All I want for Christmas: Chemo #16 Update

Hi friends!  We made it through Chemo #16 on November 29th and I’m getting ready for what is hopefully my LAST treatment (#17) on December 13th! It feels so good to be able to put that in print!  We’ve come a long way since May!  I’ve been wanting to blog and update everyone but haven’t been feeling well.  In fact, I’m still nauseous today from chemo last week. (Regardless, I’m still grateful that I’ve been able to get all of my A/C treatments on time- God is good!).  Here are some pictures and video from my latest treatment:

Speaking of nausea and fatigue- from what I’ve been told, the effects of chemo are “cumulative” so it’s not surprising that I’m feeling horrendous this late in the game.  To be blunt, sometimes I feel like I’m a walking shell of the person that I used to be (physically speaking).  But, when I feel like that I just remind myself that my body has been through a lot over the last 7 months…. and whatever I’m feeling physically (and emotionally) is probably pretty normal. During these hard times, I’m so thankful that I have my faith AND my husband to fall back on for support.  I’m not just saying this….but my husband Mark is an incredible human.  I thank God every single day that he chose me to be Mark’s wife.  If there are any spouses or caretakers reading, here is some unsolicited advice: tell your wife that she’s beautiful and that you’re proud of her.  Mark tells me that all the time……and it always makes me smile.

In other news, my devotional from yesterday (pic below) felt applicable since the end of chemo IS kind of like sleeping on a stone pillow in a desolate land 😉 I feel you Jacob…..surely the Lord is in this place.

This week I’ve been getting a lot of questions asking when I will be “ back to normal” after chemo ends.  Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for that.  I almost hate to even guess because it feels like I’m making a promise that I might not be able to keep.  I’m praying that by Christmas I will FEEL better but the doctors told me that it will take a while for my white blood cell count to rebound. (Which is why I can’t have surgery until mid-January).  I need to be able to fight off infection and it will take some time for my body to recoup.  I have an appointment with my new radiation oncologist on Monday to go over the plan for radiation after surgery.  Over the last couple of weeks several women have contacted me who have recently been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  I hate that they have to go through this but it warms my heart when they tell me that my blog has been helpful for them (it’s one of those full circle moments where you really can see God working).  To that end, I’ll be sure to update my blog after surgery and during the radiation process.  (Hopefully it will help others know what to expect).

Since I’ve covered the low points from this week already (So. Much. Nausea)- I feel like now would be a good time to share some happy things from the last couple of weeks.

Happy Highlight #1:

How amazing is this?  My dear friend Mary Desch and her amazing daughter Maddie organized this surprise for me and I can’t thank them enough.  I still get happy tears when I watch the video. Mary’s faith has always been strong and she’s been a friend that I’ve looked up to for a long time in that respect (and in many other ways).  The whole family has always been so kind to me and we have so many good memories together.  Cancer sucks…..but it shines a light on the amazing people you have in you’re life.  This is no exception.

Happy Highlight #2

Fun fact: this video was taken from a bar in Denver, Colorado….not New Orleans. Who knew there were so many Saints fans in Denver? 🙂 If you know me or have been following my story, I’m sure you’ve seen Emily Hall in a lot of my posts.  (She lives in Denver and orchestrated this surprise for me.)  SO. Sweet. I’ve known Emily since the 6th grade and I’m so grateful that this life challenge has brought my group of girlfriends from Cedar Creek together again. Another silver lining 🙂

Happy Highlight #3

The day after my most recent chemo treatment (November 30th) was actually Mark and I’s original wedding date!  My sweet friend Meg came over that day and brought flowers and a cake to celebrate our “almost” wedding anniversary. When Mark and I got engaged last October and set our wedding date……I would have NEVER guessed that November 30th would consist of chemo recovery…. rather than our actual wedding.  But, I honestly wouldn’t change any of it.  Mark and I haven’t had a traditional first 6 months of marriage, but I think we’re stronger as a couple because of it.  For that I’m grateful.

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season so far.  I’m sure this is obvious….but all I want for Christmas is to be here and to be healthy.

As always, thank you for the prayers, support, and love.


⭐️Holly Hollis Stars⭐️

2 thoughts on “All I want for Christmas: Chemo #16 Update

  1. Thank the Lord. You are the strongest person ever. I know this chemo is not fun, but I’m sure you will be well soon. Happy Anniversary – whichever date! Best wishes.


  2. Happy Anniversary “Almost” wedding date, Hope you get to feeling better soon so you can enjoy your Christmas, and YES you will be here & healthy to have your surgery in Mid-January no doubt with the courage, strength & support team that you have. Praying for ya’ll today & everyday, #HollyAnnStrong


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