It’s been a long, hard weekend. Friday I got a Neupogen shot to force my bone marrow to produce more white cells, and Saturday I got a second one. The good news is, as of today my white cell count is 1800 (six times what it was on Friday.) But that second shot was just too much for my body to deal with, I guess. The bone and joint pain that is caused by the stimulation of the marrow was just unbearable. I couldn’t sit, lie, stand… nothing was comfortable. Actually I would have settled for a lot less than comfortable. I was in acute pain constantly. I’m still in a lot of pain but it has diminished somewhat. Saturday night and Sunday morning was about an 8.5-9 on the 1-10 pain scale (using being in labor as a 10 for reference). By last night it was down to about an 8 and today is about 7.5 without pain meds.
I went to the Cancer Center today to get a scheduled blood test, and they could see how much pain I was in. I didn’t have to say anything. The nurses asked about it, called my doctor, and determined that my liver enzymes have been normal for long enough that it is ok for me to use Vicodin every four hours to get the pain under control. I cried when they told me that. I surprised myself, but I couldn’t stop. Knowing that I was going to get some relief from the pain, and just the kindness and concern of the nurses and the importance they placed on making sure that my pain got treated, overwhelmed me.
So now I am home, on Vicodin, and feeling about half as much pain as I was feeling previously. Very tolerable. I don’t want to be in a position where I am having to take pain meds too often or too much, but right now I am so thankful that it is available.
I’m looking at the next half of my chemo. It’s been explained to me that the further I go into chemo, the more depleted my body becomes, and the harder the effects are on me. In other words, it’s been easy up until now. And, honestly, it pretty much has. There have been a few days that have been challenging, but all in all it hasn’t been that bad till now. It could get more difficult. The important thing for me is to make sure my attitude is up to it. It’s easy to be positive and praising God when nothing is all that bad. The test comes when it gets hard. I don’t want to be one of those people who is full of words but falls short when it comes to practice.
That’s part of the reason for this blog. I’m doing my best to live my faith in public here. I’m writing my thoughts and feelings, pretty much as they come out, without much editing or rethinking, for anyone who wants to see them. I am giving you-out-there access to my journey through this season of my life, and by doing so, giving myself some accountability to be the person I say I want to be. I am choosing to walk this road of cancer, treatment, recovery and discovery by using God’s word as an actual guide and direction, and I’m sharing with you how that works for me.
This weekend I spent a lot of time reading in the Psalms. Some of them are very comforting, reminding me of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Some of them I could relate to, because they were crying out to God saying “Why is this going on? When are you going to make it better?” But either way, when I was just overwhelmed with pain, God’s word gave me help and something to hold on to, rather than just ruminating on how bad I felt and how scared I was that it wouldn’t go away anytime soon. Putting God’s word into my head is always an improvement over whatever’s in there originally!
Shout praises to the LORD,
everyone on this earth.
2Be joyful and sing
as you come in
to worship the LORD!
3You know the LORD is God!
He created us,
and we belong to him;
we are his people,
the sheep in his pasture.
4Be thankful and praise the LORD
as you enter his temple.
5The LORD is good!
His love and faithfulness
will last forever.