Quote of the day: Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight. Helen Keller
Today was just plain beautiful outside. When I came outside of my room at Skyline, I looked up at Mount Olympus like I always do. It was covered w/ snow and the sky was that incredible color of blue. The air was cool against my cheeks. It felt bitter-sweet. I was leaving Skyline probably for a while, maybe back next August. A little unsure of where this path may take me. I don’t mean that I won’t be here in August but I may feel compelled to try something new. That is one lesson this cancer has taught me- don’t be afraid to take another path. Your dreams may dissolve if you don’t act upon them.
I went to Skyline this morning to help Mary, my permanent substitute, get the swing of things and meet the students. She is only 24 and taking this on mid-year- what a challenge. She asked me what I would like for her to accomplish while I was away. I thought that was such a good question. I explained that I really want them to learn about all the different service opportunities there are around them and how to give back to the world. I really want them to let service be a vehicle to making the world a better place for all of us. But here’s the truth- Skyline students- 99% of the ones I have worked with come from homes where their parents teach them how to give. Yes, they do have a lot but they are also expected to make something of themselves to give back to the world. My cute student, Megan Mansell, said to me in a note “you are a triple threat- mentally, physically and with a strong testimony”. Since I have the triple-negative marker for cancer, I would rather turn it around and be triple positive! Thanks, Megan! Cute note from Mary-Cate Greene- another favorite of mine! Also, thank you Dierdri for the book Drawing on the Powers of Heaven.
Joe and I spent several hours w/ the oncologist today, Dr. William Nibley. He came highly recommended and we were impressed with him. He spent a lot of time explaining how and why the chemo works, all the different options and got us on the calendar for chemo treatments on Tuesday, March 22. They will do 4 treatments of TAC and then 4 treatments of Taxol. I will have treatments every 2 weeks. Biggest side effect is fatigue- aren’t really any drugs that can help w/ that but the better shape you’re in when you start chemo, probably the better you can deal w/ fatigue. Other side effects include nausea (they have improved this part w/ the use of drugs), hair loss around 2 weeks which means about April 5. And then a compromised immune system. Drugs prescribed include Prochlaorperazine Maleate for nausea, Lorazepam for nausea and Levaquin for anti-biotic. I hate taking drugs, hate the sight of needles and especially needles in my arms- oh well, it’s my life right now and in my future…
One thing the oncologist said that resonated w/ me: during the chemo time you have a greater risk of depression, no surprise there, but he said that sometimes if you’re really busy (like w/ teaching school) and then that’s gone, it can be especially difficult. I know I have enough going on that I’m forced to be busy but it got me thinking about what I have had to give up this past year and how I miss that fun stuff like running and playing tennis. I’m hoping I can run some, or at least walk during chemo and I hope I can still play tennis but I know I won’t have anywhere near the level of fitness I would like to have.
Julie O’Leary and Candi Merrell stopped over today right when we were going to oncologist. Julie understands cancer and all it’s complexities. Her awesome son, Connor, has dealt w/ cancer this past year. He has had to delay his LDS mission due to this illness. I could feel her pain as a mother watching your child go through this. She shared w/ me this amazing plaque that she says “Do not fear tomorrow, God is already there.” I will put this where I can see it and think about it every day. Cancer evokes this horrible fear in all of us but it also teaches us that we have to live our lives the best w/ can and God will take care of the rest of it. Julie carries w/ her this incredible empathy for others and so does Candi. They made my day- I was just sorry I couldn’t visit w/them longer.
Finally, and sorry so long, I am not going to have Petscan tomorrow. In talking w/ oncologist he said that we won’t learn anything on Petscan that we wouldn’t treat the same way. I am exhausted from the medical tests and if I don’t have to put nuclear medicine in my body tomorrow morning, then I will be glad for that.