I’ve been walking a mental tightrope the past two weeks, teetering between “This is it” and “This is my year.”
Teetering between wishing I had a crystal ball so I could know if the end was coming and reading the Bible and holding faith in His plans for me.
Teetering between looking on Facebook private groups for tips and seeing more women going into hospice and husbands posting their wives have died, and also finding Hope stories.
Teetering between seeing people post how chemotherapy is what kills people and then praying this chemotherapy prolongs my life.
Teetering between facts on pages about it is what it is and listening to podcasts from Dr Joe Dispenza on how thought can change reality.
It’s been a long two weeks off and a fast two weeks off.
I am so glad that once again God’s timing was perfect. How?
Well, if there was ever a time to find out that a 20% increase in chemo would make you feel like you’re dying, it’s during a rare full two week break where you have time to rest and devise plans with your team to never have this happen again.
As much as I didnt want to go into the hospital yesterday, it was the best thing to do. I tend to put on a brave face and pretend it’s not as bad as it is.
Apparently I am like the knight in Monty Pythons Search for the Holy Grail movie who keeps having limbs chopped off and continued to say, “It’s just a flesh wound! Keep coming, you bastard!”
I was in bad shape.
My oncologist knew the second she walked in and went right to work. She noticed the steroid puff all over my body, especially my face. The rash is covering most of my body now, and I’ve been terrified of scarring. She said it shouldn’t, but may cause pigmentation issues. I have to stay away from all heat. This chemo rises to the surface when around heat. No hot showers, no baths, and even though I bought gloves to wash dishes, it’s still heat with hot water. For a girl who hates the cold… I’ll be on ice.
Rob and I thought mouth sores/ulcers would be white. Nope. Apparently the red all over my mouth and tongue and throat are sores. All the way down the throat as well, which is why I cant eat or drink. The soup I thought was helping isn’t…. because it’s warm. So smoothies and cold foods.
My feet are also in bad shape, but Donnie and Mederi is overnighting me the special cream for the feet as well as a different one for the rash all over the body.
We asked if I should have some fluids pushed and it was a no brainer. The nurses got right to work, and I had the foresight to ask to keep the tube in my chest after they took blood before my appointment as I had a feeling I would have IV fluids pumped in. They also gave me morphine, to take the edge off of the pain.
I felt and looked like a cancer patient, like in the movies. It’s not good for ones emotional and mental health when that happens, so the morphine helped take the edge off of that a bit as well as the pain management.
I also wasn’t shy about pulling down my pants for all the nurses, even the male nurse, so they could see how I pretty much got every single side effect you can get from this chemo all at once. I had about a 20% higher dose than last time as we were going to try to push this to just once a month. The new plan is to lower the dose and go to every three weeks instead. Donnie always likes metronomic dosing anyway.
I’ve found out I can swallow the magic mouthwash even though it says just swish and spit. I’ll get it down the throat this way and clear up the sores there.
Donnie also has suggested cucumbers and melon, as well as his magic herbal powder to mix with coconut water and Manuka honey.
I’m up now and wired a bit, probably from coming off the morphine.
I’ve got three days to pull it together.
I’ll do it.
The steroid taper will finish by Sunday and my doctor said it will clear this all up. I’ll be all set for work by then.
I’ve got two weeks before next infusion.
We’ve got a plan.
I texted my siblings to keep them updated, and as I sent it, my brother rob sent me a picture of a sign he was standing in front of. The Joshua 1:9 saying, which i have on my necklace he gave me.
Be strong and courageous, do not fear, for the lord your God is with you wherever you go.
As I walked the tightrope yesterday, rob kept me on the line. My nurses kept me on the line as well and are amazing. Turns out another one of them is cousins with a teacher friend I work with, and the teacher had just sent me a picture of my sacred prayer spot in saint patricks cathedral literally ten minutes before I saw her cousin.
And of course my Jean, whose granddaughter I had several years ago in first grade. Crying in front of nurses who make you feel safe is a blessing, and God put them all there for me last night.
I also discussed my chinese herbalist, Donnie yance and Mederi, my blog, Annie Apleseed, radical remission, and how my fairy godfather rick Shapiro always reminds me to sticks to the plan, as he wrote the book “Hope Never Dies” and knows many amazing thrivers and doctors. Wouldn’t you know as I left the hospital I got a message from rick?
My kids haven’t had an easy vacation watching me struggle through this. Please pray for them.
And for rob.
And my parents. It’s not easy for any of them.
Thank you for all of your prayers. It’s always darkest before the dawn, right?
The good news is I’ve got some hair growing back.
One tumor marker jumped up… but another two dropped, and my liver function is even better than two weeks ago, and my labs all look good.
May it all continue to work.
It’s the chemo, not the cancer.
It’s the chemo, not the cancer.
I’ve got a lot more living to do, for many more years to come.
In Jesus’s name, amen.