Chemo – Week 1

The closest I’ve been to someone enduring chemotherapy was when a new neighbor went through it for breast cancer. She was an amazing example of strength during those months. She lived only with pets, worked full time, cared for them, shopped and cooked for herself – and often for me – and more than five years on is cancer-free.

Now I’ll experience chemo with a closer eye as my mom begins treatment for CLL – Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Since she was first diagnosed, science has made remarkable advances toward treating this disease. There is still no cure but remission is possible and that is what we’re all looking for. A four or five year remission would give the scientific world a nice chunk of time to develop new and improved medications, treatments and possible cures. That, too, is what we’re all looking for.

I have to admit, I still don’t have a complete grasp on this disease, though I have been doing the research. The best part is that since my parents moved to Colorado, they’ve discovered doctors who are not only interested in treating the disease but in treating the patient. These doctors and assistants have been more than generous with their time as we come up with lists of questions, and they’ve offered information when we’ve been too naive about the disease to know what to ask.

They originally suggested four months of treatment but have since suggested six. “Like weeding the yard,” the doctor’s assistant said. “You can treat until the weeds die down to the root or you can treat until the root has died as well.”

We want to get to the root of this and so, six months it is.

This is week one. Only five ‘weeks’ to go – one a month for the next five months – and all with our eye on the prize. Remission.

9 Responses to Chemo – Week 1

  • Hugs and prayers for you and your mother. May this treatement give you many more years together.

    Linda

  • Debbie, I’m sending up a prayer for your mother, you, and everyone in your family. Your mother will appreciate your support through her treatment, and I know the emotional aspects are hard. Knowing quite a lot about you by now, I know you’ll become knowledgeable about CLL and be able to talk with your mother about a lot of things. Love and hugs, Kathleen

  • It’s funny, I couldn’t remember when your mother started her chemo but I felt led to pray for her last night. I’m still praying that her experience with chemo won’t be a bad one and that she’ll go into remission. Sending you hugs. 🙂

  • Linda,
    Thank you so much. She’s about to start day 3 of this and so far says she’s feeling good. They say side effects take a week or so before they hit but I’ll be out in Colorado then and, hopefully, the side effects will be minimal if at all.

    Kathleen,
    You are so sweet. Thank you for having such confidence in me. I am researching this, and my sister is a doctor, so I’ve been picking her brain as much as possible. We’re so lucky to be alive in today’s world and have such a vast amount resources for learning and fixing at our fingertips. We keep saying, if my mom had to get sick, this was the decade to do it, not one or two decades ago. Science has made such progress and we’re right there in the midst of more. Thank you for sending positive thoughts our way.

    Laura,
    Wow, girl! You are tuned in, aren’t you! 🙂 Seriously, thank you for thinking of us now and for sending that good energy our way. Only two days into this and the white blood count is already decreasing. That’s a positive sign and one we hope to see from this point on.

    ~Debbie

  • I’m sending your mom and your family a super big cyber hug. I don’t pray but I do do visualizations. I’ll be visualizing the chemo eating up those cancer cells like a demented Ms. Pacman. Your mom sounds like a tough lady, just what she needs to be for her treatment to be successful. Thank goodness for modern medicine. My thoughts are with you. <>

  • Debbie, I agree with Beth. A positive attitude is beneficial. Science proves that as well as personal experience with a friend one street over who went through chemo and is a survivor. Debbie, it’s good to hear that your mother’s white count is decreasing after just two days. I’m certain you and your sister will be a help to each other.

  • Beth,
    I’ll take that super big cyber hug, thank you. And I don’t pray either but I do appreciate all the wonderful and positive vibes sent this way. Thank you for the Ms. Pacman visualization. I love it and can visualize it as well. I’ll pass that on to my mom. I know it’ll make her smile.

    Kathleen,
    I couldn’t agree more. Positive attitude is absolutely beneficial. With the great results so far, we can’t help but be positive. Bumps in the road might occur, but we’ll take them slowly and move on to the next until they’re all well out of our path.

    ~Debbie

  • I realize you posted this a couple of days ago, but I wanted to express my support and good wishes to you and your mom. I couldn’t agree more about the therapeutic value of a positive attitude — if nothing else, it makes things easier.

  • I’m sending prayers and positive thoughts for your mother, Debbie!!!

    ~Marly

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