Three days to chemo

“The time has come,” the walrus said, “for you to start chemo. Like, immediately.”

That’s right, friends. I’m starting chemo next week. For real this time.

I must say, I’m confused. So when my platelets are at 1,954,000, the doctor wants to keep waiting. Then they go down to 1,800,000, and suddenly everyone’s a fearmonger. The nurse actually said that coming on July 3rd would be “too late.” Too late? Am I going to expire like a gallon of milk? “Well, if you had come on July 2nd we could have saved you, but the 3rd? Waaaaaaaay too late.” I really just don’t understand how we got from six months between appointments to three days making the difference between life and death, apparently.

I know I seem frustrated. I really am. These past few days have been so aggravating. I’ve made a million phone calls and argued with a dozen different nurses and receptionists. I’ve left messages that were evidently never passed on. I’ve repeated myself a hundred times. I had to have the cancer talk with my new boss, which was no fun at all. And I got to chat with a nurse who explained to me in the most condescending manner possible that I “do have a chronic condition,” that the medication I will be starting, “is actually a form of chemotherapy, it’s very serious,” and that I need to “have those hard conversations and learn to manage” my health issues. I mean, I thought that’s what I was doing for the past five years, but nope, guess not.

Aside from the chemo development, I’m adjusting to my new job, which I feel like I’m failing at in a spectacular manner. I’ve been sick on the weekends, so I haven’t been able to go to church. Because of my commute I can’t go to my small group anymore, and I really really miss that. There was one day this week when I looked in the bathroom mirror at work and realized that I had apparently been possessed by the spirit of an early 2000’s DCOM character when I got dressed that morning. It’s been a rough few weeks.

So it’s maybe not surprising that I couldn’t sleep the night I found out I would be starting chemo. But here was the blessing: for once, I had peace in my insomnia. Sure, I couldn’t go to sleep, and the all-too-short hours were counting down to when I had to get up again, but the Lord kept bringing His word to my mind:

“So do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” -Isaiah 41:1

(If I’m being strictly honest, the verse kept running through my head in the voice of Defender from G.T. and the Halo Express. But that only made things better. Childhood musical Bible memorization for the win!)

God is so good, friends. In the midst of the fear and the failure and the exhaustion and the blinding headaches, He lovingly reminded me (yet again; how gracious and patient He is!) that the strength I live by is not my own. God is upholding me and encouraging me daily. The next few days will in all likelihood be full of stress and uncertainty and a very difficult appointment with my doctor. But I am certain that God will continue to be with me, rescuing me from dismay and fear and despair.

He’s always been faithful to me.


5 comments on “Three days to chemo

  1. burtschwab says:

    Praying for you! You are an inspiration.

  2. So proud of you Kelley and praying for you 🙂 We just sang a song in Spanish this week that is called “No temas por Dios esta contigo” translation: “Don’t fear for God is with you.” May you continue to trust in Him and His perfect will. I love you MUCHO (translation: a LOT…jejeje) and I’m so thankful we got to spend some quality time together last month. Love ya!

  3. Melissa Chamberlin says:

    You are amazing. You don’t know me, well, we met, I held you as a baby once. Your parents were, and forever will be (in my memory anyway) one of the reasons why I still live today. I am not trying to be dramatic, but simply truthful. What they don’t know, and obviously they will now, is that, I too, have faced this in my life. You will forever be changed. Everything that you ever knew as truth will be tested. Your beliefs will either fade or they will become even more vivid in your reality, and that in itself will be, simply, OK. You are being challenged to question, well…everything. Do it. I am not telling you to disclaim anything. It isn’t about that at all, it is about discovering God when you REALLY need him. You know, not many people get the opportunity to do that at such a young age. Nice spin, huh? It is the truth. You are most fortunate to grapple with the really meaningful parts of life when most other people your age are worried about their outfit the next day. You are not being robbed. You are being blessed. That other stuff is fleeting. You get to experience TRUTH at the core, and you get to discover so much beauty in life that most people your age don’t get to experience until much later in life. Savor it. I mean really chew that shit and taste it. That is what life is. Most people don’t want to face your fears. When you are laying in your bed, scared out of your freaking mind that you might not make it, and you are afraid to say that out loud because you, for some reason, feel the need to protect those that you love from reality, know that you are not the first one to ever feel that, and that there are many of us out there that have felt that, and that we will ride that through with you. Your situation is special, your very own, and no one knows it more intimately than you, but do not, for one minute, think that you are ever alone in this. You are now a member of a club that absolutely nobody wants to join. But I guarantee this, you will forever be grateful to have taken the ride. Please, every day, as you travel this, do not think that your life will begin again when this hardship ends, THIS is life. Live it, and allow it to teach you. You, sweet thing, are blessed. (I have a feeling I don’t need to tell you this, but just in case I do…here it is. Take really good notes!

  4. Nina Babcock says:

    aha..this is why at 3:50 this morning I was being impressed to pray for you….and during morning service at church……and the girls in my card group were asking about you yesterday…you are very precious to us…God be with you and in decisions to be made in the days ahead. Grandma Connie

  5. Betty goewey says:

    The 5:00 AM group which meets at my house is also holding you before the Lord God Almighty, asking for His watch care for you as you go through this time of trouble. Love in Jesus Christ Who knows your name. GG

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