One summer evening about 3 ½ years ago started out pouring down rain. My photography group stood around under umbrellas or hunkered down in our vehicles waiting to see if it would pass. One by one the photographers left, but convinced by the weather radar a few hardy photographers waited… And we were rewarded, the sky lit up all colors of pink after the majority of the storm was passed giving us a beautiful sunset. Reflections in the windows and wet wood make me now reflect that we need to weather the storms of life the way the photographers did that night. That evening this photo, “And Then the Storm Passed”, was created.
Tuesday evening I got a call before I left work asking if I could see the oncologist at 7:30 am on Wednesday. I couldn’t help but ask, “So, it’s bad news then.” To recap the last 10 months; surgery couldn’t get all of the tumor, the first rounds of chemo didn’t touch it, it grew during radiation, and now, during 16 weeks of immunotherapy it grew pretty aggressively.
It’s hard to describe how I’m feeling so I'll turn to my analogies again.
Defeated – The Romulans have won a decisive victory and the Enterprise is limping home for repairs (if you don’t recognize that one…see my older blogs.)
Gut-punched – The memory card has corrupted on the photoshoot of a lifetime.
Frustrated – I just lost software code for the last several months on a major project.
Despair – It feels like the time between Episode III and Episode IV of Star Wars…but true Star Wars fans know what the title of Episode IV is…”A New Hope”.
So what’s next…
On paper, the plan is a combo of a daily chemo pill and an infusion (IV drip) chemo once a week for three weeks then one week off. We will do two cycles of that and then do a CT scan. There are also some clinical trials opening up in a few months, but since the tumor grew so much, the doctor is reluctant to wait for those trials without doing anything. Also, another specialist has been added to the mix as there is some bladder involvement now. Sparing you any other details, I sometimes have to get up 5 times (or more) a night for the “little girl’s room”.
I definitely have some concerns about the chemo as the infusion is one of the same ones I had last year. It will be a much lower dose than I had last year so she hopes it won't "hit" me as hard as the larger doses. I'm actually allergic to this chemo so they have to start out giving it slower so the appointments will take longer. But once again, Jim's work schedule coincided nicely as Wednesdays are really the best day to have the infusions.
So there is one more feeling…
Hopeful – Like those hardy photographers a few years ago, I’m hunkered down waiting. I'm just focused on the plan. I hope I can work through the side effects. I’m hoping I can still do some photography. And I know of a certain pastor who is really hoping I can sing “Via Dolorosa” for Good Friday again since I couldn’t last year.
I’m looking expectantly at the radar and seeing good things.
The storm will pass…
But just not yet.
Next: Coming Soon!
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