As I start, I’m not sure this collection of thoughts is post-worthy but based on so many of you kindly texting or emailing to check on me I thought I’d let others in as well on these ‘little things’ that are on my mind this week as we’re on day 5 since chemotherapy.
I haven’t had ANY major side effects. Only a few little things which are very manageable and hardly worth mentioning apart from slightly interesting – at least to me:) The biggest thing I’ve noticed is that toothpaste (and I’ve tried 2) almost seems like I’m brushing my teeth with bleach. My mouth is on fire. And it’s SO odd. I was warned to get a baby toothbrush for teeth/mouth sensitivity but now I’m wondering if they have baby toothPASTE since it’s the ‘mint’ that surely isn’t ‘meant’ to make my mouth aflame. Thankfully, it passes quickly and compared to mouth sores and rinsing 4x/day with salt and baking soda (which I haven’t done because I’m so darn lazy!), this is nothing.
I still feel a little tired some days but thankfully we have a good little napper that lives here which gives me at least a 3 hour window at home most days and it’s not hard to sneak in a quick nap if need be. So, all in all, the fatigue has been VERY manageable. And, as the doctor ordered, I’ve been able to exercise. I love what my friend Judy said – she thought the Lord brought spring early so I’d have beautiful days to walk and keep up my exercise:) He’s good like that. I’ve missed not being able to run – the port is still tender and when I run, the bouncing of my arm isn’t comfortable. But, after Linc wakes from his morning nap, we’re gonna try again and I think it’s much better today. The bruising and swelling are down considerably. And Scott is pleased about this. The man who has no qualms about gutting a dear has asked me to pull my shirt up to hide it so he could enjoy his lunch:) Seriously?! I thought he was kidding. He told me that it wasn’t nice to him or other restaurant people to have to look at the bulging bruise and stitches while they ate. Classic. Oh, my truth-telling husband! It didn’t hurt my feelings (at all) – it just surprised me. And made me laugh. Thankfully it’s no longer so obvious as the swelling and bruising subsides.
Other ‘little things’ worth sharing that are just fun parts of our journey that have blessed me …
1. At the gym yesterday, a woman waiting for the elevator with me asked my name. I’ve seen her there many times but we’ve never spoken. It was the wife of surgeon who did the biopsy and port last weekend. She’s sweet and adorable and I’ve noticed her before because her daughters have some edible PINK boots. Not too many things make me think I’d want a daughter (for the daughter’s sake as much as mine!) but these boots did! Anyways, she is the wife of Dr. Lamont and I had known we had several mutual friends but planned to resist the urge to play the name game with Dr. Lamont last week. But, as it happens, he greeted me last week with “so, I hear your a friend of the Danzas” which was sweet and made me feel much more like a person than a case number. As it turns out, another mutual friend had forwarded the blog to her and she recognized that we knew of each other from the gym. It’s definitely a little thing (if you’re bored with this story then remember I warned you in my subject line!) that was a sweet thing. Scott and I have said all along that we trusted our medical team as they identified other doctors – but, more importantly, trusted the Lord to bring us to who we needed (or who might need to hear about our hope in Him). After the port and biopsy, Dr. Lamont was real attentive and sat with me while I asked a few questions. I felt like I had a chance to get an unexpected second opinion – much of what has happened is catching up with our brains a couple of appointments later and he was willing to weigh in our plan and path and was real encouraging. Unfortunately, Dr. Lamont is out of town next week or he’d be doing another biopsy that’s scheduled for Monday. I’m sure his partners are more than capable!
2. Who gets an unexpected text from their doctor when she’s en route home from Vietnam?! I did! Just a text to check in and ask how I was doing and feeling as she begins her journey back to the states. SO thoughtful. I had emailed her last week to tell her that Scott and I had been praying for her and that we’d gotten started with treatment – I also told her I felt good and really liked her partner Dr. Blum. I felt like the Lord had prompted me to send it over a couple of days (without mentioning to Scott because he might have thought random and not textworthy to Vietnam!) but, as isn’t a surprise when the Lord prompts, she responded quickly and thankfully. Then, out of the blue yesterday, she sent another text to check on me. The Lord continues to affirm who He directed us to for our care. We are thankful for not only expertise but their compassion and kindness.
3. And for those of you who know and see my daily life, this isn’t a ‘little thing’ but rather a ‘big thing’ but this story is one little thing after another that is a BIG reminder that God is in the details. Gigi (aka Angie Friddle and my roommate prior to getting married) has had 2 foster boys since the day after Linc was born – so over 9 months now. I don’t imagine I’ve gone more than 2 days without seeing them over those 9 months unless they were in Arkansas with her family. I completely and wholeheartedly LOVE Juan (6) and his little brother, Angel (5). We’ve known it was possible they’d be going back to their mom within the upcoming months and my greatest fear in learning the cancer news is that I’d be sick and unable to be a part of their lives these last months and that my heart couldn’t take cancer plus them moving back (with the heartache of them moving back being a much greater fear than cancer). I’ve PRAYed often telling the Lord that I didn’t know how He could work this out in a way that I wasn’t absolutely heartbroken upon their departure. [And, yes, I know foster care isn’t about me and should be about them but they are thriving under her love and care and it is gonna be hard for me to not see them and not know if they’d be in the same Christ-centered care.] Anyways, I can’t go into all the details without writing for an hour BUT the Lord allowed the timing to work so that I got to go to court with Gigi on Thursday last week, we learned that the boys are going home earlier than we’d originally heard/expected (this Saturday!), and He’s given incredible peace in that. His unexpected way to grant sweet peace and joy has been to grant Gigi, Marisa (our friend and interpreter with the boys’ family), and I incredible conversations with them at court, true celebration for the progress the mom has made, and then last night the mom and dad came to the boys’ soccer game and dinner afterwards and, back at Gigi and the boys’ house, we sat on the floor in the boys room and cried together, prayed together, and their mom continued to tell Gigi (and Marisa and me) that she truly and deeply desired for us to have an ongoing relationship with the boys. She commented on how deeply Gigi has loved them, how she sees the closeness of our friendship, how she saw all of Gigi’s support/friends/community at the game and dinner, and how thankful she was for Gigi’s love and care for her boys. She said that everything we said about wanting to maintain a relationship with the boys and her family and help her be successful made her want to cry. She kept saying ‘you’re such good people’ which just made it SO easy to tell her that we’re not but He is:) And we were able to tell her more and more about Jesus’ love for her and her boys through this situation and just kept remindering her that “we LOVE because He first loved us …” As we understood it (again, remember all through Marisa’s interpretation…) the situation of losing her children has caused her to trust in God as she prayed to Him to help her and He has. And Marisa got to explain the truths of salvation, the assurance we have in our salvation, and the help and hope He is in our daily lives. Gigi gave her a Spanish/English Bible and a Storybook Bible for the boys (which they’ve read every night since they came). As we’ve prayed for little things along the way, I keep watching God answer and do amazing things in this situation through my friends’ faithfulness. AND, in the process, He answers one of my deepest prayers and fears along this crazy journey. I will get to see them again! He is SO big and SO good. And I am SO thankful!
May the rambling end but the rejoicing continue …