…just ended very abruptly. We now have a better sense of why so many folks we see in the waiting rooms have looked much more discouraged than us. Side effects. We just exited off of Easy Street and onto Side Effects Circle. We’d seen the road signs ahead but it was nice to have missed the turn until now. And, even if it was a surprise turn, it hasn’t been into the ditch. Definitely into the bathroom but, thanks to sweet friends, not into the ditch! I’ve been queasy since a couple of hours before treatment began on Thursday so not sure if this is a combination of the research drug plus the first round of the “standard of care” taxol drug (12 weeks of the 2 combined) or just the new drug but, either way, it’s definitely different. As I wrote from chemo, I was pretty wiped out from the Benadryl on Thursday so slept through chemo and then most of the evening. On Friday morning, I still didn’t feel totally myself so Cynthia came over early to help me get up and at ’em with Linc and got me out for a stroll. I came home to find a dear friend on the front porch with chicken noodle soup and challah bread – telling me that I need a little good Jewish comfort food in my diet! At the moment, I had no idea how perfect that soup would be for today. The rest of the day I had family and friends around to help and was tired but managing pretty well. I was motivated to be feeling good because, thanks to Mandy and Kristi who are arranging babysitting for weekly dates (and Kristi who came last night), Scott and I were looking forward to dinner together. And it was super fun! And super delicious. Maybe too much so?! Neighborhood Services, you were good to me while I was there. But, rich and delicious food + a couple of hours later + chemo = long night! In the 9.5 months of Linc’s life, Scott has conveniently heard very few of his middle of the night awakenings – and I feared that the same might be true when it was me up in the night! But, instead, he was awake, checking on me, asking about my temperature, and sweetly enduring a long night with me.
By this morning, I felt like I’d emptied everything in my tummy for the previous week so Scott thought we should touch base with the doctor. And, again, we feel like her care and compassion are such a gift. She texted me right back with a question or two and was calling with more instructions and compassion within :15. She redirected my medicine and what to eat and I had turned the corner by early afternoon. I spent most of the day in bed so, again, so thankful and blessed by amazing friends! Scott went to the gym while Linc napped but, thanks to the St. Patrick’s Day parade, what would normally be :10 round trip took him an hour and a half! His baby and sick wife were home alone longer than he planned. Gigi and C both came over, at different times when I needed help with Linc, within minutes of a text. And, Gigi went to Target to get me some more medicine and a few household things. And, the Washingtons brought dinner. I feel so blessed and thankful.
In praying with Gigi today for her boys and their family, I was struck by the contrast. Both their family and ours has had a rough week. Theirs has been difficult as they’ve adjusted to life back together as a family of 8 but theirs is exponentially more difficult and painful due to a limited support system of friends and family. Life is so hard – how do folks do it alone?! All those verses in Proverbs about the importance of friendship and community and the dangers of isolation are in 3D and full color in our lives right now. The road has become bumpier but all those bumps are smoothed by the grace of the Lord through the hands, encouragement, meals, compassion, care, and prayer of our friends and family. We may be off of Easy Street for a day or two (or for many months to come?!) but we’re grateful beyond grateful to have others on the road with us who are willing to stop and render aid and bless our family!