The metallic taste and the nausea would begin the moment I thought about my upcoming chemo infusion appointment. Don’t get me wrong, Mayo does everything to make the experience relaxing and comfortable with their individual chemo suites complete with a sofa and table for a guest or two and a large smart TV complete with library of about fifty or more top movies /series including The Mayo Clinic – Faith-Hope- Science, a film based on the PBS documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns and his associates Erik Ewers and Christopher Loren Ewers. But, it still wasn’t enough to take the feeling away from the poison dripping slowly into my surgically implanted port, working its way into the chambers of my heart and disbursing throughout my body, seeking out those pancreatic cancer cells it was intended to destroy. I truly could taste it smell it and, after 14 months of chemo, I dreaded it.
Truth is, I had somehow contracted a viral infection days before my last infusion October 15, 2019. My already compromised body now was taking on a chemo cocktail that would make a healthy body sick. But we had no way of knowing. The bloodwork taken prior to the chemo prescription being prepared didn’t show anything unusual. As soon a I returned home from my infusion I became ill. This was not my typical routine. The nausea had never come on strong and hard the first day. It was always sort of building and hit hard around the third day after.
Two days later I was admitted into the hospital in semi-isolation to determine the source of my nausea and digestive issues. Five days later I went home only when my liver enzymes reported they were heading in the right direction. Doctors agreed it was a viral infection. It took another three weeks for me to recover. I had lost my appetite and about 12 pounds and was weak from being in bed.
Whatever it was….I didn’t want to experience it again. In just a few days I was scheduled to have chemo again. I could taste it and feel it and was dreading it already.
November 11th I was scheduled and dutifully reported for my blood work and oncology consult with Dr. Mody. But, as soon as he walked into the consultation room, I told him I had made a decision…I was not going to be taking chemo today. I was taking a break. he smiled and said “Good.”
His reaction was just what I hoped it would be. Medically we both knew I should be taking it, however, emotionally I just couldn’t do it. I think he saw that too.
We agreed to schedule a CT Scan mid January. That would give me a three month break. I could enjoy Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years with our big family. It was perfect.
And, enjoy we did. Grocery shopping, planning the Thanksgiving meal, Tom’s Dad coming down from Cleveland, it was great. Then Christmas decorating, cookie decorating, shopping, wrapping and celebrating, a quick trip to NYC, holiday parties and family, family, family. We were overjoyed.
What will happen January 17th with the CT Scan? Only God knows. We trust that He will lead us to the perfect decision of what treatment, if any we will choose. Until then, I will enjoy feeling whole and not missing out on one moment of one day.
Thank you for this time precious Jesus.