I completed another round of maintenance chemo Thursday bringing me to 32 infusions, and one step closer to being at “no chemo status”. For those who are new to this journey I began chemo in January 2013, and will continue through April 2014. I think back to when my oncologist told me they were recommending sixteen months of chemo, and remembering I had to position my hand so my mouth did not hang open the entire consultation. All I kept think was ” sixteen months? Are you kidding me?”. Sixteen months seemed like a lifetime especially when we are talking in terms of poison and its’ side effects.
|My beautiful mom, a Breast Cancer survivor herself,
always helps pass out Care Packs. We both learned
Thursday that T. Teal must invest in a cart.
Care Packs are heavy!
I have become familiar with the chemotherapy center and processes; befriending those who are treating patients and others battling, supporting, and surviving the effects of Cancer. I’ve come to realize my battle is no comparison to the fight and endurance other survivors have courageously displayed. Thursday was a reminder of this reality; I met new friends who inspire me, reconnected with others who amaze me, and interacted with many who don’t realize just how strong they are.
|A fighter battling Ovarian Cancer for 7 years, and currently
undergoing treatment for her third recurrence. She lost her husband before
finding out about her second recurrence, and is a single mom. She’s
a fighter, and inspiration to many.
I am so proud of the work Tenaciously Teal (T. Teal) is doing to connect and encourage those battling Cancer. Thursday we went to a new chemo infusion center, and one reserved for those who don’t have medical insurance. As one patient told me I am blessed to receive my chemo treatment at “The Taj Mahal”, and Thursday I saw firsthand the disparity existing in Cancer treatment. The chemo center we visited was cramped and seemed desolate. There were no windows, no fish tanks to find Nemo, it lacked tables with puzzles, magazines, hats, or bracelets, and no volunteers were making rounds pushing calories from a snack cart where the snacks never change. In the chemo room we visited Thursday there was only joy, courage, and smiles shining throughout a room that normally feels dark.
|I wish I knew more of this kind man’s story. I only know is his face lit up
when we gave him a Care Pack, and he was extremely thankful!
We also visited the hospital floor where I recovered from a major Cancer surgery in December 2012. At first the affects of being back on the same floor, and recalling the trauma I underwent was overwhelming, but quickly I learned I had come to where I was needed this day. After checking in at the front desk, one nurse told me to make sure I visited room 770. As I continued down the hall I realized we were quickly approaching room 770, the same room I occupied for over a week. I knew immediately it was my room, because it backed up to the “pretty room”. A room I learned despite how pretty it was it was a room you didn’t want to visit. Through crying and screaming I learned it was not a room reserved for upgrades, but one created out of respect for those who had fought courageously.
|A loving Cancer caregiver and I in front of the room
I once fought in, and where a fight against
With a knot in my throat, and a heavy heart, realizing someone again was occupying the pretty room, I knocked on the door to room 770. A young woman answered the door, and I quickly realized we shared a heavy heart. I gave her two Care Packs, one for her, and one for her young son, who battles Leukemia. Her son was receiving inpatient chemo infusions, and he was obviously very sick.
His eyes were rolled back with what seemed no ability to focus, and he was gaunt from the ailing and sickness that comes with chemo. I backed out of the room, giving a fighter his privacy, and told his mother that a lot of prayer had occurred in this same room just 10 months before when I laid there in a similar hospital bed. She broke down in tears, and she, my mom, and myself, had opportunity to join hands and pray. Room 770 once again housed a moment where a little hope was restored, but this time in the lives of a different mother and Cancer fighter.
I continue to be blessed with what God is doing through the support of T. Teal! Thank you, to all those who are supporting this mission to spread hope and joy to those battling Cancer.
|My husband Benjamin and I waiting to receive my chemo,
and what appears to be gum on the bottom of my show 🙂
|My turn for chemo after handing out Care Packs
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