At my Lacks Patient Advisory Board meeting, a fellow patient dubbed the infusion room “the chemo ward”. After completing my third Yervoy treatment today, I agree that the name fits. My luck ran out on having a private room as it was overcrowded in the infusion room due to the holiday weekend schedule, so I was out in the open among the other patients. While the nurses are kind and I enjoyed the conversation with the people around me, I am still bothered by the lack of privacy for personal information. My neighbor declared “I am surrounded by spring chickens” after the other patient and I had given our names and birthdates before receiving our treatments. It makes me anxious to hear the issues that the other patients are experiencing as I wonder if I will have to go through it also.
The positive side of the “chemo ward” today was having my son Drake with me. We watched the TV series Friends and would turn towards each other at all the funny parts. It felt good to be smiling and laughing in that room where sickness reigns. I also met a man who spends his time painting during treatment. He let me choose one of his small paintings before I left. I chose this lighthouse to remind me that God can shine his light through the darkest of storms.
I have experienced few side effects of the medication besides some fatigue and sun sensitivity requiring me to cover myself from head to toe when outside. I was going to say you may not recognize me with my hat, glasses, gloves, etc, but that may be the exact reason you will recognize me. I may be the only person hoping for rain on my son’s graduation day so the ceremony will be moved inside!
My difficulty is from the cancer itself. There are tumors growing which are causing discomfort and at times sharp pains. It takes approximately four months before a response is seen with Yervoy; therefore, I am reminded that it may get worse before it gets better. I try to limit certain activities that I know will cause pain, but I still get surprised by activities I take for granted. On Monday I bought groceries. I did fine picking out the groceries, but the pain started when I started putting the heavy bags into the cart. I cried all the way home, not from the pain but from feeling needy. I needed someone to help me get the groceries up the steps in my house as my family was gone for the weekend. It is still hard to be dependent and to ask for help. Well, God sent me an angel alongside the road. My neighbor Janet was walking along, hopped in my car, unloaded my groceries and even did my dishes. Then we sat and chatted while drinking tea. It is sort of like God “shined” his light through the darkness of that day.
John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”