John, Janet's husband sent out this email, and also posted it on her website (www.janetpaschal.com):
As I write this update, Janet is downstairs sleeping on the couch, a sleep that is so still and deep that it is a bit frightening. We have only been home for about an hour or so, Maw Maw, Paw Paw (Janet's Mother and Father) and Kay (her Sister) have just left with a promise to return day after tomorrow.
We arrived at the clinic at 8:30 am to have some blood drawn for the purpose of determining blood levels (white blood count and so forth). Then around 9:30 or so, we met with the Oncologist to review the results of the blood work-up and ascertain whether the tumor had been altered in any way as a result of the first round of chemo.
The Oncologist informed Janet that her white blood count had not returned to a level he would have preferred. Her count nudged into the region where they would NOT have to delay the second round of treatment; however, the number was sufficiently low enough to require another type of treatment in order to boost her immune system.
Also, an examination revealed the tumor had not changed in size or density. We were hoping to find a decrease in it's size, some measurable result telegraphing that the cancer was responding to the treatment. The Doctor was quick to reassure and to make clear that this phase was still very early in Janet's overall treatment.
11:30 am Janet was in her recliner reading (what else?) a recipe book while being administered her second round of chemotherapy. 2:30 pm we were back home, 3:30 pm Paw Paw, Maw Maw, and Kay left and Janet is now resting downstairs.
I have to be honest, once Janet was quietly asleep on the couch and I was sitting at my computer wondering what to say, a feeling of despondency settled over me. But then I remembered that Joshua was not instructed to march around Jericho just one time....and that Naaman wasn't instructed to dip into the Jordan just once, and so forth. I then went to the web site and reread all of the guest book entries, and the e-mail you have sent. I was humbled by the many prayers being offered for Janet, the encouragement, the moving testimonies of God reaching down and touching your lives and the gentle reminders of how "God Will Make A Way" for Janet as well. Thank you!
OK, now for some good news. Janet has followed quite a bit of the advice from those of you who have blazed this trail before us. She has gargled 4 to 5 times a day with warm salt water and has not experienced one mouth sore. She has also followed many of the suggestions of what to eat, how often, etc., and has experienced almost no nausea.
On the other hand, she has not followed the advice on the importance of resting and taking it easy. Janet is a dynamo and really has a hard time gearing down and coasting a bit....oh well, 2 out of 3 for now is not so bad!
We have been informed by numerous sources that the second treatment tends to take a greater toll on the body. I guess because of the cumulative effect of the treatment and also 3 weeks is simply not a sufficient amount of time to completely recover. Because of this, I will post an update in about 5 days from now letting you know how Janet is doing relative to the 5 days following the first treatment.
We covet your prayers and friendship. Please know that your encouragement sent via snail mail, e-mail, feedback form, and the sub/unsubscribe route are read and appreciated more than we can ever convey.
Please continue praying for Janet and her husband, John. Feel free to visit her website, and to send her notes of your prayers, encouragement, or anything else you may want to send her.