Hi friends! I can’t believe I get to say this but the day after tomorrow (December 13th) I will be getting what is hopefully my LAST chemo treatment! (Can I get an A-men?) I wasn’t aware of this before I started chemo, but there is a tradition that after your last chemo treatment you get to “ring the victory bell” and let me tell you… I am SO excited to ring that bell on Thursday! I was fortunate to be at my friend Stacie’s “bell ringing” on her last day of chemo on October 11th this year. Stacie joked that she was so “extra” that she broke the bell! She is fabulous and I would expect nothing less from her! (Video below is from Stacie’s bell ringing!)
A lot of my out of town friends have requested that I FaceTime them during my bell ringing on Thursday since they can’t be there in person. To that end, I figured it would be easier (and more inclusive) to just do an Instagram live video…..that way anyone who wants to watch can 🙂 (However….please do NOT feel obligated to interrupt your work day to watch me ring a bell!) Disclaimer, I have never actually made an “Instagram live” video. But, I’ll be handing my phone to my friend Misty and I’m confident that she knows what she’s doing….even if I don’t.
So, for those who want to watch the bell ringing on Thursday, my public Instagram account username is “TheStarsAlign2018”. Just follow that account and I believe Instagram *should* give you a notification when I go live….BUT that probably depends on your personal settings. So if you want to be safe, I would start checking Instagram around 3:15 on Thursday. We are thinking I should be done with my infusion around 3:15 or 3:30pm. We don’t know the exact time because I’m getting an extra infusion on Thursday (Zometa) that I only get once every 3 months. I thought I would be getting that last week, but apparently I had my weeks confused.
Anyway, I wanted to give everyone the info for Thursday because tomorrow I’m shooting a commercial for Woman’s Hospital/Mary Bird Perkins. The doctors, nurses, and staff there have been so good to me I was honored they asked me to participate. Granted, I literally can NOT think of a less attractive time in my life to be doing a commercial after 16 rounds of chemo…..but that’s okay. Being cute isn’t the point here, beating cancer is the point! (We were going to film this summer but the Louisiana heat and nausea don’t mix). I warned them that I’m still without lashes and brows at the moment, but they seem to be okay with it 😉
Picture above is of my Mom, Aunts and Uncles sporting their #hollyannstrong bracelets last weekend….so sweet! Picture below is of a care package I received today AFTER someone dropped off dinner at my house. My friends and family continue to amaze me.
Moving on, I met with my new radiation oncologist yesterday. She sat down with Mark and I and went over what we needed to know about radiation, the side effects, etc. From what I understand, radiation is basically the “clean up crew” and the goal is to get rid of any microscopic cancer cells that may be left (I’ll be having radiation after surgery). The doctor said they wanted to be “aggressive” with my treatment plan which is fine by me…..I don’t want this stuff to ever come back! The doctor warned me that the side effects of radiation are harsher for people who have just completed chemo vs. only doing radiation because your body is so worn down. She also said that the fatigue of radiation (like chemo) is cumulative. That being said…..even the “worst case scenario” side effects of radiation still sound a LOT better than what I’m experiencing right now during chemo. Speaking of…..can you believe I’m STILL feeling nauseous from my November 29th treatment? How is this even possible? Granted, I do feel better and am able to work and function….but something just doesn’t feel right. My devotional yesterday seemed to be particularly applicable to this situation.
James 1:2- “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” Noted. I’ll keep that close to my heart as I get ready for my last dance with “the red devil” on Thursday 🙂
As always, thank you for the continued love, prayers, and support. It means the world to me.
⭐️Holly Hollis Stars⭐️
UPDATE: My friend Katie shared this with me on how to get Instagram notifications. If you want to get an alert when we go live, follow the steps below 🙂