Today was chemo treatment number eight. It feels like a turning point-based on having very good test results after chemo treatment four. Of course, I hope that today’s was the last one. The effects were worse this time than with some of the other other infusions. More belly cramping and now I’m feeling drained and fatigued. Hopefully those will go away in a few days. There’s a silver lining- my oncologist permanently removed oxaliplatin from the infusions. It’s the drug that causes cold sensitivity, muscle spasms and suppresses production of platelets. Last week I wasn’t able to have chemo because my platelets were too low so I got the week off (a “chemo vacation”). That worked out really well, as I was able to enjoy and participate in my friend Lindsay’s wedding over the weekend and not feel awful.
I have two tests coming up- a PET scan on Friday and an MRI on Sunday- to see what is left of the tumors/ cancer cells and all of that. Nate and I are planning on going camping in Maine for a good part of next week which should help keep my mind off the results. I don’t feel as nervous about the results of the tests this time as I was the last time. But there’s a niggling feeling of not wanting to expect too much, either. “Prepare for the worst” says the naysayer in me.
Nate and I are having fun planning a long road trip to Idaho in July. We have been in wait-and-see mode for nearly 6 months now, and our lives feel stuck. We are tied to Boston, tied to this schedule, tied to dripping chemicals, tests, and a cycle of planned physical lows. My intention is not to complain. I am very grateful for the wonderful care that is available to me. But I’m ready for a good, long change. Looking forward to the road trip gives me joy and an anticipated, much-needed taste of freedom.
Tufts held a memorial service today for children who were treated there and passed away. It’s special that they did that. Most of the people there appeared to be medical professionals from Tufts. There were only a few families, though a lot of names of children were read. A number of doctors or others healthcare workers provided songs and readings, and for each child, placed a beautiful long-stemmed red rose in a big vase. I appreciate that the medical professionals care and take time to remember and honor the little lives that passed- some of them so quickly. A memorial service acknowledges their significance and says “They mattered”. I am finding that truth, and others’ acknowledgement of it, to be healing. Since holding our small memorial service here, planting some trees and the babies’ ashes, I’ve had more peace than before.