Chemo Start Date... June 6
I have had an anxious couple of days waiting for my appointment with my local oncologist. Today I was given my start date for the inpatient chemo; June 6. I will be inpatient at 4 South in Downtown St. Luke's in Boise. Chemo is 24 hours per day for 5-7 days. I will do this every 28 days for 4 cycles.
I am again, unsure where to put my emotions and how to process all of this. I have been feeling fantastic. I guess that comes with being in remission. However, therein lies the dichotomy, I have to start chemo after getting into remission. Essentially I have "no active cancer" and therefore my brain just doesn't quite compute this need for chemo. Until that is, I am shown all the graphs and charts about relapse and the statistics of longevity; 20 months is remission on average and 5 years is the average prognosis with just the chemotherapy. The hope is that I will get double the length of life by doing the trial that I finished and then going into chemo. Apparently there are microscopic cancer cells that will rear their ugly heads if I don't keep aggressively treating. Hence, the June 6 start date.
Since beginning this journey, I have met several people at MD Anderson in Houston with Mantle Cell. Each of them is ahead of me in treatment so I have been able to see a lot of how this may play out. Dare I say, it isn't exactly pretty. I have seen people get sepsis, infections, fevers, nausea, fatigue, be hospitalized for weeks on end and unfortunately, not all are able to continue with treatment as their bodies become too frail.
I have been faced with some, "in your face" realities; in fact I actually had my will prepared today - morbid? Yes. Realistic? Yes. I have reached out to people that I needed to, I have told the ones I love how I feel and I have tried to get my "house" in order. Yet with all this preparation, I still feel completely unprepared.
These last many weeks have been fantastic. I have danced, eaten out with friends and family, shopped, played hooky from work (yes, I told my boss I was ditching - but the weather was gorgeous and I had spring fever!) gone into the mountains in search of morel mushrooms, ridden on our Razor and thoroughly enjoyed life. When I think about it perspectively, I couldn't ask for anything more. Life really is good.
My request at this time again, will be for blood and platelet donations. As I mentioned before, this will not be held for me, but can possibly replenish the stock that I may very likely need to start taking from. We all have the ability to make a difference and something as precious as blood and platelets just might be that difference in someone's life.
I would also ask for prayers of peace. Since this morning's visit with Dr. Arteta, I am trying to find and maintain my inner peace. Distraction seems constant and fear is knocking at my door. I have done my best to look at each turn for what it is and to be grateful for everything I have gone through. I firmly believe that through adversity one becomes a better version of one's self. I realize that great suffering lies ahead and I pray for peace leading up to it and grace going through it.
Thank you all for your support. I appreciate you more than you know. I love you all.