It Takes a Village to Get Through Treatment

Today was Tom's 13th chemo treatment.  Only three more to go.

The staff at Lemmen-Holton got into the Halloween spirit which made the day more enjoyable.  This is Tara who has been with us since the first treatment.  She is kind, knowledgeable and fun.

Each week at chemo he is evaluated before starting and they give the go-ahead to start.  The first step is a blood test.  Today's lab was staffed by the "Three Blonde Mice".

Last week, the treatment was canceled because Tom had developed neuropathy in his hands.  Neuropathy is numbness and tingling caused by the chemo drugs and it can become permanent. The doctor felt that a week without chemo might help.  As we arrived back in the lobby feeling very discouraged, there was a lady playing the grand piano that sits in there.  She was playing "It Is Well With My Soul" which is a favorite hymn of ours.  It was a sign to us that God is in control.

When we returned today, Tom's feeling had almost completely returned to his hands and he was able to go-ahead with the treatment.

I was thinking of the saying that it takes a village to raise a child.  I believe that it is taking a village to help us get through this treatment.

Many people have helped us with suggestions, meals, cards and visits.

Tom's Caledonia High School classmates, Paul and Marcia Brown brought us soup, applesauce and Anytime Bars.  These bars are high in protein and good stuff to help build your blood.

Anytime Bars are good for you.  Marcia found the recipe in The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen cookbook.  I got a copy at the library and am finding great recipes and help.

I knew there were healthy smoothies that Tom could be drinking to help build up his blood.  But it was overwhelming to me to find all the ingredients and know how to make them.

This is where the village comes in.  Sarah, Savi's mom,  went to Costco with me and showed me what I needed to buy-kale and spinach, fruit, hemp seeds, protein powder.  Things I wasn't used to buying.

The next day, Sarah's friend from Florida, Casey, sent me a video of how she makes smoothies.  Casey is battling cancer and had great suggestions for me.  Casey made it easy for me to try it.

With Sarah and Casey's help I've started making smoothies every morning.  We freeze bananas and add frozen fruit so every day can be slightly different.

Tom's blood results have improved every week since starting on the smoothies.  Today his white cell count was in the normal range.  I'm sure the smoothies are helping with that!

We've also had help with winterizing our house.  Dave Sefton came over to check a leak in the roof.  We had gotten 5.75 inches of rain in two days last week and some water came in around the chimney.  In spite of working full-time, he was here the day after Tom called him.  He fixed the leak and while he had the ladder out he cleaned out our gutters.  What a man!

Tommy and Jack-our son and grandson- took care of winter coverings for our basement windows and draining back our outside faucets. 

Last weekend, long-time friends brought over dinner.  The highlight for Tom and I was the encouragement they gave us and prayer time they spent with us.   Both couples have faced cancer and give us so much hope and encouragement. 

We can't thank everyone enough who has been part of our 'village'.   There have been more of you who have stopped by, prayed, sent cards or called.   We appreciate every act of kindness and support.  


  1. What a wonderful report! So happy for all the help you are receiving. Glad you feel loved and cared for. It will continue to be well with your soul. Praying

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    1. So glad for every person who loves you and is helping! Praying for Tom every morning and night. May he make it through and enjoy a long and happy "rest of days," whatever the Lord will grant. That's about all I know to ask for, but for Alan (for whom I've asked the same thing), that's been a good, long time already!! Hope it's true for Tom too!


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