Side effects?

Today is day 16 into my first round of chemotherapy. Each round has 21 days (I go back for more every three weeks on Friday, and each new round should only take about 4 hours).

I guess I expected to be really sick by now — throwing up and stuff like that. But no. I feel extremely normal so far and have not had any extreme side effects. I hadn’t really studied up on what would happen, I just had a stereotype of what chemo was supposed to be like. Of course, things could change as the medicine accumulates in my body, I don’t know. I would study up on it, but everything I read on the Internet is so depressing and lacking in God’s hope that I am not reading much of it. I need God’s voice to be louder in my head than any scientific, statistical explanation the defeated world has to offer.

I had a low-grade fever twice (day 7 and day 15). Both times I had fever came after a trip to town to run errands. I know that I am more susceptible to infection due to a lower white blood count, but I avoided walking near people as much as possible, and either washed my hands or used hand sanitizer after touching [just about] anything. And still I got a fever. Maybe I’ll start wearing a breathing mask when I go to town. Do people do that here? They do in China. Oh well, two decades in China have done nothing for me if not prepared me for being stared at constantly, so I’ll manage.

I still have hair, although that was not expected to change quite yet anyway. My doctor predicts it will change by next week. I have more head coverings than Imelda Marcos had shoes* (thanks to many of you who sent me a beautiful collection!), so I’m ready for this too.

I had three chemo-related rashes/burns, none bigger than the size of a quarter, but quite bothersome anyway. The initial pain is gone from these, but my skin is still discolored from them.

My dad is taking me back to Houston next weekend for my next round of treatment. I will have a port inserted under my right clavicle (supposed to be better than having I.V.’s put in your arm every time you go for treatment … chemotherapy is administered through this port). It is a small surgery that requires anesthesia.

My brother J is having knee replacement surgery on Monday, the day after tomorrow. Please pray for him and ask God to protect him during the surgery and to provide quick healing. I won’t be going to the germ-riddled hospital during his surgery due to my propensity to acquire infections at this time.

When my dad and I go to Houston, J won’t be able to check on my mom as he is usually able to do, so please pray she doesn’t need looking after much at that time.

Next week will be busy for all of us. Thanks for praying for us!

*exaggeration – I have dozens, not hundreds. 🙂

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