It is Monday afternoon, February 21st, and this is the beginning of an “off week,” as I tend to refer to them. I had round 2 of chemotherapy from Tuesday to Thursday of last week. I will go in again for the same chemotherapy drugs one week from today, on Monday the 28th. This means that this, Lord willing, is a blessed week of NO doctor appointments and no chemotherapy treatments: an “off week”. This also means that I am trying to cram an awful lot of “savoring,” living-life-to-the-fullest stuff, in to these weeks. That said, I don’t find myself wanting to sit too long at a computer. However, I am so touched that my silence on this site seems to make those of you who don’t know me maybe a bit more concerned, and I don’t want you to worry!
Next Monday’s treatment will be chemo round 3. All I know so far is that we are doing 4-6 rounds of chemo therapy and then I will be re-scanned (probably CT scans, possibly PET scans I’d guess) to see how the cancer is responding. At that point, the treatment plan will be reevaluated. I may switch to a different “cocktail” of chemo at that point. I’ve been told there would have to be VERY significant changes to my scans in order for surgery to be recommended. The cancer was initially so widespread in my liver that cutting it out was not an option. I wouldn’t have any liver left. Also there was no initial need to resect the colon, because I had no blockage or bleeding.
I realize that there are many people who would be uncomfortable with my lack of knowledge at this point about the long-term treatment plans/goals. And that’s fine. Everyone handles these things differently. For me, I’ve just gotta take it a step at a time. (I think God kinda laughs at our long-term projections and plans anyway.) My sweet, sweet dream is that my next scans will be crystal clear! If they aren’t, well, we (the doctors, me, Brian, etc) will cross that bridge when/if we come to it.
So let me clarify a few things. If you go to my “welcome” page on this site, there is a box at the top of the page that says, “My story”. That is where I am trying to update my medical situation and make sure that stays up-to-date. If something significant changes with the treatment plan, oops, VICTORY PLAN, then I will post it there ASAP.
I am using this journal to try and keep everyone posted on my physical and emotional well-being. If, God forbid, there is a significant decline in my physical health, I will try to update my journal quickly so that specific prayers can be prayed.
If I don’t update, please assume this:
I AM OUT SAVORING MY LIFE AND LIVING IN WONDER AT GOD’S GOODNESS.
Please don’t read this as anywhere near, “back off.” I truly mean to say that I am touched by your concern, but rest assured I will let you know if something big happens.
So a quick word about last week:
Chemo week is rough. Tuesday, the first day, is not really too bad. Appetite diminishes but minimal side effects otherwise. Wednesday, Thursday: rough. Weakness, fatigue, constant nausea, all food and liquids are gross but I force in what I can, some vomitting (but not much, PRAISE GOD), moderate abdominal cramping (bad cells being zapped, I hope!). I basically live on my couch or in my bed and remain in a horizontal position. Friday this time: actually pretty decent. Much less nauseated, though still not interested in eating and still very tired. For some reason this time, I had a fair Friday but then a bad Saturday (was actually a little worse than Wednesday and Thursday – have no idea why.)
Sunday: great! Today: also great! Today I actually did about 30 minutes of light exercise/strength training in the clinic where I work (or worked?) and it felt fantastic. So good for me emotionally. So far, no hair loss that I can tell. That may be coming down the road though, from what I’ve been told. But I’ve also been told (by the nurse) that there’s a decent chance I won’t lose enough hair to be noticed. That’s really so far down on my list of concerns though! But I’m sure some are curious.
I will leave you with one final thought – here’s some proof that God answers prayer.
Here’s a prayer I started praying several months ago, after Walt brought it to our attention in a sermon:
“God, let me make a difference for you that is utterly disproportionate to who I am.”
If God is touching as many lives through this story as so many of you tell me He is, it is completely disproportionate to this vessel: a painfully shy, introverted girl who has always sought to blend in and draw as little attention to herself as possible.
Yet, I encourage you to pray that prayer. For I am being blessed beyond measure on this journey. But watch out, because if you mean it, He will do it!
My love to you all!