Christmas – Chemo vacation

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.

Thomas and Olive
Grandpa, Lindsay Mick and Jude – TPC Tree Lighting
Christmas Decorating
Hudson Yards Lunch
Scotty, Blake, Taylor, Abby, Olivia and Tommy – PVIC Christmas Eve
Taylor, Tommy, Mia, Jayden, Olivia and Abby
Del Frisco’s
Family dinner

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  1. Judy,
    You are a beautiful, intelligent, courageous, positive person who I admire.
    I respect and applaud your decision to enjoy your family and friends during the holidays.
    Your strength and smile and positive attitude inspire many of us facing multiple health and family issues.

  2. Judi –
    Your strength, passion, commitment, love for your family and God truly inspire us. To know you and see what and how much you and your family have gone through since first being diagnosed makes us wonder how we would have handled just a small part of your journey. What would we have done? How would we handle this?
    You are definitely the strongest and most giving person anyone could know. You continue to make sure each and everyone around you is taken care of, has what they need, and feels loved. You continue to share this amazing yet so painful time in your life with us so that we can know how things are going for you. You have made us laugh and share beautiful stories and pictures of you and your family and friends. And yes, you have made us cry – many of those have been years of joy! We always look forward to your next blog and open it with anxious feelings praying that it’s going to be the one that brings those tears of joy!
    Thank you Judi for so graciously sharing your family and your journey!
    We are so happy that you were able to spend a wonderful holiday season with your family! We loved the great pictures that you shared! You look beautiful!
    We are so excited for you and Tommy watching all those babies fill your home with joy and love! We can’t wait to see you soon!
    Sending our love ❤️
    Pam and Tim

  3. Those babies are beautiful Jude! Enjoy them and the holidays with the live and grace you exhibit daily. Love you sweet girl and I will be praying that your Jan scan is GOOD🙏

  4. Dear Judy,
    You’ve been my inspiration, mentor, tower of strength, hope and admiration <3 (three years and counting here)…
    -I'm so glad you enjoyed this holiday season with your precious family! Blesses with unyielding faith, determined spirit and God's guidance you will keep on enjoying many many more!
    Happy 2020 & joyous new decade!
    Hugs to all!

  5. Judy,
    You are one of the most amazing and Godly women that I have been blessed to know.
    I am so happy you decided to take a break and savor special family time. You have such a beautiful family that love you with all of their hearts.
    I will continue to pray for God to hold your hand and lead you down his path.

    Much love.

  6. So glad you had a wonderful holiday! Loved all of the beautiful pictures!
    Wishing you positive and healthy responses from your doctors and another special
    Year of positive thoughts !
    Our prayers are with you as you are an inspiration to us all!

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