Courageous Caregivers, Immunotherapy, and Milestones

This past week, I have been reminded of the important work of caregivers.  My mother has been hospitalized for the past seven days and we have been her caregivers.  For twenty-four of those hours, we wrestled with the idea of a possible cancer reoccurrence.  My heart was so heavy!  I found myself pleading that she would not suffer.  I was compelled to be by her side.  I wanted to lift her burden and carry it myself.  Cancer became so real — again!  My soul carried deep, raw emotion.  Through reflective moments, I was prompted to express gratitude for the courageous caregivers in my life.

Thank you to my sweet familyTo my husband — you are my rock.  I’m sure you experience many of the emotions described above and yet you continue to be so steady.  I feel your deep love.  Your tender concern.  I know you will do whatever is asked of you.  I love you in such a remarkable way.  Being with you brings sweet peace in my life as we walk together as partners in this journey.  To my children — you are sensitive to my needs.  You stay close to me and we learn together.  You love me in your own way.  I pray each day for your happiness and success.  I want you to always know of my deep, abiding love for you.  I see and understand your strength and potential.  I believe in you.  I am your greatest cheerleader!

Thank you to other family members, extended family, and friends:  You have ministered and loved in remarkable ways.  I feel your arms encircling our family.  You impact my life each day.  You have carried me when I wasn’t sure I could take the next step.  You send thoughts and messages that touch my soul.  Thank you for your tender care.

Courageous caregivers.  Ministering angels.  Cherished relationships.

Today I had my third treatment of immunotherapy.  Dr. Nibley ordered a CT scan to make sure I am not developing pneumonitis (an inflammation of lung tissue).  This test will occur next week.  My cough has worsened.  This is one possible side effect from the Opdivo.  Although the CT scan will come before the time we expect to see a difference with the disease, we will find different information.  We keep looking forward!

Finally — milestones!  My hair is starting to grow back.  I think my muscle strength has improved during the past six weeks as we have transitioned from chemotherapy to immunotherapy.  My level of fatigue still allows me to work and be with those I love.  My eyesight is clearer.  The neuropathy is clearing in my hands and feet.  And, I will always remember this time when my fingernails started falling off and I literally have three to five eyelashes on each eye.  We call this, “Life with Teri!”  What a life!




I love my returning hair line!




“Caregiving often calls us to lean into love we didn’t know possible.”

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