I am post-surgery and post-chemo #1. Thanks be to God!
The surgery was smooth as silk – one attempt, one port insertion. No angioplasty or re-dos needed. There was one bit of confusion, however: after my surgeon prayed over me, the last thing I heard him say was, “Are we removing the right or the left leg?”
I opened my mouth to shout, “Neither!” but the anesthesia knocked me out at that very moment and the word died on my lips..
Sometimes the guy standing over you with the scalpel gets the last laugh!
This is Doctor Oviedo. If you ever need surgery in Tallahassee, there is none better.
Also, I want to give a shout out to Jen Taylor, the RN who dropped everything to come to see me right before my surgery began. She gave Betsy and I a “Trust” stone and her cell number to use if we needed anything from her. Most importantly, she recruited an army of other nurses, along with herself, to pray for us.
Jen is a remarkable woman who is also the founder and administrator of Joanna Francis Living Well, Inc.
Check out their website at http://joannafrancislivingwell.org/default.aspx and make a donation to assist women who are seeking to not just get well, but live well with breast cancer.
Now on to the chemo I started today. My platelets were way low (from my radiation), so much conferring took place. Do we go ahead with the chemo, give him a platelet transfusion or put the whole thing on hold? The decision was made to proceed.
Me: “Is this risky?”
Doc: “Life is risky.”
By the way, if you ever need a treatment you need to know more about, don’t ask your doctor. Instead, just steal one of these pamphlets. Note that it is the “Clinician’s Guide” to my drug, not the “Patient’s Guide”. In other words, it is the place to find out the real truth about what your new drug is about to do to your body – the truth only the doctors know.
My doctor mailed this one to me because I drive him nuts with all my questions. Now he can just say, “Read the damn guide,” and then bill me for an office visit.
Speaking of reading the guide, be prepared to learn a lot of things you didn’t ever want to know. For example, one of the side effects of my new drug, Jevtana, is apparently:
“Death by diarrhea.”
I kid you not. Wouldn’t that look good on my tombstone?
I was also reading up on another drug they may to start giving me called Procrit. “PROCRIT® is a man-made form of the protein human erythropoietin that is given to reduce or avoid the need for red blood cell transfusions. PROCRIT® stimulates your bone marrow to make more red blood cells. Having more red blood cells raises your hemoglobin level.”
Sounds great, huh? Yes, until you read this: “If you have cancer, your tumor may grow faster and you may die sooner if you choose to take PROCRIT®”.
Wait a second. Are these people crazy? Isn’t this the very thing we are trying to prevent from happening?
<Sound of crickets chirping.>
It’s all pretty insane, but “the game is afoot” as Sherlock would say. Today I had the following by infusion:
- Benadryl (you haven’t lived until you’ve had Benadryl via IV),
- a steroid (that puts me at an “increased risk for prostate cancer”),
- an anti-nausea medication (that keeps me from barfing everything back up),
- Jevtana (the napalm chemo),
- and something else (that I’m pretty sure was non-alcoholic) to chase it all down with.
“How do you feel now, Ed?” Very strange – not bad, just strange. Full – like I’ve eaten too much, only it’s not just my stomach, it’s my entire body.
I’m told that tomorrow is when it all hits the fan, though. Think of me as a haystack soaked in kerosene. The injection they’re going to give me tomorrow is apparently going to be the match.
I’ll let you know what happens. Or just look out your window – you may be able to witness it yourself if you are nearby.
Note: Paul & Dara, if you’re reading this, I didn’t say a word. I did have some thoughts, but I didn’t say a word.
“A person who is loved in their weakness blossoms.” – Tullian Tchividjian
I think this captures perfectly what is happening to me. God has chosen to take away my strength and make me weak. I hate this with a passion. But in my weakness, He has sent great love to my soul. As this love has penetrated the cracks and crevices that my weaknesses have created, I have blossomed.
No, He hasn’t healed me of my cancer; He has done something greater though. He is healing my soul.