Chemo ~ That Sweet Elixir

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Chemo Pic

You haven’t heard from me since May and I deeply apologize for that.  Let’s catch quickly up to speed.

Surgery occurred on a bright sunny day in early June.  My oncology gynecologist (a beautifully gentle, yet wildly brilliant man) removed everything he could as he opened me up and discovered my cancer-riddled inner parts.  Classified as Uterine (or Endometrial) Cancer, the invasive disease had spread to my ovaries, infected my pelvic lymph nodes, and seemed to moving toward my stomach.

At the same time, since they were opening me up anyway, my general surgeon (a softly-spoken, comforting, and beautiful man) performed a re-repair of an umbilical hernia I originally had repaired in Denver in 2000. Two-for-one shopping, if you will.

Discharged 11 days later the cancer was classified as Stage 4b and I knew my future would include chemotherapy to attack the cancer cells the oncologist couldn’t get with his knife.

During the following weeks, I trucked back and forth to the hospital (which is 70 miles from my home) for post-op visits and to remove staples from the long and angry incision traversing my belly.  By mid-July we became increasingly worried about part of the incision that seemed to refuse to heal.  In yet another post-op visit my surgeon intentionally popped a hematoma under the incision in his office and I was immediately admitted into the hospital for another 3-day stay.

We found that my wound was not healing under the upper layer of my skin and in fact had begun to ‘tunnel’ underneath.  Three tunnels to be exact.  I was released from the hospital as a proud (not) renter of a wound-vac.  The wound vacuum is an interesting device that through negative pressure closes wounds.  It needs expert care to administer and change and so I now have a home health nurse visiting me three times a week.  The good news is that it’s working.  I now have only one tunnel and look forward to the day when I no longer am attached to what I refer to as “the baby.”  It is truly the bane of my existence!

“The baby” was also responsible for pushing back the start of my chemo regimen.  Two weeks in a row I was denied a start due to a high white blood cell count (which hinted toward an infection somewhere in my body) when my doctors (now a third in the mix because I am having my infusion done in a facility much closer to home) finally concurred that the phantom infection could be ignored to begin the more vital treatment.

As I write this, I’m sitting in my infusion chair with a lovely view of the Intercoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean and rejoice that I’ve hit the halfway mark of my treatments.  Yay!  Number three of six has been put to rest.  I’m tolerating the treatments well, performing preemptive strikes on nausea, and praying for God to relieve the neuropathy in my hands and feet.

Speaking of God, He remains steadfastly by my side.  With everything He has spoken to me these past few months, there is no way I’m going to succumb to this dreadful disease.

When a person gets an illness such as this, among other thoughts, one immediately wonders why.  Well-meaning Christian friends quickly decided that the devil was behind this attack or that the Lord has allowed this to test my faith – we’ll never know for sure, but I try not to give the devil more that he is due.

It’s easily conceivable that my predicament is of my own making.  I allowed my body to spiral through years of inactivity, poor eating habits, smoking, and work-related stress which all wreaked havoc on my body.  When bad things started happening inside, I was without a job and insurance and knew I couldn’t afford what it was going to take to cure me, so I dealt with it … which doesn’t mean that I ignored it … I worked around it the best I could.  Honestly though, its futile to try to understand the why and it makes no sense to assign blame.

I must just press forward.

Some would ask, “How?”  (More on that later!)

Because when you’re a daughter of the King, the One True God, your perspective changes.  Heaven is my home and if I get there next year or 40 years from now, I’m cool with God’s timing.

In His perfect love,

Felecia

Next up … the wonders of hair loss!

6 responses »

  1. Felecia!

    It’s so great to hear (read) your voice. Thank you for giving some details so I know how to pray. It’s wonderful to have that deep assurance of God’s involvement in every step. Sounds like your encouraging yourself in the Lord your God, and that’s your best plan for sure.

    I’ll share your progress with my praying friends so we can join in the battle.

    Blessings from your friend in NJ,

    Ben

    • Ben,
      Thank you so much for these words of encouragement, your prayers, and for hanging in there with me.
      Now that I’m writing again you’ll be hearing a lot more!
      Hopefully, that’s a good thing! 😉
      Blessings my brother.

    • Yes! I’ve got about 5-6 known (outlined) chapters still to complete.
      I’ll admit that I haven’t written really anything since May and it’s been weighing heavy on my heart. God is saving me for something and I suspect that’s it! Gotta get back on track.
      I’m going to use the manic discipline of NaNoWriMo to spur me toward the finish.
      Thanks for being interested enough to ask!

  2. Oh my dear sweet friend…reading this
    I’m reminded of my incidental aches & pains…fractured ankle and say: THANK GOD…that’s all I’m dealing with!! I truly wish I knew! Seriously I could be driving you, helping in some way. So now reading this today, once I can drive and I’m out of my cast please allow me to help in some way. I’m so very sorry you are dealing with so much. I will be praying for you in earnest and asking for prayers for you. I miss you and sending you God’s blessing of His healing hands, courage, strength and His peace & love. All my love, Lucy

    • Oh Miss Lucy, I just want to have lunch with you … it’s been so long since we’ve had a nice chat! So you get yourself well (I’m praying for quick healing!) and we’ll have a sweet time of fellowship!
      Love you!

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