After another 11 hour day at MD Anderson on Monday, we arrived home last night about 11:00. And let me tell you, I have never savored the deliciousness of those soft cheeks or the warmth of the sweet hugs from those kids of mine like I did last night! I grabbed them up the moment we walked in the door and held them oh-so-tight. I never wanted to let them go.
And I while I don’t want to spoil the moment for you, after our dramatic hugs, Maddie returned to her homework and Creed started digging through our luggage to see if he could spot a bright yellow bag from the Lego Store. So that sweet, sappy moment didn’t last long. 🙂
Just know this, it’s good to be here. There is no place I’d rather be, than in this house, with my three favorite people. When I’m here, I’m good.
My Monday began with several more tests. Oh the tests. They never end. Also, I was asked to sign up for two additional clinical studies; one involving blood, the other involving tissue, for future Inflammatory Breast Cancer research.
I am now participating in seven clinical trials, which apparently makes me a rockstar, because they gave me lots of buttons and pins. Oh, and a business card holder. So I’m really bringing in the loot in exchange for my body parts. Fair enough trade I suppose.
My first chemotherapy treatment went as well as something like that could go. The infusion therapy wing (fancy word for chemo) is designed to be a very calming environment. There are expansive windows with mountain views in the waiting room and a covered balcony with a fountain, lots of beautiful greenery and several exotic flowers. Hoping to enjoy that outdoor space a little more in the fall.
The private infusion bays (chemo rooms) have several amenities such recliners, full-size hospital beds, flat screen televisions and Blu-ray DVD players. I love the privacy and seclusion of the rooms.
Also, (and for some reason I just thought this was really cool), they offer room service. A very delightful lady came in and asked if we would like to order any food or beverages to be delivered to our room. Since I was milking this whole chemo situation and had already not-so-subtly suggested to Patrick that it would be real sweet of him to take me out to a nice dinner afterwards, we declined the food offer, but I did enjoy two tasty glasses of Cran-Grape juice. Cran-Grape and Chemo. Can’t beat that!
Interesting to note, my blood pressure was taken every 15 minutes. As you can imagine, I was a little nervous going in, despite the calming environment, and my first blood pressure reading was 129 over 94. Quite high for me.
Once we settled into my room and Patrick turned on my music, I closed my eyes for a bit and began to quietly worship. About 30 minutes later Patrick pointed out the monitor recording my blood pressure. 109 over 78. My systolic reading had dropped over 20 points in 30 minutes. Dropped. And during a time when they were actually expecting it to increase!
I was telling my mom about this and she reminded me that this is Biblical. I Samuel 16:23 recounts that when Saul was in a mood, “David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.”
I’ve mentioned this several times, but worship music has had a very powerful affect on my mind and spirit throughout this journey. I encourage you to find some God-honoring music that you like and listen to it whenever you get a chance. You will notice a difference.
So, Patrick was very sweet (and took the not-so-subtle hint) and treated me to a nice dinner after my chemo was completed. We wanted to celebrate because my first treatment was now behind me. I always look for a reason to celebrate, and that sounded like as good a reason as any. Our waiter thought we were so fun, so he gave us dessert on the house.
That’s an interesting word to describe a couple that has just spent 11 hours at a cancer hospital, but you know what? The joy of the Lord is our strength. My loving heavenly Father and my precious, praying friends and family have given us so much joy and strength during this time. (And the free dessert made me happy too!)
So how am I doing 48 hours after my first treatment? Still joyful, and still thankful for your prayers, but quite fatigued. The effects of the chemo are cumulative, so each week may come with additional side effects. My doctor tells me that in addition to fatigue, I will need to watch for possible tiny red bumps on my face and neck, and my hair could begin to thin this week as well.
Next week they bring out the big guns, so the nausea, aches, additional hair loss, and a very long list of other side effects could become much more apparent. Notice I didn’t say they would, I said they could. I have had so many people tell me they are praying for maximum effectiveness and minimum side effects, so I am holding on to that.
Either way, God’s got this, and I’ll get through it and come out on the other side healthy and healed. It will all be worth it, whatever I have to endure, it will all be worth it.
Have you met my kids? I’ve got to be here. I’ve got too much to do! 🙂
Thank you prayer warriors. I love you all so very much! Keep praying!