I don’t know what inspires a person to climb Mount Everest. Is it the thrill of the climb? Is it knowing they can? It is that they survived such harsh conditions? I really have no idea because that is absolutely NOT on my bucket list. On my bucket list (now) is to survive cancer. And, guess what? One month from today I will have my last round of chemotherapy. YIPPEEEE! It all of a sudden seems somewhat manageable. I remember after my 6th round I got numerous accolades of being half way done and I felt terrible. I knew that everything I had just gone through, I would have to do again. Oh, brother! That sounded just awful to me at the time! And although going through three more rounds of chemo seems like climbing Mount Everest I do intend to finish well. Just like the climb, it is getting hard near the end. After round 9, I slept and slept and slept. I slept almost all of Tuesday and all of Wednesday. For those of you who have had (and maybe some of you have seen) babies when they are desperately fighting going to sleep, their eyes get droopy and they fuss a bit and their little head bobs up and down in hopes of staying awake just one more moment. That is what I looked like after round 9. I was so completely exhausted, but I still tried to pursue what ever task I was working on. I simply turned on the electronic babysitter known as the television, laid down on the couch, and completely passed out.
I use to get over my nausea during my “off” week, but now I maintain a minimum of a 50% nauseated level during my off week. Most people do not even know that I could vomit on them at any given moment. I simply smile and say, “I am doing pretty good.” or “I am managing.” And… to the hair loss. I have the itsy-bitsiest-teeny-weeny-bit of hair left on my head. When I use to put my hair in a ponytail, it was a strong 1-1/4″ diameter mass-o-hair. Now it is no thicker than a pencil. (Good news = I am saving shampoo and conditioner by the gallons.) I am thinking that when Mom and Dad are here next week, we may do the deed. It is slightly disappointing to get through 5 of 6 months of treatment and then have to shave the stinkin’ thing off. Oh well. Like everyone has said, “It is just hair.” At this point I am so tired of this frizzy stick of hair, I am not even sure I am going to miss it. (I may try some fun 80s hair-do’s first ~ Let me see how I am feeling.) If we shave it, I will video it and you all can be a part of it. Roy wants to wait to the very end and when we meet with the first oncologist that guaranteed me that I would lose all of my hair, he wants to remind him that maybe he shouldn’t say that!… “See – she didn’t lose all of her hair.” (The only reason I have not lost all of my hair is because the Lord gave me A LOT to begin with 🙂 ).
We had planned to utilize Nita some during that last round, but unfortunately she had a fall and tore her ACL and broke her tibia. Poor gal. She has such a heart of service, but was simply physically unable to do much down here to help us. Roy really stepped up to the plate last week. Although my husband is the most weary I have ever seen him, he still managed to work on the ranch in the blazing heat all day, then come home for meal times and prepare food for the boys and I. He kept my garden alive, continued to water, and even cut the broccoli and steamed it…ALL BY HIMSELF! He took care of bathing the boys…Let’s be honest, he always baths the boys, but he continued to keep them clean. He tucked us all in each night and then would venture back out to the kitchen to clean up dishes or wipe down the table or pick up toys. We were also incredibly thankful of those of you who continue to provide meals – it blesses my family so much!
Much of our life has become very routine. I do A LOT of laundry on Saturday and Sunday before chemo. I fill my pill box before chemo (seriously… I am 33 years old with a pill box. I just decided I am going to burn that thing when I am all done with chemo and I hope to not need another for at least 30 years.) I try to do some meal planning and cooking and baking before chemo. I work outside and water plants and pull weeds and look at my garden before chemo.I really hold my boys and play and dance and sing and teach them before chemo. Because… after chemo I cannot do any of these things well. I really and honestly cannot wait until chemo stops using up my time.
I want to finish up by sharing some of my prayers that I have been praying along this journey:
“I’m asking You to make it worth it. Make me more like Jesus. Make is undeniably evident that You are at work in my life. Honor Yourself.
Help me to see this illness from Your perspective. There’s a lot I don’t understand, so I’m trusting You. I can’t see down the road, so I’m grateful You know the beginning from the end and everything in between.
Father, You promise that all things work together for good for those who love You and are called according to Your purposes. You are using this trial to produce good fruit in my life and in the lives of many others, including my family.
I pray for my children You have entrusted to me. Thank You for giving me the privilege of being their mother. I trust You to work in their lives through this cancer journey. Use it to teach them, mold them, and shape them into godly young people and adults. I pray that You will guard their hearts and minds. Protect them from the evil one and from fears the world will throw their way. Surround them with Your peace and Your love. Use this time, Lord, to draw my children ever closer to You.”
Thank you again for your time and for continuing to pray. The end is near, but do not become weary in your prayers, as Everest is still before me. Thank goodness our great God created Mount Everest – so He know exactly how much work it is will be for me to climb. All our love!