Thursday, April 24, 2014

Treatment Three, Cycle Four

Last Friday was my third round of chemotherapy for my fourth cycle of Abraxane. I wasn't sure what to expect because my white blood cell count the week before had been so low. This third round, my white blood cell levels went down to 0.8. It was the lowest that it had ever gone. I had to wait while the nurse tried to contact my oncologist. Thankfully, I was able to go through with my chemo because I was scheduled to give myself the Neulasta shot on Saturday.

On my way home, my stomach felt a little nauseas, my head hurt, and I was exhausted. Usually when I get home, I eat and then crash. This time, I just wanted to sleep. I had to force myself to eat. I was also hoping that eating would get rid of that bit of nauseousness.

That day, I met a woman who was there for her first chemo treatment. She was in the next room, and I could hear her and her husband ask the nurse many different questions. I could also hear the nurse tell the woman that she would need to get a port. Please believe me when I tell you that I wasn't eaves dropping. When you are sitting there and people are talking in a small space, it is hard not to hear what they are saying.

What I heard sounded very familiar. She had small veins. They had to try a few times to get the needle in. This was her first chemo treatment. She didn't know what to expect. She asked a lot of questions. She didn't know what a port was. She didn't know what it would look like. She didn't know what to expect in a port surgery. She didn't know what type of side effects she would have to endure. She didn't know when to expect her hair to fall out.

I wanted to go over and just calm her fears. I remember that first chemo treatment. The fear of the unknown. I didn't want to barge into another person's life. I just asked God to open the door if He wanted me to talk to this woman. I just sat in my seat and wrote in my journal.

Then, her husband walked past my little chemo area. He asked me how I was doing as if he knew me. That threw me off. I'm not someone who responds quickly to things (foggy head), but this time, God helped me. I told him that I was doing well. He asked what I was in for, and I told him. Then, I told him that I had a port and that I would be willing to show his wife. I told him that I remembered how hard that first chemo treatment was and how hard it was to imagine what a port looked like. The nurses show you what the port they will install looks like, but it is hard to imagine it in your body.

Well, I went over and showed a perfect stranger my port. I shared my story. She asked me about how I took the hair loss, and I told her that it was my faith that had sustained me. Her husband came in by this time, and they both asked, "What faith is that?" I told them that I was a Christian, and they said they were Christians also. They had been praying together for the wife's uterine cancer.

The woman, Debbie, asked me a lot of questions, and I was happy to answer them. One of them was about the hair loss. I told her my hair loss story and how I prefer not to wear a wig. That is when she said, "Oh, no, I have to wear one. My neighbors are really nasty and if they find out, they will laugh at me." It broke my heart to hear that, but I understood her heart.

Debbie's nurse came in to start her chemo, so I went back to my area. We hugged and said goodbye. I was really tired, so I took a bit of a nap. I ended up finishing first, so I stopped by her room and said goodbye. She said that, maybe, we could pray together the next time we saw each other.

So thankful that I could comfort someone with the comfort that God has comforted me with.


  1. Monica: It is such an encouragement how God is using you to bless others. What a wonderful testimony you are to His love! Thanks for sharing. Sunnah

  2. I agree with go blue mom. Thanks for sharing this, Monica.

  3. Thank you both for your words of encouragement and love!