September 17, 2015

So it is done~

Christina, Joan, and Jody~
Joan & Jody my RN Angels!
But not over! Today, I have completed two full cycles of chemotherapy – 6 sessions. Although I was dreading today’s treatment, it went as planned. I have been blessed with oncology RN’s that are a kick in the pants and make getting chemo-infusions so much better; my two RN Angels are Joan and Jody. I love and appreciate these two women – they both have a wonderful sense of humor, at times I observe interactions between them that are so silly it could be featured on an up and coming sitcom! Joan presents as the alpha nurse – she is definitely in charge during my sessions – with Jody being her dutiful spunky sidekick. My infusions are not always easy since I do not have a port or pic line for the RNs to just plug into. It takes master level skills to get a good IV going without needing a pain reliever shot prior to IV entry. My gals Joan and Jody are so fantastic at IV placement; I can pass on the extra poke forgoing the numbing medication. It makes all the difference when you have outstanding RN’s taking care of me!!

This past week has been a bumpy road – it started off really really rough and ended quit pleasant. One great thing about chemo-brain is that you forget things all the time. In reflection, I know the first part of the week – since the last chemo session included Friday night fever. I remember that I was so fatigued on Sunday that I canceled a visit with a friend. I too recall that on Monday, after acupuncture, I was so fatigued that I was seriously considering using a wheelchair while at Hobby Lobby. Instead, I cleared sitting spots along the way by rearranging Hobby Lobby displays to accommodate my butt for sitting. I was just so grateful that my Acupuncture Buddy, Vicki, was willing to take me to the Hobby Lobby after acupuncture – I needed more cools stuff to keep writing back to my friends and family.

When I awoke Tuesday morning, I felt a little piece of my spunky self a couple times. I was not feeling as fatigued, although still a bit nauseous. I was thinking how cool it was that I was feeling a little bit alive again after feeling like shit for the 2 months. Then there was Wednesday – Oh my, I felt good again. Yes, my body continued to ache, especially my hips, knees, and ankles but I felt well enough to take a shower and Curtis and I went to McGraths to get a little bit to eat during happy hour. This was a big deal because I have been virtually homebound for the past two months! McGraths was our typical spot – we used to go there a couple times a week for date night. When we came in, after not being in for a couple months, our regular bar tenders, both did a triple take when they saw me – you know, my sexy baldhead! They were both so kind and we all agreed it had been far too long since we last saw each other! For Curtis and me, we were finally experience “normal” for about an hour, it was nice. I miss the little things –

Christina's 6th Chemotherapy Session
I feel as though my crying spells are not as often and I am regaining some footing again. Yes, I am still sad that this cancer continues to hold on – but I am trying to focus my energy on getting well and saying a big huge Fuck You to the statistics and reports that I am terminal. I have much more to do and remain determined to continue living a life that is positive, filled with love, authenticity, strength, and determination. I am finding strength from many places – a place that consistently lifts my spirits is the letters and card that are being delivered to my mailbox daily. I absolutely love writing back and forth. I may not recall what I write – but that is what makes it even more special. There are times when my tears are left on the paper of the letters I write, and this is okay. There are times when I forget words in sentences, repeat myself, go off on strange rants, share the depths of my pain, and when I am leaving a whole lot of real talk on the paper. I appreciate everyone that is writing and sharing with me – this is so therapeutic, it seems like on both sides. Thank you for accepting my writing, my pain, my silliness, my words, just as they are. I hope that my words touch your heart as your words touch mine.

I want to tell everyone how lucky I am to have a devoted spouse, Curtis. He takes care of me as though I am a queen – I love it! He makes me breakfast, he has taken over a majority of the domesticated duties I typically do. He takes care of me without complaining – he loves me deeply and I can feel it during any interaction he and I have. I am lucky. Do you know there are a large percentage of men that leave their wives when the wife is diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness? Well not my sweet Curtis; He loves me even more – I am so lucky! I love him forever.

It is not often that you find individuals that give of themselves, without expectation of something in return. For example, Mandi Schwendiman with Albany Acupuncture (Albany, Oregon) has been treating me weekly without expectation, for many months, because she cares about me and is with me on this journey. Similarly, Rita Baxter with Shamana Massage (Eugene, Oregon) came to my home this week to do an in-home massage. Rita then offered to travel to my home weekly to provide a massage to me, without expectation. I am filled with gratitude that these two women are using their healing gifts to make me more comfortable, without charging a fee. If you feel inclined to offer monetary assistance, to Rita who will be traveling from Eugene weekly or Mandi,  I encourage you to offer a heart donate in their name and mail it to my address and I will pass it along to them. Or contact them directly.

Albany Acupuncture Clinic
Mandi Schwendiman
(541) 928-2171


Rita Baxter
Shamana Massage
Phone:(541) 689-0918

I am surrounded by so many that individuals that love me – I am a lucky lady. I feel as though I am finally getting back to my better positive self. Even though it is rough right now, I know I can continue to Thrive despite all these speed bumps because I am surrounded by so many that believe in me. Please keep writing those letters and encouraging me – it truly makes a huge difference to my spirit.

Please keep sending letters to:
Christina Garrett
PO Box 192
Philomath, Oregon 97370

Please support our fundraising efforts:

Today, I am hopeful~