" I implore you, my child; observe heaven and earth, consider all that is in them, and acknowledge that God made them out of nothing (ex nihilo), and that mankind comes into being in the same way..." 2 Maccabees 7:28

Monday, May 19, 2008

Halfway there...

Today is treatment #4, which means that, once finished, I will be halfway there! It's hard to believe, it's all just whizzed by. It is also another landmark treatment in that it is the end of the Adriamycin/ Cytoxin infusions; future infusions will be with a different drug, Taxol. On Taxol your hair can actually start to grow again between treatments (although, ironically, it often makes your eyebrows and eyelashes fall out, according to the oncologist).

And most importantly, my parents, Brother Robert and Harris will be there with me.

One thing I have been avoiding that I know I will regret if I don't do is to get pictures of myself while I am still hairless. I have such a hard time looking at it, but I know this phase in my life will go by so fast- I will want to remember where I've been once it's over. And I will want to be able to show others who are starting out on the same journey, too. I think having Brother Robert there will help, as he is also a cue ball right now and two cue balls in one picture will be less uncomfortable, somehow.. The more I think about it, the better an idea it seems...

This period in my life will go by so fast. By Spring break of next year I should be done with all the surgeries and reconstruction, my hair will be maybe down to my shoulders and I will have received my upgraded mammies. But there are some things about this time that are unique and unrepeatable. For instance, when I am out in the community people look at me with compassion and smile encouragingly. Or look away in discomfort. Or just stare. For the last 15 years of my life, I have worked with people with disabilities; I've always considered myself a compassionate person. But now as I go through this, I know it's not really me and them anymore, I'm ONE of them. Not only in spirit, but in body as well. This feels like another of those odd graces that God is showering me with right now, a "talent" that I will be held accountable for later.

Hey, that's a good title for a book- "An Odd Grace". Is it too much like "A Severe Mercy"? As I write this, I realize that Sheldon Van Auken and I are both reaching to describe the same experience.


Anonymous said...

Your quote, "But now as I go through this, I know it's not really me and them anymore, I'm ONE of them." reminded me of Bl. Damien of Moloka'i after he contracted leprosy.
Tony and I are praying for you!


datatech57 said...

Faith, don't fear the baldness -- embrace it! You might be interested in one of my earlier blog entries: http://ruthsmusings.blogspot.com/2006/08/how-i-got-here-and-good-things-about.html


hopeyg said...

Hey papes, You look so cute lying in your green bed hooked up to an IV :) I like the title "odd grace". It seems very Flannery O'Conner esk. Her characters were always recieving "odd grace". That reminds me ... I was thinking today that God never gives us generic grace, it is always personal and suits our individualness and individual needs in the particulars of our life.

Love ya,

Pat Wente said...

HI! You found my breast cancer blog "Pat Gets It Off Her Chest" and made a charming comment, so I'm returning the favor. Hope all is well with you. You can add me to your list of survivors, although I prefer the term "unwilling participant." I like the daisy tattoo advice and will take it under advisement. Keep up with me and I will do the same. http://patwente.blogspot.com. By the way, my medium brown hair with too much grey came back BLACK, with only a little grey, and CURLY. I look adorable! My sisters are jealous!!

Kathryn said...

Get ready for different hair..... mine is not the same as it was before. But, then again, not much is. The eyebrow, eyelash thing (my understanding) is not because of Taxol, but because of how much slower your eyebrows and eyelashes grow. Their hair shafts were broken at the same time as your head hair, but because they grow slower, the broken point doesn't reach the surface until much later. You are facing a huge milestone with A/C #4. Never again will you be as sick as you are now! That's a promise!

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog and wish you well! I share many of your interests and altho am not dealing with cancer, have recently been diagnosed with MS. And have felt absolutely stricken by a diagnosis of an incurable disease. I too, have been drawn back to my Catholic faith. After the initial grieving, I'm hanging in there and I hope you are too. I have my own blog, www.pedestriancrossing-colleen.blogspot.com