Today started with two dear friends of Ashleigh from the Fellowship class at First Baptist Dallas meeting us at UT Southwestern to pray over Ashleigh before starting treatment. After that it was upstairs to get signed in and off to a treatment room. The nurses giving the drugs were awesome - especially since we haven't gotten a port yet, so they had to give it peripherally (through an IV in the arm, instead of the usual way of a catheter directly to the heart).
There is something viscerally satisfying about the bright red color of one of the chemo drugs and the huge yellow warning labels on everything - they have the look of something that should be used in a comic book to bestow super powers. It's actually a comfort to know that the drugs are so powerful that they are heavily warning-ed and carefully controlled, even in the already carefully regimented world of medical treatments.
We met with several wonderful nurses, a physician's assistant, and dietitian who all had information for us regarding potential side-effects and the litany of support drugs Ash will take over the next few days. I won't bore you with the details here except to say that we appreciated everyone's patience in translating medical facts into something that the engineering/data-driven framework of our brains could process.
After treatment (~3.5 hrs all told) we drive home and Ash had a nap. Tonight we had dinner provided by a wonderful couple from First Baptist Allen (lasagna, yum!).
God is so good - it is unheard-of in "typical" cases (if there is such a thing with regard to cancer) to be diagnosed and begin treatment inside of a week. We are thankful for doctors, nurses, and administrators expediting every step of the process to get us to the start of chemo today. We can rest in some measure of peace, knowing that we have started a tactical response to the disease and that as we speak drugs are working on reducing the size of Ashleigh's tumors.
Ashleigh has been looking forward to today as the day we get to actually DO something to start the fight. Then, on top of that comfort, the treatment itself was very easy and painless. Does it get any better than that??
...oh yeah, free snacks :-)