As you know, I particularly dreaded this chemo round. So God's comfort began before treatment on Sunday. Our church had a special Ascent service, a modern hymns movement concert and worship service that included communion, foot-washing, healing anointing and prayer. The music was beautifully done and encouraged vocal improvisation that I really enjoy. Then the music took a more contemplative turn as worshipers were invited to the ministries at the sides of the sanctuary. It is distressing to me when I am too sick to come to communion, so this was His gracious banquet to strengthen me. The prayer warrior I spoke with for prayer knew my general illness, but not the details. Unusually, she anointed my hands with oil, not my head. Coincidence? I thought it was all over, but an old friend pulled me aside and wanted to wash my feet, "because she loves me". It was an astonishing revelation of the Body of Christ. Some fed the spirit, some the heart and some...comforted the poor broken places they didn't even know they touched.
Chemo #3 yesterday began rather discouragingly, when the nurses had trouble accessing my port. The port is a surgically-implanted catheter into a major artery, giving access with minimum damage to veins to all the infusions I'll need plus allowing all the blood samples to be collected easily and with a minimum number of stabs. The tubing inside had gotten both kinked and clogged at the end. The nurses were creative and patient, but they still had to draw blood at another site. The good news is that they got it working for the chemo infusions - so no damage to peripheral veins. This could become a real problem, since this port should serve me for a whole year.
This time, I tried my naturopath's latest suggestion for minimizing the debilitating burning in my hands & feet. While I was taking the bad-boy chemo infusion, I immersed my hands and feet in icy water. This constricts the blood flow, limiting the amount of taxotere that is delivered to the afflicted areas.
I had a bit of swelling & burning in my hands last night, so I thought it hadn't worked. But I took some Apis (made from bee venom - go figure), and by morning, all the swelling & burning was gone. So maybe we have this under control. I will know for sure some time around Wednesday.
Meanwhile the "Merry Maids" from church came to make my house feel like home again. Not only did they clean it top to bottom, changing sheets and towels, but they left a fragrant soup in the crock pot, and my favorite flowers smiling out of surprising nooks throughout the house. Best of all, they left the benediction of their special prayers in all the living areas.
Mom & Dad completely rearranged their lives to schlep me around town in case I should be too dizzy after chemo to be a safe driver, and then to be with me overnight as well. My cup runneth over.