- Peace for Shawn and I, for Kyle and Miranda and Braden and Connor, for our parents and siblings and nieces and nephews and inner circle friends watching and hurting as we go through this
- that God would keep soft our children's hearts toward Him through all the emotions of this hard journey
- strength and stamina; physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually
- that the cancer shrinks to gone, gone, gone!
- gentle side effects to this second round of chemo
- family unity, harmony, love, strength, joy, happiness
- anything else you feel God puts on your heart

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Week 1, Day 1: done

Brain is too tired to process right now, but that's not how my mind works. [smile] As you have discovered in this blog, I process and work through my emotions fairly close to, or in, the moment... and externally for you all to witness and read. LOL

Overall today was what I expected: kindness, compassion, not "painful" though I did feel the poke through the emla (numbing cream I applied to the port) and iced skin (just in case the numbing didn't numb enough). Was quiet and contemplative from waking this morning. God's peace was definitely on me and around me... even as I was having a full out temper tantrum primal yell over the stupid cowlic in the back of my hair... which i cannot reach due to the stupid shoulder problems the port exacerbated... and poor Shawn, trying, just has no clue about doing girl hair... I could feel God's peace keeping my tantrum to one big yell and not spiralling bat-crap-crazy out of control. And yes, even in the moment I could see the warped humour in that whole hot mess!

Anyhow... Finally got in the van, got to the lab for blood work, had blood taken, then sat for 45 min to wait for my chemo appointment. I was mellow and just played Boggle on my phone to pass the time. Wasn't feeling chatty at all today. Just quiet. Funny side note, when I am in medical moments I feel like I muster all this energy to answer questions, and yet the nurse is always saying "pardon?" and I need to repeat louder. Apparently my quiet isn't just mental/ emotional but it is physical, too. That's new for me.

Got to my 12:45 appointment (a short walk down the hall from hospital to cancer agency...amazing awesome blessing to be in one building) and then had to wait for another fifteen or so minutes for the blood work to come over (it was late). I didn't mind the wait, it just gave the emla (numbing cream on the port site) longer to work!
Then it was my turn.

At Chemo Teach we were told that my two caregivers could come to hear the info, but only for that first hour cuz space is tight. Sadly, that was misinformation so Mom had to wait in the waiting room while Shawn and I went in. The nurse was incredibly kind and so compassionate. When I cried, she cried with me, assured me how brave I was, told me I was doing good, promised that the nurses were all in this with me all the way. Wow. Wow.
May I ever and always be that kind of friend to the people I meet.

She accessed the port, I whispered, "I'm scared.. of the stab, of the weight of it, mostly of how it might exacerbate my already angry shoulder..." She was so patient and kind, took it slow. Just having someone tolerate my fear moments is the biggest blessing and help in getting through: I know I can, but I need my feelings, my timing, compassion and patience. The Cancer Agency staff are masters of this. Really good people readers. Wow.

Accessing the port was stabby and felt yucky and it did feel a bit sharp and diggy. Not horrific, but not "nothing".

As the saline drip flowed, so too did tears. Silent, sad resolve tears. Then quiet me. Shawn and Mom traded places as we were now an hour in and poor Mom was still outside. First chemo in, Mom at my side, quiet me.

Didn't have chat in me. This is how I do medical hard things: I hide inside and I turn off my thinking. I couldn't even come up with Boggle words. My Mom is fantastic, she has spent a lot of sickbed time with me and just roles with my moods. At one point she was trying to engage me and said, "but I was going I sing for you!" That caused me to laugh! So random! Seriously, so random! "If you sing I've Got A Mansion I'll throw this phone at you.... Reminds me of Grandpa M's funeral!" We had a good laugh. I loved my Grandpa dearly and I actually have all sorts of positive associations with that song and he and grandma singing it in their basement recording studio. They would record and then send 8mm tapes to missionaries in Bolivia! Way cool!

Anyway... The afternoon just rolled along without much ado. With about twenty minutes left in my chemo (2nd chemo in) I started feeling lightheaded, dizzy. As the chemo machine sang the little "I'm done" song, I started to fade. I could feel my colour drain, my body fading, my eyes closing... I was working hard to not pass out. Poor nurses, "she was doing great... What's going on..." It took about an hour and a bit to get some juice in me and cold compresses and eyes back to open and focusing. I hadn't eaten since 8am and so probably needed a sandwich to balance all the hydration! Bad Kristin, I know. But I am just not hungry and time just passes. Nurses and I agreed that I am going to set a timer to eat on a regular schedule. Also, one of the anti-nausea meds will make me ravenous w hunger so that should help!

Finally got home, plowed through a bowl of chili with rice (thank you to the friends who provided the dinners that I ate from!) and felt perked up. Until I took the anti-nausea meds... which make me nauseas. They did this morning, they did again tonight. Funny actually!

So, the day was pretty much as I expected, hoping the next few days are okay, too! I really put no expectations on the next days or weeks or months, a blessing that I acknowledge and and am thankful for.

Sidebar: The results of my blood work were very good, the nurse was very happy and commented that they were very good considering I was post-op! Thank you Lord!!! All those prayers for good blood counts and strong immune system and white blood cells... God heard and answered!!! Let's keep praying those numbers high! She said it is even possible to go through chemo with the numbers staying high: I know God is able! He whispered to me the other morning, "I'm bigger than this Kristin"... Again the message, trust me, I've got this. Thank you Lord! The other thing my numbers showed was that my one kidney, hustling to adjust to doing all the work by herself, is doing really well, too! Praise God!!!

And, my oncologist has actually split the one chemo into half today, half next week just to keep things easier on my kidney (that chemo is known to be hard on kidneys)... An answer to prayer for wisdom for my oncologist and medical team. So thankful. I am a thinker and a student and I really find rest in smart choices by the medical team... Who wouldn't! It's just reassuring, you know? So many silver linings in this day.

Feeling fairly nauseas now. Maybe a 4/10... I would take a Gravol if this was just an everyday day. I have an extra med to add against nausea that I'm thinking I will take if sleep doesn't help. No playing tough for this chick! Thankful for meds and the miracles that are medical science.

So, that was the day. I know so many of you were praying and loving me and my family through this day, thank you thank you thank you.


  1. You were a part of my day Kristin, never far from my thoughts and prayers. Glad for you that it's behind you... another step on the journey to cancer-free!

  2. Was praying for you today. Let the nausea's the body's way of pushing the "poision" out. It gets "better". The staff at the cancer agency is amazing! Sending love, hugs and prayers to you and your family. ~Barb Stingl

  3. You should have let Mom sing for you, she has a beautiful voice! What great memories of Grandma and Grandpa in the recording studio! I'm pretty sure they recorded more than "I've got a mansion.." although that my favorite :)

    I'm with Kim... you were never far from my thoughts and prayers today as well. I was in a training session at work and my concentration level was somewhere between work at the cancer clinic!!

    May the clinic staff continue to bless you and be blessed by you!
    Sleep well, love you!

    1. My thoughts exactly Kori...your Grandpa would be proud of you Kristin and your sisters...the way you are caring for and encouraging each other. Of course your mom and dad have been wonderful examples to follow. You are blessed to be a blessing!
      Much love, Auntie Sharon

    2. Thank-you Auntie Sharon!
      The bond you and your sisters (& brothers!!) have has also been a great example to us :)
      Thank you for your love & support for Kristin and Keri & I as well :)


Connecting through comments: