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Journal

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March
27
2019

The final chemo treatment

Today I went in for my fourth treatment. Thankfully, it was uneventful and I slept through it all. 

I still have many follow up visits over the next three months and then a reconstructive surgery, but I think by end of summer this will all be behind me. 

Thank you you all for your calls, texts, hugs, prayers, visits, meals, and more. 

It was amazing how just when I might be feeling low, that’s the time someone sent me a random text checking on me.  

I’m looking forward to getting back to my normal routine and will be seeing many of you more often in the coming weeks. 

Thank you again for your love and concern.

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February
26
2019

Surgery again

Waiting to go into surgery this morning. Having the left tissue expander removed to remove anymore risk for infection. 

Hoping chemo is not delayed again! 

January
30
2019

Chemo Round Two Complete

Today was the second round of chemo.  It went very smoothly.  They were prepared for my allergic reaction and incorporated meds to eliminate that possibility.  Since I have to take steroids the day before, I was up most of the night, so I slept through 2 hours of chemo.  Nice nap!

Roz is in the kitchen whipping up turkey burgers for later.  I am planning nap number two.

Not a bad day at all!

January
26
2019

A day in the life ... MIA

It's been several days since I've written anything about my treatment or how I'm doing.  I guess I would say that's a testament to how I've been feeling.  Things improved dramatically on day 6, and I began to feel back to my old self.  Since that time, I've been able to get out and meet friends for lunch, do some light shopping, and just breathe fresh air.  

The second round of chemo is scheduled for Wednesday of next week.  Now I have a reasonable expectation of how I'll feel and what I'll be capable of for the days that follow.  

Even though I've been leading a somewhat normal life for the past 12 days, friends are still showering me with love and support by visiting, calling, sending cards.  It means a lot to me.

In fact, today my life group showed incredible support during a difficult time for me.

Today is the day I let go of my hair.  It has been coming out in clumps every time I shower, blow dry, or even brush my hair.  Since it is inevitable that all my hair will be gone, it makes sense to proactively manage things.  This way I won't find stray hairs all over the couch, the floor and my clothes.  

My life group from church met me at the salon and we had a head-shaving party -- wine included.  This was an emotional experience for me.  I'm so thankful to have friends rally with me and help me through it. 

The back story ...

I was once married to a man who put a lot of emphasis on how I looked.  If I was ten pounds overweight, he would express unhappiness.  If I wouldn't go to the gym six days a week, we sometimes even argued.  If my hair wasn't fixed, my clothes weren't quite right, or if I didn't feel like wearing make up some days, he would often treat me differently.  There were times I actually got the silent treatment if I didn't measure up.  So you can see … the process of voluntarily going bald is triggering some old feelings.  I'm sure many women who go through losing their hair feel as though they look hideous.  It's human nature.  Society has created the expectation of beauty, or at least to aspire toward beauty.  My ex-husband was no different.  So I'll be fighting those feelings today and many days ahead.  

I'm so blessed to have friends and family who see the inner beauty in me.  That's what I hung on to as I watched my hair fall to the floor.  (If you look closely, you can see a tear falling down my cheek in the "after" photo.  Such a mix of emotions today.

January
14
2019

Day in the Life ... day 5

Having a close friend here to help is a wonderful thing.  Not only is my house cleaner, my fridge fuller, but my heart is healing. 

Theres something about a genuine hug that brings true emotion to the surface.  More than once, she just hugged me to offer encouragement and the tears flowed.
Sometimes that emotional release is just what’s needed.   

I laid down for a one hour nap that turned into two hours.  An hour later, I could have laid down again.  

All the while she was busy taking care of things for me. 

I hope she can come back soon. Not for the soup or the clean floors. I could use more hugs like that.  😇

January
13
2019

Day in the Life ... day 4

Really tired of these walls. 
Really tired of TV 
Really tired of feeling nauseous
Just ... really tired. 

Still have a decent appetite. I’m hungry but nothing sounds good to me.  

In the grand scheme of things, if that’s my biggest complaint, I’m doing just fine. 

My good friend from Cincinnati is here tonight to look after me. Haven’t seen her since Thanksgiving.  Sharing smiles and tears while she stocks my freezer. 

Hoping that with each day, the fatigue will be less and less.  

January
12
2019

Day in the Life ... day 3

Home all day. 
Low energy level. 
Two visitors. 
One nap.  But I couldn't get off the couch to go to bed at 9:00.
So I slept the first part of my night in the living room,
and am about to head to bed to complete my night of rest.  
Decent appetite. 
Not enough water today, and feel nauseous. 

Angela visited me today.  She brought me dinner.  (Thank you!).  She also made me smile at myself.  Conversation eventually got around to how I am feeling.  As I was sharing with her, I could see an expression on her face that said she'd heard this before.  I was recounting the past doctor visits, first chemo visit, etc.  

I paused in the middle of my story and said, "I probably already told you this."  With such a sweet smile, she said, "that's okay." 

It just hit home for me that I've been on hold.  Ever since the day of surgery over a month ago, things have pretty much stood still for me.  Very little interacting with anyone.  When your day consists of resting, doctor appointments, and more resting, life can get pretty stale.  When there's nothing new going on, there's nothing new to talk about.  😏   So I accept that I will live vicariously through my visitors and callers for a while.  I'll spend most of the next couple months hibernating and healing.  

Please text, call, or visit and tell me what's new.  I'd like to talk about what's going on out there.  

And most of all, thank you in advance if you're going to have to indulge me and listen to what you may have already heard a few times.  😉

January
11
2019

Day in the life - day 2

Home all day. 
Low energy level. 
Two visitors. 
Two naps. I’ll be up a while now. 😊
Decent appetite. 
Stayed hydrated. (Yay!)