I’ve been wondering what the future holds more than ever lately. Just a few short weeks ago, my primary concern was if I was going to survive chemotherapy or not. But the world has changed drastically since then. Who could’ve imagined things would be so different so quickly? I am very sad for the people who are suffering and think about them often. I’m also concerned and grateful for all the people out there taking risks to keep our cities going. My sister is one of them!
The photos in this post were taken several weeks ago, when I was just beginning to go out for walks again and before we knew how bad things were and could get. There are a number of parks in our neighborhood and currently the areas where children would normally be playing or families would be gathering are surrounded by yellow caution tape. With signs posted telling us the parks are closed, it’s a daily reminder our world is far from normal.
After many months and eight cycles of heavy hitting chemo and three cycles of maintenance chemo, I decided it was time to take a break. I clearly understand why people say, “The cure is worse than the illness,” because I was incredibly sick! My last chemo treatment was February 26th and I’m still waiting for some of the side effects to disappear. The neuropathy in my fingers and toes is the most difficult to handle. It’s slowly improving, but it’s painful and it’s a challenge to do certain things. Also, “Chemo Brain” is a real thing!
The week I began my break was the week I started realizing how serious this virus is. It’s perfect timing that we already had everything lined up to be away from the Oncology clinic, since there’s some preparation to stopping chemo and it was just in time for me to stay safely isolated at home. I’m considered high risk for the virus, with my age, the cancer and chemotherapy. Often, I have one or two appointments a week at one medical facility or another and I’m certainly happy to be staying home for now. Also, the next CT Scan won’t be scheduled until it’s safe for me to go out again.
It’s comforting to experience God’s Perfect Timing once again as He watches over us!
The farther away I get from the last chemo treatment the better I feel in general. The greatest benefit of reduced or maintenance chemo, for me, is no nausea. I can eat normally now and it has been a long time coming. My diet had consisted of whatever I was able to choke down on any given day and many days that wasn’t much. I’m thrilled to be getting back to a normal healthy way of eating and have stopped the drastic weight loss.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading about cancer diets and am especially focused on the foods and supplements recommended. Our diet in the past was pretty healthy, but things got out of control when we didn’t have a home of our own to live in for so many months. It’s hard to believe that today, the 31st of March, is the one-year anniversary of the massive, destructive fire that devastated our new community. Everyone is back in their homes now, but the memory is still very vivid.
While I was debilitated by the chemo treatments, when I was able, I spent time reading and working on creating a well-rounded lifestyle program. A plan that would give me the best opportunity to be as healthy as possible once I could function again. The program I’m now implementing involves nutritious foods, herbs and supplements, exercise or walking, a positive state of mind, stress elimination, healthcare empowerment and listening to God.
Fruits and vegetables are at the center of the cancer diet and hopefully soon we will be able to get all the produce we need, as well as other products. In the meantime, we have enough to get by and are very grateful for our freezer. It’s where we store bags of frozen fruit for smoothies and soup made in large batches, among other things.
I’m barely beginning to work in my new kitchen now, since my illness was discovered just as I finished unpacking and setting up our new home. I know, in the past, I’ve taken the simple things in life for granted and, with God’s blessing, I plan on taking advantage of every single day going forward. I hope to post on my food blog again soon and to begin with, the posts will be simple recipes and ideas using what we have on hand.
I want to take this opportunity to thank my husband for taking such great care of me, his willingness to provide whatever I need is a true labor of love! I know how hard it’s been for him to watch me struggle. And to the circle of family and friends who’ve been my incredible support group, I couldn’t have made it this far without you. I love you all!
I’m praying for the safety of everyone in the world during this extraordinary season we are going through and that peace will be upon us soon.
“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:4, NLT