The Ups and Downs of the Chemo Rollercoaster

Okay, so there are more downs on this ride than I would prefer but there are some ups too. Losing my hair has been an adjustment but I also no longer need to shave my legs! Showers are incredibly quick! In the heat of the Sacramento summer I stay incredibly cool: no pesky hair to trap in the heat!

Each chemotherapy infusion has its own challenges but each week off has its own blessings. My third chemo brought with it the unfortunate side effect of an ugly rash and blisters on my hands. It itches and burns. My fingers are swollen and my knuckles look deformed. I was showing a good friend and colleague my hands today at work and telling her that although it is painful I am thankful that I have a job that allows me to sit with my hands discreetly in my lap while I see clients. I actually don’t need my hands much for my daily duties at work. What a blessing I’m not a seamstress!

This past week I was able to run a 5k race with my kids on the Fourth of July! What a joy and surprise blessing in the middle of this trial. I love to run and when I found out I would be having chemo one of the things I grieved was my daily run. Running is my all-time favorite hobby. I turn on some worship music, head out on the bike trail along the river, rejoice in God’s creation all around me, and feel most connected to my Lord and myself. Knowing I would be giving this up for 4 months was depressing. I am so glad that I have been able to run a little during my week off from chemo. I haven’t ventured out to my favorite spots and usually just hit the treadmill where I know I can step off it if I get too tired or weak, but when I saw the local Fourth of July race would be in the middle of my good week, I was overjoyed! God continues to amaze me with His faithfulness and mercy as I move through this. He gives me strength and courage for each challenge and has tucked in some wonderful blessings at just the right time!

July 4th 5k

“The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom.”     2 Tim. 4:18

Tomorrow will be my fourth chemotherapy session and I will be officially half-way finished with chemo! Praise God for His goodness and mercy.


19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jenayu
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 04:51:20

    As always, I am continuously encouraged by your abundance of Faith in God. I am so touched and blessed, as I read your posts, that you have such a positive outlook despite the situation. I firmly believe God brings challenges into our lives so we can choose to grow stronger in our faith in Him 🙂
    Praying fr you and yours as you go into another round of chemo tomorrow. I hope you are doing well, other than the obvious side effects.
    In His name,


    “For everything there is an appointed time,
    and an appropriate time for every activity on earth: A…time to heal…and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3, 4 NET)


    • erinambrose
      Jul 12, 2012 @ 02:31:51

      Dear Jenayu,
      I know that my faith has grown since this trial began. I hope I am a much better person and Christ follower when it’s over. Thank you so much for your encouragment and prayers!!
      Hugs, Erin
      p.s. Tell your mom “hi” for me 🙂


      • Jenayu
        Jul 12, 2012 @ 02:42:36

        Hi Erin!
        My mommy says hello in return. She has been praying for you as well and hoping you are well 🙂

  2. Jenayu
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 04:52:13

    And also, thank you for sharing the pictures!! 🙂


  3. K-czuk
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 05:34:51

    I so look forward to your postings as they always encourage me and, to be honest, let me know how you are doing. I feel so weak in my faith sometimes ( I don’t know just how to say/express it) but when I read your postings of faith/praise/worship/strength I know that if Icould model myself after anyone I know it would be you. I am happy that you have the faith and support that you do. It is so obvious that so many care for and love you and I can readily see why.


    • erinambrose
      Jul 12, 2012 @ 02:36:51

      You are too kind and have truly blessed me with your comments! I am thankful my posts have been an encouragement to you. If I am able to shine God’s love than it’s a success. I feel so fortunate to have so many people praying for me and lifting me up at this time. Thank you!!


  4. lessandragr
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 08:01:55

    Welcome back Erin – and thank you for sharing your journey with us. I kept looking for an update from you and was going to inquire about you but thought better of it, realizing you are going through chemo and such. God bless and keep you in His light.


    • erinambrose
      Jul 12, 2012 @ 02:39:38

      Thank you for your concern. I don’t always have the energy or the voice to post often. I so appreciate your thoughts & prayers and for keeping in touch with me!!
      Blessings to you.


  5. Judi
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 15:50:14

    You are truly a positive light in a world that sees a lot of darkness from humanity….a blessing to those of us who trust in God’s goodness and believe in his healing powers. Stay strong and continue to find the blessings along the path you are on….congrats on your 5 k run!


    • erinambrose
      Jul 12, 2012 @ 02:41:41

      Hi Judi,
      Thanks so much for your kind words. We stand together trusting in God for healing and hope in the darkness. I hunt for blessings (like easter eggs) everyday!!


  6. David Timms
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 18:38:12

    Erin, I’m so pleased to hear you could do that 5K. As a fellow-runner, I can appreciate the frustration of having to ease back from it for a season. Praying for you as you place tomorrow in His hands.


  7. northerneaglet
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 22:00:41

    My mother once told me in a personal time of trial that, “this too shall pass.” I didn’t think much of her trite advice at the time. Now, I remember it over the decades as one of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given! I’m sure if you keep that beautiful spirit of yours connected to sacred Spirit that this too shall pass and your life restored to normal! Please know that you are encouraging many people right now.


    • erinambrose
      Jul 12, 2012 @ 02:43:44

      Your mom sounds a lot like mine!! Good advice and I will try to remember it especially on the difficult days. Thanks for reminding me and for your encouraging words. Blessings to you!


  8. tina ambrose
    Jul 13, 2012 @ 02:58:20

    I just wanted to tell you to know that you have been in my prayers. Katie just told me about your blog. Yes I cried. You are such an amazing women and I see God’s blessings through you. I love you guys and miss you. Thank you for sharing your ups and downs of all you are going through. I know God is walking the path with you right by your side.
    hugs and loves


    • erinambrose
      Jul 18, 2012 @ 00:12:05

      Hi Tina,
      Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to respond. I miss you guys too!! When we ran the 4th of July race, you were on my mind 🙂 Thank you so much for your encouraging words and standing with me in faith as I walk this out. God is bigger than cancer and I know He is with me.
      Love and big hugs,


  9. The Presents of Presence
    Aug 10, 2012 @ 00:00:58

    Erin ~ keep taking baby steps & baby runs! You are so awesome! I am so impressed by you and so inspired! xo


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