I went to chemo with about two hours of sleep. This time it wasn't because of the steroids. I was steroid free going into round 8. Yesssss! That was a definite plus. But, I did go in with a terrible cold + no sleep = no likey! I looked very much forward to the Benadryl I was going to get in my IV. I was in need of a nice nap.
I was wide awake Sunday night because I couldn't seem to shut off my mind. I received a call from my mom in Montana telling me my uncle was in the hospital and "it's not looking good". He was dying from cancer. Last month he became very ill and was told by his doctors that his cancer was too far gone to treat and had about two months to live. Cancer had taken over his body and left him in so much pain, he was only "comfortable" with constant pain medication. This makes me incredibly sad. It makes me sad not only for him, but for my family who is with him, watching someone they love die from cancer. At this point, I imagine it is much harder on them then it is on him.
This isn't the first time my mom has had to watch someone she loves die from cancer. When she was pregnant with me, her own mother died from what began as breast cancer that spread throughout her body. She watched her from a young age battle this awful disease. Now she's not only been watching her brother lose his battle with cancer, but her own daughter is fighting this disease as well. My heart is so heavy for her right now. I cannot imagine what this must feel like for her, what she must be going through. It's heart breaking.
I was sitting in the waiting room at my appointment when I received the call from mom that my uncle had passed away early that morning. Even though I knew it was coming, I wasn't expecting to hear those words. It was very sad news and when I saw Dr. Ellis she could tell something was bothering me besides me just being under the weather. I told her what was going on and she was very sweet and sympathetic.
I was asked several times throughout the day how I was handling the news. I was sad. I was of course sad that my uncle had passed away, but I was also sad that cancer had taken someone else's life. I was sad because I have cancer and am very sensitive to the words dying and cancer. It gives me a pit in my stomach that I can't even explain to anyone. I don't ever imagine this will be my outcome, but I have to admit it frightens me so much. It makes me hate cancer so much more! Needless to say, my day did not start out very well.
My day soon got better though when one of my very best friends, Amy, came by my appointment to see me. She is truly a breath of fresh air and one of the most positive people I've ever known. When I talk with her she always sees the bright side of things rather than focus on the negative. She completely gets my feelings and then talks me through it so that I see the positives. I am incredibly grateful to her. She also brought me some pink tulips, which are one of my favorite flowers! I warned her that as soon as the Benadryl hit my veins I'd likely be fast asleep... and I was right. She continued to sit with me though and read some magazines. I always feel bad at the point when I fall asleep because there's really nothing to do for the people who come with me. But, I know this is probably more of a concern to me than it is to the people there. I'm really lucky to have so many people who want to share this time with me.
I then had a second guest arrive, my cousin Kristin. Amy had to leave, so it was perfect timing. This was the first time Kristin and I were able to sit and talk since my diagnosis... just the two of us. So, it was nice to be able to answer all her questions about my cancer. (To learn more about Triple Negative Breast Caner, please visit http://www.tnbcfoundation.org/understandingtnbc.htm) A lot of people, including myself, are fully aware of breast cancer but aren't aware that there are many types of breast cancer. We talked a lot about that and my upcoming surgery. She also brought me a very lovely gift, a bracelet that she made herself. I love it. I love jewelry so much, especially now when I don't feel super feminine.
I was then surprised by a third guest, Eric. I knew he was coming to pick me up from my appointment, but I didn't expect him until a little later. It was a nice surprise. :)
We arrived home that evening and I gave the girls their Valentines gifts and then fell asleep pretty quickly. I awoke a little while later to dinner made, followed by some chocolate covered strawberries. I was a very happy girl. That morning Eric and the girls gave me my gift. It was a picture of the girls and me that was hand drawn from a friend of Eric's, Jordan Ekdahl, from a previously taken picture. It was gorgeous. I couldn't think of anything I'd want more. :)
I thought I'd include some photos Amy took while at my treatment yesterday. I know a lot of people wonder what it's like for me while I'm there. It really is a very simple and relaxing time. I'm sitting in a fairly comfy chair with the blanket my family made me and I'm hooked up to an IV that the nurses come in and change the medications that are being administered. The nurses are always very nice and make you feel very comfortable.
The very pretty flowers from Amy.
Just hanging out.
This is right after I was given Benadryl and will soon be night night.