Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Doing Battle, Week 50

We'll begin this week's report with good news (though you don't have to hold your breath for the bad news...there really isn't any).

On September 2nd, exactly two months after surgery, we found ourselves back in the city yet again. Shaun and I got up at 3 AM to leave for the city and returned home at 11:30 PM. That was a long day.

We walked into Sloan at 6:50 AM because we'd been told to be there at 7:00 to have time to prepare for my 8:00 CT Scan. We were informed that the floor didn't open until 7:30. Puzzling, but we decided to make the best of it and go next door to get breakfast sandwiches/wraps. Shaun sacrificed the indoor AC so I could sit outside. He thought it was humid, I thought it was beautiful.

Back next door, we checked into my first appointment and were told they wouldn't be starting scans until 8:00, so we plunked down in the waiting room. Waiting would become a theme of the day.

It was the easiest CT Scan I've had...no drink to down beforehand and no contrast dye (so no needle!). It was just a chest scan to have a baseline before we started chemo.

Then it was wait to be called for labs and vitals. I discovered they use a vein, not my port, for blood work. A year ago that would have really thrown me, this time a sigh barely escaped.

Next, we headed to see my surgeon. We waited an hour in the exam room and were just about to call it quits when she came in. The update on the wound/vacuum: Monday when the nurse came, it was determined my wound no longer fit into the fairly stringent vacuum guidelines so she left it off. Wednesday when the surgeon looked at it she said she was pleased with how its looking. "Should only be four more weeks until its healed. Wait...you'll be on chemo, so six weeks." Six more weeks?!? But...no more vacuum and for that I'm grateful.

The oncologist was next and we pretty much reviewed what we'd talked about two weeks prior. She assured us she would be onsite the entire day and that the chemo team had been adequately alerted to the potential for a reaction.

From there, we waited about two hours to be called into the "Chemotherapy Suite". We quickly got settled into our little corner booth, which has lots of upgrades over my last place. We have a privacy curtain, a view of the city and my recliner is remote-control operated. We're moving up in the world!

The nurse got right to work doing what they do. It was an hour of the "pre stuff", then I got a healthy dose of benadryl through the IV then three hours of the chemo drugs. Then more benadryl, then another three hours of the chemo drug. It worked! I had no reaction! We were so thankful when we finished about 8:30 PM and we'd been able to get through the entire treatment without incident, using the ideal drug combination.

When we got home late, we found messages taped to our bedroom door from the girls, imploring us to "stay in bed and relax" in the morning because the kids had had a meeting and decided they were going to "muscle down" and get the before-school routine done without our involvement. So sweet!

I spent a couple days being chemo sick and tired, but by the weekend I was well enough to participate in what was going on, which was lots of heart-filling family time. I am loved big and there was no shortage and people making sure I was comfortable and rested. :)

Honestly, even though I've no doubt this is the best course of action, its hard to be back into treatments, back doing all this yucky stuff. But then someone will remind me there's just five left and that doesn't sound too terrible. Five more, and definitely counting!

I really enjoy our morning drives into the city. Its quiet time together and we get to watch the morning break.

Our breakfast spot.

One of many packed waiting rooms.

Here the nurse is teaching Shaun how to take down my pump at home after 48 hours. Ahhh...this man. He's got somewhat of a reputation with the nurses of being an excellent, hands-on caregiver who is a big help to them. This couldn't possibly be what he was picturing when he vowed in sickness and in health on that beautiful May afternoon all those years ago and I hate that its been asked of him. Yet he loves me so well. Day after day after day.

A view from my recliner.

Treatment #1. Its really #9, but if I count from the very beginning I'll run out of fingers. :)

Me in action in blessed normal life...

For a couple weeks now I've been so focused on God's bigness and the ridiculousness of us thinking any of this is about us. I'm typing right now because God designed my brain to be able to communicate to my fingers to move in rhythm with the thoughts in my head. My eyes are blinking every so often, without even a consideration from me. There is an almost undetectable rise and fall to my chest as I breathe air. I couldn't live without that breath and every bit of it happens because that is what God has designed.

He created me and has numbered my days. Its His breath in my lungs.

When I think of him so big and so perfectly sovereign, its easy to lean into this place where he has us right now. Surrender is not a struggle because he can be trusted. I want to commit my life to his purposes so he can do something bigger and more beautiful than I ever could on my own. Its all about Him.

Its Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise 
We pour out our praise
Its Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
To You only

So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you. 1 Peter 4:19


Meg A. said...

That song has always made me "misty" even BEFORE it reminded me of you and your treatment...now it'll probably make me bawl! But no truer words have been spoken. Love this post and your heart and YOU. This road has been long and twisty and full of things we didn't plan for or expect...but man!! God through you just blows me away. What a testimony, Lis. Sometimes it takes my breath and my words away. So proud of you and your heart and your perspective. Love you BIG!!!! xoxo

P.S. 5 MORE!!!!

LuAnn said...

Lisa, I can see the strength the Lord is giving you in your words. What an awesome witness. And ..... your kiddos are so precious with their notes. Continuing to keep you in my prayers.

Amy said...

Great post, sister! I love that 1 Peter verse. and the song! I also love the plants in your corner booth. A nice upgrade. You're an overcomer! xoxoxo

Brent Grosvenor said...

Wow. What a powerful word and testimony. Thank you again Lisa!!

The Bug said...