I’d planned to update yesterday on Chemo Monday, Round 3, but Chemo Mondays have unfortunately been consistent. I thought I’d figured things out and was ready for a perfect Chemo Monday, but now hope that my final Chemo Monday of Cytoxin & Adriomyacin in three weeks will be the best yet, from the lessons I’ve learned on the previous three. This time, my appointment was at 7:15 a.m., allowing Scott to work from the room and then return to the office afterwards. After waiting for labs, my white blood cell count was below where it needed to be, but within range to move ahead with permission from the doctor, thankfully. My immune system is more vulnerable, so I need to be extra careful about hand washing, sanitizing, and avoiding large crowds. Everything at the cancer center went fine. After arriving home around noon, I knew to take Zofran right away to avoid a nausea episode. I did not throw up all day, but still felt wiped out and crummy. Next time, I’m thinking an afternoon appointment gives me the morning to accomplish something, and makes the after chemo fall into the evening. Plus, I’m thinking I’ll take the anti-nausea pills that wipe me out, that way I sleep through the yuckiness. Hopefully it will work, and sadly it will be on my last time. I’ll have to figure out a plan on the chemo round of Taxol that will be weekly for 12 weeks.
I’ve had 8 horizontal days so far—chemo days, toxic Tuesdays (the day after chemo, NOT counting today, which is horizontal!! You’re considered toxic for the first 3 days of treatment, and have to be careful that others don’t eat or drink after you), the fever day, and Saturday and Sunday, days 13 & 14 of round 2. That’s not bad! I’ve had to increase my resting times to twice a day for busier days, but it has been manageable. The decreasing energy, and prioritizing what my energy is spent on is a trial of patience for me, but Sally says it’s good practice for old age!
So, now for an update on more exciting things: this past weekend was our stake youth conference. (In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 8-10 congregations make up a stake, symbolic of stakes holding up a tent, with the tent being God’s kingdom.) The theme was Charity Never Faileth. The bible dictionary defines charity as the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love, not merely affection; the pure love of Christ. I was so thankful to have enough energy to participate in the entire weekend (slipping off twice a day to rest in a quiet room). We had 153 youth attend, ages 14-18. They had workshops, a dance, outside water activities, a drive-in movie (where they made cars out of cardboard boxes and then sat in them to watch a movie in the gym), a dating panel, a service project, and a testimony meeting. Youth stayed at host homes, where they had family scripture study, family prayer, snacks and games, morning devotionals, and then headed back to the church for the day’s activities.
The service project was the highlight of the conference. The youth stuffed packets and hand-delivered them to over 1200 families on the records of our stake. The packets contained a picture of our upcoming Indianapolis Indiana Temple, a copy of The Family--a Proclamation to the World, a picture of Christ, and a letter from our stake presidency. Many of these families had not attended church in years, resulting in varied responses, some rather hostile, while others were warm and appreciative. With 60 volunteer transporting 2-3 youth, going all over our stake boundaries, they drove cumulatively over 1500 miles.
This event made me more observant of this pure love of Christ. Yesterday at the cancer center, a volunteer came by my room offering mini cupcakes. She had a big smile on her face, was bald with a bandana covering her head, had on a tank top that showed her power port for chemo. She and her daughter were going from room to room spreading sunshine. The pure love of Christ is often seen in small acts. I’m thinking—here I am feeling crummy, and she is spending part of her chemo day bringing cheer to others. What a gift of love! (Maybe she’s on the Taxol part???) This was a great example of following the advice from the late Joseph B. Wirthlin, Come What May and Love it.