August 9, 2010
So it's 1:30 am Monday morning. As tired as I am, I can't sleep right now so I thought I would see how far I get on an update. My house is quiet as Mike is sleeping... Tike (my dog) is resting under the bed, Brody and Annie (my other dogs) are lying outside the door of my computer room. I am listening to the song No Matter What, the song I posted as my last entry, through my headphones as I write. Music speaks so loudly to the person deep inside of me. Sometimes it's like medicine.
My mom and I made it home around 3:30 pm Friday. It was good to be home so early. My last radiation appointment was at 7 am that morning. We stopped by the cafeteria afterwards for a free breakfast before getting on the road. I was able to bring my radiation mask/helmet/Jason mask/ colander (This is what Brian thought it looked like) home with me to show off. I will include pictures in another entry. My forehead and temples look red as if I have gotten a sunburn. This is directly from the radiation and itches like crazy right now. They gave me a special cream to put on it but it doesn't seem to help too much. While I was home last weekend, I decided to go to a friend's salon to get my hair cut short on Saturday. I wasn't sure if this would even work because I knew I had to have some bald spots. She cut it really cute, a little funky, which I like. I did have some bald spots but she cut it to cover them. I wasn't sure how long the cut would last... by this time I was really losing a lot. Unfortunately, by Sunday I had a pretty big bald spot in the back. A shower and a clogged drain later, I knew I was saying good bye to the hair I worked so hard to grow out and looking at losing it all for the third time in five years. I packed the clippers with me for my trip back to CTCA on Monday. As soon as we arrived back at our hotel Monday afternoon, with about 20 minutes to spare before my radiation appointment, I shaved off what was remaining of my hair and looked at my bald reflection in the mirror. After a few tears I put on my hat and went off for my last week of radiation.
The week earlier, I ordered a shirt online that said " I paid my Radiation Oncologist big bucks for this hairdo." I had it shipped to my hotel and in perfect timing, it arrived on Monday. My team of doctors and nurses got such a kick out of it.
I am so thankful to those who have emailed and called, send cards and flowers, great encouragement and prayers. When I came home on the weekends, I asked the hotel to hold my mail until I returned. Unfortunately, they did not do this over the last weekend I was there and I know that some mail was returned to the sender. I apologize that this happened.
For some time now, I have felt like my port has felt different. My port is just under the skin on the left side of my chest. This is what they access by inserting two needles into it in order to easily access my vein for blood work and chemo. On Wednesday morning, I felt like there was some swelling around it. I mentioned this to my care manager and my radiation team looked at it. The general thought was lymphedema, which is possible due to the removal of lymph nodes on that side. To make sure, I went to the emergency room and had an ultrasound done. They checked my neck and chest and under my arm. No clots or infection were found so I was just told to watch it. It seems to be getting a bit better now.
One new thing that has developed is a pain in my left hip. Just kind of all of a sudden it is pretty painful to walk on. It is especially painful tonight. I know I have some signs of disease in that bone, and considering that I have only had two rounds of chemo in the last 3 months, it may just be progression. However, I am leaning more towards the enemy's attack once again. Just as I finished one more battle in the form of radiation, another ensues. It seems unrelenting sometimes! I stood in the bathroom tonight and called out this cancer by name. This cancer will back down before I do. I am so tired, but God has promised to be my strength and I trust Him.
One night in my hotel room as I flipped through the channels, trying to find something to watch on TV, Seinfeld came on. This is probably my all time favorite show. Mike will tell you I have just about every episode memorized. I could not believe I had forgotten about this particular episode, considering one of my recent entries. Jerry was sitting at the window and said (and I am paraphrasing) "It's like when you see a spider in the toilet... you know he isn't going to make it out, but you still can't help but root for him."
And I said out loud, "But MY spider made it out!" (of the sink)
I don't know when I have ever been this tired. One minute I feel fine, the next I can't keep my lunch down. This has been such a long fight up until now. But as I said, this cancer stuff will back down before I do. My God is mighty to save.
My family leaves for Myrtle Beach this Friday. Please pray that I will feel really good and strong by then. Please pray also for my hip. I will go back to CTCA a week after I get back from vacation for chemo. I will have scans soon too... another brain MRI will be around the middle of September to check the progress of this radiation.
Thanks again for sending so much love my way.
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