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 well...like 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!)
*Hulu.com 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