Friday, July 16, 2010

An End in Sight?

The one thing I am wishing for this morning is that there is an end in sight. An end to the treatment, an end to the sickness that keeps me hidden in my darkened bedroom. An end to this terrible illness that has taken over our lives.

Tuesday was Chemo #6, the last one in a rigid protocol of treatments that many women are unable to complete. Knowing this, I feel slightly proud of myself and tremendously thankful that I was able to see it through to the end. The stamina it took to finish did not come from me, but from the power of God that was granted to me through intercessory prayer.

The effects of #6, however, are by far the worst I've dealt with. I am SICK. I have zero energy or motivation to try anything. When the boys come in to see me, it is as if I am divided into two moms: the best part of me wants to snuggle with them and reassure them; the worst (and most honest, hidden) part of me wants them to just go away because I simply CAN'T DO IT. I am unable and unfit to be the mother they need me to be right now. If you know anything of my heart and my affections for those 3 little cowboys, you are able to recognize the enormity of that admission.

The only thing that truly seems to make these days bearable is to sleep my way through them. I am on a constant cycle of sleep-inducing, nausea-reducing drugs. I slept my way through most of yesterday, and plan to do the same today (and tomorrow...and maybe even the next day). I have always thought that it would be the easy way out, and have hesitated in previous chemo rounds to sleep around the clock. This time I honestly feel like I might not survive if I have to be aware of how badly I really feel.

This pity party is enhanced by something we learned during chemotherapy on Tuesday. The term "maintenance chemo" has been tossed around in front of us previously, and I finally got up the nerve to ask Nurse Stephani about it. Of course, the final decision will be made after I have a PET scan and meet with Dr. M next month, but Stephani gently communicated that it is a very real, and highly likely, possibility that I am not done with chemo. To be fair, maintenance chemo will not be anything like what I am currently going through. It would most likely be a Taxol cocktail, administered 1 day a week for 3 weeks, then 1 week off before the next round. Two things that prick my heart: 1) A new Taxol protocol means that my hair will not grow back anytime soon, and 2) I just want to be DONE. As long as my name is still on a blue folder (for patients actively receiving treatment) in Dr. M's office, I am in a sad place.

"Relent, O Lord! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants..." Psalm 90:13

From the beginning, I have tried to make it a point to look for things to be thankful for. That seems much harder to do during these dark days, but here are a few things that are happening RIGHT NOW that make my heart smile:

1. My mother is sitting next to my chair, reading over my shoulder. She has been here through every treatment, taking care of my household and my boys while I am unable to. I am thankful.

2. I can hear the sounds of my three boys playing and laughing together in the other room. I am thankful.

3. My husband is in his man-cave/office working on a project for a job that we have been unsure he would be able to keep at times. I am thankful for steady work and God's protection of his job.

4. Even when I don't feel like it, the knowledge that is rooted deep in my heart tells me that my God is faithful and is in control of all things. I am deeply thankful.


bhayes11 said...

Wow - what an honest, open, wounded heart. I woke up this morning thinking about you - you are still very much in my prayers and we know He hears and answers. You have been truly amazing through this terrible ordeal and have been a tremendous inspiration to me and I know many, many other people. He still loves you and so do I! I'll keep praying.

Caroline said...


Lisa Buffaloe said...

Rest, sleep, and rest. Give your body time to recoup and your soul time to be still and know that He is God.

Praying for healing and restful soul and body renewing rest.

Reckless said...

Hoping you have turned the corner by morning. Still praying, just crazy hectic life getting in the way of communicating. Bonus missed Baby in ETC this morning, and so did we. Love to you.

Anonymous said...

I am always so challenged and encouraged reading your blog. Thank you for writing your feelings and thoughts - you remind me to raise my eyes to the only One who is truly in control! Love you!

Anonymous said...

I am always so challenged and encouraged reading your blog. Thank you for writing your feelings and thoughts - you remind me to raise my eyes to the only One who is truly in control! Love you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the honesty. Just rest and keep those things you are thankful for closest to your heart. The prayers for you are still bountiful.
Angie O.

Melynda said...

My heart breaks for you as I read your words. I know that even when you keep a good sense of humor, remember what you are thankful for, and stay strong in your faith, this still isn't easy. Not by a long shot. Keep doing what you are doing, and you will make it through this. Even if the end is not in sight, it will come, and one day your life will return to normal. Please don't feel bad for taking the rest you need-- you know what you need to do in order to be ready for snuggles and playing in a few days. I hope that by today you are there! We will keep you in our prayers as you continue this journey. Keep us updated on what is next. Whatever it is, we know that God is faithful and He will carry you through. Love you!