I remember when I first walked into the chemo room where I receive my treatments.  At first glance it is quite uninviting, certainly not a place I would choose to frequent.  It is monotone in shades of white and blue and grey, with a few windows letting in a hint of outside light.  There are several areas with huge black leather recliners, each housing a pole to which all of your medicines and fluids are attached. It is very sterile feeling, very medical.  Nurses busily shuffle from station to station making sure everyone’s needs are being met.  There is a low hum of voices as patients sit and visit with their loved ones.   And there is beeping, lots of beeping.  Each beep indicates that the medicine is complete and it is time to hook up to the next bag.  It’s sterile and cool and sad, at first glance…

But today I saw this room through a new lens.  This sterile, monotone room became a community of hope and love and healing.  As I climbed into my large leather recliner, wrapped my body in my prayer shawl (Thanks Cis) and slipped my husbands hand into mine, I waited.   The nurse greeted me like a long lost friend and began the process of hooking the IV up to my port.  It was as if I was sitting at my favorite restaurant and my regular server came to my table, just happy to see me.  I was known and cared for. And then my Angel Karen’s husband came over and introduced himself with a warm smile and gentle handshake. And friends, stopped by, one by one, giving generously of themselves and their time.  I laughed and cried and shared and rested. And I met new warriors, all with a fierce and brave spirit.  They each shared of themselves too, in intimate ways as this sacred space demands.  This space that transforms from sterile to warm, from monotone to bright, from sad to joyful, from scary to hopeful.  It’s the light from each fighting soul in a black recliner, it’s the love from each family member or friend sitting close in support.  It’s the tenderness from each nurse there to serve with compassion and kindness.  And as I unhooked from my IV and got ready to leave this room full of such emotion, I realized I indeed have a new community of friends to whom I’m linked by both intense pain and enormous hope, and I am full of gratitude.

With deepest thanks to all of you who continue to pray and care and show-up for me in countless ways,

Heather

PS. My Angel Karen was with me again today, and this Angel even brought me a selfie stick to record this beautiful and hard journey.  We had a lot of fun with it but definitely need some practice to get the hang of it.

My Angel Karen, her daughter Kayla, Alison and I.

Alison and I


My sweet nephew Oliver even came to my treatment!

My sweet girl!

 

My sweet friend and hair stylist Amanda who generously gives of her time to do some hard and emotional work. Thank you!

Battle Update: So today was Chemo #2!  I’m 1/3rd of the way through my toughest treatments.  And they are tough.  My last Chemo landed me in the hospital for four days and it was dark and hard and scary.  So this time around we are trying to do more preventative medicine and fluids and rest to try to keep me from getting so sick. I’m hopeful but realistic.  It is going to be a tough week.  The good news is my cancer seems to be responding very well to he current regimen and is shrinking quickly, Praise the Lord!  And I absolutely love my oncologist, Dr. Misra.  She is ridiculously smart and capable.  She is a patient advocate and goes above and beyond to make sure I receive the best care possible.  I am in fantastic hands!  Oh yeah, and I’m officially bald!

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