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Posted 2017-10-31T03:00:00Z

CHEMO day- Let’s KILL some cancer cells

Back in June, I took a hard hat tour of the almost finished Cancer Center.  Bruce and I made a donation and were offered a tour as a thank you.  Bruce was busy at work so Allison came with me.  We dawned reflective vests and hard hats and plodded with a small group of much older donors through the bowels of the business end of C squared.

As we approach the chemo bays, Rick Scott, the CC Foundation President, explained how proud they were of the floor-to-ceiling windows in each individual chemo bay with beautiful views looking over the oak trees. I blurted out in a voice a little too loud for the situation, “I’m never going to be in here.” Everyone awkwardly look back at me -- not sure what to make of my outburst, then they continued on with the tour.  How would they guess I was a patient?  Unfortunately, here I am, sitting in a comfy chemo chair, a fancy model that has in-seat heat and massage, while toxic chemicals are dripping into my veins.  My mom is here, switching my cold cap every 20 minutes, in a heroic attempt to keep some of my hair.  We are enjoying watching the bulldozers prep for planting the CC healing garden.  

I want to tell everyone, thank you for the avalanche of support: phone calls, whatsapp, texts, FB messages, Skype, flowers, cards, dinners, visits, and being prayed for at the Grand Mosque in Tehran, Iran! Thanks, Shirin.  I almost hired a social secretary.  Please remember, this is a long haul and we all need to pace ourselves. This type of chemo is cumulative; I will be feeling the worst in January and February.  I will have 6 cycles, 3 weeks apart, of the same two drugs I had last time:  Carboplatin and Paclitaxol.  In addition, I will have Avastin every two weeks for as long as my kidneys can take it.  Avastin is a promising new drug; it restricts new blood vessels and starves the tumor of food.  So that is about all there is to say.  Chemo and cancer suck- so PLEASE don't ask how I am doing.  It is detrimental to my mental health to go over the details with everyone who asks.  

A much better question to ask is, "How can I support you?"  In a few weeks I’ll be putting up a help calendar for meals, shopping, visits, etc. To get notified when I post, please subscribe.  But for the next two weeks I have my parents and two friends visiting, so I should be well-looked after.  

My immuno-compromised period is during the peak of cold/flu season.  I have set up a disinfection station on our front porch.  Please wash your hands before you visit.  I encourage everyone to get a flu shot.  I might institute a no-shot-no-visit policy!    

And one last word about texting.  I will likely be napping during random times of the day.  While I appreciate all the love, please limit texts to urgent/imminent stuff.  I love getting your supportive emails and it’s helpful if you post those to my blog, because then I can find them when I am having a low moment.  If there in my email Inbox I have to save them and scroll all over hunting for them.    

While I was at Hospice last week, my counselor, Flannery, told me about “No one Dies Alone.”   Hospice volunteers visit terminally ill folk with no family or friends to sit with them.  I felt so profoundly sad that such people exist, and I am so grateful I have so many loved ones.  Thank you for stepping up in my time of need.  I appreciate you all!!! 

Much love,  Michelle  

PS, thanks to my fellow O3C survivor Emilee for the Lucky hat.  Em, here is today's “homework” ........I am strong, I am a warrior, I will survive!  

 

 

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Comments (18)

  • Mick McCarthy
    Mick McCarthy

    I wish there was something more practical we could do to help from Down Under. We are all thinking of you, and Bruce too. Big hugs from Mick, Kirsten & Owen.

    5 years ago · Reply
    • Michelle Elyse Kendall
      Michelle Elyse Kendall

      Hi Mick, Kirsten and Owen. Thank you for the love from OZ. I would love to see a picture of Owen, he must be in be 12? I cant imagine how big he must be. Hold that thought, there is something you can do. I have applied for soup delivery later in my chemo cycles. I will post those details and if you want to make a donation to support their great work delivering food to chemo patients that is a great gift.

      5 years ago · Reply
  • Mike Murray
    Mike Murray

    Dear Michelle, thank you for sharing more of your journey with us. Based on following along, it is clear to us that you are strong, brave, and can win this fight! Much love, Mike & Jill.

    5 years ago · Reply
    • Michelle Elyse Kendall
      Michelle Elyse Kendall

      thanks Mike.

      5 years ago · Reply
  • Karen Gillow
    Karen Gillow

    Ditto what Mick McC said - sending love and strong, positive thoughts from down under to you both xxx ooo

    5 years ago · Reply
    • Michelle Elyse Kendall
      Michelle Elyse Kendall

      Thanks Karen!

      5 years ago · Reply
  • Carolyn Walton
    Carolyn Walton

    So glad you have your Mum and Dad and Bruce nearby. Hope you can feel the vibes coming from us in Hemswell.

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Rosa McCullagh
    Rosa McCullagh

    Thinking of you and Bruce over here in Chicago. Must get that flu shot! Rosa and Peter

    5 years ago · Reply
    • Michelle Elyse Kendall
      Michelle Elyse Kendall

      I'm so glad you are coming for a visit, we will have lots of great giggles.

      5 years ago · Reply
  • Jennifer Vinton
    Jennifer Vinton

    Michelle - just saw you post. Hope you got through yesterday OK. Of course my mind when to this song/video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCR0ep31-6U Hope you're resting up today. Soak up some sun and give Cooper lots of pets. XO

    5 years ago · Reply
    • Michelle Elyse Kendall
      Michelle Elyse Kendall

      I love that song!

      5 years ago · Reply
  • Mollie Sheely
    Mollie Sheely

    Hi Michelle - Life sure is a mystery...wonderful and amazing at times and a royal pain in the ass at other times. You have always been amazing at enjoying what life has to offer and once you get past this hurdle, I am sure you and Bruce will be off on your next adventures around the globe enjoying every minute of this life. I so wish we lived closer so we could visit more, but I am sending you love and hugs from across the country. And I am happy to see you have inherited Grandma's affinity for painting. Your notecard painting is beautiful...she would be very proud!! XOXO, Mollie

    5 years ago · Reply
    • Michelle Elyse Kendall
      Michelle Elyse Kendall

      Thanks for the love. Thinking about the next adventure will get me through this crappy 4 months.

      5 years ago · Reply
  • Anne Marie, Richard, Jeeves & Bertie
    Anne Marie, Richard, Jeeves & Bertie

    I have my flu shot and sending good vibes from the Hudson Valley! ❤️Anne Marie

    5 years ago · Reply
    • Michelle Elyse Kendall
      Michelle Elyse Kendall

      Thank you AM, Richard and the corgis for the yummy strawberries! We had family dinner last night and they were perfect little sweet bit.

      5 years ago · Reply
  • laura.a.francis@gmail.com
    [email protected]

    Hi Michelle - I just wanted to let you know I am thinking about you and hope you are feeling okay after your first treatment. Please let me know when you are up for a walk. Looking forward to seeing you this weekend. Love, Laura

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Kathy Whitley
    Kathy Whitley

    Go warrior, go!

    5 years ago · Reply
  • Kathy Whitley
    Kathy Whitley

    Go, warrior, go!

    5 years ago · Reply