Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Joy of Eyebrows

I never really appreciated eyebrows properly til now. They let you know where your face begins and they punctuate your expressions. I'm glad I've still got mine - mostly.

On Monday, I had my last really toxic chemo! Like eyebrows, it marks the place where I can expect healing to begin. I will continue to have infusions every three weeks of herceptin and the experimental drug avastin, but they don't carry the toxic wallop of the full chemo treatment I've been getting.

Thank you for your prayers. I had no emergencies at this treatment. And while my face is burning, most people think I've just been out in the beautiful spring sunshine. It reminds me not to celebrate quite yet. I will still need to expect the full round of difficulties for the next three weeks. Then I can begin to make real headway against the damage done to my healthy systems by the chemo.

I will see the radiation oncologist in mid-April and find out what that regimen will entail.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I'm so grateful for a bit of a respite in last chemo cycle! This time my body has figured out new and sinister ways to demonstrate its total rejection of these toxins.

I had been looking forward to a full day of conversation and writing with Petra during the infusions, but while I was soaking in the ice water, the rest of my body broke out in a rash. The doctor responded with a massive dose of Benadryl. So much for conversation – though I think I remember saying some Mad Hatter-ish things as I dozed off. I was especially glad that Petra was with me, though, I would have had to call someone to drive me home.

Yesterday, my face went up like a torch and I spent most of the day wearing ice packs. Today, I'm able to get along with aloes alone, though I look like Godzilla. And then there is the amazing nausea. I have great nausea meds, but they all make me sleepy.

None of this has happened before in this way, so it's clear that it's a whole new world this cycle. I have no real idea what to expect. But there are a number of things that won't change: the loving support of all of you, my determination to find new opportunities in my situation, and the mysterious purposes of God.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


Closing in on the next to last chemo (cheers!). I will begin the pre-chemo fast on Saturday, and will have the infusion on Monday. My energy level is sustained much better during the fast now that I am drinking Kangen water.

In fact everything has been so much more bearable this cycle since they reduced the dosage of the most toxic drug. Sure, my eyes still water & sting and my hands and feet feel sandpapered...and I often feel after eating that I'd rather return dinner than digest it. But everything has ratcheted down a notch. It's been suffering more on the level of having a bad case of the flu – so ordinary that I have been unable to find anything to mock. (Or maybe it's that chemo-brain has finally set in and prevents me from seeing things creatively...Ack!)

So instead, I thank God for a bit of respite, and for the end being in sight. Petra will be home on Spring Break for this chemo treatment, and we are planning to spend the time writing the libretto for her musical tribute to America's soldiers. Friends and relations have not forgotten to encourage me with cards, meals, flowers and kindness through this long, long distress. Every day something more to thank God for.

Robert reminded me the other day that God's laughter scatters and destroys His enemies. He is not laughing because they are destroyed, but they cannot stand before His mighty mirth. So it is not so much my laughter that matters, though it may dimly reflect His in its power to quell my nausea. May God enjoy the deep comedy in my situation and may His laughter scatter all His enemies here. May none of my dear ones be among them.


Thanks to for the funny photo.


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