We can’t explain it. We can only, as the Bible directs us, give all the glory and praise and thanksgiving to God. In spite of all the evidence, in the face of incredible odds, in opposition to everything we have been told, Carrie-Anne is not sore and she is not nauseated after receiving her first “Red Devil” chemotherapy treatment on Friday. The chemo and the white-blood cell booster were supposed to knock my wife for a loop. The side effects – throwing up, muscle soreness, bone pain, nausea, loss of appetite, mouth and throat sores, exhaustion – were supposed to take Carrie-Anne out of commission for two to eight days. Well, I am thrilled to report that she is very tired and sleepy but she was never nauseated and her body soreness lasted a little less than 24 hours.
Yes, Carrie-Anne spent a lot of time yesterday and Saturday dozing off and falling in and out of sleep in her chair. She never does that – I’m the one who dozes off on the couch or in the recliner, not her. But no nausea. No pain. We kept expecting it to come. I asked her about it every 20-30 minutes. Are you sore? How are your arms and legs? Nothing! We tried to make the pain come. Does this hurt? Does that feel bad? Nothing!
By 7:00 or 8:00 Saturday night, she was experiencing some soreness. Oh, no, we thought, here we go. By the time she went to bed at around 9:30, she was reporting serious muscle pain. Terrible soreness. When she woke up Sunday morning, it was worse. She told me she felt like she was 110-years old, everything hurt. She was shuffling around the house, slowly, and stooped over. Things had improved a bit by lunchtime yesterday. And by 8:00 last night, it looked like the pain was gone. Like, it’s over. Are you sure you don’t want to throw up or something? Just so it’ll feel more real? I mean, it ended just as quickly as it had come on. This morning, she was completely pain-free. Nothing! She went to work as usual and seems to be having a really normal day.
She still feels really exhausted and overly tired, but she’s not hurting anywhere. The Tylenol and anti-nausea medicines are doing their jobs. And our Lord is being abundantly merciful to her. We are so very thankful to God.
As our Midland oncologist was complimenting Carrie-Anne Friday on her diligence in doing everything exactly right to give her the best results from her chemotherapy treatments, as he was marveling at her commitment to the cold caps and her still luxuriously thick head of hair, he told her in all seriousness, “I don’t think you’re going to be able to save your hair through this next round.”
Carrie-Anne looked right at him and said just as determinedly as you can imagine, “We’ll see.”
You know, this type of “triple-negative” breast cancer Carrie-Anne has is found mainly in African American or American Indian women under 40 – about 90% of all cases. She’s been defying the odds on this all along. And, by God’s grace, she still is today.