Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Resolute Faith


Dear all,
Paul snapped this picture of me on my umpteenth sojourn to the powder room during my -read it folks- last chemo infusion yesterday morning! Hallelujah! DONE with that phase of treatment and looking forward to re-growing some luxurious eyelashes and my reliable head of hair.

That said, I think I am fairly rocking the scarf look, don't you think? Honestly…. who take pictures of their loved one during chemo infusions? We always were a quirky pair!

As it happens, I met an acquaintance in the (ever non HPPA compliant) treatment room today, the mother of one of our kid's friends. It was clear she has a much harder road to tow; after giving her all my shiny best thoughts & prayers, I am reminded of how my own road is tolerable and how much easier it is with you on my cheering & praying squad. Another kindred patient is the elderly father of a sweet friend of ours, and boy does he light up when I walk in the room. So you see, even in this crazy land. which I sincerely hope NONE of you EVER gets to visit; there are friends to be made and spirits to raise.

Today I complete my last 5 day wrap-around-chemo fast. I could not do the prepared boxed kit of food this time 'round; the sight & smell of those, what seemed like quaint camping food packets of soup during the first excursion & the crunchy spiced up kale chips made me want to gag-- mind you I have had NO side effects & especially no nausea, so this struck me as a bit ironic. Paul, my world champion of a husband, cum dietician, created a broth recipe I could make that had the same caloric, carbohydrate  & protein count of the prepared items & I've been good to go. I could sip this lovely soup all the livelong day, this merry, merry month of May.

I have a four weeks to absorb and integrate the chemo treatments now, I envision these powerful medicines acting like detectives, snooping out any cancer cells that might have gotten free and bringing them to their natural end. Everyday I do the things I know how to do to make myself strong & healthy, so I am in tiptop shape before embarking on the next installment of this journey to a new continent: six weeks of radiation.

After meeting with the head of breast cancer radiation oncology at Mass General last week, I feel clear this is the right choice. When we left our appointment, he personally went to the pathology lab and looked at the slides of the tumor to see for himself certain aspects of its growth pattern. It’s good to know smart people who have thought deeply about such things!

My tentative start date is on June 9th, which happens to be my mother’s, may she rest in peace, birthday. I take that as a good sign and know she is cheering from on high. My heart breaks to know her own journey through breast cancer was without my father, who had already passed, at her side. Additionally, during that time (mid '70s) treatments were nearly barbaric, and also, in her case did not end very well. OY!

That said, my daily visits, with the weekends off (thank you to the union movement) to get zapped, should leave me positively radiant by midsummer.

I will leave you with this little picture, of our happy spring garden with seeds popping up & starts standing cute & confident, full of promise in our jacked-up-from-our-own-compost—dirt.

Besides giving birth to children, seems to me that planting is one of the purest examples ever of hope and faith we have. There is hope that these plants will grow to fruition, (never mind the resident, exceedingly well-fed-looking groundhog & the unreliable, capricious weather.) And the resolute faith that they will!

Drop me a line when you have a sec, your communiqu├ęs mean the world to me!

Love & light,
AMY