David drove Mom and I to Cleveland Clinic to meet with Dr. Mahdi, get my staples out and find out our future game plan. It is always such an encouragement to see Dr. Mahdi, he is the most uplifting and kind Doctor I have ever had or encountered. We found out in the meeting that Chemo will begin on April 18th, until then I just need to heal, eat, get strong, and get ready for the true fight to begin!
On the way home we discussed my concerns and worries with starting chemotherapy, all three of us decided that the most concerning part is the unknown. None of us in the discussion has ever had chemo, so none of us know what to expect! Will I be very sick? Will I lose more weight? Will I be able to eat well? Will my blood levels be satisfactory to even begin chemo? So many questions and so few answers!
I have always been a risk taker, a challenge junkie… I have never been afraid to step out and do the unusual or unplanned. This time seemed so different, it is completely unknown to me and I am NOT in control of any of it! This has been the GREATEST lesson for me throughout this journey, the knowledge that I am NOT in control of any of this and I have to completely TRUST. My weakness is God’s chance to SHINE even brighter than before, I need to boast in MY weakness and HIS strength! My inability to control or manipulate this situation is my opportunity to point to the ONE Who holds my future and your future, GOD’S NOT SURPRISED AND HE’S GOT THIS!!!
The day before chemo came so very quickly and I had jitters, without a doubt. My family was with me the night before and everyone seemed to be keeping a secret from me or covering up something, probably because they were! The night before my first treatment at about 10:00 p.m., I walked back from the restroom and someone came in the garage door off the kitchen, it was Mary Moore, my friend from Zanesville who has been a life long friend. She came all the way to Fremont to go with us to my first chemo session! I was in tears, of joy of course, what a wonderful surprise!
The next morning, Mom, Leisha, Mary and I headed out for Sandusky Cancer Treatment Center. We walked in and from the very first person who greeted us they were so kind and welcoming. We were ushered straight back to the treatment area, we were even able to have our own private room because it was available. We went into the glass enclosed room, complete with comfortable chairs and a TV. Our nurse came back to greet us, the first thing I noticed was her sunny personality and that her name was also Lynn! In talking to her she noticed Leisha’s Grace tshirt and told us that she attended Grace Community for church as well, what a surprise! Lynn explained everything to us in a way that we could all understand and follow. She made our first experience there an amazing one. She explained the allergic reactions that could occur with one of my drugs, Taxol, she also told us that we would know within the first ten minutes if I would have reactions or not. The pre-meds started, Benadryl, Steroid and Pepcid.
About fifteen minutes after the Taxol had began its one hour drip, I realized that the reactions were not going to happen and I rested much easier. After the Taxol dripped, it was time for the second drug, “Carbo”, this one only takes thirty minutes to go in. The entire process took from 9:30 until about 1:45 the first day due to all of the explanations, etc… I have to say, we were all so very pleasantly surprised with how comfortable we were there and the accommodations. We were able to have snacks, drinks, anything we wanted during the treatment. Leisha even went to McDonalds and purchased food, brought it back and we were able to eat it right there in the chemo room! The main room outside of our’s was full of reclining chairs, a tv for each person and windows surrounding the room overlooking a picturesque scene of flowers, trees and a beautiful sunny day. I decided that even when we cannot have our own room that I would enjoy getting to sit out with other patients and enjoying the scenery outside as well.
When I started this with, “It’s About to Get Real”… I could not have meant anything more! The REAL fight has begun! I feel completely blessed to be undergoing my treatments at the Sandusky Cancer Center and that each week I have Lynn to look forward to, she is a huge blessing, that is for sure! This new unknown challenge that I have no control over is just another opportunity for me to let Jesus take the wheel because He has it anyway! When the fight gets real, my faith will either get stronger or will vanish. My prayer is that it will continue to strengthen because my weakness shows off His strength!