Well, I completed my first round of chemo yesterday and it went a lot better than I expected. Thank you so much for all of your prayers, calls, texts, etc. It brings such a sense of comfort to know so many people are thinking of me during such a crucial and scary time.
As I mentioned yesterday, Kim flew in from Boston to be with me for my first treatment and I could not be more grateful. Kim has FOUR boys at home, and we can all appreciate how difficult it is to leave your kids during the summer to spend a few days away from home. A big shout out to her husband, Bob, for holding down the fort (and for sending us JD’s Chippery cookies!), as well as Kim’s friends (hey Jenn!) in Boston for carrying her load so she can carry mine. I’m so grateful for my friends.
My posse also included Trevor, my mom & sisters, Amy & Angela, Casey, Courtney, Stephanie and sweet Jane. Overkill?! YOU BET. And I loved every minute of it.
We arrived at the hospital around 10:30am where I immediately went to get my blood drawn and saw Freda, Dr. O’ Shaughnessy’s physician’s assistant. We also had the bonus of seeing Jen‘s nurse, Christina, and her oncologist, Dr. Osborne. They came out to the waiting room for a visit, which was bittersweet at best. Lots of tears ensued, but thankfully we had our JD’s Chippery cookies to dry us up.
None of this process has been easy emotionally given the constant reminders from Jen’s days at Baylor. But there is a sweetness to it all in the way that it almost feels like she’s there with us in spirit, as we sit in all the same chairs, say hi to all the same nurses, and laugh at all the same jokes. Oh how we miss our Jen.
After the blood draw and doctor’s visit, I went down to floor 3 to sign in for chemo. We were met there by Sandy from Chemo Cold Caps. Sandy is what I like to call my “cap concierge”. She was an angel and got every ready for me as soon as I arrived. Sandy is a cancer survivor and had actually been a customer of CCC prior to being hired by them. She has the most beautiful long blonde healthy hair now and served as a great motivator for me throughout the day to keep that stinking cap on!
As soon as I was called back, Sandy began to work her magic and put the first cap on when I sat down in my chemo chair. She put on a clear shower cap first, then the actual cold cap, then this HUGE silver lame insulated chef hat on top of all of that. It was just as attractive and comfortable as it sounds.
And no, you aren’t the first person to reference the character, Toad, on Mario Kart as my doppelgänger.
Now to appreciate just how cold this sucker was, this is how the caps were packed in dry ice before being placed on my head.
This picture was taken before we actually filled the remaining void spaces with dry ice pellets and added the second rack of caps numbers 4, 5 & 6.
I kept thinking this song would come on every single time we opened that cooler…
To which I would reply, ‘Too Cold, Too Cold’.
To add insult to injury, the nurse suggested that I also put my fingers and toes in ice while I was given the drug, Taxotere, to combat the possibility of neuropathy. It was all I could do to not bust out with ‘Cool it Now-ow’, New Edition style (thanks for the GIF, Chris Bone!). Seriously????? More ice?
Thank goodness I only had to do that part for an hour. The caps, however, lasted from 1pm until 9pm – getting swapped out every 15-25 minutes. Sandy mentioned that the first 2-3 minutes of the cap were the worst. Naively, I thought she meant just the first cap. But, alas, it was the first 2-3 minutes of EVERY SINGLE CAP. 20 of them. Nice. It was only through YOUR prayers that I made it through. Thank you so much!!!!
Today, I’m not feeling so great and honestly I feel like a wimp. I thought I’d at least make it to day 3 or 4 before feeling crummy. I guess you could say I’m an overachiever. But I was happy when Courtney texted me this morning and asked if she could take me up to the hospital to see Stephanie before her surgery. I knew I couldn’t drive myself because of the drugs I’m on, so this was a treat for sure.
Steph is now out of surgery and we are praising the Lord it was a success!! I envision that by Friday we will be having a pajama party and watching movies all day together. The perks of having a cancer buddy.
To express my gratitude to all of you in words seem impossible. The best way I know how is to say thanks for being so ‘Nice, Nice, Baby’. You have shown me love that I’ve never experienced before, and I pray that I will be able to pay that forward someday. The Lord is GOOD even in the midst of difficulty, sorrow, confusion, pain and sadness. I have experienced it first hand and hope that through this blog you might be able to as well.
Until next time…much love to you all & make every day count!!
PS: A HUGE thank you to Kathy for keeping Hayes this week, Catherine, Laura, Erin, and Courtney for getting Hunter to and from Drivers Ed, and Casey and Michelle for making sure Hudson gets to his 2 a days for football. I’m SO SO SO grateful for all of your help!!!
“Give Praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” Psalm 105:1