It’s been so long since I’ve written. I know it’s been a long wait. This cancer process is a draining process. Mostly I try to not to think about it. Some days it makes itself known to me in spite of whether I want to think about it or not.
I am thankful I had the port put in though. That was so convenient. They didn’t have to search for a vein in my pitiful arms. I never imagined I would ever need a port. But I’m glad that I got one. The surgeon who put it in was very nice. I went back to Baptist Hospital where I had my original surgery in April. He kept them from having to do a whole bunch of tests they had to do for pre-op because I had just had them done the previous month. That was so nice. I was in and out. It was great. The anesthesiologists are the greatest. Because I have the hardest veins to deal with ever I usually get right by those IV techs and get straight to the anesthesiologists. If the IV techs stick you once and have a hard time getting a vein then they have to give it up to the next level, which in my case was always the doctor. And he was always a perfect stick. SUCCESS!! But I’m very glad we don’t have that ordeal that every time.
My first chemo was on Wednesday May 22. It was a long day. I was so scared of what would happen. I’d never been in that situation before. So I was more afraid of what came after the chemo than the actual chemo. I had been with dad a number of times for his chemo. You sit down, they hook you up, he goes to sleep, the chemo stops, he wakes up, they unhook him and he goes home. I figure I can handle that. I knew chemo treated people differently so I wasn’t sure how it would treat me after the fact. To be worse no one could sit in the room with me. I was especially panicked because Ron couldn’t be in there. I’ve really come to depend on him to be right beside me. But they said I could go out and visit with him by the elevators as long as I was feeling ok. So Ron and the kids brought me. When I got there I realized how cold I was. I didn’t mention it. But Lauren mentioned it and asked if I wanted a blanket. Thinking she had brought one I said yes. Little did I know that she and Michael went all the way back home (about 20 minutes) to get me one and brought it back to me. That made me want to cry. I was already an emotional wreck. I wasn’t used to my kids being so gentle and selfless with me. We met at the elevators so I could get it from them. My heart was soft toward them already. It grows moreso every day. Chemo that day took 6 hours. I talked to all of the ladies around me about their experiences. It was a great day of bonding. That’s another reason why they don’t allow family members in with us. They want all of us patients to meet and bond together. I fully understand that now. It was a moving experience. I bonded with them. I’m not sure how many of them will be there when I go back. But I will start all over again. Cancer brings us together but our fight binds us.
The days after chemo are as bad as everyone says they are. I was hoping to have the Stokes gene when it came to chemo. I was hoping to not get sick – got sick as a dog. My fibromyalgia made it all worse. I hurt everywhere worse than any other flare I’ve ever had. My hair fell out. None of it was pleasant. But the truth is that NOW I know what to expect. I no longer have that fear of the unknown. I know what the unknown is. That helps my spirits in a terrific way actually. Before I started chemo I was scared of what was gonna happen. Now I know and I know I can live through it. It’s not my dad’s chemo unfortunately. It’s mine and I know what is entails.
So right now I am on a plane beginning our adventure to London. When Dr. Wheelock first mentioned I would have to have surgery way back on April 12 I told him that we had a trip to London planned for June that I have been looking forward to for a year. I made him promise on that day, before the scalpel ever touched my skin, that we would work this trip into the schedule. He said he would. Later on after surgery when we decided that chemo was going to be necessary I reminded him of that promise. We agreed that he would get in one chemo treatment before the trip and that I could certainly go. Originally the trip was going to be for 3 weeks. The first 10 days would be a PhD trip for Ron’s class at Dallas Baptist University. Then the rest of the time would be our own personal trip. We decided it would be better to take the personal trip out of it and just go on the school trip so I could get back to resume chemo as soon as possible.
So my instructions are to get home on Sunday June 30 and on Monday July 1 at 8:00 a.m. I call Dr. Wheelock’s office and let them know I’m ready to get back on the wagon. Starting that week I will resume chemo once a week every three weeks for 15 weeks. It’ll be rough but God says I can do anything with Him by my side. So that’s what we’re gonna do. God and I are gonna be going to chemo, meet new women, be an encourager and I will be a witness for Him. That’s what I’m called to do. Cancer is my calling. My life was dedicated as a child to His care and His service. This is part of that service. Not everything in His walk is sunshine and roses. Sometimes It involves some thorns. You can’t have beautiful healthy roses without a few thorns. So for now I’m the thorn. In a few weeks I will be a beautiful bright healthy rose.