Today is the fourth round of chemo.
I remember getting the news that I had to do Adriomycin and cyxtoxin. Rob ran to school, I sat in my assistant principals office, we called my oncologist, emailed my herbalist, emailed Donnie, and I sobbed and sobbed as rob told both my principals the news. We had been warned this is the hardest chemo they have. We weren’t sure I would be able to work, as many are too exhausted and nauseus to function. I sobbed over losing my hair again… knowing this time it would all truly go.
I’ve made it through.
I continued to work, and we finally hit our groove in kindergarten. I managed to have an entire garden donated thanks to amazing friends, and we have a beautiful courtyard. There were fundraisers held for my oncologist, and this month we will be giving her a check to help fund her research. I shaved my head with my children and husband, and brought back out the wigs. I was featured in articles and wrote an editorial for stage four awareness. I called out racism and prejudice and sexism in the town and was banned from a group. I wear that as a badge of honor. I received a letter telling me I am no longer allowed communion in the church, was contacted by multiple news organization, and decided to have peace in my life over and exposing the evil that lies in men’s hearts who hijack the teachings of Jesus. People who talk the talk and don’t walk the walk are the worse hypocrites. I taught breathing and meditation and yoga and manifestation to over sixty colleagues. I’ve been vocal over the school bond vote, and continued to fight for our children… all of them.
I’ve learned to try and find the sick twisted humor in all of this.
And now, I’m getting the fourth round.
My back has been hurting more and more.
The tumor markers dropped, but today will be the really important one. They need to drop even more. You can’t stay on this chemo, as it damages your heart. We need the markers to drop so we can order just an MRI, then we need to find another chemo to keep it stable… and pray and pray for more research and more drugs to keep me alive.
I’m leaving the hard season and entering a storm.
The time before a scan is dark.
You could get great news, or you can get blindsided. I’ve been blindsided every single time for the last almost two years. Every single chemo they’ve had me in hasn’t even given me the three months breathing time. Maybe I’ll decorate for Christmas to help me breathe.
Today I head to the brand new wing in the hospital. It’s going to be all new today…new doctor office, new infusion center. Im not seeing my oncologist as she is in South Korea giving a talk to their medical oncology association. But I’ll see everyone else.
The last round hit me harder, and I’m expecting this one to be worse. I was supposed to play in the Harlem Wizards game tonight, but the chemo won’t end in time. I decided to take off this morning too, and clean the house. There’s nothing worse than being sick and looking at a messy house and piles of laundry. I’ll get a jump start this morning, then head to the hospital at 12.
Port access and labs are at 1:30.
Then a visit to the oncology assistant.
Then the chemo process begins at 3:00.
They push fluids and anti nausea meds and steroids first, then the syringes of adriomycin, then the bag of Cytoxin. I’ll be drinking tons of water and running to the bathroom. This chemo makes your pee red, and you have to try and flush it out as fast as you can.
I’m hoping to be finished by 5:00 or 5:30.
I’m not ringing the bell this time.
I’m hungry too, as I’ve started the fast. Nothing to eat from Tuesday night until Saturday.
People still get shocked and think I’m going to be done with chemo.
Then they hear we have to figure out a new one.
Stage four means chemo forever… until we run out of options.
Please pray the tumor markers drop drastically, this round of chemo knocks it all out of the body, and it stays gone for years and years and years and years.
In Jesus’s name, amen.