Hello, amazing people.
The wait is over. I'm writing this from the bustling chemotherapy treatment center. I am being pumped with pre-meds before I'll be given my life-saving drugs for the third time. It's absolutely bonkers that four drugs are the difference between my life and death. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a newfound sense of gratitude and admiration for everyone in the medical field.
Now that I have two of these joyous treatments under my belt, I am a pro. I fist-bumped the cheerful receptionist, I have my assortment of snacks and books ready at hand, and they know my smoothie order from the hospital cafe.
The title of this blog post is quite literally my mantra of the day. Before departing to the treatment center this morning, I warned Brian that today would be unlike the last two sessions. I am pleased to report that in the last couple weeks there have been two instances that have validated the effectiveness of the chemo: 1) I can no longer feel the lymph node on my neck, and 2) my back pain has significantly decreased to the point of no return. Before you jump for joy, I want to reiterate that this does not necessarily mean that all of my cancer is gone (although it's possible!). However, it undeniably alludes that positive progress is being made.
A month ago I had the pleasure of connecting with a wonderful girl who was also diagnosed with Hodgkin's around the same time as me. After learning her chillingly similar story, I can certainly say that I am in awe of her confidence and poise. She is positive that her cancer will be gone by her next PET scan. She has unmistakably motivated me to seize some of my inner courage and channel it towards my healing.
Before today's chemo session I asked Brian not to bring anything that would normally keep him busy for the few hours of treatment. This is how it went down:
Me: "Today we are going to channel my inner healing vibes during chemo so don't bring anything with you."
Brian: "Uh. Sure babe sounds good. What does that mean exactly?"
Something that I will never take for granted is Brian's open mind and ability to adapt to the various peculiar situations that I drag him into. After he confusedly asked what I meant by "inner healing vibes," I pulled some bullshit out of thin air and explained that, through my various meditation and Reiki classes, I've learned the extent to which our minds are so powerful. Before you think I'm a kook, I want to make it clear that I do believe in science and the power of medicine. In spite of that, I also believe in the power of words, meditation, and positive thoughts. Our mind is undoubtedly one of the most powerful and complex organs, and various studies have analyzed the relationship between positivity and treatment outcomes. I would be an idiot if I didn't give this a try.
Fast forward to now. Brian and I are making a clear-cut attempt to sing a variety of 'healing chants' in the treatment center. Yes, the grannies are staring. No, I'm not going to stop. Here is a list of the chants that we've made up on a whim. Pretty creative if I do say so myself.
- "Pain pain go away come again another day"
- "Don't stop the heaaaaling. Hold on to that feeeeeling"
- "Woaaah reclining in a chair. Pump my meds and we'll make it I swear"
- "Sweet Hodgkin's. Bad times never seemed so good"
If this isn't love then I don't know what is.
So, I am going to sing off key and welcome the chemo into my veins with open arms. I am going to feel like crapola in a couple hours once the medicine weasels its way through my body, but I'm not resentful and I'm certainly not scared. I have high hopes that this third chemo session will kill more cancer cells, and maybe, just maybe, it will finish the job. Once the fatigue subsides in a few days, I'll be able to regain my strength and assess the progress. I look forward to updating you all.
Once again I want to thank you for reading my blog and for leaving the most uplifting comments. I also want to let you know that I added a new page to my website titled "Video Updates" where I will be posting videos about my progress. Check it out at your leisure.
Peace out. Until next time.
All my love,
Hi, I'm Lia. I have Hodgkin's lymphoma, but Hodgkin's lymphoma does not have me.