Listening to my daughter Mariya’s Healing Hymns, tears come as expected. So many gifts I have been given by so many, and I have not even had the energy to say thank you. Since the last blog post, I have been in a dark cave. I am beginning to emerge but I can’t deny where I have I have been.
What the doctor called “chemo induced gut damage” was hours and hours of nausea and throwing up. I lost track of days. I only knew my body was shrinking in front of my eyes. When I could get past the gag response to food, it stayed uneasily and barely. Round 3A stalked me; the slightest walk made my heart pound, energy was something that seemed like a distant memory. All I knew was fatigue. Steve and Elena nearly went crazy trying to get me to eat and drink. Finally, with my electrolytes out of whack, we resorted to nightly hydration with potassium-enriched saline dripping into my central line.
This helped. I was able to keep food down, though appetite is still something I am working on. I have found out that at 114 pounds, I am rather too accurately skin and bones.
And yes, I lost perspective and hope and no, I wasn’t able to hold onto all that I know can be true. I just curled up into it, and went beyond anyone’s ability to reach me. This was a cruel thing to do to Steve and the daughters, and I knew it. I just couldn’t seem to help it. Full of doubt and confusion, I felt like giving up.
You know how a blue sky can slowly emerge out of rainy clouds while you aren’t paying attention? It’s raining and dark and then unexpectedly, a little bit of indigo nudges the gray over. And before you know it, the day has changed, and the sun shafts down and the difference between shadow and light becomes obvious.
One of my favorite cards strengthened me. I described it in one of my early posts; here it is again: It is of an exhausted Hawaiian in a canoe surrounded by endless rough seas. As he slumps in the middle seat, two spirit angels take over bow and aft with strong arms and clear direction. All I can feel is being in the middle seat now. But everyone else; my family and friends, my angels and own spirit are steering the boat. And just like that sunny day emerging, I am seeing this again.
So, here I am, recovering from a round of chemo that felt like it very nearly killed me. My doc doesn’t like the weight loss but he still thinks I am doing well. My white blood count has already bounced back. My main job over the next couple of weeks is to recover weight, strength and perspective.
We have been watching Doc Marten. If you have ever seen even one episode, you know how entirely without social graces he is. Well, Steve—my Caregiver, husband, friend and long-suffering nurse, I have been your Doc Marten. Nothing has been fair, and this is just as hard on you as it is on me, but being gracious about that has often been beyond my grasp. I am gluing myself back together. There’s just a lot of little pieces. It might take awhile.
The road ahead is still long and scary. We are going to go with a Haplo transplant. We have been told by the leading expert in the field: “I would be comforted that Seattle is the best place in the world for this and this gives her the best chance of making it through as safely as possible. I think you four are making the right decision and you should go forward with confidence.” Hopefully we will get a date set soon. Of course, I still need to get through 3B.
I am holding the image of healing and health. That I can do this again is a good thing. There’s a place I want to go back to in Scotland with Steve.