Summer 2020

We started the trial drug a few days after everything changed. After I finally understood what ‘choices’ I really had to make. We did a couple cycles of that and I was just in the hospital all the time. There was so much that I understood now that I just hadn’t known before. I never realized we might run out of real options. I never realized that the cancer wouldn’t go away just because I got older. I didn’t like knowing all that. But I also didn’t like NOT knowing so much about some other things either. Like dying.

I didn’t know how that worked or what it felt like. And I didn’t understand if I would know when it was coming. If I had a fever, I worried. If my blood pressure was too low, I worried. If my labs weren’t the right number, yeah, I just kept worrying. The worry got so bad that it felt like I couldn’t breath sometimes. Mom said that I was having panic attacks and that a lot of people had those when life felt out of control. I started taking a medicine when I would feel like I was about to have one. It would help me calm down and help me not feel so worried even though my mind was still thinking about it.

This summer I worried a lot and momma cried a lot. When I would worry, Momma would always tell me to focus on the good days — or at least to find one thing in the day that was good and focus on that. She would also remind me that we would get through the bad days together. When momma would cry I would tell her all the same things.

We did two cycles of the trial drug and then we scanned. The scans showed less cancer than before and for the first time in months I felt like I could breath. I stopped being afraid of dying all the time, I stopped asking questions about it and I stopped worrying about it. I told mom that I would keep doing this treatment forever if it worked. And I meant that.

I had pain in my leg for most of the next few cycles. It was from an infection and not from cancer so once we found the right antibiotic the pain went away. The other thing that happened when the infection got better was that the chemo cycles didn’t hit me so bad. That all meant I was in the hospital less and playing more. Last week we had scans again and saw even less cancer before. I am so excited that this drug was working.

When I would have a panic attack or pain, momma would always sit next to me and put her arm around me and pray. She would pray for me to have peace and to know that God was with us. The thing was, I was starting to wonder if anyone was even listening to her prayers. Momma told me that she didn’t really understand how God worked. She didn’t know why sometimes he would get involved in life and other times he seemed not to. But she said he was always with us. Always. That he would sit with us in every moment of our lives and every moment after. That he would even sit with us through death. That actually made me feel a little better – to stop thinking about God as someone who either fixed things or didn’t and to start thinking about God as someone who was just always there. Someone who would never give up on us. 




2 Replies to “Summer 2020”

  1. Dearest Izzy, How beautiful you are. More like your Mom with each story. Your courage is extraordinary.

    Life, Izzy, is basically the same for us all. We get born, live and then die. Some of us have many years, others much less. Some of us are unloved, some, like you, are loved to the moon! Some suffer, like you and me, and some help the ones who are suffering. (They suffer with us).

    The first time I almost died was scary. I was a young Mom and did not want to leave my children. I had terrible pain but it stopped when I felt as if I was swooping out of my body. Trying to “hold on” and stay I felt a loving presence by my right shoulder. I was crying – screaming about my children when a quiet voice said, “All will be well.” And all fear faded. I awoke many hours later and I never again feared death. In my heart I believe Jesus, our Savior, was with me.

    This is just what I worked out to help me understand my life experience so you can ignore with what you don’t agree. My belief is GOD gives us our soul and sends us here on earth for a purpose. And when we achieve that purpose we get to go home – back to GOD, to Jesus, to Heaven, to our loved ones who went before, to our beloved kitty’s and pups, all our pets. When my husband died there was a smile on his face. The same with my Mom and Gran and Pop. I think life is really hard even for people who hide their pain. Death is a step, Izzy. An adventure. A journey we all take to be close to GOD and Jesus again. To feel that love that took away the pain and fear was like an experience that was a renewal of faith to me. I think in life the most important thing GOD wants us to learn is love.

    I love you, Izzy. So wise, a child-woman of beauty and promise. Your Mom is an amazing teacher, an old soul.

    Maybe this will help you as it helped me. Try to focus. When Anwar Sadat was captured by Israel and put into solitary he said that was when he learned true freedom. His mind was his magic carpet, Izzy. He would concentrate on his family even imagining seeing them and what they were doing. He would soar to the Swiss Alps, play ball with his children or wrestle with his dog. His mind could take him anywhere. After I read that I started to practice the art of focusing. It helped me leave behind my pain and worry. The more you practice the better you get. Try, sweet Izzy. Focus on summer days at the beach, your sweet kitty ( do you think she eats ice cream in Heaven? ) driving your first car, going to college. When I was tired I would even put my finger on a spot that didn’t hurt and concentrated how it felt not to hurt. Let your mind travel the universe. It’s your universe after all – make it beautiful! 💖

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