Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Where The Rubber Meets The Road

I wrote this to clean out the clutter in my brain and to ask for prayers.  It's hard to declutter my brain right now because Chemo is making it very cloudy and messy and it's hard work to think or put together words at all.  If you don't want to read through my mental dust pile you can skip it but I'd appreciate if you'd just say a prayer for me.  

I'm having a PET scan today.  As I write this I've already gotten through my first needle of the day because I had my mid-cycle blood work done about an hour ago.  Thankfully my blood came out willingly this time so that's positive.  I was anticipating a lot of digging around and playing musical phlebotomists so I'm really relieved to have it behind me.

I'm getting tired guys.  I'm physically tired because of the Chemo, but I am getting so mentally and emotionally exhausted.  God willing (biology cooperating?), I have only 2 treatments left.  In the beginning I had anxiety over the unknown.  I thought that with time and experience I would become desensitized and that the desensitization would mean that by the end of my cancer treatment I'd be an "old pro".  Being an "old pro" in my mind meant I would reach a point where getting poked with needles and other medical procedures that were previously challenging would become no different than shaking someones hand.

Instead, I'm experiencing some kind of increasing hypersensitivity.  It makes sense--my body is registering that it is being poisoned and is rebelling, big time.  I'm in an almost constant state of fight or flight and anything hospital related, even just figuring out who will pick up the girls from school elicits powerful nausea, physical shakes, and tears welling up in my eyes.  Sometimes I'm not doing anything cancer related but suddenly I'm tasting saline like I do when they flush my IV at chemo even though that's impossible, because I don't have an IV and I'm safe at home.  Sometimes the aching in my arms makes it so that all I can think about is being poked with needles, but they are not willful thoughts.  When these things happen I feel like such a loser.  I feel so out of control.  I feel like I should be able to make it stop or that if I was being truly positive and truly brave none of those things would happen at all.

And yet, I am being poisoned.  It is good poison.  It is saving my life.  Unfortunately, none of that changes that my body only knows it's being poisoned, and it wants out.  My body is begging me to run away and save it from the poison and it's pulling out all the stops to try to force my hand: anxiety, nausea, flashbacks, exhaustion, anger, dizziness, you name it. No matter what it tries, I have to tell it no and walk back into the fray over and over.  My body and I, we are at war with each other right now and it's hard because it's a fight I can't escape.  Not only can I not escape it, each skirmish leaves me feeling less capable of fighting the next.  I feel less capable, but I am NOT less capable.  In the fight between body and spirit, I will only allow my spirit to win, but gosh it's hard.

In the beginning my cancer was essentially an intellectual exercise.  The idea that I have about an 80% chance of surviving 5 years after my diagnosis sounded like a guarantee.  It was so easy to be positive when cancer was an idea and the discomforts were minimal and fleeting.  Now cancer is very real and relentless and believing I'll beat it takes a great deal more convincing.  80% isn't as comforting anymore.  I do still believe I will be ok, but it is hard work to believe.  I'm believing it because it's the right thing to do.  This is seriously where the rubber meets the road when it comes to meditating on my blessings and turning to my faith.  It's easy to think that those things aren't working anymore when the fight starts to really challenge me so aggressively.  It's easy to think I was being naive and that those things never actually worked at all when I'm experiencing fear or despair or pain or I can't be totally in control of my thoughts and feelings.  I wasn't being naive.  Meditating on my blessings and turning to my faith are working and they always worked because I keep doing what I have to do, no matter how I feel.

I'm having a PET scan today and a CAT scan on Friday.  The results will determine if I really do only have 2 treatments left or if I'll need more.  Please, God, please don't let me have more.  I don't know how I can possibly take any more.  I don't know how I can possibly keep forcing myself to believe if they say I still need treatment.  I don't know how, but if I have to, I will.  I will do whatever it takes to kill my cancer.  I will keep believing we're killing the cancer no matter what those PET and CAT scans say.

Can you do me a favor?  Could you pray for me?  It really helps, and I really need it.


32 comments:

  1. Praying, praying, always praying for you, Nella. You can and will do this. I know you have it in you even if it doesn't always feel that way.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We will certainly step up the prayers around here. And we will send up the kind of prayers to carry you through today. And then tomorrow we will do the same. And keep doing it until you are done, and you have beaten this. And you let us know when you need more than prayers to carry you through, and we will make sure you have it. Hang in there!!! Love you!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Praying for you from Denver, you're such a strong woman.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I will keep you in my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Praying for you, and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Praying here in Atlanta for you. Keep the faith.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I pray for you each and every night Nella, but I will most certainly offer more. Everything Maria said echoed in my heart.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have been and will continue to.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm praying, Nella. I think of you often. And I'm so sorry this is so. darned. rough.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Offering any and everything that comes my way today for you.

    ReplyDelete
  11. So many prayers coming your way!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Praying for you, Nella. Psalm 130, for when you're overwhelmed and crying out to the Lord.

    ReplyDelete
  13. We've been praying for you and will continue to do so!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. My family and I are praying for you in California . . . despite the fact that everything you write is so beautiful and coherent that I can hardly believe you have any drugs in you at all! You are amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am so sorry you're going through this. Praying for you.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Nella, I've been praying for you every day since you told me you had cancer. I offer every daily Rosary up for you, offer every weekly Communion up for you. I think about you and your dear family every day. Please get well, soon. You're a sweet, wonderful, incredible person and we all just want to see you well and happy. God be with you.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Nella, you are one of the strongest people I know! And you're a blessing to everyone you are sharing this struggle with. You are in our rosary every night, and will add all my seemingly "hard" crosses through the day. You will beat this. One day at a time! Lots of love!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hang in there Nella and have no doubt in your heart that you have an army praying for you. Right now is when I wish I could give you a tight hug.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog. You have a gorgeous family, yourself, and I will be praying for renewed strength, perfect peace, and overwhelming joy in your home.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Definitely praying for you, Nella!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Definitely praying for you, Nella!

    ReplyDelete
  22. 2 or 20--you can do it! Praying for your mental strength to get through the medical part and start to heal in mind and body.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Praying for you....please let us know if there is anything else we can do.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Praying for you Nella and thank you for asking us to. I hate medical stuff and I know if I was going through what you are I'd be a mess. Please let us know what they find out from the scans.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Continued prayers for you and please let me know if there is anything I can do to help! I hate that you are going through this.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Lord, please give this woman the strength and peace she needs to persevere. Amen!

    ReplyDelete

I love your comments...please say hello and share your thoughts. "Meeting" my readers is such a treat!

AddThis