I woke up yesterday and got the kids ready to go to my brothers house. Then I opened up a book and it had a Robert Frost poem. It reminded me of the drawing my friend Paula had somebody make for me from the Steam Rorschach blob on my wall. Two paths diverging and me at a crossroads. Kind of like the two arms of the trial.
If there was a way to explain how it feels to be in a trial, it would be the VIP treatment… Very Important Patient.
My trial coordinator Pushpa was waiting for me by the doors of the cancer center. She has a big binder with my name on it and all these numbers. She had an updated agreement for me to sign, as they’ve added MORE side effects. Im glad I did all the exercises that Speed Reader taught me when I was eight and used to watch “The Great Space Coaster”. I was able to leave my body for the few minutes while my eyeballs scanned the pages of side effects. If I don’t really read them, they won’t happen, right?
Then she came with me for my oncological physical exam. My oncologist measured the tumors and they didn’t shrink like I thought. I also felt it when she felt the tumor in the armpit from the lymph nodes. But I explained to her my plan of them dissolving and going away in three months, and that oddly enough, I felt calm about it. I said I felt panic the last three months at the unknown feeling of thinking it was awake and growing, but now that I know what I’m dealing with, I’m calm. She gave me a score of 100% on the positive outcome scale. She gave herself an 80%, so we have a 90% average together. It was nice to hear.
She said how crazy it is that they won’t tell her if I get the chemo because she will know from my blood counts. I said me too, as I’ve become pretty good at reading my blood, but my blood is going to help them cure cancer, so we’re all good. I explained to her about all the leafy greens I’m doing and zero sugar, not even fructose. She likes the diet change.
Then we went for bloodwork. It took two tries to get a vein, and they filled up eight vials. Pushpa wrote down the exact time they took the blood. We walked out of the room at 11:11. I kid you not.
Then they brought me to another room and called for an extra nurse. They explained they would both inject the needles and push in the medicine at the same time. Then?
“Ok, pull your pants down, bend over, relax your knees a little, try to breathe though it, and hold on…3…2..1…now.”
The needles had to go into my muscles right above my burr, and the pain, pressure and burning was intense. One side hurt really bad and then the other caught up to it. Rob held my hand which held the cross as I gripped the chair. I think I did the silent scream face from that famous painting.
Then it was over and they wrote down the time. 11:16. That’s my birthday. I took it as a sign.
Then Pushpa went to get the pills from the pharmacy. It struck me that the placebo pills are sugar pills. Sugar feeds cancer. How crazy is that? It should be turmeric pills. I have to take three ginormous pills a day at the same time and record the time, as well as any side effects I feel. I may write some extra prayers on the page for motivation, as well as little holistic alternative things and ideas for the scientists to read when they go over my work. Covert education and ministry.
My friend Cathy told me she had a friend who worked there, and wouldn’t you know, I met the friend yesterday. Heather gave me a hug before my exam and a hug as we were making all of the follow up appointments. She prayed over me and it was a lovely moment.
Rob went to make sure something else was taken care of, and an elderly woman and her daughter sat by me. This woman said she just got two shots in the butt, and I said I did too. She looked shocked when I told her my diagnosis. She told me she was told she had just a little time left to live…twenty two years ago.
Then she asked me…”Are you afraid today?”
I took a pause… then replied honestly.
“No, I’m not. I cant explain it, but the last few days I’ve been filled with peace. I prayed for peace and healing, and He is giving it to me.”
Her eyes lit up, and she said that’s the secret. She said everyone else can worry, but she gives it all to Jesus. She said isn’t it wonderful to not have to worry anymore?
And it is.
Yes, I was in physical pain. But I’ll take the physical pain over the emotional and spiritual and mental pain any day.
We went to get a quick salad as I had been fasting for eighteen or so hours, and that’s when I got the call to bring Maddie for her first job interview.
I brought her home from my brothers house, had her change, she typed up a letter with her accomplishments, and off we went. After her interview she had to interact with campers and the director talked to me. She said Madison is very different, and she hadn’t met any kids like her. We discussed how she doesn’t have any social media, and I truly feel that has made her more confident. She doesn’t do things for “likes”, she does things because she cares about what SHE thinks, not others. She was hired on the spot, and was excited.
Then we came home and she went to work on some homework and then a book she has been writing for over a year.
We were going to take Maddie out for dinner, but I was in too much pain. Quinn has a bad cold and cough, so I cancelled a sleepover we had planned for them at my brothers and they came home.
We all snuggled, and then went to bed.
I’ve decided I’m going to get my hair done today. I read one of the side effects is more hair thinning, but I figured if I’ve got it now, I might as well do what I can with it. Raquel checked and it doesn’t have the bad carcinogens ingredients so I’m excited to go sit gingerly in a chair.
I have to work tomorrow and Friday.
I wish I could stay home and rest more, but being at work gives me purpose. I’ll take it as easy as I can while surrounded with twenty two five year olds.
Today may all the medication in my body work synergistically with my herbs, food, prayers, and meditations to heal my body, and make me one of the radical responders, and if not, one of the new generation of chronic thrivers of stage four cancer.
In Jesus’s name, amen.