Chemo round #3 brings me half way through active treatment, meaning I have 3 more chemo therapy sessions to go! Yeah! My last one will be tax day, April 15. I met a lady, last week, who is going through the exact same regimen with me, started at the same time and comes every week as I do as ironically we were seated next to each other yesterday. We asked the nurses to put us together from now on! She is a bright light in the room, an uplifting smile and positive force. The hospital is doing construction of the chemo ward for 6 weeks, so some of the rooms are very crowded and tight. Tim was not allowed to bring in an extra chair to sit with me, so he waited in a nearby waiting room with a tv, and my new friend and I chatted for much our 6 + hours in the chairs. Tim brought lunch to both of us and we were very grateful. For me, nausea set in right away despite the three drugs they gave me for it. On the way home I breathed in an aromatherapy pen a neighbor had given me and it seemed to work this time! Then I ate ginger cookies and tea that another friend gave me and again they seemed to work better than the drugs! I slept through until about 3:30 a.m.when the steroids woke me up and made my mind jittery and unable to fall back to sleep for two hours. Again, nauseated. Ugh.
Some have asked me “is the chemo working”? This is an interesting question. The way my doctors have described it to me is that after my surgery, chemo therapy and hormonal therapy thereafter, is like an insurance policy against any rogue cells that my have traveled away from my tumors into other areas of my body prior to surgery. There’s really no way to know (other than scans) if they are there in number large enough to be called cancer, so if they are there, chemo should theoretically knock ’em out, kill them off. Scans might light up “something” but what that ‘something ‘,is, or could be is very speculative (since scans light up everything, both concerning and non-concerning) for someone at my stage and a wild goose chase , all the while biopsying and surgically going after quite probably nothing, especially without symptoms or blood work concerns. That’s just not practical. The one thing they are checking regularly are my heart and liver funtions, and my healthy breast, every 4 – 6 months, liver function every 3 weeks. Other than that, they are going off statitics of this therapy and results obtained through years of studying other women. I hope that clarifies this.
I talked to my sister the other night for a long time. She lives in another state, and I haven’t seen her in almost a year. I told her if I wrote a book one day I think it would be titled We All Have A Story. We do! Every person I meet along this journey, including my own family, has a story to tell of pain, disappointment, struggle, healing, determination (This is me and my sister, Diane,in Las Vegas where shelives, last April) and God’s grace in their lives. I am not unique to this. I draw a lot of encouragement hearing the stories from other people and how they have found stength to run the race before them. Cancer is just one of many tools God has to bring us closer to Himself, a reliance upon Him, and an acknowledgement of His power. Once you’ve experienced it, there’s no turning back and you want to tell your story!
Thank you again for your prayers and please continue to ask God that this nausea subside so I can feel myself again very soon.