May, 2010 I was diagnosed with stage 3, follicular lymphoma. I was tired, and had lost ten pounds (which I was ecstatic about) but I didn’t have any reason to think anything was the matter. Then I found a lump on the back of my neck that would not go away. The biopsy confirmed it was indeed cancer but appeared to be slow growing.
So, my husband and I decided to not do anything until school started. I just didn’t want to deal with it during the summer. The doctor told me to get another PET scan in August and we would start treatment in September. After the scan, the oncologist office called me and wanted me in right away. The cancer had become aggressive and they wanted to start treatment the next day. Wow! I didn’t see that coming either.
The doctor decided on an aggressive “recipe” of chemo and how many I needed, which were eight, 8-hour treatments. I was scheduled for one every twenty one days. I got my “port” put in and started treatment the next day.
After the first treatment, my hair started falling out. I know it sounds vain, but the chemo didn’t make me sick, losing my hair made me sick to my stomach. At times I would withdraw to my room and cry. I even screamed into my pillow one time, “I hate this!”.
Then I settled down. I never looked in the mirror at my bald head and never let my husband or anyone see me without a hat or a wig, even while sleeping. Call it vanity, but I just couldn’t deal with it. I really admire women who are brave enough to go out in public with no wig or hat. I just didn’t have that courage.
After losing all my hair during that first month, I was a little fearful of what else the chemo was going to do to my body. The Lord knew my heart and anxieties. He gave me a scripture verse to hang on to and I did – Romans 8:11. The way it came to my mind, through the Holy Spirit, was in the King James version, which in itself was amazing to me.
It said, “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
My personal paraphrase was, “The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you. And that same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead, will quicken your mortal body.”
I wasn’t sure what the “quicken” process meant, but I hung onto it. I thought maybe He would hurry the process of healing, but, I really didn’t know.The story continues tomorrow – Part 2