Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Encouraging

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Yesterday, a reader called me. She just finished chemo, started her radiation. She wanted to be an encourager. WAS SHE EVER!!!! After comparing chemotherapies, she gave me very encouraging words. For instance, I've been hopeful that my hair would begin growing back by my 52nd birthday in May. Mary told me that hers began to come back after she finished the first half of chemo. It appears that the second round of chemo does not affect your hair so badly. I was glad to hear that, and did the mental calculations...I will be finished with my first half of chemo at the end of this month. It was a bit of a jolt to realize that.
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She also told me that the second half of chemo was a piece of cake compared to the first half. That was darned encouraging. She says she remembers saying at the half way point, "You know, I just don't want to do this again," and then the therapies changed, and suddenly, everything was bearable again. I personally think that I've been doing okay with the chemo. I feel like crap for the first 12 hours, and then I start getting better. I haven't had a recurrence of the horrible headache, and am optimistic. Hearing that this is as bad as it's likely going to get is happy news.
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She told me that, in her experience, she found this to be 100% true: she had been warned how exhausting radiation therapy was, how it just sapped your strength. She was dreading her daily radiation. She realized that every single person that told her that had had radiation only. People who had had both chemo and radiation therapy invariably told her that radiation was a breeze compared to chemo.
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We both shared stories about how wonderful people have been. We laughed about eyebrows and eyelashes, scars, and the surprise of dealing with such a thing at our ages (she's 6 years younger than I am). We talked for a long time, and I have to tell you when I hung up that phone, my outlook had become much, much brighter, even though I didn't consider myself especially disheartened before I picked it up. I carefully wrote down her number from the caller ID, and I put in the rolodex. It's very reassuring to have that kind of positive energy waiting to be tapped into if you need it.

12 comments:

Pencil Writer said...

Yay team!

Mikey said...

That's awesome! There are others out there like you, just going thru the same thing. I know I sent someone this way recently who was going thru it too. Maybe it was the same person... who knows. But if she helped you, then God Bless Her. You WILL get thru this. You WILL make it. You have to, because we count on reading you every day and we're all learning from you and your experience.
Keep your chin up girl. It's gonna get a lot better. Next summer, I expect to see you out here riding across the desert with me (probably still be chasing this f***ing wild horse) and I want Tim to catch a rattler with me, and I want you to go visit Susan and all her braying donkeys :)
So count on that, ok???

Anonymous said...

That's wonderful! That was an angel on the other line.
-Lavinia

steviewren said...

Your caller sounds like the embodiment of the finishing strong movie you posted the link to. I found that really encouraging. I watched it this morning before work. Thanks yourself.

steviewren said...

Your caller sounds like the embodiment of the finishing strong movie you posted the link to. I found that really encouraging. I watched it this morning before work. Thanks yourself.

jeanie said...

That is so fantastic, Deb. We can try and send as much support as possible, but to have someone who has walked the path on the phone would be worth so much.

OneCowgirl said...

A call from an Angel! I've got a girlfriend that lost all her hair while going thru chemo and when her hair grew back it was more beautiful than ever before!!

Debby said...

I know! It's awesome! Blogging has been a positive thing, and you all are just great, truly great! People have been wonderful in real life too. It's just been such a positive week...I'm riding such a high right now; you cannot believe. The kids were home, Brianna seems to be really turning things around. My cup runneth over. Truly. I am truly blessed. I am thankful for all of it, and for all of you. Stay tuned. I've gotten the most remarkable news today. No time to write it now!

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

I'm so glad you got those encouraging words from someone that has traveled the road. You are in my prayers and I love reading your posts!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news. DavidM

PaintedPromise said...

wow Debby that is so great... you know we all love you and are pulling for you but we also understand that we just cannot know what you are going through... and it sure does help to talk with someone who REALLY understands...

when you talk to her again, please thank her for me! and looking forward to hearing your good news!!!!

rhubarbwhine said...

I've just read your post and your comments. Since there is no way for me to follow your comments (I only see my own after I press send) then I hope you are sharing on your blog, soon. You sound so positive and excited!