Just wanted to fill y'all in on where I'm at...
The short-and-sweet of it is that chemo treatment both was and was not what I expected. I didn't plan on feeling so weak, so fast. For days I had only three complaints- weakness, soreness, and mild nausea. By far, the worst of it was feeling weak.
I would be lying in bed thinking that my arm was hurting and just willing myself to gather the energy to move it. I'd lie there and think, "Move it. Do it quick. Just move it and then you can go back to sleep."
Then I'd realize how pathetic I was to be so tired! (I really was blessed to have none of the regular gastrointestinal difficulties that come with chemo. And I had no reason to whine about fatigue!) So I'd get mad at myself and think of all the people who had it worse and had handled it better. I'd have great moments where I'd feel like I could sit up and chat for hours, but just as quickly I'd get knocked back down.
I already knew this was going to be a physical battle, but I couldn't have imagined how mentally challenging/draining it would be. I've had one thought echo through my head so far. Over and over, I hear: Not self-reliance. Lean on God. Not self-reliance. Lean on God.
Cancer and the subsequent draining of the first chemo treatment has truly been the only issue I've ever faced where I haven't been able to plan and plot my way out of it. I've been trying to own that, trying to give this up to God. And I guess he's showing me that I'm still too egotistical-- he doesn't just want me to give my cancer struggles up to him. He wants me to lean on him in every decision. I've been bad about that...
Anyway, here we are--- day 6 of chemotherapy #1. And I'm in the hospital. I got a fever late Monday night. Took Tylenol PM before bed and still woke up feeling badly. But, drugs worked their magic and by late morning I was better. Unfortunately, when the drugs started to fade, the fever came back. We called the onco and they said not to take anymore pain relievers. They wanted to know how high my fever was without the supressing supplements of the medications. Without the meds I realized right off the bat that this was not going to be good. By about 5 p.m. I was pretty miserable and when my breathing started hurting and I got short of breath, the onco said to head to the E.R.
The 3.5 hours it took them to get me pain relief that night were the most physically taxing I've ever spent. Having cancer makes you think some pretty morbid thoughts sometimes, but lying in agony on a cot, listening to the cries of people around you, and feeling like you'd give anything for relief from pain can lead a person to have some down-right scary thoughts. Again- this battle is at least half mental.
I got a room in the hospital by 1:30 a.m. The admitting process wasn't complete until 3. I fell asleep around 4 and the first nurse came by at 4:15 for my vitals. We all know how sleeping in a hospital goes!
Today I felt better. I've been given antibiotics, nausea meds and pain relievers. But around noon I started feeling badly again and within an hour things were back to the way they'd been last night. I had the chills and couldn't stop shaking for nearly thirty minutes. Pain relief wouldn't come and so they've added another drug which has kept me in less pain throughout the rest of the day.
They've done numerous tests and so far everything is checking out ok. We'll be here another night while they try to find the source of the infection they think is causing the fever.
I know this is a long blog- and since I'm so drugged up, it might even be a bit incoherent (although my college professors would tell me nothing can be a "bit" incoherent. Either it is, or it isn't.) but I wanted to give an update and I wanted to ask for your prayers:
The boys have had a myriad of babysitters in the last week and I know they must be starting to feel uneasy. Terry's missed too much work. And of course, we ask for prayers regarding my health. This is only the first of 6 treatments of chemotherapy. Right now I can't even imagine voluntarily sitting down to get the next treatment. It's going to take a lot of will power-- a lot of God-- to get me through. Thanks for seeking him for me.