- 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

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday: Clinic Day

Wednesday, Clinic Day (doctor and nurse)

Woke up to clear skies which means good roads.  Feeling happy about that!  My appointment wasn't until the later afternoon so I had a leisurely morning sorting through two new boxes of stuff out of the craft room (papers, pictures, memorabilia).  Had to go early for labs to make sure my hemoglobin was up enough to do chemo on Thursday.

Mom and I headed to Vancouver and enjoyed a nice drive, that HOV lane and the new toll bridge make the drive so much better, an hour each way!

Got to VCC, found parking, got into the bloodwork right away.  Had a new nurse, nice Phillipino guy that I hadn't had before. 

Because I am on a trial there is more blood work (more little vials... well, not so little, don't take all my new blood!!!) and special little stickers and extra paperwork and stuff, it's quite involved.  Very interesting, actually.

As my guy was getting all the vials ready and getting the stickers set out, and getting his paperwork organized, and before he found my vein, I was asking about these special shaped bottles on the shelf... like little whiskey bottle from a hotel bar fridge.  Those, he explained, are for testing for virus in your blood, they take a blood sample from your left arm into one bottle, then a sample from your right arm in the other bottle and from that can tell where the virus is in your body... because your body is divided in half (up and down)... isn't that fascinating?  As he was telling me I was saying, "thank you God for medical science, how cool is that!" under my breath!

So, as nurse was taking my blood he noted that I was on a trial (extra ziploc baggie with two extra vials to fill was the clue) and I said, "it's kind of cool to be part of something big, and maybe THIS will be the cure!"  His reply was that it is the cost of my time, lots of extra time, to be a part of a trial but that it's good to do because look at breast cancer after so many years of research and there is a cure!  So he was so happy that I was doing a trial.  It was nice, encouraging, and you see these people a lot so you kind of start to feel kinship and want to talk about more than the weather, you know?  The VCC is becoming a second home, just as ARH did when I was treated here.  As he was filling out all my stickers and paperwork a song I love came on and I started tapping my toe and smiling big (it's Pink's new song... "I really love you, but I hate you... it must be true love...." and he stopped what he was doing and turned to me and said, "You really like music. [pause] I have worked here for six years.  I can tell that you are a very positive person.  We know which patients are positive.  You are a positive person." or something like that.  And I was working hard to not cry because it was just such... affirmation... of me... being me... and still ME in the middle of all this "not my life, I have cancer? really... this is happening to us... yep, it is and flood and lice and  chaos and hard".  And I was so blessed.  It was good.

And then Mom and I walked up to the mall with the candy canes and had lunch while the lab people did their thing and interpreted all those stickers.   And I had a hot flash from my pre-chemo meds with sweat dripping down my head... no hair to catch the wet, me mopping hard at my head in the corner of a mall... ah, the good times we have!  And we had yummy soup and an excellent tuna sandwhich, because tuna sandwiches are always best when they sit wrapped in saran at a deli counter, why is that?!  Anyway, it was good.

Next was time for my clinic appointment.  And I was going to see a new doc (in my doctors' group, so they cover for each other and know your case and stuff), and then that doc was busy so I got a second new doc (also in the group).  And the new new doc was awesome!   He was a super chatty guy with an Aussie accent so that was sort of exotic and fun!  I shared with him that I felt like I had sucked at chemo for cycle 1 because I just was so down and mentally couldn't get my feet under me and it was just so ... hard compared to being on the chemo from round 1 which is one of the hardest chemos there is.   And he assured me that this new chemo is very common, one of those most used chemos as it is used for prostate and breast cancer (which made me feel hopeful because those are two cancers with cure rates!!! so I was happy to be using their same drug!) and that he sees a LOT of patients on it and every single one of them are down for 7-10 days.  EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.  "You didn't suck at chemo" ... seriously made me feel so validated and normal and like it wasn't my fault that I couldn't get past it, or that I wasn't praying right or doing something right... it just is what it is.  I was so relieved!!!  And I was so ... just smiling in my heart because I had asked God, that morning, to please let this be a positive visit... so far at VCC it's more clinical and science-y and, because I was only just beginning on this round they don't tell you the twelve things that "might" go wrong, they just sort of let it roll and see what symptoms you get... which I agree with... but it was so nice to hear this doctor explain about the side effects and that "you are putting poison into your body, it takes a toll and you need to rest".  Yes. I get that.  But, thank you for telling me so I can let myself off the hook!!  AWESOME!!!!!   I just felt like I wasn't trying 'right'.  I can't explain it, but it wasn't my fault and it was great to hear my medical professional validate my suspicions that it just was truly beyond my control.  I was still trying to do stuff, and I just couldn't ... so this time I will just do nothing and not fight it.  And maybe this time will be a little easier because I know what to expect.  Maybe.  I just feel... empowered going in this time, with this new information.  I am grateful.  God gave me the positive that I exactly needed!  Awesome!

And then we asked Kyle to stay home from soccer so Shawn and I could go out for dinner and have some time together... and we did and it was lots of hard discussion about some things that need to change here as we switch into chemo-recovery mode.  But it was good discussion and it was time well spent.

Wednesday was a blessing of a day!  

AND my numbers were up enough for chemo.  My new new doc also explained that with the chemo and trial drug I am fully expected to need another transfusion and will likely have further chemo delays... so that's normal, don't panic.  Okay, good to note.

A good, good day.


1 comment:

  1. You just don't know how addicted I am to your blog. I am so inspired, the journey you are on is not easy but I can see Jesus walking with you each step of the way. Your family ,in laws and friends are exceptional. I got tears in my eyes as you told of the large Costco drop off.. Just know we love you and will continue to lift you and your family up in prayer. Edna


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