A shining beacon.

Yesterday was another Duke day, an opportunity to spend a few hours in those impressive facilities, meet with my equally impressive medical team, and then go have someone infuse some poison into my bloodstream.  It was indeed and lovely Tuesday.  This begins the second phase of my Cycle 3 treatments, and if past history is any indication, I do not expect to have any adverse reaction to the drug that I am receiving, which is called Pralatrexate.  The main possible side effect of this particular tonic is sores in the mouth and/or throat.  It takes 4 or 5 days for any sores to begin to show up, so we won't know for sure until about this time next week.  But good oral care has kept me pretty clear of any past problems and hopefully will work again this time.

I have commented in the past about some of the people that we see in and around the cancer center, and how their cancer, and the related treatments, has caused them such obvious pain and suffering.  But yesterday my attention was drawn to a woman seated in a wheel chair, waiting to have some blood drawn.  She was probably in her 50's, a petite lady, and her hair was completely gone.  In my reading I have learned that while most women have significant difficulty dealing with the loss of their hair, and immediately begin wearing wigs or some other head covering, some women reject such measures and proudly display their bald heads.  This was one such woman.  She was neatly and comfortably dressed and her smile just lit up the room.  She was chatting with her companion about various topics, none of which had anything to do with her cancer or her resultant condition.  It was a joy to observe how she able to be such a positive beacon to all those around her.

Being treated for cancer does not have to be a physically debilitating process.  In recent years, the advancements in treatment medications and techniques have been significant.  And those advances have enabled patients to better withstand the rigors of those lifesaving procedures.  So while our eyes may naturally be drawn to those who are struggling so greatly to get through, there are also many who are able to live fairly full and active lives while contesting their disease.  I am blessed to be included in that latter group and I praise the Lord for it.

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