Just a brief update:
On Tuesday, September 8, I received my first round of the new chemo. It was a very long day (took 5 hours total), and I was exhausted by the time I got home.
Wednesday I woke with a debilitating migraine and by mid-afternoon I was throwing up, unable to even keep my anti-nausea meds down. When Bri got home from work, we were ready to call the oncologist on call and considered an ER visit for fluids and pain relief. God graciously stopped the vomiting and I fell into a merciful sleep and woke with no pain or nausea the next morning… and avoided a hospital visit!
We don’t know if the migraine was from the chemo or just a migraine like I occasionally get, so I guess we will see what my next chemo holds.
Two days later, on Friday evening, Brian left with the boys for a youth retreat, and I started feeling achy in my abdomen and back. By Saturday morning I was in agony and the hydrocodone I have on hand did nothing for the pain. My sweet Audrey took such good care of me, and we curled up to watch Anne of Green Gables and laugh and cry together. By evening I was having low blood pressure drops and once again considering a call to the oncologist on call. Instead, we went to bed early (I love having her snuggled in close with me).
I woke better Sunday morning, but still weak and in considerable pain. One of my oncology nurses goes to our church, and I found him during the Sunday School hour. “How do I know when to call?” I asked him. I shared all I had been struggling with and why I didn’t want to call, and he encouraged me that it’s never a bad thing to call, especially if it alleviates pain and fear. Then I sat with him and his wife and we shared about life and struggle. Such a gift.
Monday the pain had dissipated some more, but still was debilitating. I went to the cancer center for lab work and got a very kind finger shake from the pharmacist who said I should have called and didn’t need to muscle through. Their heart is for me to not be in pain. So I will know better next time (hopefully there won’t be a next time though!). They’ve been watching my labs for the past two weeks, and my blood counts are low but not of concern. I just need to be careful.
I am very fatigued and emotional with this go round, but am starting to feel more spunk in my step. I’ve been able to work most of my hours and go to Bear’s football games and do some light cooking and housework. I’m hoping this week will be my best yet and am looking forward to running some of my own errands and enjoying working around my house.
I have been struggling to find encouragement and aching with the way this disease isolates me.
I’ve missed out on so much over the years and it’s intensified these past months as we’ve battled this new metastases. We used to have people in our home regularly, and now our home stays quiet and the doors don’t swing open the way I wish they could. I struggle with the loneliness that comes with chronic illness.
One of our children’s sweet teachers came to my car last week at carpool. Tears streaming down her face, she reminded me that I am doing what I must which is caring for my family first and that may be all I am able to do and that’s okay.
“Remember,” she reminded me, “Jesus holds you. Cancer doesn’t hold you. Life doesn’t hold you. Disappointment doesn’t hold you. Even loneliness doesn’t hold you. Jesus holds you.”
I am clinging to that this week.
My next chemo is Monday.
But I am thankful, too, for another birthday. After all, “Happy Birthday” is my victory song.