Well, it’s been a few days since I’ve had chemo so I’ve had some time to rest and to reflect.

The chemo that I am on is called C.H.O.P. and each letter stands for a different chemical in my particular chemo cocktail (remember that chemotherapy is “chemical therapy”). Each chemo is different and has different purposes in my body. I won’t pretend to understand it all. I don’t even want to understand it all.

We arrived at PMH in good time to drop Nathan off at The Magic Castle and for my appointment. I was assigned a nurse who was so kind and caring for me the whole time, even though she was so busy with other patients on the Chemo Daycare floor. I am thankful for the extra time that she took to care for Jeff and I as we prepared for the first round of this CHOP regimen.

The IV was set up in the vein in my right elbow since, in the words of my nurse, it was “nice and juicy”. The IV infusion lasted about 2 hours total, starting with an anti-nausea drip, followed by an injection through my IV (not on the pump, but in a large syringe that she needed to inject by hand, lasting about 15 minutes), followed by two more of the chemo mix. The last part of my chemo mix is taken by pill. I take these for 5 days, finishing up tomorrow.

The side effects of this chemo cocktail include fatigue, risk of infection, low blood counts, hair loss (more on this in another post), mouth sores, nausea… So far, so good. When we were given the list of side effects to take home, I wasn’t sure how I would feel, and well, I’m feeling better than I thought I would.

***

I asked Jeff on the way to the hospital what he was feeling and his answer has provided me with the best picture and an accurate understanding of my own feelings as we travel down this new path. He said, first of all, he knows God’s peace. You know, that peace that I’ve mentioned here before, “and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). Jeff said, that if he was to scrape off or dig under the feelings of peace that there are other emotions that are there (you can imagine them for yourself), but that the primary emotion or feeling was God’s peace.

And isn’t that the whole point of God’s peace?  The peace is there to act as a barrier, as a filter, as a protection from the negative emotions that fight for space in our minds, that shout fears into our hearts and tell us to give up and that all is lost.

You can be assured that today, we are being upheld by God’s peace. We are surrounded by God’s peace, by an underlying understanding of God’s care and protection for us. I can’t describe it for you, but I hope, sincerely hope that you will know this deep peace in your lives too as you travel on your paths.

Love to you all,

Heather

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