Today is a big day in a lot of ways.
It’s the first day of summer.
Summer solstice, a day when we have the most daylight.
It’s also Quinn’s fourth grade graduation ceremony. He is my last child to radiate from my school, and i was told I wouldn’t be alive to see this day.
Thank you, Jesus.
It’s also the day I begin a new chemotherapy treatment, capecitibine, the generic form of xeloda.
“Cappy Xappy, zapping tumors since summer solstice”.
The emotional roller coaster is hopefully slowing down a bit. I prayed and prayed yesterday morning for Donnie Yance and Dr Stopeck to speak to each other, as well as come to a consensus. Everyone sent me texts and messages of prayers and I got hugs galore. I cried like a baby at the Meetinghouse Deli before school when I got hugs at coffee, got it all out, then went to work.
I had gone to Target the night before and spent money on fifteen large plastic tubs. We had an issue with mold in my classroom, so this year I have to pack as much as I can in plastic tubs instead of cardboard boxes to keep all of my things safe. Plastic tubs aren’t cheap, but it’s worth it to not have to worry about throwing out half of my personal materials in September. The kids watched a Christmas movie, a lego episode, and a story while I packed the classroom and penny reorganized the closet. It’s been a week for us both as her mom passed away, so nervous and busy energy rules room between us.
I picked up my kids at recess and we did yoga. Paula has stopped by to drop off juices and saw how beautiful the children practice. Then the door knocked and four cheerleaders came in to drop off ice cream for my class. I had three of them in my kindergarten and first grade, and it’s always a blessing to be able to see former students as they grow up.
We took madison after school to get her hair cut short for the leadership academy she is headed to in two weeks. It was harder for me than for her. She looks great and now isn’t stressed over trying to get it into a perfect bun.
I received word that my team would finally speak to each other at 6:00 pm. I came home and continued to try and do some cleaning. Dinner was dropped off and I cried when I got it. I am so uncomfortable accepting help. It’s hard. It’s humbling. It’s admitting you can’t do it all. It makes it all real.
It’s also beautiful knowing that people love you. A former parent is cooking the meals and her husband dropped it off, and I cried, and got a hug. So thank you, everyone who quietly and secretly made this happen. I hugged Marc for all of you.
We all sat as a family and I looked at the time. It was 6:00 pm, the time my team was supposed to talk. I showed rob and I prayed, and we told the kids what was happening at that moment.
At 6:08, I got an email that everyone was in agreement. Xeloda would start ASAP.
It started to rain and we looked out the window, and a red bird flew right by.
My doctor said it was a nice conversation, and Donnie seems like a kind and intelligent man.
Then my phone rang and it was Donnie’s assistant, Erin. She had a couple of follow up items to address with me. She said Donnie will be changing my protocol again and that Donnie was impressed by my doctor and liked her.
Rob left the medicine at work, so we got in the car to get it. I looked up, and there in the sky….
Was a rainbow.
At the exact moment I saw the rainbow, my friend amy texted me that she was driving by my house and there was a rainbow over it.
I spent the rest of the night mentally preparing and researching how to best take this chemo.
-Drinking three liters of water a day, with a large glass before taking it and a full glass with it.
-using hand lotion constantly as well as foot lotion to keep hand/foot syndrome at bay.
-eat a half hour before taking it as partially digested food helped with nauseau.
-icing the hands and feet for a half hour after taking the pill.
I sent an email asking for clarification about a few other things, such as flushing the toilet twice and relations with rob. (No, I dont have to flush twice, only if the dog drinks from the bowl, which she doesn’t… and I could start ovulating again, and so precautions against pregnancy, which made me laugh.)
The chemo comes in that packaging that is bright yellow with warnings all over it about how dangerous it is, dispose and handle carefully… and I’m supposed to swallow it. I’ve decided I’m going to make videos to make me laugh. I’ll flip it, and not call it poison. I’ll call them love pills, because they will keep me here and loving my kids and rob for months and years to come.
I went to bed, grateful for everyone who prayed.
I woke up yesterday and spoke out loud in the shower as I cried to Jesus. I prayed my team would talk, would like each other, would come to a consensus, and a clear path forward would appear that would lead to healing, and I would continue to be able to live and thrive and live this beautiful life I’ve been given.
Not only did I get that, but I also got a red bird and a rainbow.
The same red bird that sat on my Jeep, as a week after two rainbows in the sky.
So now, I wake up and start drinking water. I’ll stretch, dry brush, shower, eat, then take four chemo pills and ice my feet and hands then lotion them up.
I’ll pack peppermint oil for nausea and pretzels, along with some juices.
I’ll teach all morning and pack some more, and take more of Donnie’s supplements. Someone contacted dr Snuffleuffugus and he responded he hadn’t received my emails, so I’ll email him today and update again.
I’ll watch quinn walk across the stage and cry. My last child to leave this building full of people who have helped us raise a kind and sweet boy during the hardest years of our lives.
Then I’ll come home and take four more pills, ice up again, and pray and thank God for this life, my team, my family, my friends, and the healing to come.
Summer is here.
So is the healing.
In Jesus’s name, amen.