"People say, oh I could never do that! But when you meet cancer patients you understand the bravery and spirit those people show each and every day. Their struggles and spirit motivate you to test the limits of your endurance to cross that finish line. You'll be surprised at what you can do."
-John Kellenyi, eight-time marathoner and leading fund raiser with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training.
Interestingly, this was on a Starbuck's cup filled with a latte (the last one I drank several weeks ago). My sister-in-law had not read the cup when she got the coffees.
I always maintained that I would never do chemotherapy if I got cancer again (I had lymphoma in 1975). And here I am, 15 months of chemotherapy later, wiped out and barely able to eat. It is amazing what we will do to survive. I don't think we're instantly brave or strong. It's the determination to go on, to feel we're "finished" with our task on earth that brings those strengths out of us. Not everyone is called upon to use them, but I believe everyone possesses them. No one can say "I'll never do that" or even "you should do this or that" because you just don't know until you're walking through these tremendously hard decisions yourself. And nobody knows but yourself when it's time to relinquish the fight, not out of cowardice, but perhaps from some eventual inner knowing that, in the grander scheme, it's time to cross that finish line that God has set before you.
These last several weeks have been the hardest yet. I've layed in bed thinking that I cannot do this much longer. What good is treatment if it's making you so miserable that you can't do any more than wander from the couch to the bed. And especially when treatment isn't making a difference. All this time, the treatments have only served to stave off the inevitable. And that is the real issue. They never told me this would be cured. When the cancer broke through to my lung area, I definately turned a corner, physically and emotionally.
We're not sure yet as to if these last few treatments have made a difference. I was supposed to get 16, I didn't even make it through 4 complete ones. I will have a PET scan this Friday and we'll see. For now, we are taking a "chemo holiday," and at this point, I'm not sure if I want another drop of the stuff. The doctor talked about going back on the same treatment I had last year, as we are running out of options. I think I pretty much gave him a blank stare.
At this point, I honestly can't say that I'll do more chemo, unless they come up with some miracle drug. I'm so burnt out from it. And oddly, I feel a sense of freedom. If I can have a few good months with my family, share another summer, savor the beauty of God's creation here on this earth, smell the sea, feel the coolness of the mountains, sit in a boat on a lake, even just watch the birds come and go from our bird feeder... this will be time well spent.
Pray with me, dear friends, for wisdom and peace, for the rest of my days to be as pain free as possible. Pray for my dear family, for comfort, for security, for peace that passes understanding.
I will let you know scan results probably next Monday.
PS: I am not checking any video attachments or web stuff that is sent to my computer. My computer is slow and these things take a long time to open. If you need to send this type of mail, please send to Doug's computer via his blogsite. Thanks! Love you all!!