The Voice of Lupus Foundation

A Pillar of Strength

NO TO CHEMO!

on October 1, 2012

Giving up just isn’t an option- I kept repeating this over and over to myself as I sat in Dr. Poon King’s office two weeks ago at the San Fernando General Hospital after being told that I needed to start chemotherapy.

I have been “seeing” Dr. Poon King and Dr. Dyaanand to manage my lupus ever since I was diagnosed. Both are consultant rheumatologists attached to the hospital.  For months I have been using prednisolone (an oral steroid) and cellcept, both immune suppressant drugs to lessen my symptoms of joint pain, fever, skin rashes including hives and other compilations I have been experiencing.

Unfortunately all the meds did was just double my waist and hip sizes. I have gained so much weight since I was put on this medication; it is quite frightening to know how one tiny pill can have such “BIG” effects.

In the last three weeks, I had to double my cellcept dose from 1000mg daily to 2000mg… for those of your reading this blog and know about this medication, you will understand why my body began acting up.

For days I was nauseous, vomiting my life out really wasn’t just an expression; I had diarrhea and I was in severe pain.

My body simple wasn’t responding well to the increased dose of cellcept.

Now I was faced with a choice of starting Cyclophosphamide… Cyclophosphamide is a chemotherapy drug commonly used intravenously to treat several types of cancers including lung cancer and breast cancer.

I was a nervous wreck…chemotherapy O.M.G…there must be something else that can be done.

As I sank deeply into despair, I began to think about all my plans and the vision I had for my foundation… The Voice of Lupus Foundation. My directors and I have been working audaciously to promote awareness and advocacy.  We have so many things to accomplish and so many persons counting on us.

I felt in my heart that if I began chemotherapy that would be it! I may as well throw in the towel.

It’s been awhile since I have felt so scared… before leaving the hospital, Dr. Poon King suggested that I repeat some of my blood work.

The results of this he said would determine if I would have to start chemotherapy.

The blood work was done and I was told to return the following week.

Oh boy, those seven days were the hardest…Everyday seemed like a month long.

But I began speaking God’s promise of healing and restoration over my life and that I would not have to do chemotherapy.

Finally it was time to face my fate… Thursday morning, bright and early I was nearly first in line to submit my clinic card to the clerk. I just wanted to get the results over with.

After about an hour and half of waiting, my name was called. I was in line to see Dr. Poon King or Dr. Dyaanand.

As my fate would have it, I did not see Dr. Poon King.

Dr. Dyaanand and I met and began discussing how I have been coping with the disease and my response to my meds. He referred to my file and then finally the blood results….I took deep breaths, exhaling in and out and began to pray. “Lord I thank you for your mercies and your grace, whatever happens here today, I believe you are bigger than this”

Perhaps my rheumatologist saw the fright in my face, he looked at me and said: “Okay Reeanna, here’s what we are going to do; your blood work has slightly improved; your platelet count is up. We are going to keep you on the cellcept at a lower dose and continue to monitor your response to the drug. Chemotherapy at this time is out of the question.” WOooooo Hooooo did I just hear correctly? I will not be doing chemo after all. YES YES YES…phew what a tremendous relief. A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders…

I boast not of religion, but what my daily walk with the Lord has taught me. I have learnt so much about putting my trust in HIM, when it seems like there is no way out.

So my dear readers, I encourage you to hang on, no matter how big the problem appears, God will always make a way.

 


One Response to “NO TO CHEMO!”

  1. rharrilal says:

    Thank you so much for your positive feedback. Hope I can start back writing really soon. :) Please stay in touch!

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