December 3, 2018
Glen had a better night even though the extremely low dose chemotherapy caused his feet to go red with rash and on fire on only day 4 of taking it. When he took the same type of chemotherapy in 2015 the entire bottoms of his feet went fiery hot and peeled off entirely. Glen didn’t take it again this morning. When we told Dr. Kim he said just stay off of it entirely for now – probably for good – as Glen is obviously very sensitive to it. He is still on the “Tykerb”, another pharmaceutical that is supposed to be a non-psyto toxic chemo agent and will also attack the cancer without all the nasty side effects. I pray that it does. Whatever Glen is taking I, and an army of prayer warriors, God’s children, are also praying for his healing through the means of doctors or direct intervention by the hand of God.
We arrived at Issels Clinic slightly after 9am because I had a hard time getting out of bed this morning. I took an allergy pill to sleep and once I fell asleep I was out until my alarm at 7:30am this morning. Of course when it went off I promptly turned it off and rolled back over falling asleep again! As one who suffers from insomnia forever it is really hard to get up most mornings. When I was in Bible College my roommate and I would regularly turn the alarm off in our sleep and not even remember doing it. That made it pretty hard to make it to an 8:00am class but usually I made it by rolling out of bed by 7:55am, throwing on sweats and a sweatshirt and running to class! Strange method of survival but that’s what I did! One morning I was so very tired that I got up and walked across the room to turn off my alarm – my solution to turning off the alarm in my sleep – and then sat on the floor of my room and fell asleep sitting up. Wish I could fall asleep at night so easily!
This morning Glen went straight into the hyperbaric oxygen chamber. I decided to park on a farther away street where I could leave my vehicle for longer and go for a walk to the comic book store to buy our boys each a comic book. I ended up parking a fair ways away and then just started walking, connecting back up with State street. I got to the comic book store turn off but everything was closed so I kept on walking. I was also looking for a store where they had winter looking suede jackets on sale (polyester really, not even suede!) because my jackets were done being useful and it sure would be nice to have something a little bit warmer for the trip home! I walked through an outdoor mall that I had spied from my vehicle trips driving down State Street, then arrived at the bridge which is really close to the beach so I figured I may as well keep on walking! I arrived at Stearns Wharf and eased myself down onto the sand removing my shoes for good measure. The seal popped up and down again but didn’t hover anywhere in the water for too long so I just enjoyed watching him pop up and slide back gracefully into the water. The sun was wonderful and I just enjoyed sitting there. Eventually I got up and waded in the water a bit but today I just needed to rest my feet!
After a half hour of soaking up the sun I made my way back up to the sidewalk. Stopping at the man who “works for tips by creating art” I asked him if he could be in the picture with the sand sculpture of the paramedic helping another man he had created. It really is a work of art. Though he moved very slowly because he forgot his cane (I wouldn’t have asked him to stand had I known how hard that was for him!) I think he was proud to be in the picture. Of course I gave him a “tip” but felt pretty cheap as I had put other small cash in my pocket to hand out as I walked back down State Street. There are so many homeless here, as in other cities. It really does break my heart no matter what city I’m in.
On the long walk back to the Clinic I found the jacket I wanted to buy for really cheap so didn’t feel too bad spending money. I then got handed a sample of moisturizer and got enticed to walk into a store. I ended up getting my hair curled entirely by “GO Royal” (pronounced G-O) who was trying to sell me either ridiculously priced skin care or the ion flat iron he was using to curl my hair. Once I explained that every spare cent was going for cancer treatments for Glen and necessities he became a real person and started telling me more about him. He recently lost his mother because of liver disease. He was about to finish production on an album – he has a really nice voice, I know because he was singing – when he met a really big star that he was not allowed to tell anyone about…yet. This “big star” is debuting him in a massive concert on December 11 with thousands of people and helping him finish his album! I kind of felt bad not buying anything but he didn’t push it after knowing my reason for being in Santa Barbara for which I was very thankful! I made it back to the clinic having given all my spare change to two different homeless people and buying a smoothie because my blood sugar was pretty low by then!
I walked into the IV room to show Glen my new curls before finding lunch but Glen and Ada both gave me their chickpea salads so I figured that should suffice for a light lunch. Glen had to finish up his IV’s having already done various other treatments including a new one called a “hemo” shot which involved them taking his blood and adding something to it and then re-injecting him with his own blood again. Weird stuff but Lord please bless it! Visiting with Kim, who had to leave tomorrow after only a week there, I only walked back into the waiting room when all the chairs were filled. In the waiting room I met Willene who was new there.
“I thought I was the only woman here who wasn’t a patient! All the men went out for lunch,” she said in a Southern drawl. Her and her husband Bill are from Missouri near Arkansas. I laughed. I could have joined the men she was referring to but I prefer to eat cheaper food back at the Casita as my norm. The men would have included Ken (Ada’s husband), Terry (Kim’s husband) and now we finally met Jimmy who is Jennifer’s husband. I found Glen again to see how long he would be then took off for Trader Joe’s to buy a few groceries. By the time I got back to the Clinic I was probably more ready than Glen to get back “home” because I was so hungry my head was going into a migraine.
The evening brought us chicken for supper instead of fish, and another calm evening of writing, a movie “Ant Man”, and spending time with my beloved. It was a day where God had to instill more hope in me through a friend who has lost her beloved texting me and giving me encouragement. This is a journey I would not wish on anyone yet too many walk through it. I am so very thankful that we do not walk this journey alone. The verse of the day echoes in my mind.
Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.”
I believe. I trust. God is our refuge.