I love Donnie Yance and the Mederi Center.
For two weeks now, I’ve had a feeling of imminent death in my spirit. I couldn’t shake it. No matter how hard I prayed or researched…
I believed I was dying soon. Like three months left or so. The statistics came roaring back and the original prognosis was on repeat.
It’s a horrible way to live.
I spoke to Donnie and Erin.
God gave me yesterday, the day before I start this new chemo with horrible nicknames.
I went to school and wore my Disney Dapper Day dress with crinoline and put on red lipstick. As I styled my hair, I cried thinking how it was going to fall out again. The thoughts of this being my last school picture ever was on repeat, and it was hard.
I went into school and was immediately lifted up by seeing how my kinders were dressed. One little girl was wearing a bright pink felt crown with the words “Happy New Year”. I had a feeling her family couldn’t read what the crown said, and I asked in Spanish if her mom knew she was wearing it. She said yes. I asked why she was wearing it, and she said because she is a princess.
I said of course she is. So my class picture has a big felt pink crown in it, and I love it. Who am I to burst the dream and feelings of a five year old?
We had a great morning, and the kids loved the poofy dress.
Wait until they see my wigs.
At lunch my union president came and we had the discussion no one ever wants. I’ve had to have it almost every year, but this time was different and felt more real. We both cried a lot. He is looking out for me, and anyone who bashes unions can kiss my ass. God bless my union. If I were to die without a certain paper filled out, my family would lose out on my retirement. I never filled it out before because I felt if I did, the bad thing would happen. Now? I’m saying it’s my snowblower policy. When you buy a snowblower, it doesn’t snow. When you fill out death paperwork, you don’t die. He pointed out again everyone is going to die and he could get hit by a bus leaving… which as schools teachers, we are facing danger every day if you think about it. I reminded him that yes, it’s true… but I’ve had a bus with my face plastered on the side of it following me and stalking me every day for three years.
Needless to say, I needed a sliver of hope when I spoke to the Mederi center.
I had a whisper about how my dad has all these cancers twenty years ago, they all got cut out, then he had this same powerful drug prophylactically.
Every cancer is different. Science is finding out the cancer is made up of many mutations. I have several and one is very rare and most dangerous. I thought that maybe, this new chemo can affect the mutated cells.
When I mentioned that to Donnie, he referred to his 300 slide research PowerPoint he has on Adriamycin and said that actually….
This drug can be powerful on cells with that mutation if they are sensitive to it.
And there we go.
I asked about the liver necrosis and he said it could actually be a sign of the tumor dying. This is why detox will be so important to me, as when the tumor dies, I have to get it out of my body as my liver is overtaxed with the tumor burden. Perhaps I will try that grande ass latte. We will see.
He said that the intense pain and issue breathing is being caused by the position of the tumors, and it could be pressing on a nerve. Nerve pain is debilitation, and that’s why we thought I was dying last week. He said that I need to stay away from Percocet, as some studies show that these pain drugs help the cancer. I’m using the pain as my guide this week, as he said the pain should lessen within a few days of starting this chemo. If it does, that’s a sign it’s working. If it doesn’t, we will have to look quickly for a new therapy to try. His big concern is what do we use next. This chemo is one you can’t stay on long because of toxicity, and the issues it causes with the heart, bone marrow and bladder. So his brilliant mind and intuitive soul will be researching, meditating and praying.
He said his protocol should help me get through treatment very well. He said the crash usually comes day 7-9. We will see with me. He said I should be ok to take Maddie to see a college this weekend. So we are going to see how I do and then go live my life. Quinn will be camping all weekend, Morgan wants to spend time with nanny and grandpa. We will all take a break and live.
He mentioned a study he is doing with seventy plus long term cancer survivors and every single one of them had this drug. That also seemed promising.
He said the confusing thing is my labs.
My liver is healthier than most of you. He said the lab results show its functioning perfectly. The tumor markers only rose very little, and are not that reliable, as they are still close to normal range with all this cancer. I’m unique, that’s for sure.
We discussed his big benefit in November the weekend of November 22. He has some Grammy award winning musicians coming and it’s a concert to raise money for Mederi. He said there will be many survivors there and it will be good for me to be there. I told him he is like the wizard of oz, and just meeting Kym during the video shoot, and hearing from Hollie afterwards, was amazing. It’s like I’m Dorothy and now I’ve met the tin man and scarecrow. Others who are on this yellow brick road in cancerland and know what this is like. The journey is always easier to see the wizard with friends.
We discussed the fasting that Rick Shapiro messaged me about and it makes total sense. Cancer cells are like your ravers at a party. They go, go, go, and don’t stop. The healthy cells however, get lethargic when you sleep as when you don’t eat. They don’t get the energy they need. When the chemo is injected, the cancer cells go crazy and gobble it up, while the healthy cells are laying dormant going, “I am starving but have no energy to eat that.” I didn’t eat yesterday and just had tea and water. I won’t eat today or tomorrow either. I’ll slowly add soups and broths and juices. It is so hard, especially for a former stress eater who use to drink wine as well to take the edge off.
But after having the death bus stalk me for three years… I can do all hard things.
We finished the call and hope entered my soul again. I went to Morgan’s field hockey game and sat with my angel friend Amy. We talked and watched our girls play as the sun shined on us and the breeze was gentle. It was nice and needed.
Then I brought morgan home, tried a bite of the dinner that was dropped off so as to not mess up the fast, then went to the high school for open house.
My daughter is brilliant and I have no idea how she does it. She doesn’t have a lunch and every class is beyond my level of intelligence. Her teachers?
I love every single one. Every…single…one.
Screw what the papers say.
It’s not the teachers that are failing.
It’s the parents.
There were only five to seven parents in each class. It was easy to get through the halls. What does that tell you?
A small percentage of parents are involved. No one says that because it’s politically incorrect. I say bullshit. If you work, you take off for a night like this. If a stage four cancer patient can go the night before starting heavy chemo…
There are whispers of having to go to split sessions. Let me tell you, you don’t want that. I hope the district removes the sports complex and administrative offices from the bond and the town wakes up and passes it while also making sure everyone who goes here lives here. Crack down on the landlords who shove five families in a house. It’s not safe for anyone. Our high school is amazing. It’s also drowning. It’s time for hard conversations and people to come together to solve this crisis.
Our kids are depending on us.
It’s almost five am, I’ve been up sweating and starving. I have a headache and am anxious about chemo today. I’ve got a great nurse ready for me. I’ll see my doctor at 10, then chemo at 1:15. The chemo is red, and instead of “red devil” or “red death”, I’m looking at it as the blood of Jesus being injected to save my life.
I’ll wear red lipstick too.
I’ve said I feel like Job from the Bible, as it’s been trial after trial lately. May this latest trial simply make the comeback story that greater.
May today bring me out of the woods, as Donnie said. May it clear all cancer for good, and the miracle happen.
In Jesus’s name. Amen.
6 thoughts on “When Hope Comes Back”
Wow, you are an amazing writer and an amazing person. Hope is a powerful drug, so I am glad you got a dose of that before today’s chemo. I, and so many others, I’m sure, are sending you prayers and love and hope for strength and healing.
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Each time I read your blog it helps me to refocus on what is important in life.. I read this and think of you as one “ red hot mama!” I pray for you, your family and all those you reignite with your passion and courage ❤️
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Praying this chemo regiment is the one!!!
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You are fantastic and someone who teaches us by example everyday even when you don’t intend to or realize that you are doing so thank you for being my hero and helping me get through the day a better person. You have shown me so much to copy from you and fight my small battles compared to yours. Love ❤️ you and you are always in my prayers and on Sunday my Holy Communion is always offered for you and your determination. Love Susie.
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