Monday, March 11, 2013

One down, seven to go

i know every inch of highway,

A couple hours ago I got home from my first chemotherapy infusion. Matt and I were at the hospital from 7:30am to 1:30pm. I had an appointment with my oncologist and then went to the infusion center on another floor. Everyone we encountered was so kind and helpful.

I feel mostly okay right now. I took steroids and anti-nausea meds already today to help with the side effects. That said, I decided to skip out on an after-school trip to the playground--mostly because I didn't want to have to be far from the restroom in case I needed to pee. (I've been very diligently hydrating.) I did seriously consider going because I kind of wanted to be outside watching my kids play on this gorgeous almost-spring day. But I figured a better option might be a short evening walk if I'm feeling up to it. I know I'm going to be faced with those choices a lot in the coming months as to when and how I expend my energy. My heart wants to just keep going as long as I feel fine, anticipating that there are going to be a lot of times when I don't feel fine very soon. My head counters that I need to be careful and wouldn't I be better off on the couch, "working" on clearing my DVR?

Looking ahead is hard. It's a long road and there are so many emotions in play today as we take what feels like the first huge step on this journey. So I have to just focus on today, sometimes just right now: sitting in a quiet house waiting for my kids, Matt and Mom to burst through the door with all their energy and noise. Then we warm up something made by a dear friend for dinner.

But looking ahead a little bit is helpful for me. Chances are I'll feel okay today but then I've got a pretty strict regimen of anti-nausea meds and steroids for the next three days. My doctor expects my nausea side effects to be most intense on those days, hence the schedule. Then I'll manage symptoms (mainly nausea and fatigue) on an as-needed basis. I hesitate to anticipate too much because I honestly don't know how it will go, but I'll be taking notes when I can, trying to determine if there's a pattern to when I feel better or worse. Or at least I think I will. I know I plan to spend lots of time in my bed probably watching Netflix while I ride this out. My next chemo infusion is scheduled for two weeks from today.

So that's the micro view. The macro view is this: there's now something in my body killing cancer. It's good to feel like I'm doing something instead of just waiting for whatever's next.

Speaking of doing something, if you're reading this, you've done a lot for my family and me. You have loved us so well--with your kind words, prayers, caring thoughts and food. And what I'm finding, each step so far, is that love and gratitude push back against fear and sadness. Those feelings remain, but they're not at the forefront like they were two weeks ago. Thank you.


Susan Stabley said...

You. Yes, you. Are amazing.

Mandy Hitchcock said...

Hi, Allison-- Andrea Short forwarded your blog to me. I was a year behind you in law school, and I am sure we met at some point through law review. I am so sorry to hear of your cancer diagnosis and just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and sending you strength and hope. I am a young mom, too, and I was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma just over a year ago. I went through 16 weeks of chemo also, went into complete remission, and became pregnant with my third child 3 months later. I know that breast cancer is a totally different animal, but I am so glad to read that your prognosis looks so positive. I will be thinking of you and your sweet family (your blog is amazing-- your kids will truly treasure it one day) as you navigate these waters. Sending my love.

Mandy Hitchcock

The Torg said...

Prayers for you Allison.

Anonymous said...

Hi Allison:) this is Monica faith, Ashley forwarded me your blog. I have been praying for you and the family. You will get pass all of this and you will live a long, healthy, and blessed life!!! You are truly blessed to have a wonderful sister, husband, children, and parents:)

Susan said...

I don't know you, but I am friends with the Torg. Your blog post is so eloquently written. Know that someone in Mississippi is praying for you!

Sewconsult said...

Keeping you in our hearts. Praying so fervently for you, the family and the medical staff.
Sending gentle hugs,

allison said...

Thanks to each of you for your loving, encouraging comments. They help so much!

Anonymous said...

Hi Allison, my name is Jamie and I attend King's Baptist. I am also a fellow cancer survivor of almost 10 years. I am a 35 yrs old and have two kids that I home school. I want you you to know that we are praying for you and your family everyday. God will reveal such beautiful things in this journey to make up for the hard times ten times over. May you sense His peace today as many are lifting you up in prayer :)