Over the past year I have gone through 5 different kinds of chemotherapy. When the cancer came back I started taking two drugs daily to kill the cancer. About a month into taking these pills I developed a blood clot in my lung. It was a scary time. I hadn’t been feeling very good all day, upset stomach and headache and feeling like an elephant was sitting on my chest.
That evening my husband and I went out to eat but I could eat very little. On the way home my husband asked if we should go to the emergency room. I just wanted to go home and sleep. We pass right by the emergency room on our way home and at the last minute my husband turned in and took me to the ER. When I explained my symptoms they put me in a room right away and did a chest x-ray. The x-ray showed a blood clot in my left lung. I was immediately put on blood thinners and was told I would be staying in the hospital a couple of days so they could monitor the clot.
When I was admitted to the hospital the doctor came in and told me that the medicine to break up the clot was almost worse than having the clot in the first place. The medicine can cause severe brain damage so we decided to keep on the blood thinners and have more tests run. All my other tests came back clear and I didn’t have any other blood clots. We stopped the chemo pills I was taking and after a few days I was allowed to go home.
I had to continue the blood thinner Lovenox which is a shot in the stomach twice a day. I’m not good at needles, giving blood, getting shots always scares me. My husband ended up giving me the shots twice a day as I could not bring myself to do them.
My doctor and I talked and we decided to go back to the chemo that worked the first time around. After 3 doses I would get another CT scan and it showed that the cancer was still growing
So my doctor switched me to a different chemo drug. With this one I could not take hot showers, only lukewarm, had to wear hats outside and stay out of the sun as much as possible. Any heat would cause side effects. It was really hard giving up hot showers, I love hot showers! I can spend easily 30 minutes in the shower as the hot water relaxes my muscles. After 3 treatments I had another CT scan and once again the cancer was growing and chemo wasn’t working.
So I started taking another chemo drug, with this one I couldn’t be around cold. I couldn’t drink cold drinks, I couldn’t open the refrigerator and touch anything cold. This was hard again as I don’t like to drink warm drinks. I only drink hot cocoa about once a year. One nice part was my son and husband took over the cooking and cleaning.
Again, after 3 treatments I had another CT scan and the chemo wasn’t working. So we started another chemo, this one was an older drug but didn’t have any restrictions such as the hot or cold. After 3 treatments another CT scan and cancer was still growing and chemo not working. At this point my doctor told me that what was left was clinical trials but there were none going on in the state in I live till at least June. She wanted me to go to the MD Anderson clinic in Houston Texas for a clinical trial but my insurance won’t cover it and the cost for the first visit was over $25,000.
We decided to do another biopsy of the lymph nodes and sent it to a speciality lab that could tell us the mutations of the cancer and that would help us figure out what medicine to try. I had the biopsy done end of May and just this past week received the results. There is a clinical trial medication that seems to be working for people with the same cancer mutations as I have. My doctor wants me to start on it this week. It would involve taking 2 pills a day. It has the normal side effects as all chemotherapies. It it an experimental mediciation and I didn’t think my insurance would pay for it but just found out that they will.
I have been rather down that past few days. Feeling tired and confused about whether to take this drug or not. I have been reading about more natural therapies for curing cancer. Part of this is eating the right away. I am learning about how we handle stress in our lives and how are eating is affecting the way our bodies are getting diseases from this. Processed food, sugar, sugar substitutes, chemicals, etc., are harming our bodies. Chemotherapy drugs are part of this equation of chemicals that are destroying us. The more I read the more I worry about taking these drugs, according to some doctors these drugs to not cure cancer but make the cancer we have worse and ultimately killing us.
I am spending time with God in prayer asking for his direction in taking this medication. I’m not sure as of today what to do but will continue to pray about it. I have known people with cancer that have been in remission for years because of clinical trial medication. I have also known other people who the medication did not help. I am pushing through the confusion and spending time with God which always helps pick me up out of the doldrums.
I will be writing about what is happening along this new path of the journey. Please stay tuned for more of the story, Please sign up for my newsletter before leaving the website. I am also on facebook at Reaching For Life where I share inspirational quotes, stories, videos and funny things that help us laugh in life.
Strength doesn’t come from Winning
Strength comes from Struggling