I arrived at Roger Maris, on Tuesday, the first day of August. It was one of the valet parking men who opened my door, and for the first time in 6 years after greeting me, wondered if perhaps I might like a wheelchair? I smiled and affirmed that yes, a wheelchair was the safest route for my little chicken legs to go.
It was a day filled with so many new experiences, amidst so many well known activities I could do in my sleep. Like stepping on the scale before I'm taken back to the exam room. But this time? I see a number I hope not to visit anytime soon. 108. Oh my. It shows, as much as I feel the frailty.
My blood is drawn and then the wait begins. My tailbone is sore after a few minutes of sitting and I add this to my list of little concerns to address. Yet mostly, I wait to hear what the nurse practitioner I'll see, will address with me.
I'm wheeled back into the exam room as my phone starts to ding, alerting me to test results coming back on my labs. I decide to just wait and let Carrie the NP, tell me.
Moments later Carrie steps into the exam room and offers a warm hello. She sits down and turns to face me, seeking my eyes, and talking directly to me. She simply wants me to know I'm in charge of how this will go. That she wants to listen to me, and let me dictate how I want things.
Its a new conversation and yet, it truly allows me to follow my heart. I simply tell her these are new unchartered waters for me. They leave me wanting her and my medical providers, like Dr. Panwalkar, to lead me with their experience. I know the decisions are mine to make, but I welcome their wisdom, their perspective, and skill in navigating this new course we're on.
So she smiles and we move right into my lab results. I'm a bit flummoxed by my results. In the extra week I was given to recover- most of my counts had risen into the normal range! I could do chemo! What? I'm instantly struck by the power of prayer. Nothing else can adequately explain how high some of those numbers grew! Just hearing that tiny bit of news was enough for me to say yes, I would do another round of chemo. Relief flooded through me. While I still have some lower counts, that leave me a little lightheaded and dizzy when I move at times, Carrie felt with time some of those counts may still climb as well. The rest of the exam went by quickly.
The chemo dose was reduced a slight amount, but the second infusion of Carboplatin and Herceptin went well. With steroids in my system, the yucky side effects didn't show up for a few days. But I also had just the right meds to help me combat them.
So how am I doing? Overall, I think I'm slowly starting to recover. I have had a few days with pain that was hard to manage, but through the Grace of God I somehow made it through. I can readily admit I have cried, and surrendered, and shouted when I need to. And I'll see Dr. Panwalkar on the 22nd and will ask for his advice on what I can take to help get me through days like that. But after a few rough times, steadily the days have gone better.
I started reading more. I'm hungry for some good reading suggestions. I've also started eating more. Thanks to all who have so generously cooked and served a meal to us, we're so grateful. I always feel the love sprinkled in with all the comfort and nourishment the food provides. It truly makes a difference in our lives and I am always seeking my own ways to pay it forward in some small way.
As hard as this has been on the boys, our bond just strengthens with time. They check in with me often, and help with everything from getting me meds to laying in bed watching tv with me.
My phone bings and bleeps with texts and emails- so many wonderful friends just checking in with me. And so many others sharing encouraging words with Rick to bring home to me-my blessings overflow.
And I've opened the door to my home, and my bedroom, where friends have come and chatted the hours away. We just set something up in advance and they text before they come over. It uplifts me so to have these face to face interactions, with so many going out of their way to offer support to us.
Love to you all!