Faith, Hope, & Chemo

Went to Philly yesterday to get my next infusion of mk-3475 (Keytruda) and to meet with my oncologist. He hadn’t yet heard about my seizure so boy, did I sure have a fun story to tell him! So frustrating. I still feel like I’m recovering from it, honestly. I’m still kind of “out of it” (no jokes, please! Lol, more than usual, maybe I should specify). I’m still tired a lot and get confused or lose track of my thoughts very easily. I still have a hard time focusing and filtering things out if more than one thing is going on at a time. I suppose my brain just needs to remake connections or whatever because of lack of oxygen during a 5 minute grand mal seizure. It’s just a process that takes time, at least that’s what they tell me.

So, it’s decided that I will just stay on my seizure meds indefinitely. My brain tumor is still shrinking little by little, but I will stay on meds unless it would miraculously disappear or something. I hate how expensive the drug is (we never got prescription coverage – ugh!) but I’ve decided I’d pay just about any amount at this point to keep from having these seizures. Money well spent!!

Trust me, I am so glad that this chemo drug is proving to be effective for me, but I could so do without the whole process of going to get chemo. It is never less than 5 hours actually in the facility (and the infusion only takes 30 minutes) so it’s a lot of waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

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So after I finally get back into the chemo area, the nurse comes in and tries to place my IV and tells me something that I did not want to hear. Apparently, all of my bloodwork, infusions, and IV placements for PET scans, CAT scans, and MRIs have left me with lots of scar tissue build up in my veins.

Not to brag, but I’ve always had great veins. I was every nurse’s dream. And blood draws? Took no time at all! But I had noticed for my MRI a few weeks ago that it took the tech quite a long time to get it and the nurse yesterday figured it out: scar tissue. So she placed my IV in my hand instead.

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This worked fine and wasn’t an issue really, but I’m afraid I might get to a point where I need a port. That freaks me out so bad. Ugh!! But since I have horrible luck, I figure I’ll probably need one at some point.

So then starts the chemo, the most relaxing part of my day, oddly enough! A lot of people have actually asked me about what I do or listen to during chemo. I used to watch HGTV, but now I like to read my Bible and listen to music.

(Fun fact, my blog site tells me what people google that brings them to click on my blog. Usually it’s just normal stuff, you know, “melanoma blog” or something like that. Occasionally something more interesting will pop up, for example “kim andrew is she still alive”. Umm…that’s just weird, but really happened. But my point here is that about 25 times now, people have tried to google “chemo playlist” and that lead them to my blog, where there wasn’t a playlist. So I’ll go ahead and share mine, it’s actually called “chemo” lol, so you know it’s legit.)

For me, it’s a great playlist that gets my head in the right frame of mind to worship and opens my heart to the leadings of the Spirit and to what God may be trying to get through to me. It’s probably a good one for things other than chemo too.

1. Hillsong – “Like An Avalanche”
2. Hillsong – “Anchor”
3. Adie – “All I Need is You” <– this is actually originally a Hillsong song, but I like Adie's version better *gasp!* but there's no YouTube link. Worth the $1.29 to download, in my opinion!
4. Hillsong – “Stay and Wait”
5. Hillsong – “Love is War” (my very favorite song)
6. Natalie Grant – “Your Great Name”
7. Hillsong – “Broken Vessels”
8. Hillsong – “The Stand”
9. Tim Reimherr – “You Are the Lord”
10. Hillsong – “Up in Arms”

These are all songs with a similar sound and vibe. Obviously, there’s one common link lol, but Hillsong has an amazing way of creating really beautiful and powerful music that challenges me in my faith. And no, I don’t get a commission from them 😉

Even as much as I loathe going for treatments, I still have a hard time being anything but grateful for this cancer. I have learned so much and grown so much in my faith, that I wouldn’t even want to go back if I was given the chance. I’m ok with it if that sounds crazy. I’ve never felt so overwhelmed by God’s presence, so sensitive to the leading of the Spirit, and so grateful to Jesus for what He did for us. So amazing!! Thanks to all of you who have been helping us carry this burden, we are so ridiculously blessed with the people that God has placed in our lives.

I got to enjoy time in 1 & 2 Corinthians yesterday:

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I know that this is true! What am amazing God. Paul talks so much in 1 Corinthians about how the wisdom of God looks like foolishness to the “wise” people and how His use of our weaknesses shows His perfect strength. Love it!

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11 thoughts on “Faith, Hope, & Chemo

  1. If you end up needing a port, it isn’t all that bad. Mike has a double port, and I access and deaccess him at home. I also change his needle every week. I pray you won’t need one, however.

      1. I had a port for my 12 treatments and i got used to it pretty quick. Better then the standard iv every other week and they also used it for blood test draw.outpatient surgery to put it in and remove it.

    1. Aww I know it’s not that bad, but I just have an irrational fear of it! Like even though IVs don’t hurt or bother me, I obsess over them til they’re out. Keeping something in would really bother me! But thank you for trying to make me feel better, you’re so sweet!! 🙂

  2. Adele had a double port for her stem cell transplant in 2009. The ports were a time saver, never had problems getting anything connected, and her veins were so wasted from chemo. She can stop over at any time and talk with you about ports vs sticking in the arm or hand. BUT – the other thing we learned was to hydrate plenty the day before and right up to when they need to stick you. Get the veins big so they are easier to find, doesn’t help with the scarring issue but makes everything easier when they are looking for that good vein.
    Anyway, stop by the garage sale Fri or Sat morning, we were wondering if you guys needed some lasagna some day? Remember, only 3 houses away is help and prayers.

    1. Hey! Thank you guys so much, I think we will stop in tomorrow morning, at least to say hi if nothing else 🙂 I hate that other people have been through cancer and major health scares, but it is comforting too to hear other people’s stories and get encouragement from them, so thank you.

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