Week two of Chemo
After the first day of chemo, Rachel and I joined the kids camping for the weekend at the annual Donald Family Campout up at Cresap Bay. We’ve asked our brother-in-law Joe to write a guest post about camp, so stay tuned for more details! Rachel had a difficult 24 hrs after the chemo was done but pushed through that and started feeling better than she has since this all started! She played volleyball, went paddle boarding, and just generally felt like herself again which was so great to see. We are prepared for it to not be this easy for the next 11 weeks but still hope that it continues.
Chemo week two was better than the first. The train was still an hour late but there were fewer medications to get through this time so it worked out and we were still done at about the same time. The IV room is a repurposed conference room with eight old recliners lining both long walls. This, plus the small nurses desk makes the room feel claustrophobic (upon reading this, Rachel says she didn’t think it was claustrophobic…so it was probably just because I had to sit in the middle of the room on a little stool because all the recliners were full). This is counteracted by how friendly and open everyone is, both patients and nurses. Of the three nurses we’ve met so far, two are believers and two are cancer survivors. This has been a great encouragement to be able to relate on both level.
Rachel spent much of the time talking with a friend she had made last week who is a mother of three in her early 40’s and was diagnosed a year and a half ago with stage 3 colorectal cancer. She spent a year diving into natural treatments as the cancer advanced to stage IV. When she started with Dr. Chen, she had a large tumor in her colon, twelve lesions in her liver, and it had spread to a number of lymph nodes. In 12 weeks of low-dose metronomic chemo, she just had a scan and is disease free! The best part is that her and her husband are both strong believers and are further down the path that Rachel and I are attempting to walk. She (and her husband) were a great encouragement and her story helped to put our minds at ease about our decision to not try additional natural treatments before moving to more aggressive options.
On a separate note, we have been blessed by partnership with two different companies in the past few weeks. The first was Home Depot. When Rachel and I bought our house last year, we knew we were buying it for location and property and that the house itself needed a lot of work. With three young kids, we were downsizing from our last house by a third. If you’ve ever met us, you can imagine the big plans we had for this little house as soon as we walked in. All this went on hold when Rachel went into surgery last month. A close friend of ours submitted a letter to the local Vancouver Home Depot on our behalf, detailing our many DIY projects we had in flight when life changed directions. Next thing we knew, Home Depot was committing to get our house (and out buildings) re-painted, a new deck built off our front door, and all new screens for our windows. They are donating all the materials needed to get these projects done! Thank you to Brian at Home Depot for all the work he has done to get this going for us and thank you to Molly for writing the initial letter that got all this rolling.
The second company, which I mentioned in our last post, is the Hotel Interurban. They are located right next to the cancer center and just opened this year as a high-end business hotel. They have not only provided us with great rooms at a significant discount, they left us a hand written note from all the staff our first night and have gone out of their way to make us feel welcome and comfortable. From the Mercedes pick up from the train to the microwave and mini fridge for Rachel’s specialty diet, they have been awesome. Thank you to Julie, Anna, and Dro for all you’ve done so far for us!
Ultimately, we are learning to trust God to provide our needs in unique and creative ways. T-shirts, benefit events, the gofundme, home depot, the Interurban, friends and family, etc. God has provided for every one of our needs plus some things we didn’t need but he blessed us with anyways.
Philippians 4:19 …And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.