Saturday, May 15, 2010

Halfway There

It's the weekend. Weekends used to be such a sweet time around here--a time for sleeping late, big breakfasts, and taking it easy. Now that The Sickness is part of us, weekends blur together with all the other days of the week. This particular Saturday morning finds me back in bed (again), watching the clouds gather outside my window. They match my mood.
I had not expected the treatment on Tuesday to be fun, but I anticipated it as an important milestone: I am now halfway done with chemo! The treatment schedule includes six sessions, the last of which will be on July 13. My thrill at being halfway done, however, has been shadowed this week by a slow recovery. The Caretakers (Mom and Hubby) and I now believe that chemo is at least somewhat cumulative...each treatment adds to the poison that is already lingering in my body and makes it harder and harder to bounce back.
One major difficulty that I have experienced is severe and lingering leg pain. Last Friday morning, while I was at school, I received a call from Stephani that my lab work had come back with magnesium levels that were less than spectacular. I had to leave school, drive to Dallas, and sit through a 2-hour magnesium infusion. Granted, the mag did help with the leg pain, but by Wednesday it was back again. I called the office yesterday to report it, and by the end of the day yesterday I had been to the lab, had blood drawn, and had a bag of magnesium delivered to my home. I will do the 8-hour infusion today, along with regular saline hydration.
I am told that this is not uncommon. It is the nature of the chemo beast to attack not just the bad cancer cells, but a lot of good things in the body as magnesium and potassium levels. But to me, it's just one more thing in a long string of things to deal with. I am tired of not feeling well. I am tired of seeing the worry and sadness in the eyes of the people who love me. I am tired of being tired. I am tired of missing out on LIFE.
I told myself when this ordeal started that I would always look for the proverbial silver lining, even when it was really hard. This week feels darker than others, yet I still have joy. Here's how:
*Yesterday my precious 4-year-olds graduated from preschool! It was very important to me that I be there, cancer or no cancer. So I got dressed, put on some makeup and my happiest face, and went to cheer them on. I got to shake hands with each little one, give them a Bible of their very own, and tell them I love them. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. (Big props to the Caretakers for not arguing with me about attending!)
* has allowed me to enjoy the delight that is Glee with minimal commercial interruptions. Mom and I watched 3 episodes together last night. My friends tease me that my perfect life would be like one big musical where everyone breaks out into song regularly. Glee is that life, and it makes me happy!
*My children. Those 3 boys fill our home and my heart with amazing joy! Yes, they are noisy, and yes, we have to remind them over and over again to PLEASE not bounce on Mommy's bed, but when Goliath brings me a cup of hot tea that he made, or when Little Middle climbs up for a hug, or when Baby pops his head in my bedroom and says "I wuv you," I remember that every minute of this fight--no matter how hard--is absolutely worth it.
We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4:8-9


Dawn/RN4JCHRIST said...

Allyson, you are still so inspiring, though you may feel "tired"you remind me of what's important in life. I have 3 boys of my own, thanks for the perspective. praying for you and the family! (a friend of your mom) ~Dawn Ramkissoon

Momma Wolg said...

"I'll be your floaties baby..." Okay, singing to the song and sub'd for hero. But just a reminder that I'm here...praying, loving and supporting you and your family. Keep swimming...keep your eyes fixed on HIM to see you through this storm.
Love you my friend! Kelly

Hub said...

You are the most amazing person. I'm so proud of u, this is a rough spot no doubt but we will fight through it and I will be by your side no matter what it takes. Love hubby

Anonymous said...

Hang in there - I'm so impressed that you can keep up this blog. It is truly a blessing to those of us who get to read it. You are an inspiration. I'm so sorry you don't feel well and that you have to go through this - I'll keep praying.
Betty H

That Guy said...




...actually, I have no idea what that is... just some overly popular TV Show is all I know.


...but you just likened your life to a TV Show titled "Glee"!

C'mon! You're better than that!

In other news:

I have quoted & recounted your tale of The Reluctant Ring BEARer over and over since reading it.

Gotta love the little ones, huh?

Jennifer said...

I have Glee Season One on DVD as well as the Soundtrack vol. 1 and 2. I'll get those to you ASAP. They are divine. I need to get Season One back from a teenager, but I should get it Wednesday night. I'll make copies of vol. 1 and 2 for you soon. Volume 3 comes out tomorrow, and I find I may be purchasing that as well.

Glee makes me incandescently happy. I'm glad you're finding it delightful as well!

And if you lived in my world, people do break out into song regularly. But in my world, the song is "Eye of the Tiger" and they break out into it in the middle of math. Seriously. While I'm teaching it someone starts singing the words absentmindedly.

Jennifer said...

P.S. Now that I've left you that comment, I've gotten "Eye of the Tiger" stuck in my own head.

There is no shortage of crazy where the wild and precious things are.

Lisa Buffaloe said...

Sweet Allyson, I'm continuing to pray for you and your family. I haven't watched Glee, but I've always put a soundtrack with my life. Have to have a song for every situation. :)

One of the songs (out of hundreds) that help me through those times I'm stuck in bed too sick to move is "Taking my Time" by Susan Ashton.

I hate to take up your comment space, but I'm going to post the lyrics and a link to Youtube if you want to listen.

Taking my Time
Composer: Christine Dente & Charlie Peacock
Vocals: Susan Ashton / Margaret Becker / Christine Dente

The world is turnin'
Telling me to hurry on
You gotta run to get ahead
Try to take the things you want
But when the sun begins to set
So many things I haven't done yet

Oh, but I won't worry
‘Cause there's no hurry
The world's not passin' me by
‘Cause the Lord he knows
Just where each day goes
I know He won't leave me behind
And I won't be bringin' a single thing
That my heart can't carry inside
‘Cause I'm goin' home
And I'm only takin' my time

The weight of worry
Is never worth the price
Of a world of treasures
That can never satisfy
But I know Heavens up ahead
Where the best is yet to come

So I won't worry
‘Cause there's no hurry
The world's not passin' me by
‘Cause the Lord he knows
Just where each day goes
I know He won't leave me behind
And I won't be bringin' a single thing
That my heart can't carry inside
Lord I'm goin' home
And I'm only takin' my time

Every moment is precious and never wasted by God. Through your journey you are learning, and you are teaching your family and those of us on the outside.

Sweet Allyson, I'm praying for your healing and mighty, abundant, super-sized blessings!