My Chemo Journey

Good Morning my friends, 

Normally I don’t post on Sunday because I’m so busy with going to church etc..etc.. Since I didn’t go to church this morning I had some extra time on my hands. Several of you have asked me to write about chemo and what it’s like so let me see if I can do it justice by putting it into words. Most of you are aware that I started treatment with my third series of chemo in three years this past Tuesday. My treatment consists of three bags of pre-meds, three different types of chemo, one bag of post-meds and then an additional seven bags of flush that’s administered after each of the other bag. When it was all said and done it totaled 14 bags administered over a 10hr timeframe. I’m often asked what does it feel like? Honestly it feels no different than an ordinary IV running thru your veins, but for me my taste buds changed immediately and of course with all those fluids running in your body they have to come out and that’s another thing you notice immediately when you go pee for the first time. I can’t quite describe the smell but to me it’s the same as the taste that’s in my mouth and that’s definitely something you’ll remember.
After my chemo is finished, I then receive a shot of Neulasta. Neulasta is a booster shot that increases your white blood cells. One would think that a booster shot would give you a boost but instead it does right the opposite. I’ve never felt weaker in my life than after I took this shot for the first time almost 3 yrs ago.. The shot normally takes about 14hrs for it to hit and once it does, it comes with a vengeance. When I took the shot for the first time, my nurse warned me not to try and tough it out but instead sleeping through it. The best way to do that is with the prescribed nausea meds, Tylenol PM and Benadryl. She said to just stagger the meds and stay ahead of it and it would be much easier. Of course me being somewhat stubborn, I tried to tough it out that first time and boy was that a huge mistake. Once it hit, I knew immediately it was too late. The nausea & vomiting had set in which meant I couldn’t take my meds. I was so weak that it was difficult for me to lift my head off the pillow and I had to have assistance to walk 15ft to go to the bathroom. The assault lasted about 24hrs and it was the longest 24hrs of my life and it’s a memory that I will never forget. This week I made it through the Neulasta shot without too much trouble. Yes, I’ve had some nausea but no vomiting and as far a weakness goes yes I felt a lot weaker than normal but nothing close to that very first time.
Once the Neulasta runs its course the nausea, pain and weakness is not over. Only its severity subsides. So for the last few days I’ve been battling nausea and body pain because there’s not much you can do about feeling weak.. My appetite has been non existent and what I do feel like eating is slim. I know that’s not a good thing but I’ve been through this two other times and it’s a lot better to eat what will stay down that to eat something that’s going to come right back. Sometimes just the thought of some types of food will start the chain reaction of nausea and sometimes vomiting. I can only speak from my own personal experience because chemo effects different people different ways. By the end of August, all my hair will be gone and I will look like a normal cancer patient. Yes, the hair will grow back but my goatee, eye-brows & eye-lashes are the three things that it bothers me the most to lose but in the end it’s just hair and it will grow back. 
I wish I could say that chemo was a walk in the park, however if I was to say that I would be lying. I spend a lot of extra time in prayer and in scripture while I’m receiving chemo. Prayers for more than enough strength, prayers for minimal nausea body pain. I do my best to remain positive everyday and not get down but I will still have those days. Those days when I feel the world is stacked against me and I’m filled with the uncertainty of whether or not I can make it to the end. It’s during those tough times that I draw from the strength of my support system. I have an amazing support system across the nation & world that’s praying for me daily and I know this without a shadow of doubt. So, what can you do? It’s nice to know that people are just thinking about you.. A simple text, pm, or post that says, “I’m thinking about you goes a long way.” A short note sent in the mail does wonders. Perhaps a short phone call to see how everything is going. A friends caring uplifting voice does wonders. A visit is always welcome as long as the nausea & vomiting is not happening; just call in advance. What should you not do? Don’t text and ask how they’re feeling and when they reply not reply back. If you call to see how they’re doing, make sure that you’re where you can pay attention and not be distracted. Nothing says I’m thinking about you or care about you less than being distracted by something else. The last thing I want to do is come across as being none appreciative of the text, phone calls, pm’s, cards or visits that I’ve received. I very thankful. The reason why I’m sharing these things because battling cancer is as much mental as it is physical. I know that God is going to give me the strength to get through it because i will jump into his arms and get him to carry me to the finish. The mental comes from the fellowship of friends & family.  

I hope that you all are BLESSED beyond measure today.. Blessings & much love….D

ALWAYS…..Live YOUR life like it’s your LAST 24!!

#last24      #wpbc      #eternalmission      #itslife



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4 thoughts on “My Chemo Journey

  1. I know what you’re going through and one of the things that helps me the most in all my struggles with poor health and painful treatments is not only praying for me but praising God and praying for others. Pain puts our focus on self and produces more pain. Stepping outside myself and focusing on Jesus sets the pain aside. Let’s pray for each other as we battle against death and encourage each other to reach for Life.—God bless you and I hope your chemo is successful and behind you soon.

  2. Dino, I am an old, old friend of your mom and dad’s. I knew you when you were in diapers, so you don’t remember me. I was married to your dad’s best buddy, from high school, Phillip Cottrell…anyway. I want you to know, I think of you and pray for you daily. I also want you to know I love your daily devotional. You have a wonderful way of teaching. God blesses you daily! Keep up the fight. Lots of healing hugs coming your way. Sue Cottrell

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  3. Dino, you are always in our thoughts and prayers. We pray for you and your family every day. We are humbled by your love for the Lord and the message you send. We love you buddy.

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