CYCLE ONE CHEMO EXPERIENCE

A cutting-edge technology, innovative treatment center

A symbol of medical excellence, this building we were about to enter

A four hundred thirty million dollar glass structure, you wonder who’s the inventor

Help from philanthropic support of the community, receiving many mentors

Built in January 2017, as a diagnosis treatment and research epicenter

It’s the Miami Cancer Institute of Baptist, with world class leading cancer preventers

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Walking through the building, teal color scheme so calming

High-quality patient care, feelings of hope, faith isn’t disarming

With specialists, nurses, and staff on board, the atmosphere doesn’t seem alarming

Patients pampered in each chemo suite: t.v., recliner, and treats….Ooh, so charming

**********

Sydney was the chemo nurse assigned to my room

A sweet, gentle, kind-hearted spirit, she eradicated the gloom

Singing along with my christian hymns, could this nurse be a woman of God?  Do I dare   assume…

Even sharing her father’s ordeal with cancer, which almost led to his doom

However, her bubbly, joyous, and positive spirit is what I consumed

**********

My chemo nurse appeared to be a divine intervention

Our lives crossed paths, was this God’s intention

Ironically, the hospital I previously went for a second opinion, she had mentioned

She too worked there, that brought about  new dimension

“This is my last week here,” she said….my jaw dropped in contention

Disappointed at the thought, “A new nurse?” I felt tension

In the midst of it all, the sovereignty of God was my recollection

**********

As I sat in the recliner with my port exposed

A small disc made of metal, the size of a quarter, it was enclosed

This port concealed just under my skin

With a tube like catheter, connected to a large vein working from within

With a needle fitted directly into the port, the chemo infusion was to begin

Blood could be drawn through the port, not having to poke, of course this made me grin

**********

The first chemo medicine was definitely no joke

Paclitaxel, this particular chemo, the nurse said was detrimental to folks

Slow or rapid heart rate, convulsion, short of breath, chest pain, jaundice, numbness… just a few to take note

With chemo flowing freely through my veins, the nurse monitored me for fifteen minutes, even observing my throat

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I closed my eyes to meditate on God, trying to ignore the what-ifs on my brain

I had so many people praying me through this, I refused to complain

One chemo, two chemo, three chemo bags still remain

I began to ponder, later, what might be the pain

I have this chemo flowing through me, thank God this cancer is contained

My prayer was that God would direct the chemo flow, so strength I’d gain

God’s Word I continued to repeat, my faith in Him I’d maintain

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Before I knew it, the Benadryl had kicked in, so I dozed off and three hours later I awoke

Depending and trusting in God to carry me through this, I had to invoke

Chemo is over the nurse said, “Praise God” I evoked

Twelve hours of being confined to this chemo suite, time to go home, I was stoked

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Days one and two after chemo, I was feeling quite vivacious

Walking ten times around the park for thirty minutes was quite audacious

Day three hit me with abdominal pains, no longer was I courageous

I was experiencing tremendous pain, miserable to say the least

Feeling as though someone was scraping my abdominal walls, Lord let this pain cease

With discomfort also in my back, not being able to sit up straight with ease

Even trying to walk to the bathroom, I was loosing strength at the knees

In my desperation, I was trying to get the pain to decrease

The medication Percocet strangely didn’t cause the pain to subside

So I alternated between a cold pack and a heating pad, even that I tried

From days three through seven I was confined to the bed

Experiencing numbness in my feet, they both felt like lead

There was discomfort in my chest, it felt a bit tight

The worse part of it all was not having an appetite

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During this ordeal I leaned on the Lord to restore my strength

I chose to trust Him to bring me comfort despite my pain’s length

He is my Jehovah Rapha, my God who heals

The One I depend on and to whom I appeal

God’s Word I meditate, this I quote:

“Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed;

save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.”

**********

This scripture reminded me, in Christ there’s victory

Standing firm on my faith even when God’s plan seems like a mystery

Twenty-one days to cycle two and praying for a side effect free recovery

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Author:

Young, vibrant, and physically fit...Patrice is living life! Married to a devoted, God-fearing man, who not only loves the Lord but loves his wife just as Christ loved the church. Keeping Christ interwoven at the center of our marriage, we are reminded that, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves, but a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” With a very fulfilling and rewarding profession, teaching is my passion. I absolutely love and adore my fourth grade darlings. Seeing the sparkle in their eyes when they are ecstatic about doing a fun project or their expression of excitement when they have done well on a test. But the truth is, nothing warms my heart more than when they tell me that I’m the BEST teacher they’ve ever had! Let’s just put it out there that going on a memorable and unforgettable vacation makes life worthwhile. Experiencing the food, the culture, the scenery, the people....now that’s living! This was the year we were going to Spain and Portugal. On a past summer vacation, we enjoyed 21 glorious days with our daughter and son traveling throughout Italy. As my vacation planning was on the way, my hubby suggested that we skip a trip this year and focus on the renovations we had already started on our home. Reluctantly, I had to agree with him. With the kitchen completely gutted and confined to living in the family room as a result of the whole house being retiled, junk foods and take outs became my specialty. During this time of renovation unrest, the various symptoms I began to experience all seemed like just the regular ailments that resulted from poor nutrition and diet. After all, Cheetos, Crunch and Munch, and Goobers were all my cravings of choice after a long day’s work. Symptoms of gassiness, constipation, and gas pains that I started experiencing, I figured would have gone away once my unhealthy eating choices changed. Well, it was not until I witnessed my stomach bloating up and that unbearable feeling of abdominal fullness that my husband suggested I go get it checked out because something didn’t seem right. The sight of my stomach was enough proof that this was MORE than just gas pain! I figured I would confess to the doctor that I haven’t been eating healthy as of late, hence the reasons for my discomforts. Instead, “You have Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer” became my new reality. I was bombarded with treatment plans, appointment dates, endless procedures, and the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial. I decided after hearing my diagnosis that I would stand firm on the Word of God and not on the word of man and their statistics for my recovery. No fear! No crying! No self-pity! No questions asked, “Why me Lord?” Instead, I lifted my hands to Heaven and said, “Lord, I surrender this sickness to You because in my weakness You are strong and this battle is Yours to fight.” With God fighting my battle, I knew I was already victorious. I was ready to put on the full armor of God in order to stand firm with the belt of truth. I must be geared with the breastplate of righteousness, having my feet planted and fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace. I would pick up my shield of faith, take up my helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit; the Word of God. Come with me on my faith-based journey to cancer recovery. I hope you will find courage to face your own “giants” and be encouraged by the strength I have found in relying solely on the Healer and not the healing.

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