Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Light among darkness

I had my fourth cycle of chemo September 12-15. It was a long working week for me! On the bright side getting infused with chemo everyday for 6 hours allowed me to catch up on my reading;) I've been determined to lay off the junkie t.v. The week went well, by the time Thursday came around I was so ecstatic, I was free! It felt like i was in elementary school again on the last day of school, only in this picture the nurses were the teachers. And they weren't saying see you next year rather "see you on your next cycle!" And like any normal elementary school kid who just started their summer, I wanted the festivities to begin! That Friday a couple of my girlfriends and I had a falafel night. My friend Antonia had made them for me before, and we both thought it would be fun to make a girls night out of it. The crunchy yet moist little things are quite the challenge to make, yet so worth the explosive taste party in your mouth.
Ivan had Monday off so we decided to go on a lunch date. We attempted to feast on as many possible food items with the least amount of money. Since ive been back in Modesto I've been noticing all these new places to dine I had never noticed before. I'm a huge yelper, who likes to research new places to eat and closely looks into the reviews. I guess I am a foodie, you can call it, but not an extreme foodie who has tasted every exotic edible thing in the world. I hope to reach that point one day. Any who, I told Ivan about my aid research about some cheap bites I read about yelp that I wanted to try. He was actually excited about the idea, which is a bit sup rising since he isn't always in the "mood" to try new foods. He is far from being a foodie like me, yet I have gotten him to expand his taste pallet just a tad since we have been together. I like to take credit for the new cuisine he has tried and enjoyed:) Our Monday lunch date concluded with us eating: 1 Vietnamese saigon sandwich, 5 baby egg rolls, 2 cheesecake cupcakes, and 1 piƱa colada snow cone all for 10 dollars. We felt quite accomplished by our savings, never the less more by how much we indulged in. I guess Modesto has some secret food gems after all...
Its been two weeks since, and I still have not published this post. I ended up getting a fever two days later that required me to go into the emergency room. I was feeling terribly achey and shivering with chills. I assumed it was another infection, and sure enough I was right:( I was started on antibiotics right away. My fevers continued through the weekend even with receiving the antibiotics. I was beginning to worry considering last time I as stuck in the hospital with ecoli, I was able to recover within 5 days. My counts ( white blood cell) were not rising very much or at all. After 5 days my oncologist called me and explained to me that the chemo I had the previous week was a really strong dosage that was going to result in a longer time for me to recuperate from. She stated that most patients take an average of 20 days for their bodies WBC to recuperate and for infections to diminish. I was completely saddened by this news considering I hate being hospitalized. The rest of my stay dragged on. I was given a total of 2 blood transfusions and 4 platelet transfusions during my stay. This time around I also developed several mouth sores that made it difficult for me to each much due to the pain. I was stuck eating applesauce, jellos, soups, and fruit cups for most of my stay until the sores healed.
Thankfully, my body kicked in and I was surprisingly released on Saturday after 10 days of being enclosed in despair. My friend Vhantelle and her husband came to visit me as a surprise from La, which was a wonderful surprise. Although I was instructed by my doctor not to go to any public areas and stay inside, I enjoyed catching up with my friends. I felt completely exhausted on Sunday. I didn't make it out of bed much, except to eat three meals. The rest of the week was spent rather the same. Sleeping, eating, sleeping. I couldn't bring myself to do much more. The only time I left the house was to attend to blood draw appointments I had all week. My counts were still under normal level, so any time I left our room I had to be wearing a mask for my protection. I hate being in isolation and not being able to enjoy the outside world. A few nights that week I found myself crying in sadness and anger, thinking how unfair it was that I had to be trapped inside for so long. Thoughts of how badly I wished I was living my old life before I was diagnosed came flushing through my mind. Wishing things were just different." I hate these treatments!" is all I kept feeling. Just as I try and make my life a little more normal by going back to work and making myself useful, it all gets yielded by this terrible illness. It's not fair, yet I can't do anything to change it but keep going.
By the end of the week my counts finally restored back to normal. And as I celebrated by going outside finally with no mask to a movie, I couldn't help but think I would soon be back in that sad trapped place again within the next few weeks for another dreadful treatment. As much as I'm happy I'm feeling stronger with my engery back I can't help but dread the feeling of it being taking away again, leaving me to the difficult battle of getting it back. Im two chemo cycles away from starting oral chemo(which I hope will be more mangle) yet the finish line seems just so far away still. I wish I could just close my eyes and open them back up to it being all over. But I can't. I have to move forward. I know there is still much to learn from all this. God continues to reveal new things to me even through all my pain, anger, sadness and darkness. For one, that he's been present in my darkest moments, and will always lead me out to the light. I know this because as I lied in my bed in sadness this past week not wanting to write/blog out of anger and sadness I'm writing now...out of the darkness and once again in
the light. I've been lead out once again, and Im sure God will continue leading me out through not only my next 2 cycles of chemo, but until I'm completely done fighting this illness. I just know it.


  1. Thanks for writing, Patty. Im sorry to hear this cycle was so rough. You are such a fighter though, so inspiring.

  2. Hey Jonalisa, how are you? I was just reading through these comments, and thought of you. Hope you are well! Thanks for all your amazing support this past year! Much love! God bless!