Today was chemo day! My appointments started at 11:00 am for blood work, 1:00 pm for Echocardiogram, 2:30 for my doctor’s appointment and 4:00 pm for chemo. After suffering through this awful cold all weekend……and not REALLY feeling any better until late yesterday afternoon……I was a little concerned that my blood work may not be where it needed to be for them to give me the go ahead for chemo. There’s always that chance that something could be “off” and the doctor not let me proceed with chemo.
When I got to my 2:30 appointment with Dawn……she had not received the results from my echocardiogram (even though they had asked for a STAT reading on it……it just hadn’t happened). That being the case, she wasn’t able to know if my heart could be the cause of my shortness of breath (sometimes chemo can cause the heart to NOT pump as fast as normal and cause breathing/lung issues). Strike one. Secondly, I was STILL short of breath……walking from the parking garage to the clinic, or walking and talking at the same time…..I still get very winded. Cause for concern. Strike two. Was my cold/respiratory issues in any way related to my shortness of breath? Was it random? Was it totally unrelated? Hard to know. Strike three. Was my body not responding well to the Taxol? (you know that 1% of the population that might not respond well……could that be me)? I think you see where I’m going with this. Today was clearly a strike out where chemo was concerned. Too many unknowns to proceed with Taxol #3. Dawn was probably more disappointed than I was – but I clearly understand WHY she made the call. Too much on the line to make things worse instead of better – especially before she had test results.
Sooooo……this week, I got a ticket to see the pulmonologist…..ASAP……as in before my next scheduled chemo on next Wednesday……that way, if things were GOOD, we could move on with my weekly Taxol treatments……..and should there be any cause for concern, then we would need to re-evaluate my treatment plan and see if we needed to take Taxol off the list of treatment options. I quickly asked if Taxol wasn’t going to be an option – would I have OTHER options……and she responded “absolutely”.
As always……Kyra in scheduling worked her magic……and I have an appointment with the pulmonologist next Monday afternoon for a pulmonary function test and an appointment to see the doctor. Hopefully that appointment will give us some needed answers and we will know how to proceed.
Was I disappointed? Kinda – but I think God had really prepared me for the fact that chemo MAY not happen today. While I was concerned it may be because of blood results, the root cause was different – but the end result was the same. Taxol #3 put on hold……pending further investigation.
And……as I promised in my very first blog…..I wanted to be able to go back and see how God had blessed me during this entire process……well, here is how he blessed me today.
Just yesterday, I had a visitor who brought me a card and a beautiful floral arrangement. I opened the card after she left. I was surprised to find several vouchers for parking at Duke. I said to my mom that I hated she had spent money on the vouchers – because every time I have chemo, as soon as they walk me into the infusion room, they ask “did you park in the parking deck today” and when I say “yes”, they hand me a parking voucher to comp my parking fees for the day. So I’ve never had to pay for parking thus far……I’ve always used the vouchers that they give me at chemo. Well……TODAY……chemo didn’t happen. And I didn’t get the voucher. Guess what – that gift of parking vouchers yesterday was NOT random. That was God, yet again, “going before me” just as he promised in Deuteronomy 31:8
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you: He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
He looked after even the smallest detail of the day……the parking fee. Ya’ll……you can’t make this stuff up. It’s yet another example of just how good our God is and just how intricately He takes care of our EVERY need.
So who can really be upset when God winks at you like that and reminds you that He is still in control…….and I just have to trust Him.
And in happier news……I just have to brag on the awesome folks at my son’s school. For several years, the girls volleyball team has hosted a “Dig Pink” night, where they sell t-shirts and baked goods in an effort to raise money for cancer awareness. Each year the event has gotten more attention and a little larger and last night, they hosted their “Dig Pink” night. These girls, along with some wonderful help from Mrs. Hawkins, their coaches and school staff and volunteers pulled off a phenomenal event. Over the past year – several members of the volleyball team had members of their immediate families diagnosed with breast cancer. The mother of two sisters on the team was diagnosed late last year, one of the team’s grandmothers was diagnosed earlier this year and somehow…..they included ME – I have no “direct” connection to the team other than (a) being from a small town and knowing most of their families all my life and (b) the girls being friends of my niece and son. Well – these girls celebrated the 3 of us and others who are fighting or who have fought this nasty disease last night.
It was so awesome to see the gym filled with folks wearing their “Bulldogs for the Cure” t-shirts, pink balloons and banners everywhere……..pink roses for those effected by cancer….just a truly awesome night. Even the volleyball they played with was pink and white!
While being honored by these folks was awesome – what warmed my heart even more was the fact that these young middle and high school girls were “all in” for a cause that had touched them personally. And while these girls make a big impact on the court, the impact they have made on the school and our community and myself is HUGE. At their young ages, using their sport and something they love to bring cancer awareness to others and raise money to for the cause……..well, that’s making an impact on the community at large. Not only are they great kids and wonderful athletes……they are AWESOME human beings as far as I am concerned.
With such a full heart from last night’s event…….it’s hard to be too disappointed in my week. I can ride high on the emotions from the “Dig Pink” event for awhile. It surely made the news to of today much easier to bear.
So girls……if any of you are reading this…..please know that I love ALL of you and I love watching you do your stuff on the court…..and while I’m proud of you guys claiming your 4th straight conference title…….I’m MOST of proud of you for the wonderful human beings that you are…..for the CHARACTER that you display not just when you’re on the court, for your actions outside of school and in the community at large. Don’t EVER let anyone tell you that you cannot make a difference…….that your voice can’t be heard merely because you’re YOUNG. Last night is a beautiful example of how each of you helped make a difference. Keep spreading your wings and following your heart and I know that you will continue to do great things.
And that’s a wrap. Hope to have more answers by this time next week.
Psalm 27:14 New International Version (NIV)
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.