Monday, January 19, 2015

The Dark Side of The Moon.........

If you googled "dark side of the moon", arrived at my blog, and expect to read anything about Pink Floyd, you may leave now. (But it was a killer album!

One of my favorite movies is "Apollo 13" and I recently was able to watch it again with family in a time between my chemotherapy treatments.  There is a face of the moon that we do not see; the side of the moon where the sun does not shine at any given time. When the Apollo craft orbited the moon to slingshot back to earth, there was a time of darkness and complete radio silence - no contact with earth, no control of their craft and no audible encouragement from others. I just finished five days of intense chemo, a day of (rest??), and an auto-stem cell transplant.  Darkness and silence have filled the last few days. For two of the days, medication lulled me to sleep and I don't remember much.  Nausea ruled. Transplant day was mainly sleep. But yesterday I saw the sun.  I survived the "dark side."

To answer a few common questions:  *Does it hurt? Yes, mostly in the forms of nausea and muscle pain, but the transfusion itself is painless.  *How long will you be in hospital?  The typical stay is 14-18 days after Day 0, the actual transfusion.  *Is chemo fog a real thing?  Oh yes, I struggle with names, dates, and all other simple facts.  *Any interesting facts?  Yes. After my transplant, my beautiful wife leaned over to kiss me on the forehead and said, "What's that smell?" Well, when you have frozen cells pumped into your blood stream, the preservative smells like cream corn. Yep, of all the aromas......cream corn! Guess it could have been worse.

My awakening was not as dramatic as the scene in Apollo 13, but for me the world was present again.  It is not a perfect world. There are constant reminders for us that this is not our eternal home.  Cancer is certainly one of those reminders for me.

In Hebrews 11:13-16 it says:

Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. But they were after a far better country than that—heaven country. 

Hold Fast, my friends!   II Timothy 1:13

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