Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009: The "maintenance" begins

Today was round one of fifteen on my maintenance treatment. The drug I receive is Avastin and it goes through my chest port over 1/2 hour. The cost . . . you may want to sit down . . . . $12,000. Yup, twelve thousand dollars. We are extremely fortunate that our insurance covers this or I would not be able to receive it at that cost. I don't need any premeds for this which means . . hooray . . . no benadryl! So far I haven't had any reaction to it.

We had an appointment with Dr. Downey this morning and I asked him straight out - were there times over the past two years that he didn't think that I was going to survive and he said yes. There were times that he didn't think I would beat the odds. I've told him from day one that I was going to survive and I think he finally believes me now :) He is very happy with the way things are going.

At the clinic today there was a woman with a bandanna on her head because her hair had fallen out. She looked very drained. It instantly brought me back a couple years when I was on that awful chemo. We would go in day 1, day 2 and day 8 out of a 21 day cycle. I would just finally feel human again and wham! That year was absolutely horrible.

My heart ached for this woman. My thoughts then turned to "what if the cancer comes back and I need to return to another aggressive chemo". I can't go there - I can't do that. I was overwhelmed at the thought of fighting that fight. I didn't think I was capable of something that difficult.

Then it hit me. I am capable of that. I did survive that. I went there, I did that and I kicked cancers butt!! Right now I can't imagine having it in me to survive something like that. Actually, I don't have that in me. I am a complete wimp when it comes to pain. That makes it all the more obvious that God was fighting this battle through me. He gave me just what I needed to get through each day. Should the day come where I need to fight some more . . . He's going to be there again.

The Relay for Life is coming up in two days. As I looked at all the people in the chemo clinic today I was thinking about the magnitude of this event. The money raised here goes to research. That research discovered the chemo and maintenance that I've been on. Without that . . . well, it wouldn't be good.

Thank you so much to those of you who have donated already. If you would still like to donate, the link to my web page is on the right hand side of our blog. I realize that times are tight right now and there are so many wonderful causes that need our support. Even if you can't contribute financially you can still contribute by keeping this event in your prayers.

At 6:00 on Friday night there is a victory lap. This is one of the most emotional parts of the evening. All the survivors and their families walk around the track. It is amazing to see all the purple survivor shirts. It is so encouraging to see all the people that have survived! Anyone is welcome to come check it out. If you have been thinking about being a part of the Relay I would recommend coming this year just to see what is all about. It is a very family friendly event. All the information about the event (time, location, activities) are also on my web page.

On a completely separate note, Brian is really struggling with his fatigue again. He had a few really good weeks and we saw a glimpse of the "old" Brian (well, not literally old). Just a couple days ago the fatigue returned and today he had a hard time even staying awake during my treatment. He is so tired of being tired. Please continue to keep him in your prayers.

As always - thank you.