once. My lungs turned to stone, and my throat hurt
from my ears down to my chest. Once that went away, I developed
I've-got-a-knot-in-my-esophagus, it-hurts-to-eat, I-can't-sleep acid reflux.
It's better though, thanks to some great meds. Now I have chapped eyes. I've
rubbed off the top layer of skin from my eyelids and the area underneath my
eyes. I've rubbed a hole under my chin too. So at night I rub on the Vitamin
E. It helps.
 
This week I went in to get my blood clotting rate checked. I stopped to tell
Sarah, chemo man's nurse, how I had reacted to last week's Herceptin. I got
in trouble.
 
"You didn't tell anyone?"
 
"Uh-uh."
 
"Didn't you call me the other day?"
 
"Uh-huh."
 
"You still didn't tell me?"
 
"Uh-uh."
 
Sarah called chemo man, who changed my schedule. The triple dose of
Herceptin meant I only needed to come in every three weeks. But I'm not
doing that again. I'll get Herceptin weekly for the first three weeks in
May. We may put me back on steroids to see if they help me tolerate a higher
dosage. Imagine how fast I'll pedal after a year of steroids.
 
Melody
 
"But the hair on [Samson's] head began to grow again after it had been
shaved" (Judges 16:22).