Yesterday I sat in the chemo chair for 3.5 hours, with Daniel letting me win at Scrabble, and chemo number one out of six is done! I reacted with some nausea in the afternoon and evening, but still, popped an anti-nausea pill and went on a four mile walk. Better living through drugs!
Today, on day two of this cycle, I have felt quite well. I got in another one-hour walk, with hills, and haven't needed one anti-nausea pill yet!
What I DO have to endure, however, is cold hands and feet for the next six months. The best way to prevent hand and foot syndrome, where your skin gets a rash and blisters then peels off (!) is to wear loose, cotton clothing, and to keep your hands and feet cold and moisturized all day. So I don't wear socks at home and continually apply lotion on my hands and feet. I also sip ice water and swish with salt water all day to help prevent mouth sores.
As usual with cancer, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that my echocardiogram showed that my heart is in good shape! This is good because Doxil can be harmful to your heart in rare cases. The bad news is that the CT scan of my lungs showed the cancer has spread to my lungs. The spots are small, but they are there and they are new from previous scans. The doctor's take on this is "if the chemo works (my new drug, Doxil), it will work both on the cancer in my abdomen AND in my lungs. So our prayer request is that the chemo will work on ALL the cancer!
As the doctor showed me the scan of the spots in my lungs, at first I was fearful and about to tear up. But then I pictured Jesus standing there--in front of me, behind me, and beside me. Encompassing me completely with His peace, and calming my fear. And this entire week, I have been meditating on the song "In Christ Alone," and feeling peace knowing that God controls my destiny from life's first cry to final breath. Thanks be to God. Here are the song lyrics for you. May some of the words speak to you and bless you today!
In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.
In Christ alone, Who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I stand.
Standing in His power,