Dec 13, 2010

Ready? Set....CHEMO!

Today marks the date of a day that I have long looked forward to...for various reasons.

My first day of chemotherapy.
Here is a quick photo of my nurse, April, and me in the lazyboy chair, computer already propped up and connected, of course. This was right before my cocktail of anti-nausia meds that made me feel dizzy (like car sick) and you can see in the syringe the red Adriamyacin. Everything else I get on the IV drip into my port (as shown on my right bust) I had surgery to insert the port back in October- now to use it they just insert a large "tack-like" attachment with a tube that will remain taped to my body until Thursday after treatment. Yes, I can shower with it ;)
I have wanted this day to come, as I know that I am taking care of my illness, actively doing something about it. Not just sitting around and hoping for the best, but attacking it with the best way that western medicine knows how. And yes, I am still doing all the easter treatments I can get my hands on as I personally feel there are powerful leads to cures in that direction as well.

As this day grew closer I found myself dealing with a lot of emotions that I was not expecting. I suppose that since I have been so stoic this entire time, I was really surprised that they hit me.

And hit me they did, like a brick over the head.

If you know me well, then you know that avoidance through a busy schedule is my MO. Needless to say, my days and nights have been jammed packed since Thanksgiving week in preparation for my 4 month hiadus. Parents came in town for Thanksgiving weekend and we went to Julian (mmmmm, Julian Apple Pie!). Worked the following week while finishing my last full week of radiation, cooked my way through the 8 hours of our annual Tamale Bake Party on Dec.4th, Sunday the 5th drove to RSF to help plan my besties Baby Shower came home and baked bread and made puppy chow on for my radiation nurses. Then last week I ordered my wig from Wig's Etc. in Mission Valley, had a radioactive PET Scan and attended Journey's Woman's Christmas Tea on Tuesday. I was off to Marrakesh in La Jolla on Wednesday for my Book Club Christmas dinner. Come Saturday, it was up to Murrietta to watch Leo for a few hours, then Sunday marked my 3rd Annual Christmas Cookie Bake Off at Faye's house. I love my social schedule, but I think it is important that when I said a had a lot on my plate, you realize that I was not kidding. Let's just say I was happily distracted most of the time. That is just how I wanted to be.

On Sunday, as I was getting ready for my cookie bake, everything was getting on my nerves. Someone could just talk to me, and I was steaming out my ears. Felt like everyone was being critical of me, and the way I do things, but not being helpful or pulling in their part of the load. Of course, I was blaming it on everyone else, because it couldn't have been me and my emotions catching up with me right?!? I mean, I am superwoman! And God has given me his grace!! It just couldn't be!!!

Then, driving down the 125 with my little girl in the back seat- no one else on the road, 85 degree winter outside, sunshine glistening on the green grasses, beautiful rolling hills from every view point- it hit me. I was me, and I was angry. ANGRY!!

Wow, it actually felt good to feel something directly about this situation. (I know, I am sure as you read this you are thinking, finally, we were wondering when she was going to break down -as kindly as possible, I know ;) But I actually felt something. And I cried.

I realized that was angry that this would be taking time away from what should be the most joyful time in my life. I should be preparing for her first Christmas, starting family traditions, taking her to get her photo with Santa. All things I want to do, but if they were not completed by bed time last night, there is no guarantee they would get done. On top of that, I realized that I was mad at the big picture things that I might time watching my little one grow and change. I am so worried that I am gonna feel like crap everyday, so much so that I won't be able to enjoy the dailyness of her changes. I will be here everyday, but I was worried that I would only be able to lay in bed and call for someone to take care of her.

Once it was out in the open (well, really still confined within the metal and steel of my cars 4 doors, but who's counting) I felt relief.
Relief to know that while I will feel terrible sometimes, it will not be everyday.
Relief to know that while I might not see everything she does, I will see much more being here at the house than I would sitting at my desk at work over the next 4 months.
Relief to know how grateful I am that Vida LaRue is only 5 months old, she will never remember this happened
Relief to know that she is only old enough to know to give me a big hug, a smile and a sloppy wet kiss when I need one.
Relief to know that I can hold her all I want.

I woke up this morning with one thought in my head- yeah though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. And, while I didn't really know the verse, I knew how to look it up in my Bible, so I did. Popped on my glasses and found it.

Psalms 23:4 Even though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me!

Any fears, anger, sadness, hurt, or confusion was swept away and replaced by his strength and grace again. My God is good, his love abounds!! Can't wait to go back tomorrow. Seriously.


BrittanyP said...

Love you Ra Ra!! You are truly an inspiration to us all. I know that I could not handle this as graceful as you. Your in my thoughts and prayers and you will come out on top to watch that beautiful baby girl grow up to be an amazing woman! XOXO

Jori said...

Rachel, we are all steady praying for you & on your side. I can't help but relive all of those emotions with you as I read them. I have been there, not personally, but closer than I ever imagined I would. I won't lie, you are in for a battle. But I haven't run into anyone more equipped than you. You are an amazing woman, mom, wife, daughter, friend, sister, you are going to be having the celebration of a lifetime for the rest of your life. You can do this and what a wonderful story to touch others lives as well. I can't wait to read those stories too. I look forward to going through this journey with you. If you ever need anyone to talk to that has experienced these things with a loved one. Call me anytime. I have all the time you need. Anytime. Keep us posted so we can keep up our prayers. My Dad always says to me when times are hard. . . This too shall pass!

Anonymous said...

I just want you to know that I cried my eyes out reading this! I'm praying for you! You are such an inspiration to me. You will beat this!!!

amy said...

I had to pause a few times while reading your blog because I was so inspired by your courage as well as emotional reading your words. I remember the first day of chemo, the "haircut", and that moment of anger and deep sadness that hits a few days later. Stay strong and continue to write (it will save you a ton of money on therapy)....and your words are a gift to those who love you.
You and your family are in my prayers and I will look very forward to your recovery. Stay in touch and power through this with all of the courage in your heart. Amy

the pattern

Just as soon as you think nothing will ever be the same fall back into life's steady pace. L I F E  R E M E M B E R S  T ...