May 11, 2012
“You have cancer.”
“You have cancer, again.”
“You still have cancer.”
I’m not sure which of the 3 is the hardest to hear, but I got the third one today.
I started off today by going to the dentist for a check-up to qualify for the SCT (stem-cell transplant). Honestly, I dislike the dentist so much that I was dreading seeing the dentist about dental hygiene more than seeing the doctor about cancer. Everything went really well at the dentist, though it took forever and made me an hour late for my blood work at the hospital.
The nurse got the IV on the first try, so I was good to go. (it took 3 tries last time) Then on to see the doctor…
Though I could tell my mom was anxious, I had no doubt in my mind that I was going to receive good news today–until I saw my doctor enter the room. I could immediately tell from his presence that he wasn’t going to tell us what we wanted to hear. He basically came right out and told us that the two places in my neck/chest that we expected to be non-existent were still there and that though one had gotten smaller, the other had gotten bigger. So I didn’t continue with the third dose of Brentuximab (chemo) today, and I won’t be getting the SCT anytime soon.
By now I am kind of used to switching gears. When we finally think we know what is going to happen is when we find out that we don’t know what is going to happen. I prefer to have some sort of plan that may fail or change then have no plan at all. Though, we never really get a say in God’s plans.
New plan: May 21 I will start a new chemo called ICE. This one is going to be a lot more intense than the Brentuximab (the chemo I have been on for the last couple of months). ICE will weaken my immune system and make me lose my hair. It will be an all day event in the hospital for 3 days at a time. Then after 3 weeks I will get another dose of ICE. Two weeks after my second dose, I will get a PET scan to see if I am in remission again to determine if I can go on to SCT.
I have to admit that hearing this news is disappointing and a bit discouraging. When I am upset though, it is not because I think I’m not going to ever get better, it’s just because I can’t do all of the things I want to do, go all of the places I want to go, and be with all of the people I want to be with. I’m mostly upset about not being able to graduate next semester and having to be away from North Carolina for a long time.
I also miss what “summer” used to mean. But when I get facebook messages from people I don’t know, or haven’t talked to in years, about how God has used my story to touch their lives and inspire their faith, I am reminded that God is using me through these experiences this summer in ways that he couldn’t use me through pool parties, beach trips and fun in the sun. I have to keep in mind that there is a lot more gain in this, than there is loss.
25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. -Matthew 16:25 (NLT)
Thanks again for all of the prayers and for supporting Jared Hogan and me with the film this week. This film means so much to me as I am going through this because it gives me something to be excited about, and I think my story will be captured and put together effectively so that it can impact lives. To watch click here, www.chesliesstory.org