A Note to Dolly

18 May

My Sweet Friend,

This is not your typical Friday, is it?  It’s your first day of chemotherapy.  But you already knew that.  You’ve been thinking about it nonstop for weeks since you found out you have cancer.  I know.  It was the same for me.

I wish so badly that you didn’t have to go through this.  I wish you could just go to work like you usually do on Fridays and go about your day without any worries at all.  I wish that cancer didn’t exist.

image source

This is your first step in a journey that will be difficult at times, BUT it is also a journey that will not last forever.  This is temporary.  There will come a day in the not-too-distant future when you will be able to look back on this moment, take a deep breath, and soak up the goodness of life without cancer treatment.

You won’t be the same person after you go through this.  The internal change that comes with a cancer diagnosis and treatment is unavoidable.  However, the change is not always bad.  The process of standing up to cancer tends to refine people.  You will discover new heights to your faith in God.  You will learn a new appreciation for the ordinary, every day experiences that make up this wonderful thing called life.  And while you might be physically weaker for a while, you will ultimately be stronger because you’ve gone through this and come out on the other side!

I know you can do this.  As someone who’s walked a similar road recently, I’d like to offer up a few pieces of advice to help get you through today and the coming weeks.  Some of this was shared with me as I began the treatment process and some I learned through my own experience:

Say Yes.  When they ask if you want your port numbed, say yes.  (Of course, you probably already know this from Kellie’s experience!).  I tried it both ways and it’s much better numbed that not numbed.  There is no need to experience any unnecessary discomfort today or any day you are recieving treatment.

Breathe.  Don’t forget to breathe today.  It seems silly, but there will be times when you may catch yourself holding your breath.  Inhale deeply, exhale slowly.  It will help.

Relax.  Let the nurses do what they do best and look after you.  They are great and will take wonderful care of you.  You are used to taking care of everyone but it’s their turn to take care of you.

Take the Ativan.  It, combined with the Benadryl, will calm you and help you to relax and maybe sleep during the infusion.  Aw, who am I kidding?  We all know you won’t sleep! :)

Focus on Today.  Don’t think about tomorrow, or Monday, or next Friday.  Only think about today and what you need to do to get through it.  Then repeat again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.  I mean it!  No peaking ahead.  :)  (Thank you, Katheryne, for this advice – it really helped me!)

Remember.  And lastly, remember how much you are loved. By me, by so many family and friends, and – most importantly – by God Himself.

I’m pretty sure that breast cancer made a mistake when it chose you.  I mean, you’re the Ragin’ Cagin’! :)  You will not be diminished by some stupid cancer.  You are strong and determined and sweetly stubborn.  I know you are going to give this cancer a run for it’s money.

Remember, with each day that passes, you are one day closer to being a survivor.  Go get ’em, Girl!!  I love you and I’m praying you through this day and every day of treatment.  You can do this!

To all of my real life friends and my blog friends, I would love it so much if you would stop right here and say a prayer for Dolly.  Pray that her nerves are calm, that she has no negative reactions to the medicine she will receive today, and that the drugs do exactly what they are supposed to do – eliminate the cancer so that she can be healed.

♥ Rachel

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7 Responses to “A Note to Dolly”

  1. Jennifer Cooper May 18, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    Rachel – that was awesome!
    Dolly – we love you and are praying for you today.

  2. Cara Olsen May 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    This was a beautiful letter, Rachel. Dolly is blessed to have you.

    Sending up prayers for you right now, Dolly!

    Blessings,
    Cara

  3. jksmith032460 May 18, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    Dolly – I am so very sorry that you are having to go through this in your life. Cancer does not discriminate as you have seen. Everything that Rachel said is so true. She is coming up on her 1 year anniversary of her diagnosis which seems impossible. That one year was done a day at a time and sometimes an hour at a time. I am so proud of her – lean on her and your other many friends and family during this time. Please know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Love,
    Jennifer (Rachel’s sister)

  4. Tranquil Moments Photography May 19, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    Will say a prayer for Dolly. Please keep young Dylan in your prayers Rachel, especially his family as they are now enduring his last days here on this earth. Our community is heart broken. Prayer is a powerful thing so if Dolly, Dylan and all our cancer friends can find the power and strength of the prayers being said for them, I am sure it will be a comfort.

    • rachturner May 20, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

      I am SO sorry to hear that Daphne. Praying for Dylan and his family.

  5. J June 11, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    I just prayed the prayer you requested for Dolly. She sure is lucky to have you in her life. What a beautiful letter to her. I hope that I have a supportive and loving friend like you if I ever get cancer. Well, I know my sister would be very supportive but you never know about friends.
    Bless you and your friend.

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