Thursday, May 24, 2018

Ding! Ding! Time for Another Round (of cancer treatments)!

I started another round of cancer treatments last week. Gosh, six months seem to fly by.

The good news is that I went into these rounds stronger than ever before. It feels like my
system has finally, nearly, rebuilt itself from the destruction delivered from the original rounds of chemo in 2015.  But the ongoing treatments are throwing their own punches, so the regime remains hard.

In recognition of that, my oncologist and I made changes to the ongoing treatments. (The treatments are working on the cancer so now we're trying to improve my quality of life. I'm struggling with side effects.) I thought we'd finally found the right mix last week when no brain scramble happened during the infusion.  That was a huge difference. 

In fact, I felt pretty good. For a few days.

Then came Monday night...this past Monday night...when that mean monster inside me flipped the agony...and...

I've been struggling again...big-time...

Bone pain. Brain pain. Nausea. Muscle aches. Intestinal issues. It feels like I have the flu...the kind that keeps you wrapped in bed covers...but it's not the flu.

To quote my new oncologist..."That's good!" 

He says the treatment is supposed to trigger my immune system to fight the (constantly populating) cancer cells...and, just like when you feel bad because your system is fighting a makes you not feel too good.

That comment, which was made at a recent office visit, provided little consolation yesterday while I was struggling. I was overwhelmed with agony. Thankfully, today's better. I'm still in pajamas, but I was able to get out of bed to write this update.

Tomorrow I return to the infusion center for more.  I'm in the  jaws of an unpredictable monster. Sometimes, like yesterday, I'm tired of very tired.

But today, I read this prayer. It realigns everything. This prayer lifts my spirit right out of this aching body.  It sets me free. It gives me strength. 

Maybe you'll find it helpful too. 

Receive, O Lord, all my liberty.

Take my memory, my understanding, and my entire will.
Whatever I have or possess You have bestowed upon me; I give it all back to you and surrender it wholly to be governed by Your will.
Give me love for You alone along with Your grace, and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more. 

--St. Ignatius of Loyola

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