Trial 3 Cycle 1 Day 1 August 25, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — cindytripp @ 6:10 pm
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The more things change, the more they remain the same.

I guess I’m more familiar with the process by now after 1 year of clinical trials at Sarah Cannon. I know how to pack my day bag, to dress for EKG and port and blood-draw accessibility, and to wait through the day (and often evening). I’m actually at peace on cycle 1 day 1, unlike how I am in the few days leading up to any new trial. Of course, that’s how I anticipate any big event: going over all of the details and hoping I haven’t forgotten anything big. Then I wake up extremely early and feel God settle me down.

My friend Sue picked me up at 6:10 AM, and we were off. First day of a trial takes place in a separate room where I can be carefully monitored as the timetable begins. It’s been a long time since I had Benadryl as a pre-med, and so I was surprised about (but also appreciative of) being asleep from 11:30-3:30. Then comes a long 5-hr waiting period of blood draws and observations to see how my body is processing the study drug.

Everyone at Sarah Cannon is professional and personal and encouraging, and I will leave with documents for everything. This week will be busy because I have labs for the next 3 days and other appts for the next 3 weeks. Cycle 2 will be much the same, and then we’ll see how the treatment is going when scans are ordered at the end of two cycles. If I’m responding well, beginning with cycle 3 in about 6 weeks I’ll have only day 1 on my schedule with no other appointments in between those first days of each cycle. That will be nice.

Also, after my initial diagnosis 2.5 years ago, I’m getting better at asking questions and understanding answers. While my cancer remains weird (my word), it is becoming easier for me to grasp, I think. For some reason, the cancer cells have decided to make my lymph system, particularly the nodes, their home. The good thing is that they have been content to stay in the nodes; the not-so-good thing is that there are lymph nodes throughout the body. When I am receiving some kind of treatment (with a chemo element), the cells can be managed and the C-125 marker diminishes to within a normal range. When I’m not on a treatment or when the cancer cells decide they have the power to block treatment, the tumors grow and/or spread, and the marker rises. Managing this process with the right combination of drugs requires tremendous knowledge and skill, and I am blessed to have the resource of a world-class facility in Nashville like Sarah Cannon Research Institute, a place that does all of this so very well. What a gift from the Lord SCRI and its people are to me!

And after 2.5 years, I’m learning how much easier life is for me when I breathe in and out, when I stay in the moment and be thankful, and when I don’t run ahead of myself. I find it’s also easier to listen and respond to the signals my body gives me because they seem clearer at times now. You may not realize this, but other than the large tumor in my neck (the place that was radiated) I have no pain or discomfort from the cancer, just from the treatment—but the treatment is what keeps the cancer in check. It’s a circle to be sure, but not a vicious cycle; the more things change, the more they remain the same. God is here; I am not alone.

Hearing the still, small voice of God is not a lesson learned once and then remembered for always. It’s a daily surrender that God’s people experience every moment. Bottom line is that I’m doing okay. I keep going back to the beginning, and I’m confident that none of this depends upon my input.That definitely is a relief!

Right now I’m waiting for the final blood draws at 6:14 and 8:14 PM and then James will drive me home. Benadryl means that I can’t drive, so that’s another decision I don’t have to make. It’s quiet here on the Drug Development Unit on the 2nd floor, and God has been calling to my mind how much I have to be thankful for. I pray that I can be faithful in the moment, that I can trust Him with the details, and that I will express my gratitude for those near and far who are praying and caring.

May you enjoy the last week of August and find rest in your moments.


7 Responses to “Trial 3 Cycle 1 Day 1”

  1. Rob DeRossett Says:

    Hi Cindy. I haven’t seen an update in a while,but I wanted you to know I continue to pray for you and your family daily. You are such a blessing. We love you.

  2. Candy Manning Says:

    I dont know how u do it…. i guess u have no other choice. Cindy, we love u so much and just hate what u are going through. I know God will always make a way. I pray for your healing every night when i lay down at night. I fall asleep with your name on my lips and in my heart. I love u so much.

  3. Fran Kirkpatrick Says:

    Your blog would make a wonderful book for other patients and families going through the ups and downs of long term cancer treatment! You are very good at explaining the particulars of the different treatments, and, while being honest about your fears and disappointments, you beautifully express your faith that God is with you every step of the way. You inspire me as I face what seem like very small matters and encourage my faith that God will be with me always whatever hardships come my way. Thank you:-)

  4. Gina and David Stansell, Ben, Willa and Dora Says:

    Thank you for again reminding me of the cycles of faith, humility and obedience. The Holy Spirit faithfully brings you to my mind daily, and I pray for you. Blessings and healing to you and your family.

  5. Rhoda tripp Says:

    And I’m thankful for you. It’s been a very long day, so I pray you can go home and have a restful night. I love you, hon

  6. Doug Ralls Says:

    Beautiful Cindy. I so know what you are saying. Breathe in…breathe out. Every breath is a gift from God.

    • cindytripp Says:

      It gets easier at times,and it gets overwhelming at other times. Every moment for me comes back to faith: Do I believe Him or not? Will I trust Him or not when the reality gives me no clues about His purpose? I continue to pray for you and Pat and Emily. May we all cling to Him in all circumstances and look forward to His return.

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