I almost hate to say that this first chemo went well because it is like saying that you haven't been sick in awhile.  That is a guarantee that you will break out with something by the next day.  I was so nervous about starting chemo again because of how terrible the first four rounds of the other chemo went.  I had been told by several doctors and many other people that taxol was a different beast, but I was still anxious about it.  I had really enjoyed the month break from chemo and didn't want to start it back up again.  I had written in the last post about the 2 drains I had placed under my left armpit to drain the fluid that had built up after surgery.  I had the drains for a week and then had a follow-up with Dr. Arredondo on the 20th.  The drains had been draining pretty good but one of them stopped about 2 days before I went to see him.  I hadn't had any problems with them other than the fact that this nerve going down the back of my left arm was acting up.  This is the same nerve that I had problems with after my mastectomies.  When they were putting in the drains, the nurse said that I looked like I was in pain. She asked where it was hurting, and I told her that the nerve was beginning to hurt down my arm.  This continued from that point on and by the time I went back to Dr. A it was really uncomfortable.  It felt like someone had a hot poker and was burning the back of my arm.  I told Dr. A about it, and he said the drains may have set off a superficial nerve.  When he pulled that drain soon after, I about came off the table.  That nerve went crazy and sent that horrid pain down my arm.  He grabbed my hand and apologized for the pain.  Then, we agreed that the drain must have been on that nerve.  I've still had some nerve pain down the arm since, but nothing like that day or that burning sensation like before.  It will probably just take some time to settle down.  He didn't pull the other drain because he said he wants to be conservative with it so we don't have to do this again.  I agreed.  He told me to call when the drainage got down to 15 mL or less.  Over the weekend, the drainage decreased so I called them on Monday.  Tuesday morning I got the second drain out, and I can't say I miss them.  I needed those out to start chemo on Wednesday, so this was good.  Chemo went well with no allergic reactions or major side effects.  The only hard thing was the strong benedryl they gave me before the chemo knocked me on my rear.  I could hardly keep my eyes open during the 3 hour chemo and to drive home afterwards.  I can handle this though.  I'm not complaining at all.  If they can all go this smooth, I can definitely do this.  Now I just have 11 more chemo treatments to go.  They will be every week if there are no hang ups.

Like I said before, it seems much easier to thank God a lot when things are going well.  I've been trying to teach myself to find several things every day that I'm grateful for because there are so many blessings each day that God gives us.  We just have to look harder on "bad days" to see them.  Things are not always going to go our way and the road is not always going to be smooth, but if we turn our self-centered focus on God then it makes the ride easier and worth it.  I challenge each of you and myself to take time this week to do something nice for someone else.  It may be someone you know or a stranger.  Do something you wouldn't ordinarily do to bless their lives.  Pay for someone's coffee standing behind you in line or tell your checker at the grocery store what a blessing they are to you.  Whatever it is, step out of your comfort zone and just do it.  I think you'll be surprised how much joy it brings you to give God the glory through acts of kindness to your neighbor.  This is what God calls us to do daily, but let's challenge ourselves to get it done this week.  I love reading your comments and encouragements on my blog, so if you feel inclined please keep them coming.  It helps me get through the rough spots.  God bless you and love each of you.  Shay 
1/30/2012 07:28:07

Shay, I am so thankful that you have 1 chemo of the 11 over. So thankful this one was easier. God Bless Your Sweet Heart!!! This verse popped out of God's Word the other day during my Bible study. "Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life" Prov.4:23 I was in need of that Word! Praying the very best for you and your precious family!!

phila weatherly
1/30/2012 11:28:19

Thanks for sharing,,I always look forward to your encouraging words. God is blessing all of us,,in some way everyday thru people like you

Mary Kate
1/30/2012 14:04:04

Keep it up girl - surely the worst is behind you! You are such a strong Christian warrior against this beast called cancer. I lift you up every morning as many others do. Keep putting your armor on ~ your winning this race!!

1/30/2012 23:17:49

Hey shay. I am so thankful that the 1st round of new chemo was BETTER. I pray for smooth tolerance to the remaining treatments and peaceful waits for any questions that arise in the next few months. I pray for wisdom for your entire medical team, for sweet comfort and fellowship from those going alongside you, and for God to delight you in unexpected ways.

Donna L
1/31/2012 12:15:10

I love reading your blog....I am either tearing up or laughing, you have a wonderful sense of humor and are, at times, so blunt!!!!! You and your precious family continue to be lifted up in prayer. Since I am so very much older than you, I consider you a "babe" and often think of the phrase "from the mouths of babes". (which means so much honesty and foresight from someone so young). I, too, will make an effort this week to do something nice for someone who is hurting, or just needs a smile to take with them.

Courtney Rhue
2/1/2012 08:39:35

Shayla thank you for sharing all your encouragement and wisdom! It helps to remind me that God is in control and we must trust him with our all! We continue to pray for you, your family and friends! We love you and ask that God gives you an easy time with chemo today!

Jesseca Jackson
2/1/2012 14:06:26

I always look forward to your new blog posts! I just love reading them. You are such a strong person and inspiration to everyone. I'm so thankful that this chemo is going better than the first for you. Your spirit and faith is contagious!

Mike and Nancy Weatherley
2/1/2012 19:12:18

Hey, Shayla! We pray for you each Wednesday night, and we give our friends an update based on your blog. Our prayer warrior friends care about you just as we do, and they are faithful to petition God on your behalf. Thank you for encouraging all of us as you journey in this battle against cancer. Your reminders are much needed to praise our Lord all the time and to do random acts of kindness for others. Hugs and lots of love to you and all of your family!

Mike and Nancy (the East Texas connection)

Cheryl Weatherly
2/2/2012 22:37:09

I've missed you for a few days, but that doesn't mean you are not on my mind. I pray for you each day. Keep plugging--you are walking this road with all the strength and courage one could have. It has to be because of the strong faith you have and that you have surrounded yourself with like-minded folks. Love you.

Megan Golden
2/2/2012 23:47:59

Shayla, you are a very faithful person and an inspiration to me. I'm so glad your chemo went well, and I will continue to pray that it will keep going smoothly for you. I also pray for your complete and total healing. Keep on keepin' on!

2/4/2012 11:06:25

Im so glad this is one is going easier for u. you are such an inspiration to everyone. U defently bring a smile to me everyday,especially when u make fun of my cankles!! Love u girlie .....

Julie Hutson
2/4/2012 11:57:27

Sweet Shay,
You are so precious and God is using you in
amazing ways. I love reading your blog and so
appreciate your honesty and your sharing of what
God is teaching you. I hate that your path is such a
treacherous, painful one; I wish it could be easy, but
bless you for clinging to the Master. Thank you for
reminding me that sometimes the answer isn't No; it's "just wait for my perfect timing." Rick and I are praying for you and your precious family- all of you are treasures. We love you, Shay.

Susan Kendall
2/12/2012 18:17:30

Shay--Just wanted to say hello and praying for you. I am thanking GOD IN HEAVEN that the new chemo meds have been easier on your system than the red devil. I am praying that God meets your exact needs for rest, nutrition, Bren and Chris time, and just doing what YOU want to do. I am so thankful that God allowed us to meet and I will not stop praying to the God of all Creation for your healing, health, and well being. I know you have touched so many lives with your faith and I just want to encourage you. You are showing people the love of God, even though this is NOT a chosen journey. I pray for your family and everyone surrounding you, that God would provide support and encouragement EXACTLY as you need it. I pray that you will be shielded from words that are not uplifting and I pray that your medical team will be blessed with powerful God-given wisdom to treat you according to your best needs. So grateful for you and just wanted to say hello! Stay warm in the snow!

7/17/2012 19:20:43

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