Monday, September 12, 2011

A hard night with my first new treatment...

Today we started a new treatment round of chemo. I was excited about this. 1) Because I didn't have to go to chemo land everyday. 2) The dosage is 50% less than my iv fusions were last month.

But I was also pretty nervous and anxious. This time I knew how it felt to be on chemo and I don't like it all. I'm also scared about how long I will be on this drug. The goal is 11 MONTHS, and that is frightening.

God was faithful and kept me strong for those long 4 weeks both mentally and spiritually, but it was only 4 weeks long. So the question I kept hearing Satan whispering was "Could you keep leaning on him for 11 months or would you throw in the towel and quit?" I DON'T QUIT. But I'd be a liar if I said that I wasn't scared.

I had a wonderful morning. Got to the gym and although I am still tired and not 100%, I had a blast kicking butt at bootcamp. I took the kids grocery shopping and fed them lunch. I was on my game. Now I just had to go to chemo-land and learn how to give myself the shots.

Nurse walked me through everything and then gave me a test. I had to do the whole prep and then give myself the shot, while explaining what I was doing and why. I passed. Yippeee and was sent on my way. Every nurse there gave me encouraging words like; "You'll do great." Don't worry it might not be as worse". "You're tough".

I came home and slept, I wanted to give my body rest just in case. And just in case was EXACTLY what happened.

I woke up from my nap with chills (I know that this means a fever eventually), a headache, and aches. Not how I wanted the afternoon/evening to start. I took 2 Vicodin and found my spot on the couch.

6:30pm My chills got worst. I threw on 4 blankets instead of the 1 I had on already and got in the fetal position. My body chills were so bad that my whole body was convulsing. I was panicking a bit too. None of the other chemo nights had been like this. Mentally Satan was taking me down too. I could hear things like; "You can't do this." Too much pain" "Where is your strong God now". I silently prayed with tears streaming down my face, God is stronger! I need him now, cause I can't do this.

My sweet Adam saw that I was having trouble, but he had to get the kids outta of the house. Not only did they need to play outside, but I was getting more upset since they were watching me with big eyes of tears as I battled and battled. I was crying, shaking, having trouble breathing, and to my kids this must have looked frightening. This only stressed me out more, so my breathing started getting even worst. I didn't want my babies effected badly by this cancer, and I didn't want them to see their strong Mom be so weak.

I reminded Connor who was most affected seeing me like this, that God was strong and was going to help me feel better. But deep down I was having doubts. This was horrible.

8:30pm: Chills are worst, headache pounding, and a lot of trouble trying to breathe. I take 2 more Vicodin and call my Mom so she can tell all our friends and family in Oregon to start praying. The shaking is so bad that my teeth are chattering and body is starting to cramp up. I'm breathing really quickly and feeling a little out of control. I'm upset because I don't want to take anymore drugs, especially the ones that don't make me feel right in the head. I'm emotional. (and if you know me I don't get emotional) I'm scared and ready to quit already and keeping thinking THIS IS DAY 1. You have 100's more of these days ahead of you. Can you do this???

I start trying to get myself to settle down, if not then I was going to pass out. I start breathing slowly even though every breath hurts as my body shakes and convulses more and more. Still not a very high fever, and I AM FREEZING. I start saying out-loud; "You can do this, Jen." You are strong." Suddenly I have a moment of clarity which was difficult, because as I feel my body fighting so hard, my mind was weak very weak. "No, Jen you can't do this" I hear as a whisper, but this time a sweet whisper "Jen my beautiful daughter, I can do this." I begin to pray, "God, you can do this. Jesus my sweet sweet savior you can comfort me now." Friends start texting me with scripture and prayers and slowly I am feeling better mentally.

9:05pm My fever is climbing dangerously high. 104 then 104.5. We had to call the doctor then. He told us to take some more medications(funny how doctors can tell you to take more then the bottle says you can) and check the fever every 30 minutes. If it doesn't drop I have to go to the hospital. I also have to take the anti-anxiety pill that I didn't want to. We needed my muscles to relax, my breathing needed to slowdown, and I needed to calm down.

But I couldn't calm down, my head was killing me. I couldn't think straight. I was convulsing, and now burning up. I was panicking at the mere thought of going to the hospital. And embarrassed that my husband was having to talk to me like a child. I cried and begged him not to take me to the hospital, because I was afraid that they were going to commit me to the pysch ward. Seriously, in my head this is what I thought was going on.

9:30pm Fever back down to 104. I'm burning up and sweating, but I have to stay warm and let this fever break. My headache is more like a thumping. And my muscles are beginning to relax as the fever's heat fills me inside out. I'm beginning to finally calm down. Unfortunately I get sick, probably from all the shakes and convulsions. But I know that I'll probably not have to go to the hospital now and that comforts me. I plead sappy/weepy "I'm sorry"s to my husband (He was awesome) And my mind slowly starts coming back to me. I felt like I just got beat up inside and out.

I'm not going to lie. That was hard and I'm scared about what tomorrow and the next day holds for me and this treatment. I wanted to quit tonight. I was mad at my body for being so weak. Frustrated with myself. Worried for my kids and what they saw tonight. BUT...... God was there the whole time. He never once let me go. He was my strength tonight when I had none. He was faithful.

And even though I'm anxious at what tomorrow holds, He'll be faithful then again.


monica said...

Yikes. I hate this. SO painful to even read it Jen. :(
You gotta think that Satan is hitting hard at the beginning, trying to break you down. We can pray that he'll get tired and leave you alone a bit. Your body should adjust as well. I'll keep praying.
Love you and so proud of you.
With Much Aloha--

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU for documenting your story. THANK YOU for your faith and strength and determination. You are wonderful and your God is mighty.

jennifer.chorazy said...

Praying for you and your family Jen! You are so strong! And you CAN do this!

Mandy said...

Moved and inspired by your honesty and sharing of your story. You are so very strong - do not let satan tell you different. Praying Jesus wrap you in His arms. Hugs!!

Momma Sadler said...

praying today was better than yesterday. Praying this was just a first time, initial reaction that will even out over the next few days. We lift you, Adam and the kids up daily! love you!

grace said...

hi, you dont know me from a can of paint (i found you thru jamie ivey, who doesn't know me either lol) and i dont usually leave comments to people i dont know because i dont want to be weird.

BUT.... i just couldn't NOT write to you. ive been reading what you're experiencing and my heart just started hurting. i can't imagine what it is to feel what you feel for yourself, and cant imagine all it is that you're going through. i know all these comments must seem empty and i wish that there was something real and tangible i could do for you... i hear about people with cancer all the time, but something about your story just, i dont know, gripped me differently for some reason.
just know that someone you dont know just read every word you wrote and felt something in them. that someone you dont know was caused by your situation to stop what she was doing, catch her breath, and pray for you. i pray for your strength and patience, and for endurance to run this race. i pray for your family.

i hope that this helps. and if nothing else, made you smile when you read it.

Jen McManus said...

Thanks for all the love and prayers everyone. I really am feeling them.

Specifically, to Grace. Girl you did bring a smile to my face, and I don't think you're "weird". I think you're awesome. I'm feeling every single one of the prayers.


The Young Family said...

You don't know me--but my precious friend Shawnda Kovacs asked many to pray for you...and we will be. I'm a mom who lives in Atlanta--and we are homeschooling this year...and I want to pray for you with my children every morning through out your treatment. I'm signing up to follow your blog so we will know how to pray each day. (this mommy also has a heart for adoption too:).

will be praying...and believing big things for Him to do in your life through this Jen. God is big enough--He will not only bring you through...but carry you as He brings you through it.

Much love from Atlanta, GA,

Andrea Young

Jim and April said...

coming to your blog from a mutual friend shawnda do mentioned it on her facebook...can I first just say you rock the hair cut, you seriously do and Im not just saying this to make you feel are so beautiful and you have the perfect face structure to rock that look! ;0) I've caught up on your posts and I just want to say that your outlook on this and your strength from Him is amazing...i know you feel weak but what your showing to all of us is His strength and giving Him glory and its beautiful! Im so sorry you have to go through this and your family too...praying and will be following your journey now!

Cynthia said...

Jen, I am crying for you. And I sit here desperately wishing that I could do something for you so you didn't have to worry! I'm crying out to God for healing, peace, comfort (for you and your family). I'm thanking God for Adam. He is so wonderfully showing the world how Christ loves the church.

Lifting you up in prayer!

Love you sweet friend!

Lana Kirkland said...

Jen I am lifting you and the family up. You write so beautifully about your journey.Cant wait to read about the victory over this cancer kiddo. Love and prayers,
Mrs. K

Amy said...

oh, Jen, my heart aches for you!
know that we are praying for you!

Anonymous said...

Jen,I am so sorry that you have to deal with this physical pain but the spiritual insight and sweet communion you are having with Christ is such a testimony to His goodness. Thank you for sharing your heart. Jon and I will be in prayer for you. Philippians are living proof that Scripture is truth. Much love to you and your beautiful family. The Kile Family

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