First of all, thanks to everyone who prayed for me for my port placement. It went in like a charm with no side effects from anesthesia. Thank you Lord!
Before the port I had a real roller coaster ride. We had a 10am appointment with the oncologist before the port placement. I was expecting NOTHING new at this appointment. Well, that didn’t happen. The doctor expressed real concern over the ordeal I had been through. This barrage of side effects was not expected. We can never know how much the influenza added to my problems, but she has to believe I had a reaction (allergic not side effects) to one of the three drugs. Now I’ll tell you another secret. At the first “class” I was told about this tiny percentage of people who go through cancer treatment without any hiccups along the way. This meant no hospitalizations or odd side effects. I decided in my heart then and there to be in that number and on day 9 was hospitalized. Now I was being told I’m in some tiny percentage of people who can’t handle the gold standard cure for my disease. What? Excuse me? I’m a failure at being a cancer patient? Well, that’s how I took it at first anyway. And, it was the first time a tear fell out of my eye in front of a medical person. I feel sorry for that. I know she felt bad enough before I let that happen.
So what happens next? Do I make new goals? I think not. They are too performance based and I literally have no control over my body’s reactions anyway. Instead, after a fretful night and a wonderful chat and prayer session with my beloved Walt (have I told you how much I love this man?), I am thinking I need to change my thinking.
First thing that came to mind was our pastor’s sermon from Sunday. Fr. Michael said the highest level of spiritual growth was to surrender. That means a lot of things to a lot of people, but as we look at Mary the mother of God, we see a difficult life full of surrender moment by moment to the will of God. Another words, “Thy will be done” and really mean it. What a place of no anxiety. What a place of trust. What a place to behold the face of God. I guess I’m beginning to think that Mary was actually a woman who could go with the flow. She wasn’t emotionless, but she was never doom and gloom. She just looked for what God would be doing next in response to the circumstances.
So what does that mean in my life today? Well, I’ve had all that prayer so I guess I don’t need that gold standard drug anyway. I have an oncologist who is working overtime to make my life more comfortable. I need to say thank you for that! She has decided the best thing is to delay treatment by a week so I will not be having chemo tomorrow. I can worry. But I’m choosing not to. I need a week to get stronger to feel ready for another dose. What’s the bright side here? I’m going to get to have a glass of wine with Walt on Christmas and celebrate the birth of Our Savior with a pretty sure thing of feeling at least as good as I do right now. I have no food restrictions until New Year's Eve. My prognosis has not changed. Thank you Lord for an oncologist who believes she can get me cured from cancer without me being miserable all the time. Thank you Lord that I have mega prayer power behind my healing so I know you will give my oncologist wisdom. And thank you, Lord, that when I have a bad day like yesterday, you will use those I love to get me back on track. And thanks for the roller coaster that helped me to grow. Life without faith is no life for me. Or anyone.
One other side effect that my body reacted extremely to is the hair loss thing. At Dr. Mina’s encouragement, I had Walt shave what was left on my head (not much) this morning. I had the most comfortable sleep that I’ve had in weeks. I had never heard that losing your hair in chemo was painful, but it is! Putting my head on my pillow has been a slow decline into extreme discomfort. If you’re a girl, think about what it’s like when you have a pony tail in too long or you suddenly try to change your part that you’ve had for years. This is the feeling at every root because they are all dead shafts. Ouch! So now, no hair, no pain. I’m okay with that.