Chemo Starts Tomorrow, August 1st

We just returned from an amazing time away with family and I have to thank my incredible husband for making it all happen.  He went above and beyond to create lasting memories for our crew so that over the next few months when I’m hooked up to machines at the hospital I’ll have those to dwell on.  I’m so grateful to have a spouse who is ALL IN and who gets it.

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FullSizeRender.jpgIt’s those sweet smiling faces that will help me get through the next phase of this journey.   Tomorrow, August 1st, begins my chemo journey.  I don’t know how I really feel about it yet because I’m still unpacking and washing clothes from our trip. What a blessed distraction.  But I do know that as soon as Trevor and I got home today (thanks for picking us up at the airport, mom!), we hit the ground running to pick up my ‘cold caps’ and get a tutorial on how to use them.  Now we ALL know that re-entry after family vacation is tough (can I get an amen, moms?), but picking up THIS upon my return to Dallas makes me think I’ve reached an all time low in that department.

 

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Nothing says ‘Welcome Home’ like a cooler filled with cold caps and a goodie bag.  Yippee.  I’m just praying I don’t look in that bag and find a t-shirt that says, ‘I went through chemo and all I got was this lousy shirt.’

My sister, Jennifer, was kind enough to go pick up the dry ice required to fill the chemo cold cap cooler with before we got home today.

IMG_5473.JPG.jpegNo one told her it would be in a warehouse with loads of truckers.  Not even me.  Good thing she fit right in.  Then they told her they were out of pellets and she’d have to go to a different dry ice company. They warned her that it was in a sketchy part of town, however, then gave her the address.  Jen giggled when she figured out it was in the neighborhood where we grew up (shout out to the OC).  If being sketchy is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

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When Jen sent me this pic of the second location, however, I tried not to panic.  Here I am thinking that the whole process I’ve pinned my hopes on to save my hair is in the hands of the BACON EQUIPMENT CO., which apparently also sells Fire Extinguishers.  If worse comes to worse, at least I know I won’t go hungry or suffer from severe burns.

All that to say is that my Chemo Cold Cap cooler now has two new friends (the other one is behind my dog, who has literally not left my side since I got home which is another story for another time) filled with dry ice for tomorrow.

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My house looks like it is one cooler shy of chaperoning a kindergarten field trip to the zoo complete with sack lunches.  IF.ONLY.

The schedule for tomorrow looks like this:

10:30 – blood draw

11:00 – appointment with oncologist

11:30 – chemo process begins (this should last approximately 3-4 hours total)

During chemo, my cap will be changed out appoximately every 20 minutes (each time with a new freezing cap – YIKES).  After I finish chemo, I will need to continue cold capping for 4 hours afterwards.  So tomorrow’s pretty much going to stink, let’s be honest.

But the Lord has been faithful thus far, and I expect nothing less tomorrow.  Just today my friend Aly left this on my front porch in preparation for the next chapter of my story.  IMG_5081.JPG

Yes, it made me bawl like a baby.  But it also just touched my heart in the deepest way possible.  I wish so badly Jen was here to sit with me tomorrow, just as I had done with her so many times.  But just as the blanket says, I WILL fight in her memory and I WILL beat this thing.  And I know 100% the Lord will give me everything I need to do so.  Like friends just like Aly.

I would love for you to pray for me if you think of it tomorrow.  The chemo process is bound to not only be physically difficult, but also emotionally difficult.  Thankfully, my family and a few friends will be going with me to Baylor.  My best friend from Boston, Kim, also flew in just to be here for tomorrow.  I may need a lot more kleenex by the end of the day because I already feel so overwhelmed with loved.  Send me texts, send me emojis, etc.  I will need every ounce of strength just to endure the cold capping process, not to mention this little thing called CHEMO and its fun side effects.

And those that have been following my story will not be surprised that my friend Stephanie will be undergoing her double mastectomy the day after tomorrow (August 2nd).  Not only do we like to dress alike, but apparently we like to cancer alike too.  Please keep her in your prayers as well.  This is such a surreal process, but we both know the Lord is in control and we trust that He will use OUR stories to tell of HIS good news.

We gathered with some of Steph’s friends tonight to pray for her upcoming surgery, and one of them made these amazing pink rice krispy treats.  It’s the little things that sometimes mean the most.

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Until next time…much love to you all & make every day count,

Jamie

“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you…” 2 Thessalonians 3:3

 

 

 

 

 

 

22 thoughts on “Chemo Starts Tomorrow, August 1st

  1. Jamie – Scott and I will be praying for you tomorrow – I feel that since the dry ice is from our old hood, the cold caps will work perfectly! 😉 thank you for sharing your journey here – it is an honor to be a part of it.
    – Meredith

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  2. I remember that first chemo day so well. It was exhausting but I was happy to get it done. You will have my prayers!!! You can do this. Love you much!!!!

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  3. Sweet Jamie, I am praying for you right now as I lay here hooked up my last bag of chemo for the week. I know you’re going to do great and so happy that you have your friends beside you to keep you company through this. After tomorrow you’ll already be 25% through!! Keep your spirits up and stay strong with those cold caps!!💪 Mind over matter!! Big hugs girl!!! Love you! ❤ Kay

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  4. I am praying now and will be praying for you all day. Thank you for allowing us to share in the things that you celebrate and the struggles. You are surrounded by love because you have given love. I’m praying that the chemo caps are totally bearable and that you will have no nausea from your treatment. I’m praying for strength and that you will feel God carrying you through. I pray for all of the people who will be caring for you. I pray for the people you encounter who will be a blessing to you and for those to whom you will be a blessing. 💕

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  5. Jamie,
    We’re all thinking of you, praying for you and know that your positive and grateful attitude will get you through this experience. :)))))

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  6. Big love and prayers for you today Jaime. You have got this!! I pray that you feel the power of the Holy Spirit right beside you all day long. XOXO, Wilson

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  7. Praying Jamie! Love your blanket in memory of Jen. No doubt she is interceding for you face to face with the Father!

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  8. Jamie……in reading this, I was scrolling down, as I saw the blanket with the beautiful embroidery on it…..I surprised myself, tears began to roll down my cheeks and I could not stop crying. YOU HAVE THE BEST FRIENDS!
    I’ve never told you this, but when our boys were 2, I was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. I remember my first day of chemo like it was yesterday…….except, it was just my husband and me sitting in that infusion room. When they brought the drugs to my chair to begin the whole process, I started to cry, and I mean ugly cry! I could not stop. The nurses were so wonderful and explained to me that what I was feeling was fear. They calmed my nerves and the whole process began. How I wish I had allowed MY dear friends to be a part of my journey!!! But that was 12 years ago, and “water under the bridge”. At the time, I looked at my chemo as a terrible inconvenience, but, that I would get through it and get on with my life….and never look back. You have been so blessed by the love and kindness of you friends and family, and you make the best of every difficult situation. Jen was the same way! You find the Lord working in every situation on a daily basis. You are an inspiration. I know today will be filled with many emotions, but as you always do, you will have a day filled with love and laughter, and of course our God will be right in the center if it all.
    BTW, I have a friend who just finished her chemo, she used the cold cap and her hair is beautiful!!! It’s a bit uncomfortable, but it works!!!
    I will be in prayer for you today as you begin your treatments! You’ve got this!
    ❌⭕️❌⭕️ Lynn

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  9. Dear Jamie-you have my prayers not only today but especially today!
    Exodus 33:14 “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” This was on my calendar for today-perfect!
    And I do think the Oak Cliff place for the dry ice is a great omen! 😀 I know exactly where that place is-there on Ft. Worth Ave. OC is the BEST! love, Peggy

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  10. Jamie, I don’t know you in person but have been praying for you. I can tell from your blog how wonderfully strong you are. I’m praying for complete healing for you and that today goes as smoothly as possible. I love the way you write and your sense of humor is awesome.

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  11. Hi Jamie! Thinking and praying for you through this journey and especially today! That is funny that Jennifer had to cross over to the OC (Oak Cliff not Orange County!) for the dry ice – I agree with Meredith that that is a good sign! 🙂 Praying the day goes smoothly and that you have complete peace! ~ Wendi

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  12. Praying for you and your family to have peace and comfort during this time. Also, covering Stephanie in prayers. May you both be completely healed!

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  13. Jamie, thanks for sharing dates and requests with us so we know how to intercede for you!! So glad they have invented this cap thing wow!! You have the best hair!! Much love ❤️

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  14. My precious Jamie, I have been and will continue to pray for you. I have a picture of you, your mother, Ashley and Jennifer on my refrigerator right next to Danny Rose. Not only do I pray for your healing, which we all know Jesus is the Healer, but I pray for your peace to stay with you that surpasses all understanding. My sister-in-law Cathy (she is like the littler girl that I never had) has cancer in both breasts. One is the same cancer has yours and the other is a different cancer (which she was told was rare to have two different kinds). Weekend before last I reread all about your journey. I printed your entire story. Some writings I reread again. Cathy has a sense of humor similar to yours. Reading your story helped me understand what she will be enduring. Your sincere words of how you feel, your talent of writing, and your faith in our Lord and Savior has helped me tremendously accept this. She will have chemo first and then surgery after 6 rounds of chemo for 18 weeks. I am also praying for your friend. God’s timing is so amazing and, sometimes, difficult to understand but is is perfect. I claim this for the three of you going through this at the same time. I love you, Jamie Berry Kraus!!!!!!!

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  15. I am a new follower and am awe inspired by your story, your AMAZING sense of humor and your wonderful and loving circle of family and friends. You will remain in my prayers, thoughts and my heart today and every day.

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  16. I am praying for you especially today!! Had such fun with your folks at Brick Road Theaters’s production, “Julie Johnson Sings the Music of Patsy Cline”…they are SUCH MEEPS… LOVE you Jamie and lifting ALL of uou up!! Xoxo Forbes

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  17. I’m so glad you had the opportunity to spend time at Horn Creek before chemo. As much as you are loved by friends and family, remember the Lord loves you more, and He will give you the strength to endure and conquer. Our prayers are with you and your friend Stephanie.

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