UPDATED I started my chemo on Wednesday

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Posted 10/4/2013 by *KelleeM* in NSBR Board
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*KelleeM*
Eye pea ;)

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Posted: 10/4/2013 5:38:18 PM
Thursday morning update:

It was a long day...I had a port installed at 8:30 but had to be at the hospital at 7:00. That was fine but I had no time between the procedure and the infusion appointment...I had hoped for coffee and a muffin from Dunkin Donuts in btween

The Cancer Center folks (yes, at LGH...can't remember how long ago you left there, peaname, but it's all new and beautiful, lots of money being invested into the whole hospital! BTW...did you live in Groton? My nurse yesterday lives there, originally from Wisconsin) were awesome! I ended up with a private room since that's all that was available...didn't bother me any! They have all kinds of food and drinks available on the floor and also a menu to order meals from. They provide food for your family member who is accompanying you as well. It was all very nice...the food was quite good! I did a lot of resting in between bags being changed and the nurse checking on me.

I'm not feeling great...a bit queasy in spite of a ton of anti-nausea meds but I'm eating a little bit here and there. Coffee doesn't interest me and that's scary! I didn't sleep well and have a nagging headache...but it's not horrible and I'll be okay! I return at 3:00 today for my shot to boost the white cells.

Thanks so much to all of you for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers...and just for being there to "listen." I really do appreciate it!


**********************************************************************

Would I sound like a crazy lady if I said that I feel so much better already? I started a thread back in the middle of September when I was feeling pretty low. I think having things to do (lots of doctor appointments, blood draws, CT scan, ECG) helped. It also helped immensely having a husband and some friends who were willing to listen to me

I am getting treatment at a hospital which is only about 2 miles from home. The medical oncologist is wonderful...I really didn't like the first one I saw (at another hospital) and am so glad I'm not being treated by her. Yesterday I met with a nurse from the infusion floor and got more information and a tour. My husband is going to go with me...I sort of thought I wanted to go alone but it means a lot to him to go so I'm going to graciously accept his company and let him be very useful while I'm there

The first chemo is four rounds, every other week and the second is 12 rounds, every week. After that's done I get a month off then start radiation. I've signed up for a clinical trial for a drug which is already FDA approved but is being tested on women who wouldn't normally qualify to receive it. I'll find out Monday if I'm in the control arm or if I'll receive the drug. If I receive it it's done by infusion every three weeks for a year.

I'm going to try to continue working as much as I can. I am scheduled to be off Wednesday, Thursday and Friday next week. I am having a port put in on Wednesday morning and know that's going to be uncomfortable. I hope I'll feel well enough to work for the week and two days between treatments.

Sorry I got so long. I just wanted to let you know what's going on with me.





elaynef
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Posted: 10/4/2013 5:40:02 PM
Best wishes!


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leftturnonly
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Posted: 10/4/2013 5:41:05 PM
Best of luck to you. Saying a prayer that sunny days are just around the corner for you!






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Mimima
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Posted: 10/4/2013 5:44:29 PM
Thank you for the update. I'm so glad to hear both the closeness of your hospital,and that you like your oncologist! Wonderful news.


~Mimi
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StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 10/4/2013 6:25:29 PM
Sending wishes for all the best.


Karen

miss_lizzie
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 10/4/2013 6:28:59 PM
Sending prayers for you and those caring for you.


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scrapmaven
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Posted: 10/4/2013 6:29:02 PM
Now you're in the active "kick cancer's butt" stage and you will, too. You'll kick this, take that wonderful vacation I nag you about, on occasion and have joy. You have earned joy and you will find it. You'll be in my prayers while you journey twd survivor.


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StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 10/4/2013 6:31:09 PM
((HUGS))

Oliquig
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Posted: 10/4/2013 6:32:03 PM
The port isn't too bad, just remember to use the numbing cream an hour before you are going to have chemo.

Also they might give you liquid benedryl to prevent any allergic reactions, so be prepared to be sleepy.

Best of luck!


-Rachel

I just don't see why people think I'm too patronizing (that means I treat them as if they were stupid.)






biochemipea
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Posted: 10/4/2013 6:32:07 PM
Thanks for the update! I remember your thread about the hugging doctor -- it sounds like she's not the one you will be seeing, so that alone is great news.

My mom had chemo and says not to eat your favourite foods while undergoing chemo. The chemo association plus nausea can really ruin your enjoyment of those foods for a very, very long time.






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Christine58
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Posted: 10/4/2013 6:32:14 PM
Prayers Kellee...it will be FINE!!! KICK CANCER'S ASS



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nizza
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Posted: 10/4/2013 6:34:49 PM
No you don't sound like a crazy lady and so glad to hear that you feel so much better. It is great that the hospital is close, but, even better that you really like your doctors and staff. Keeping good thoughts and prayers for you.

SemiColon
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Posted: 10/4/2013 6:44:33 PM
What kind of cancer are you fighting?
My husband travels a lot for work but for a period of time after surgeries and chemo he would stay home and take me to appts

After many rounds and me knocked out by the Benadryl I told him and my parents to just drop me off and not worry about watching me sleep for hours on end!

In my case I was usually at the cancer center for 6 hours or more between blood draw visit oncologist and just waiting and waiting for a chair to start treatment
They have since revamped the program do the wait time isn't as horrendous

Chemo is a cumulative type of drug so you may feel not as bad as expected but after treatment 4 you may feel like a truck ran over you

Best wishes to you and kick cancers ass!!!! B

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revirdsuba
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Posted: 10/4/2013 7:06:52 PM
Kellee, so glad you are not seeing the hugging doctor! Good that your family and friends are/will be there for you. Best to you and your DH!

Nicole in TX
The Peas did what we do and went insane over it

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Posted: 10/4/2013 7:14:37 PM
Kelleee,

I still have my port. We are leaving it in for a year 'just in case.'

It is a little uncomfortable at first because they stitch it to the muscle but after a while most people don't mind it.

I forget that it is there honestly, until I randomly feel something hard in my chest.

Good luck! You are going to kick butt!!!!



*KelleeM*
Eye pea ;)

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Posted: 10/4/2013 7:21:27 PM
Thanks!!

And about that "hugging doctor," I saw her again and she made no attempt to hug me (I had my purse and water bottle in front of me as a sort of shield in case she tried) but I found her (and my sister and husband agreed) to be even worse, in ways, the second time around. I'm really happy to not see her again.

Ashley...I've heard that advice before about not eating your favorite foods while on chemo, thanks for the reminder.

Rachel... About the darn port...I thought the whole idea was for it to make things better/easier what's this about numbing cream???

scrapmaven...I joked with my dear friend at work today that she needs to hold a fundraiser for me and dh so we can go on a BIG ASS HONEYMOON when all of this is over. Seriously, it was a joke about the fundraising, we can afford a vacation and YES we deserve one after this year!!!

SemiColon...First, after reading Christine's thread about colon cancer I get your screenname. I have breast cancer with positive lymph nodes. I really thought it would be fine for me to be alone (and I'm sure I'll sleep!) for infusions but dh really wants to be there. He's retired and has had a tough year (long story but he spent 6 weeks in the hospital/rehab in May/June) and I think he wants to pay me back for being there for him








UkSue
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Posted: 10/4/2013 7:38:05 PM
God bless you Kellee. Cancer treatment is never pleasant but being close to home, knowing exactly what is happening and having support makes all the difference. I am on the other side and my thoughts will be with you through this journey.


It's not the passage of time that heals. It's what you do with that time.

FlaMom
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Posted: 10/4/2013 7:44:24 PM
(((hugs)))


Tammy

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Posted: 10/4/2013 7:55:14 PM
Sounds like a lot of things are positive pertaining to your treatment, as others have mentioned, being so close to the hospital and liking your oncologist is terrific.
I'm wishing you all the best on this journey! Thanks for sharing with us here... one of the things peas do best is lend support, and it feels good to be able to do so! (((HUGS)))

peaname
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Posted: 10/4/2013 8:06:52 PM
Wishing you all the best!


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Posted: 10/4/2013 8:13:58 PM
Best wishes to you.


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littlefish
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Posted: 10/4/2013 8:28:04 PM
Sending you a peamail.


Julie

vanmama
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Posted: 10/4/2013 8:36:32 PM
You kick cancer's butt, Kellee! I will keep you in my prayers.

I think it helps to have a plan and get the "show" on the road. The sooner you get started, the sooner it all ends and THEN...take an awesome vacation and put this crappy year behind you and Dick!


Laura in IL

Oliquig
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Posted: 10/4/2013 8:36:45 PM
Kellee, its not bad at all. The port sits just under the skin so they usually give you a topical cream to rub a small bit over where they will push the needle in. So any time you have chemo you just put a little bit right over the port with a band aid on top. You will just feel pressure when it comes time for chemo. Honestly it worked out so much better than having an IV.


-Rachel

I just don't see why people think I'm too patronizing (that means I treat them as if they were stupid.)






purpledaisy
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Posted: 10/4/2013 9:22:50 PM
Best wishes for you. I'm glad that you are experiencing some positive things.


Becca

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AKathy
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Posted: 10/4/2013 9:26:55 PM
Kellee don't be afraid of the port. I've had one for over 25 years (not the same one, they do wear out) and have it accessed every 6 weeks. I don't use any numbing cream and yes you do feel the stick but it's not anything like the pain of having IVs.
I'll be thinking of you on Wednesday and sending lots of positive energy and hugs! You can do it!!!


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PeasfulHeart
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Posted: 10/4/2013 9:30:12 PM
Sending you lots of prayers and positive energy as you finally get things underway to KICK CANCER'S ASS!

The peas are pulling for you Kellee!


Life is mostly froth and bubble, two things stand like stone. Kindness in another's trouble, courage in your own. -Adam Lindsay Gordon

bothmykidsrbrats
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Posted: 10/4/2013 9:55:48 PM
Sending positive thoughts and prayers. Stay strong, and kick cancer in the ass!!!!

mikklynn
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Posted: 10/4/2013 10:07:59 PM
I am so glad you have a team you trust.

Wishing you the best


Lynn



Ginger_64
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Posted: 10/4/2013 10:21:12 PM
Hi Kellee! Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of your story until now. Big hugs to you!

I think I understand a little bit about what you mean about feeling better already. I just finished my third chemo treatment for ovarian cancer and honestly, as bad as it can get sometimes, it's nothing compared to what I went through at my sickest--before I was diagnosed, had surgery, and started my chemo. It was the scariest and sickest time of my life.

Chemo, although no joke by any stretch, is something I know that is coming in to heal and that makes me so hopeful. I too love my oncologist's office. Here's something weird, I think when it's all over I'm going to have a little bit of separation depression when I stop going there. That office and the staff that work there feel like a warm hug to me (no not the physical kind of hug that was off-putting to you with your last doctor!). I just feel relaxed and cared for there.

I don't have a port; they're using a picc line instead. I know a port is a little more invasive, but the picc line is a real pain. I have several inches of tubing hanging out of my arm and stitched into place. I have to be very careful that I don't bump it or catch it on something. Regardless, it is still better than being poked for blood every time I go to the doctor, or worse yet, have an IV put in each time. I've had veins blown from those IVs and been covered in bruises. Your port will be a blessing I think.

People always want to come in with me for chemo too. At first I really didn't want anyone to do that. First, I didn't want to inconvenience anyone. Second, I thought that I would feel like I had to entertain them when I might just want to relax, nap, read, etc. As it's turned out, I have someone take me (a different person each time), who will stay anywhere from one to four hours and then my dh picks me up (and gets there early staying a few hours). Because my chemo is long (seven to eight hours in the chair) that still leaves me time to myself in between. It's a perfect balance.

I've managed to work throughout my chemo, but like you, I'm taking several days off for each treatment. I'm playing it by ear, but it really is different for everyone. It depends on the person and the drugs they are receiving. The type and severity of side effects can vary widely. It is true that the side effects do seem to intensify as the treatments go on, which is a bummer. I just keep thinking of the end in sight and I keep focused on that.

I wish you just the very best of luck with your treatment and your prognosis. Stay strong but still lean on family and friends when you need to. That's what they are there for and you should take advantage of that!

Take care!

scrappybean
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Posted: 10/4/2013 10:33:23 PM
Good luck with chemo! I just got my port this week and I'll be starting next Monday. Sounds like the same protocol too, every other week for 4 treatments, then another regimen weekly for 12 weeks. I've already had a bilateral mastectomy and my lymph nodes are clear so I won't need radiation. Just remember to keep a positive attitude, relax and let your body do what it needs to do to heal, and allow people to take care of you!

TreatmentDiaries
PeaNut

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Posted: 10/5/2013 5:46:39 AM
You'll be done before you know it and living life cancer free!! Sending lots of love and I will be praying for your well being! Cancer stinks but remember this - YOU have cancer....but cancer does not have YOU!

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alyca
PeaNut

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Posted: 10/5/2013 12:31:59 PM
I am just on the other side of this, *KelleeM*. Had my last dose of chemo on 9/11.

Sounds like you are also doing AC/T therapy?? I had Adriamycin/Cytoxan every 2 weeks x4, then Taxol every week for 12 weeks (also for breast cancer).

I felt MUCH better emotionally once things got started--there were 24 days between being diagnosed and having surgery, and a little over a month between surgery and starting chemo. When I was actually DOING something to get rid of the cancer, I felt much better.

I have my cancer journey blogged at DINK to Diapers if you are interested. And I am happy to answer any questions you might have about my experience.

Best of luck to you as you head off on this journey. It is scary, but totally doable.

Gynergy
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 10/5/2013 1:23:45 PM
Best wishes for successful treatment with as little discomfort as possible. Sending you prayers and good thoughts!


...............................
Laura

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BethAnneM
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Posted: 10/5/2013 2:31:48 PM

Rachel... About the darn port...I thought the whole idea was for it to make things better/easier what's this about numbing cream???


I have had my port for over a year now and I love it! My first time doing chemo was back in 2009 and I did two different types of chemo without a port and it sucked. I have finicky veins and I blow IV's all the time. The port has been a lifesaver. I never need any type of topical cream before I am accessed. Right now I am accessed two weeks out of three for my chemo treatments. As long as you have a good chemo nurse that has plenty of experience of with ports, the needle prick is nothing. Give it a try without any cream and see how you do.

My treatments are long. I start at about 9:00am and I am done by 2:00pm. Either my DH or my DD goes with me as I am wiped out when done and I have a 2 hour or more long drive home depending on traffic. You are very lucky to be only a couple of miles from home! That really helps.

Make sure you have all the scripts for meds you may need at home filled and ready to go before Wednesday. I have always been given Zofran for home use if the nausea gets bad. Be on the lookout for a sore mouth and get a script for "Magic Mouthwash" asap.

Good luck with your treatments and kick some cancer ass!!

ETA: Just thought about one another tip. I have to have a blood draw before chemo. To make things go smoother and faster on chemo day, I have my blood drawn at my local Quest facility the day before my treatment. I have a standing order at Quest and I go in and get my draw and they put a "stat" on it and my oncologist has the report when I come in the next morning for chemo. Saves time and gets me going faster and outta there faster!



malibou
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Posted: 10/5/2013 2:48:41 PM
Wishing you all the best.

I did my chemo without a port or picc line. Wish I had had the port. My veins in the back of my hands are shot.

Also, not sure what "magic mouthwash" is, but do get something that will help you keep your saliva production up. I used Biotene products, and they were great.

Bring along hard candies as when the chemo starts coursing thru you, you can taste it, and it is nasty.

nellej
PeaNut

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Posted: 10/5/2013 2:51:22 PM
Best wishes to you.

BethAnneM
Hermetically sealed for your protection

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Posted: 10/5/2013 2:59:09 PM

Also, not sure what "magic mouthwash" is, but do get something that will help you keep your saliva production up. I used Biotene products, and they were great.


Magic Mouthwash is for the mouth sores that chemo can cause. Not everyone will have this side effect.

Magic Mouthwash isn't a liquid mouthwash but more like a heavier coating type of med. It is a concoction of:
An antibiotic to kill bacteria around the sores
An antihistamine or local anesthetic to reduce pain and discomfort
An antifungal to reduce fungal growth
A corticosteroid to treat inflammation
An antacid to enhance coating of the other ingredients inside the mouth




KateMarie
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Posted: 10/5/2013 4:10:46 PM
I'm glad you updated.
No crazy ladiness going on here, sounds like you're able to feel better knowing what plan is in place. Of course your husband to wants to be there with you, let him, this isn't something you should go through alone.

You're going to through a lot. Just know the Peas have your back as you go fight this battle. We'll fight with you, we'll kick cancers ass!!


~Kate~








dori-scraps
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Posted: 10/5/2013 4:18:31 PM
hugs..... best wishes..... and prayers going your way...



Happy scrapping
Dori


*KelleeM*
Eye pea ;)

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Posted: 10/5/2013 4:41:09 PM
Thanks for the addition advise and good wishes.

I'm just getting back to this after a really difficult night/day...my 90 year old mother-in-law (the nicest lady on the planet!) fell around 9:30 last night and set off her life alert (yes, she lives alone). She suffered a big laceration on her head and some fractures. She was transferred to a hospital in Boston after being treated in our local ER. DH and I just got back from visiting her. She's going to have a tough road ahead of her but fortunately they can treat her without any surgery. There's no way she can live alone after this fall...she'll be devastated when they tell her





blumargarita
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Posted: 10/5/2013 6:34:05 PM
Praying for you Kellee!!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nena ~~I take life with a grain of salt, a slice of lime, and some good tequila~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me- Phillipians 4:13
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Recreating Home- Conversations about my Battle with Depression
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ca-Woman
PeaFixture

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Posted: 10/5/2013 6:46:14 PM
So sorry about your MIL. I think you guys are due for a break!

Good luck with your treatment. I always follow your posts. Please update when you feel like it. You'll have lots of people rooting for you.


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sewsew1
BucketHead

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Posted: 10/6/2013 8:53:59 AM
Praying for you


Ann Marie

Sometimes seamstress sometimes cardmaker ALWAYS a Mom




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jen40
PeaNut

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Posted: 10/6/2013 9:20:59 AM
Kellee,

Good luck with your chemo! I'm undergoing treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia and have a port. My port is accessed frequently and I have never used numbing cream so I wouldn't worry about the port. I also don't remember any pain when it was put in and I only had conscious sedation.

I agree with you that it feels good to start treatment as it means you are moving forward. Zofran is wonderful stuff and should really help with any nausea. Take it at the first twinge of nausea, you don't want to wait.

PS I'm a longtime lurker and occasional poster who couldn't remember her sign on.


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styxgirl
PeaFixture

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Posted: 10/6/2013 9:30:36 AM
Hugs for you Kellee!


Nicole

mamashosh
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Posted: 10/6/2013 9:31:00 AM
You are a warrior. My thoughts are with you as you battle this disease. Your attitude sounds really good, and I am glad you are accepting help.



*KAS*
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 10/6/2013 9:31:41 AM
Kellee - my continued prayers for you! I know several people fighting right now. It's such a shit disease.

I also wanted to say how wonderful I think this community is at a time like this. Seeing so many of you willing to share your own stories to make her feel better about the situation is awesome. I know it's not a 'family' anybody ever wants to be in, but bless you all for embracing and helping your newest family members.


***********************
KELLI



Had to delete my old account, but I've been here since July 2006!
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tintenklecks
PeaNut

PeaNut 381,181
June 2008
Posts: 151
Layouts: 2
Loc: Too far away from the ocean...

Posted: 10/6/2013 9:39:22 AM
Best wishes!!! Wish you all the strenght and support you need. You sound great!


Please excuse any mistakes in grammar and choice of words. English is a foreign language.

doesitmatter?
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 509,811
May 2011
Posts: 6,639
Layouts: 27

Posted: 10/6/2013 11:18:21 AM
I wish you well! Praying and hoping it goes well


Child of God, follower of Jesus, and so thankful for His presence in my life <><
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