These first few weeks of the new chemotherapy treatments have been difficult in some ways but not so terrible in others. Since Rita goes every single Monday instead of every other Monday like her first chemo therapy, there is little time to recover between treatments. The blessing is that she has not had much nausea and she even went to work the day after her first treatment and after her second. She is a very determined woman. The tough part is that she is exhausted most of the time. That exhaustion makes getting up and working each day very hard. Each day that she has been able to work has been a day to cheer.
Unfortunately, she began to run a fever early last week. By last Friday, she was too sick to work and had a 102+ fever. Since the fever didn’t go away, she was hospitalized and remains there as I write this today (March 8th). I visited her this afternoon and she looked pretty darned good! She was getting a blood transfusion. Hopefully, she will have a stronger immune system and be a lot less exhausted because of that new blood coursing through her veins. After numerous tests, it turns out that she has a bacterial infection that is very common in chemo patients. She has to be without the fever for 24 hours before she can go home and her temperature was normal this morning. Unfortunately, during the late afternoon the fever came back. The good news is that it is low grade now but she is back to square one of the 24 hours. She is anxious to go home and it looks as though she is at least headed in the right direction. She is on an antibiotic in an IV drip so that should help. Because of her fever, she did not get her third chemo treatment last Monday and this next one looks rather tenuous. Please pray that this afternoon’s fever is the last of it. When the fever leaves, she can go home, restart her chemo and get back to Twice as Nice. Twice as Nice volunteers have pulled together along with the staff to keep things going so Rita will be proud. But, Rita’s heart is always there and everyone misses her.
Today, I took her some of the cards that had been sent to Twice as Nice for her. There were cards from many regular customers as well as those who work with her. What a special thing to hear from those who have been touched by her daily life. As we all walk along the path of life, creating a legacy of helping others, contributing at our jobs and growing our friendships is a blessing. Whenever I am out with Rita, it simply amazes me how many people she knows and who care about her. Apparently she is friends with and loved by at least half of Denton!
I’ll keep you posted on her recovery from this bacteria. I am so anxious to do another photo session with her. Until she is up to it, I’ll just keep posting images from the three sessions we have done so far.