Round #2 of chemotherapy is complete, and I could not be more grateful!! This means I am halfway through treatment and the expression below pretty much sums up how I feel about that.
Actually, that may have been the Ativan talking. But you get the picture.
God has given me everything I need to be able to sustain this challenging journey (Philippians 4:19), and a huge part of that is your continued prayers. Thank you so very much for your calls, texts, cards, comments, food, errand running, carpools, love, support and encouragement. You literally are the conduit through which the Lord provides peace and endurance to me on a daily basis. I hope you know that even if I don’t respond, I read every single thing that pops up on my phone. Your words are life-giving.
Round two was similar to round one in that it sucked (sorry, mom, I know that’s not lady like). The actual chemo portion is not bad at all – it’s mainly just the cold capping that bites the big one (to which I have to remind myself that I SIGNED UP FOR THAT). To have a frozen head for 7-8 hours in one day is something I pray you all never have to experience. Sandy, my cold capping angel, swaps out these frosty caps every 20-25 minutes for up to 8 hours on the day of treatment. And every single time a new cap is placed upon my head, it stings/burns for approximately 2 minutes until my head freezes and goes numb. Never have I ever related so much to a Disney character as I do to poor Elsa. #frozen
Oh how I wish I could LET IT GO.
Thankfully, my amazing gaggle of friends and family rallied around me again at the hospital and provided much needed comic relief and distraction throughout this process. Molly, my dear friend from College Station (and the one who accompanied me to MD Anderson) drove in to hang with me for awhile which I greatly appreciated.
It’s so hard to explain how all of this works, so unless you are there in person I don’t feel like you really appreciate my complaining!!! 😉
My other sweet friends and family floated in and out throughout the day and brought new conversation and life to the ‘party’ each hour (steph and Jen I’m sorry we didn’t get a pic!). What a blessing these people are in my life.
And then there are people like YOU. The ones not pictured above, but bringing me meals or running my kids to and from school and practices. The one leaving me precious gifts on my doorstep or sending heartfelt cards or texts. It takes EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU to get me through this and I want you to know that you are just as appreciated even if you aren’t pictured!!!!!
The side effects of this round have been much better but also much different. Sweet Dr. O’Shaughnessy had so much compassion for my horrendous bone pain last time that she allowed me to only receive 1/2 dose of the Neulasta this time around. That has significantly decreased my bone pain and there has only been one night that it has awakened me thus far which is a HUGE improvement from last time. Thank you Jesus! I might actually feel like snuggling Trevor on the couch in a day or two.
Other side effects are numbness and tingling of my toes (neuropathy), weakness, insomnia (I NEVER EVER thought I’d be wide awake watching Mayweather and Mcgregor duke it out until 1am with no yawning like a boss), and hair loss. Yes, my hair continues to fall out (again, still to be expected even with the crazy cold cap) every single minute of the day. This, for some reason, has been the hardest on me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m working so hard the day of chemo to prevent this and it doesn’t feel like it’s working, or if I’m just really vain and I didn’t know it!!! I have to wear a hat everywhere, and fear that if the Royals saw me these days they might label me a “try hard”.
But I assure you I am not. So please give me grace if you see me around in my fedora…I’m NOT trying to be fancy. I’m just trying to conceal the nappiness that atops my head at present moment. You are WELCOME.
And even though I make jokes about this in my blog, I am in tears as I type. We reached an all time low this morning when, before church, my middle son announced that he had found my hair in his cinnamon rolls (SO GROSS). He didn’t stop there, however. He suggested I get a hairnet when making breakfast from now on. And he wasn’t kidding. I don’t know about you, but I think even Kate Middleton might have a hard time pulling this off.
The emotional toll (due in part to the physical toll) of cancer related things is brutal. And today is one of those days. I dare say that Golden Retrievers would even be jealous of my shedding. Supposedly this slows down (please dear LORD), but please pray for me (and the cinnamon rolls) to tolerate this nasty side effect.
On a positive note, I felt good enough to participate in some school activities last week (pep rally, first day of school for my oldest, football scrimmage, meet the teacher, etc.). I do not take those things for granted anymore and have a new appreciation for the privilege to be involved. I have some great pics of these events, but my teenagers have put the kibosh on me posting pictures of them so I will refrain (for now at least). (Don’t they know their mom posts pics of herself in a COLD CAP for crying out loud?!).
So now we wait. In a few days, I will feel back to normal Lord willing and will have 2 good weeks of that. My next treatment is September 12th, which happens to be a few days before my awesome husband’s birthday. And I think I have the perfect gift for him.
Until next time…much love to you all & make every day count,