This week Jeanie had her second of four scheduled chemotherapy treatments. After a three week interval, we headed back to the Parkview Breast Care Center at Barberton Hospital on Wednesday morning. After a series of blood tests they hooked Jeanie up to the IV machines and began by giving her steroids and anti-nausea medication. That took about twenty minutes or so. After a short saline solution rinse of the tubing, the nurses began to infuse the cytoxin. That took about an hour to drip in. During that time I called the grandchildren on Skype and we chatted with them. As we were finishing that conversation they brought lunch in for Jeanie. As she finished her lunch, the first chemo drug infusion had ended and they did another saline rinse. Then it was time to infuse the taxotere. Once again it took approximately one hour for that to drip into her veins. After nearly four hours we were finished and could come home. The procedure left Jeanie drained.
The next day we had to drive over again. This time it was for the application of the neulasta injection. That is to restart her bone marrow and the production of white blood cells. They do that in an effort to minimize the damage to her immune system and try to diminish the risk of becoming ill with some cold or flu. They do that whenever we show up and it only takes a couple of minutes. Afterwards we hopped in the car and headed back home. Even that short outing left Jeanie fatigued so she rested upon our return to the house. And with that shot we concluded the second installation in this round of chemotherapy. Now, we are half way through the series of four infusions.
Jeanie has avoided some of the most unpleasant side effects of the chemo, such as extreme nausea. She has had only a limited amount of low level nausea. The primary side effects have been significant fatigue and hair loss. Those beautiful long curly locks of hers are mostly gone but she remains my beautiful wife all the same. Overall I think she would say that while chemo has not been fun, it has not been too bad either. She is one tough lady! At very least she has avoided the “horror stories” that some people have during a chemo treatment. Her attitude has been very good and she has repeatly joked about things during this process. While we have little choice but to deal with what life brings, we continue to look for the silver lining in this dark cloud as we trust in the Lord. We are thankful for His watch care and your prayers and encouragement during this process.
Someone once joked that the best way to make God laugh is to tell Him your plans for the next year. There is a lot of truth in that. We can make many plans but we must always temper them with an “if the Lord wills.” We put our lives into His hands and we will live by His plans for us. This year we did not celebrate our Christmas until New Year, as it took that long to find a time when all of the grandchildren were well. We may do our New Year celebration somewhere around the middle of the month. All of our plans related to the work in Colombia depend on how my wife does in her treatments. At the moment my return will be delayed until after she has recovered from the effects of the chemo and is feeling well enough to take care of things here without my presence.
During this whole process one of the great blessings that we have had has been your words of encouragement and your prayers. Having all of your to walk with us in this process has meant a great deal to us and we are so thankful to you. The Colombians have a saying. As they age, they will comment that “the calendars come with very bad company.” They laugh, in recognition that not everything about aging is fun. After nearly forty years working in Colombia and enjoying good health during most of that time, we cannot complain when we must face some of the infirmities that are fairly common for those of our age. But you have stood by our sides in this time of trial and so we can only thank you and wish God’s blessings on you just as all of you have been a blessing to us.