CHEMO ROUND SIX: EXHAUSTED #danielkickscancer
You probably saw that last week we received awesome news of Daniel’s recent PET scan. 80-90% of cancer cells gone! Yay! Double yay!
Today’s chemotherapy infusion marks the halfway point in the twelve rounds of Daniel’s treatment plan. As you know, this is most often referred to simply as “chemo.” Please note my intentional use of official medical terminology. lol. #imlearning
I’m actually hesitant to share with you my thoughts from today. Our journey, you see, seems so mild when compared to what others are going through. I know some right now with cancer who are in such serious fights for their lives. I also know people with loved ones whose cancer has taken their lives. I ache for them. I know God is sovereign with a plan per person. His love is big and it’s consistent. I know He is worthy to be praised and trusted. No matter. But, I know their pain is recent, real, and raw.
What I’m about to share from our day of Chemo Round Six seems better spoken privately, intimately on my back porch with friends where I would so easily discern what to share, what not to share, and when to just be a listener. But, here I am exposed, with a clear calling to open our hearts, allowing you all to peer in… and just share our story through photos and journaling, leaving the results up to how God chooses to move on the heart of each of you reading. May God wrap His strong and gentle arms around you, encourage you, strengthen you, chisel you, challenge you, and may you run to him wherever you are in your journey in life. He loves you, you know.
Although we had rejoiced at “the most favorable news” from the PET scan, Daniel, his fiancee Gabi, and I were rather surprised that days later, we all found ourselves EXHAUSTED. We were WEARY. Three more months of chemo.Then 22 rounds of proton therapy (radiation). Do the pros of radiation outweigh the cons? When could Daniel and Gabi safely schedule their wedding date? Life was put on hold for this recent college graduate and his future bride.
Today’s chemo had Daniel curled up in his reclining chair, feeling the most nauseous yet, terrible taste in his mouth and gut, hungry but nothing sounded good, and just wanting to curl up, be warm, and be still. The smells just upon entering the chemo floor got to him… and then the scents of rubbing alcohol and saline used to sanitize the port, making way for the iv lines. He even wore a mask for the first time, but that nausea was relentless.This was also his first time to request one of their wonderful warm blanket.
First time visitors this chemo included his Granny and Papa and Gabi’s brother Bradford who perhaps skipped school, but you didn’t hear that here. Wait. You just did. Daniel’s big brother John stopped by, bearing the only thing Daniel would consume during his first seven hours of the day – an acai smoothie. It was a relief to finally see him stomach something. Even though the room was full, we all recognized the need for calmness and sat quietly doing our own thang or talked softly amongst ourselves.
We had a large insulated warmer bag filled with Chick Fil A sandwiches. And this time, also included were warm chocolate chip cookies. All donated by Chick Fil A. Wow!! Gabi, Bradford, and I handed these out to the chemo patients and their caregiver, making way for precious conversations. Each experience leaves me with different memories. This time we were moved to tears and laughter. One lady had a full head of hair last time and not a lick this time. Scroll through these photos and read each caption. She gave me permission to share her story and quote her on something that made us crack up! Two people gave me gifts that took considerable time. I mean, it’s beginning to be like a club up on that there chemo floor. #mamalike
I was glad to have Bradford experience this for the first time. I could see his fear lessen as he became more comfortable with hearing direct conversations where the taboo words cancer, chemo, prognosis were freely spoken. I wanted him to feel this and to see that God is good. I wanted him (and you all) to see first hand the different situations encountered, variety of personalities, approaches, attitudes, and the ways people choose to share. I wanted him to leave changed. I know I’ve been changed. I hope you feel the same way.That, through peering inside this journey of ours, you’re changed. Seeing cancer differently. Trusting God more. Attacking your own fear head on. Reaching out to others more. Lightening someone’s load. Feeling more confident in #lovingotherswell
Come experience Chemo Round Six with us as you scroll through these photos and read the accompanying captions.
Rhonda peaceinthemidstofitall ellis