Always hoping for the best, we realistically, and grudgingly, anticipate the worst scenarios. Managing cancer pain, chemotherapy, and its various side-effects is complex, uncertain, and never-ending. It can also be unnerving, especially when the unexpected occurs. Having finished 3 of 4 rounds of chemo, we thought we knew what to expect. Not so.
Medical surprises can be daunting, especially when they occur after office hours and on weekends … which seems to be the case with most bombshells thus far. During this past cycle, we dealt with a urinary tract infection, Thrombophlebitis (blood clot in a vein on my left arm), and a continued low white blood cell count currently requiring another 5-day series of shots with a medication that requests my bone marrow boost that count posthaste.
All I can say is, thank God for Lori! Getting me through a normal day is trying enough for her; adding a new, or unexpected symptom or side effect just seems unfair. Especially as I am typically useless from day 1 through day 15 of each 21 day cycle. Days 16 through 21 are no picnic either as my batteries are spent. Being tired and lethargic is a lot like being broken. It is principally during these 5 days that I can begin to recharge my physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual batteries. Even then, and at my best, I operate with what Lori lovingly refers to as “chemo brain.” Blog posts that once poured onto the screen in seemingly minutes, now take bits of time over numerous days to complete. Imagine how productive you might be while taking an armlength list of meds, not to mention the toxins infused during therapy.
I share this with you solely for an understanding of why I am not prolific during the first few weeks of each chemo cycle. However, it is during this time I feel the love from so many of you. I know that rosaries are being said and offered on my behalf…while others are adding me to their daily prayers…and still others have had Mass offered for me. Truly, even on the very worst of days, that love is palpable. As I feel it and am lifted up, I too pray, but not for me. Every day and often, I pray for all of you. I thank God for allowing me to accept this challenge and ask Him to use me, in any way he sees fit.