holding patterns

On hold…again. Apparently the tightness in my chest is of great concern, considering the dose dense chemo that I’ve been receiving. Reen and I were rushed from my oncologists office to a digital imaging center a block away where I was put through a CT scanner for images of my chest. We waited to hear from the doctor on staff that there was nothing unusual in the images. A weekend of waiting. On Monday, I will undergo an echo cardiogram before I’m given the go ahead for chemotherapy. If all is clear, I will hopefully have my infusion on Monday, and then again on Saturday to be back on track.

My sleep last night wasn’t the best. I tossed and turned thinking about the possibility of heart damage or pneumonia that can be cased by Herceptin, Taxotere or Carboplatin. Why wouldn’t my insides be the mess that my outsides are? If my nails can’t even stay on my fingers, why wouldn’t my heart, which is the first organ to receive these drugs, be negatively affected? How can the 2000 iu of vitamin E that I take daily be a guard against permanent damage to my fist sized heart? And then I woke up this morning feeling slightly more optimistic. I’ve had some severe cases of heart burn, and this tightness doesn’t feel so different from those symptoms. It’s a deeper feeling that I notice when I take a deep breath…and I’ve been doing a lot of deep breathing these days.

Tuesday will mark the inauguration of our first openly bi-racial president. The first president to self-identify as African American, and to admit to being raised without a father. My heart is open wide to the hope that this election¬†continues to bring, and I breathe deeply as a reminder that what I’m going through physically is nothing compared to the centuries of racism, violence, genocide and poverty that precede this time in America. I breathe deeply as a reminder that nothing is permanent, and that I am fortunate to have my body and spirit as intact as they are. I breathe deeply to calm my ever busy mind and to connect to the people around me. In short, I like to breathe, and I prefer those breaths to be full and intentional. No wonder I have tightness in my chest- my heart is expanding with hope. Who knows what type of test it will require to catch those results?