cancer // first day of chemo


Writing this at 2am. Eva woke up to eat. Sleeping-all-night was a blissful short lived gift that I hope will return soon! Putting her back to sleep is so sweet and quick, though, and sweet Josh takes over the bottle portion, so it’s not that bad at all. However, I took some medicine for nausea and now I can’t go back to sleep. I keep thinking about my first chemo day, and this week, the stuff that runs through your mind at 2am…

It was snowing, a lot. Again. What is it about my important hospital visits and the SNOW?! I kind of love it.

Felt good about everything this morning. Josh wanted to come with me for the first day. We were able to get to Nashville just fine, no trouble. In the car I was receiving tons of sweet encouraging texts and then saw so many friends sharing photos of us together on facebook with prayer requests and fist pumps. I even heard from my high-school exchange student friend in Serbia! (Facebook shines at these times). Sarah sent a video of my theme song, Boom Boom Pow, to get me pumped up. Here you go:

Why is that my theme song? A segue into why I’m called ‘boom’ or ‘sheaboom’:

The short version: in college, many many years ago, my friend Allison and I were DJ’s for middle school parties. Yes. We spent hours creating these ancient things called MIX CDs, ripped songs off Napster I’m sure (please don’t sue me now). We wore fun hats (Cowboy, but there wasn’t much Country played) and sparkly shirts. We tried our best to get 6th, 7th, 8th grade boys and girls in to meet in the middle of the giant room to dance with each other. This was a challenge back then and it better still be a challenge when Eva is in 6th grade! okay…. Allison’s DJ name was MC Delicious (I can’t recall why?) and mine was Shicka Shicka Boom Boom. My very first email account WHEN THE INTERNET WAS INVENTED was I was 16 at the time, so of course I should add my age at the end. Yes, Eva, I’m older than the internet. SO it stuck. Fast forward to my interning days at Southern Living, we had to share a fun fact on the first day, the DJ gig was mine, and that’s where it was shortened to Sheaboom by the President of Advertising. SO of course, on my last day, I passed out mix-cds to everyone. Then gave every guest at our wedding, 3 years ago, a mix-cd as well. Mix-cds are my love language. (Awww… I might just make one for all my nurses and doctors! A cancer mix?! Yep.)

Okay, that wasn’t short. Back to cancer.

SO… we are in the car and I decide to share a photo of the amazing prayer gathering on Sunday (lovely post coming about that I promise) and wanted to share how it really lifted me up and prepared me for this week. It was beautiful, moving, so real. I was getting emotional from that, naturally, and then from all the sweet posts, happy tears, which is followed by getting emotional about the day. There sneaks in FEAR. The devil will steal your joy. How it will feel? What will this place be like? Will there be really really sick people there too? Will I get sick(er)? Will the needle in my port hurt? This is going to be awful! The tears wouldn’t stop. So I grabbed Josh’s hand and asked him to pray for us. And it worked. Instant calm. Thank you, Jesus. HE IS THERE. Always. (This is real).

The best part of the day was CERTAINLY the successful removal of the catheter (sorry if this is TMI). The good ole ‘pee bag’ from my surgery… I was SO happy to ditch that thing. It’s not really THAT convenient after all, and you can’t wear pants. In the snow! Bye Felicia. (Is that still cool to say?)

We walk into the infusion center and it’s practically empty. Many called in to reschedule because of the weather. There are sections, kind of like chemo-cubicles, each with 3 recliners and a guest chair. It smells so new and clean and everyone was super smiley. Exhale. The sweet nurse goes over all the side effects again, and my pre-meds. Benadryl for any allergic reactions, fluids, some other stuff I don’t remember, probably for nausea, and then the two chemos: Cisplatin and Etoposide. I’ll get both on the first day of each cycle, then just Etoposide the next two days. We sit and wait for them to mix the poisons. Then I brace for the needle for the port: it was big. It hurt, I wont lie. Like a bee sting from a really fat angry bee. The anticipation of it was the worst, though and thankfully they can leave it in for my consecutive 3-day treatment. Less bee-stings in your chest are a good thing.


I couldn’t help but take a photo of DAY ONE! Thank you, Josh! 

The rest wasn’t bad AT ALL, almost like a restful day at the spa? Free wifi, free lunch, all you can drink! They warm your blanket in an oven and pump you full of drugs. I brought my laptop thinking I would be really productive during the 5 hours sitting around without a baby… BUT… the Benadryl knocked me out. I ate lunch and took a lovely long nap. I peeked every now and then at Josh next to me, emailing clients and sketching some new building ideas. I love him!

The rest of the day I was super sleepy, similar to taking two Benadryl and trying to function normally. I felt cranky (sorry Josh). I’m not a fun person when I’m tried. After we ate dinner and finally got Eva down for the night, it caught up with me. I had my moment of crying and anger in the bathroom floor. I’m being a bad wife and mom, this sucks, I don’t wan’t to do this, etc etc etc. Pity party. I want to share this because I wan’t you to know I’m NOT happy, positive and brave all the time! Unfortunately for Josh, it hits the fan at the end of the day, when I’m tired and worn out. I have been given some wonderful advice from so many about FEELING my emotions and not holding them in, especially around family, Josh, Eva. Advice to be real. Permission to NOT be brave all the time. I needed to hear it. I will need to hear it.

From my wise friend, Lori, I can’t take credit: ‘Satan is going to try and rob you of the goodness and joy on this journey. He is going to try and take statistics, sickness, hair loss, and loss of energy and use it to make himself more powerful. Who CHOSE YOU to be Eva’s mom? God. Who numbered your days even before you were born? God. Who knows the amount of hairs on your head now and the amount of hairs that will grow back? God. Place your fears in him and TRUST each and every morning that He will put the people in your path that you need that day and that He will put people in your path that need to hear your story. God has his own set of statistics and you will find those in his word. His mercy has no time limit. His miracles have no time limit. This is a journey. Not a fun one. But when it is over, you will look back and see the miracles that took place. Trust that and believe that. Stay off google and stay in the word.’

I am so amazed, but not one bit surprised, at the people God has weaved into my life before all of this happened. Some possibly just for this hard season. Some I can tell will be around for the long haul. He knew I would need them and Josh and Eva would need them, too… a village of doctors and nurses, babysitters and meal bringers, drivers and huggers. You know who you are, and you might be getting photoshoots in return. :)

Alright! One treatment down and hopefully just 42 more to go (17 chemo, 25 radiation).




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