This post is #81 in a year-long series ... Through this series of posts I plan to share our family's experiences during our 17-year-old daughter's year-long battle with brain cancer, which began in February of 2008. My desire is to process through the events of that year from the perspective that a decade of time has brought ... for myself, really. But if you'd like to follow along, you're welcome to join me.
May 31, 2008
I remember the exact moment my teenage daughter became my hero. She had already been through brain surgery, 33 radiation treatments, and several MRIs. She had begun an oral chemotherapy protocol where she took a dose of a drug called Temodar for five days out of each month. She had to swallow five large capsules (what I would call "horse pills") each night before bed. They were so large, she had to swallow each one individually. The next morning, she would usually wake up very sick, and then remain drained of energy all day. I would watch her take those pills, one at a time, and wonder how she could do it. How can you force yourself to swallow something that you know is going to make you so sick ... not just once, but five times ... and for five days in a row? I distinctly remember watching her one evening, taking one pill after another, very matter-of-factly and without complaint, and thinking for the first time, "She is my hero." Taking those pills was really a small thing, in light of all she went through during the year of her illness, but to me it was truly heroic.
My email from a decade ago ...
I have some specific prayer requests to share with you tonight. As of today, Hannah has taken three days of her first five-day chemotherapy treatment. The first day, she was slightly queasy…yesterday, she was a little more queasy…and this morning, she was very nauseated and very sick. She’s feeling a little better this evening, but at bedtime tonight, she’ll have to take another dose (actually five pills) that she knows will make her sick tomorrow. That’s a very difficult thing to do. Then tomorrow night, she’ll have to do it again. And she’s got eleven more rounds of this treatment to go! Please pray for her strength as she takes this medication, and for relief from the nausea. Also, please pray that she will not become discouraged as she faces the months ahead.
Thank you again for your prayers…and for the many encouraging emails you send. We are not able to personally answer all of them every time, but please be assured that we are reading all of them, and God is using them to strengthen us and Hannah. He truly is good all the time!
Jill and Brad