Not long after my cancer diagnosis, I ordered some wristbands from a charity website that said “fight like a girl”. When they arrived, my husband, Todd, put his yellow fight like a girl band on and has not taken it off. That was over 7 months ago. He has had to replace it once but he never takes it off. Every time I see it on his wrist, I am reminded of the reasons I fight for my health, for my life…… it’s for the moments we share, the times we want to have, the ones I cherish and want to watch grow and develop as the year’s go by.
It is the reason I will fly to Houston on Tuesday and begin chemo on the following Monday, May 13. We spent 5 days at MD Anderson last week seeing the Oncologist, having tests run, finding our way around this small city that is called the #1 cancer center in the nation. I have to admit I was in awe. I have been treated very well at Duke and I cannot say enough about the people there and the work they do. It’s never easy to make decisions about where to go and what is the right treatment, etc. but I feel led me to MDA. During our time there we learned that I already have a new spot on my lung so the cancer is not slowing down. These doctors and nurses don’t play, don’t waste time and aren’t afraid to be aggressive. I like it… a lot!
The treatment prescribed is an aggressive 6 round course of chemo. I will do the first round (3 weeks) in Houston. I have chemo infusions (lasting several hours a day) for 4 consecutive days, get a shot on the 5th day then have blood work done 3 days a week for the following 2 weeks. At that time, I will get a repeat CT and see my Oncologist before heading home. Once home, I will have a couple of days off then go to Duke where they will work with MD Anderson to give the rest of my treatments. Duke will not do this type of chemo outpatient, so I will check into the hospital for 4 days, spend the night in a hotel, go to the office for my shot then go home for a couple of weeks. I will repeat this 4 more times with follow-up CTs and blood work along the way. Needless to say, my summer is not going to be a “Margaritaville” style vacation. I am not complaining though, this is my chance to have future summers so let’s get to it!!
I will lose my hair…bummer. I have already gone to be fitted for my wig, I have to say the human hair of the wig has better texture than my real hair will ever have. I have a couple of scarves waiting in the wings along with a chemo care package from one of clients that has tons of things I know I will use. Still, no matter how much information I have been given I am nervous and scared of the side effects. I pray that I can withstand the drugs so that I can get through the entire course of treatment. I pray even more that the drugs annihilate every minuscule speck of cancer in my body.
I believe God has the power to heal me and I also believe that he can work through the Oncologists and nurses and chemo drugs and any other way he wishes to. He is my true healer regardless of the vessel.
So Houston, here we come! My Mom is going with me this time, we have rented a small apartment a couple of blocks from MDA that has shuttle service to and from treatments, etc.
We are both pretty tough so when I say we plan to “fight like Girls”, Cancer Beware!!