Many have asked about Candace’s status, so I’m posting our most recent email report. Her radiation regimen is very aggressive, and really wiping her out. And she’s dealing with hot flashes like a rapidly rotating pulsar, a side effect of some medication. However, her spirits could not be higher, and she’s currently on track to finish by the end of July. We’re thankful for that.
From: Kerry Magruder
Date: May 25, 2010 10:33:48 PM CDT
To: Magruder Kerry
Subject: Candace update
The third and fourth cycles of Candace’s chemotherapy were far more difficult than the first two, but today she is officially done!
During these last four weeks she has experienced exhaustion, peripheral neuropathy, and the assorted and expected aches and pains of chemo, but thankfully she again suffered no major side-effects. She has persevered with physical strength and emotional determination. Immediately below this note I’ve pasted an email report she composed yesterday, after an unusually active day, just before she crashed for the night.
Soon, perhaps next week, she will begin radiation therapy, the third and last measure to fight the cancer following the surgery last January and the chemo. Radiation treatments will be taken daily for 5-7 weeks. Thankfully, the radiation center is in Moore instead of Oklahoma City, but her daily drive will still be about 40 minutes one-way. Fatigue is the chief expected side-effect during radiation, which is much better than chemo, but I’m sure her daytime routine will continue to be very provisional and low key.
But enough about that next step: today is a day for celebrating the steps taken so far, and for looking back over the last few months. We thank God for so many things — our chief emotion right now is gratitude….
- Gratitude that the cancer was caught early;
- gratitude for each of you and for the warm and faithful love you have shown us in this journey;
- gratitude for the deepening of many relationships which has occurred because of this;
- gratitude for our deepened glimpses of the grace of God actively though hiddenly working all around us;
- renewed gratitude for ordinary things in life and in our natural surroundings;
- and gratitude for the fantastic care Candace has received from her primary care physician, her surgeon and her medical oncologist, as well as from the nurses and all of the other health care providers that we have encountered so far. May God bless them all as they care for precious people here in Norman.
We thank you for your cards, calls, meals, and other thoughtful acts of kindness. Candace is currently on track to have radiation behind her by the end of July. Please pray for her continuing physical, spiritual and emotional strength, and for continued minimal side-effects. Pray for her to regain normal use of her fingers and thumbs; fine motor movements such as fastening buttons or unzipping zip-lock baggies are painful because of the peripheral neuropathy. Thank you for your love and prayer!
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God…. as you help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.” (2 Corinthians 1:3–4, 11)
In Candace’s own words:
Chemo is done! Hallelujah! I’m two weeks out from my final dose and finally feel like my energy is starting to come back today. I actually rode my riding lawn mower for 2 hours today and mowed the yard myself for the first time this year! I’ll see my medical oncologist tomorrow to get clearance to start on radiation. All in all, I’m very thankful that I’ve had few significant or complicating side effects to deal with. It hasn’t been easy, but when I hear of what many others have suffered from chemotherapy, I’m just so thankful that it’s gone as well as it has. I have some neuropathy in my fingertips due to chemo that makes them numb and tender to touch and I don’t know yet whether that will be a permanent or temporary thing. Thank goodness hair loss is a temporary thing!
I’ve had some wonderful answers to prayer the last few weeks. My oldest daughter, Rachel, and her husband, Stephen, both graduated with bachelor’s degrees from OU. I was able to attend most of their ceremonies and their graduation party. It was the weekend after my final chemo dose. Two weeks before, after my third dose, I had spent the weekend in bed, so my chances weren’t good that I’d be up to it. But, nothing is by chance with the Lord, and He answered the prayers of many! Also, Kerry, Susanna, and I were able to spend a weekend with Kerry’s extended family at Silver Dollar City in early May on one of my “off” weeks, and I had the energy to get up and down most of those hills! Also, the May 10 tornado missed us and our house by half a mile, but I got to see my first tornado after it had passed and have photos to prove it. I hope it’s my last!
I’ve been so thankful to be able to keep up with Susanna’s homeschooling and will finish up next week. I’ve been blessed to have family and friends to help out with meals, errands, and driving Susanna to activities. The Lord has used this time to show me how blessed I am: to be His child and to be held in His comforting arms when I’m totally dependent on Him and others; to have a gentle and patient husband who lets me cry when I need to and has taken wonderful care of me; to have loving family, friends, and church family to help out and to pray for me; and to have good health to combat the side effects of chemo. I’ve gotten loads of cards, emails, and Facebook messages, including many from my hometown region in northeast Missouri (thanks to my mom who practically knows everybody in two counties up there!) that have been a great encouragement to me. I know you all have been praying for me, too, so thank you from the bottom of my heart. You all have been in my prayers, too. May God receive all the glory for His gracious and merciful answers to your prayers on my behalf.
Grace and peace,