*Good news – my liver enzymes came back down enough by last Friday that I was able to have my second round of chemotherapy on schedule today. Even better news – today’s blood draw showed all liver enzyme numbers back to normal. Thanks to all of you who were praying for this or just praying for me.*
At my second round of chemo today, I noticed that the chemotherapy room was full for a good portion of the day. Those that remember my post about my first round might recall how surprised I was by the large room and many chairs, but how few chairs had patients. I had been told that on many days they are full, and I just had difficulty picturing that many people all being treated for cancer, day after day. But I saw it today, and I keep meeting people with inspiring attitudes and amazing stories. I am convinced that on the 1-10 scale, 10 being the worst, my cancer experience is a 1 compared to most people I meet there. Yet the attitudes are consistently positive and cheerful, and giving encouragement to another patient is an automatic response, whether you know them or not.
Today was easier, because I knew what to expect. Heck, after an all-day chemo, two additional blood draws, two doctor visits at that center and two trips to the Image Recovery Center, that place is becoming a second home. I know where there are vending machines if I’m ever jonesing something that isn’t available in the honor snacks (all kinds of chips, crackers, candy, etc – at fifty cents each! Can you believe it?) I know what it means when my IV starts beeping like crazy, and how to unplug it and walk around when I’m getting stir crazy. Unplug it from the power, I mean, not from me. I know some of the nurses by name – and if you know me at all, you know how big a deal that is! I still don’t know all my cousins by name.
This round went much better than the first. The chemo drug that gave me a reaction last time went perfectly today. There were no delays or hitches at all. I’m only mildly queasy, which is very tolerable. And the Packers are in the Superbowl on Sunday!! Ok, I know that has nothing to do with chemo, but I had to say it! I wore my old #4 Packer jersey to the Cancer Center today and got a lot of conversation about the game. That made the day go quickly too. And of course, I know that God is with me, and I don’t need to be afraid. That is the main focus that keeps me good with all of this.
Also, the Lord may be opening up a new ministry opportunity for me. I have had to back off of many things I was involved in – another way that God was preparing me for this time. He moved me to step away from most of my involvements and allow myself to rest, so that my fibromyalgia would improve. It has improved greatly and has hardly been an issue throughout this winter, and now I am free from having to run to a lot of things. But today I met someone who is involved with a prison ministry, but from home. She does the correcting of tests for a prison-based Bible study and says they always need more volunteers. That’s something I could do while I was resting. The coolest thing about this ministry is that the inmates who graduate from it have only a 17% recidivism rate. So I gave her my info, and now we will see where God takes it.
It’s life 2, cancer 0 so far. I intend this to be a shutout. So I keep practicing my new cheer: “Die, cancer die!!” Well, except for on Sunday. Then I’ll be cheering with millions of others, “Go Pack GO!!!”
My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:1-2