I realize I should have updated long before now, but I was trying to wait until I was in a better mood. I don’t like to update when I’m frustrated. However, it seems I may remain this way a few more days, and I need you to pray for me, so here you go…
First of all, the good news. I have completed 28/28 of my radiation treatments!
Last Thursday was the final treatment on the initial plan, and I was oh-so-happy to get that behind me. I coped fairly well with the effects of radiation all the way up until about #26ish. Prior to that I experienced fatigue, but nothing a good rest couldn’t cure, and of course, I had quite a bit of burning within the radiation field, but the topical meds did a decent job of keeping it from becoming intolerable. If I stayed out of the heat/sun, I was mostly okay.
However, last week hit me pretty hard. Most of my left side, and my upper left back (the exit point of the radiation) has been in a constant state of burn. It’s much more severe than the sunburn type feeling I described in my last post. Now it feels like I am on fire, right under my skin. Nothing seems to relieve the intensity. I have three topical meds and one oral pain reliever and at the moment, none of them are my friend. Praying for relief quickly, because it’s making me cranky.
I also got some not so good news last week. I have to have five additional radiation treatments. Bleh! These are called “boost” treatments and are centered exactly in the area where the tumor bed was located. My sweet radiation techs have taken their sharpies out again and given me lots of new drawings. I have a nice blue rectangle on the exact location they will target this week. It’s about 6 inches long and two inches wide. I begin the first of those five treatments on Wednesday (maybe).
My doctor added the additional five just to be extra sure we hit every single cell that may be lurking somewhere. I understand and respect his desire to do everything he can to prevent recurrence, so I am being compliant. But, I’m sure not looking forward to five more.
The sweetest people you will ever meet work at CARTI here in Conway, and I love them. But I’m tired of seeing them everyday. I told them, it’s me, not you, and we’ve got to quit meeting up here everyday like this. As cranky as I’ve been, I think the feeling is mutual. 🙂 Bless them.
In addition to finding out I still have five treatments left, (and this may be the reason I’m in such a mood) I found out a few weeks ago that I have to have my gallbladder removed. One of the side effects of chemo is gallstones. The stones were discovered on my last scan, but I wasn’t having any symptoms, so my radiation oncologist said we would take a chance to try to make it to the end of my treatment plan and hopefully not have to deal with an emergency removal situation. I thought I was sailing right past that little issue until about three weeks ago when I had a mild gallbladder attack.
And then I had another.
So, after a visit with the surgeon (Dr. Michael Stanton for all you Conway people), it was determined that it must come out sooner rather than later.
And that day is today at 11:00.
All I can really think about this is I HAVE THINGS TO DO. School is starting in a few weeks. I don’t have time for gallbladders. Maddie needs new dance shoes. Creed needs a navy belt. I still need to do All The Things.
However, apparently one must take time for rebellious gallbladders, so here we go.
The surgery is outpatient (he hopes) (and I hope too), and I should be home by this afternoon gallbladder-less and one more thing crossed off my list (so I can get to the important stuff like belts and dance shoes.) 🙂
So, there’s the update and now you know why I really needed an attitude adjustment before I wrote it. (Maybe I should have waited until this afternoon when I am on some pain medication that will make me sweet again.) 🙂
The thing is, I am running out of spare parts. I’d like to keep everything else I have, so let’s just all pray I get to keep what I’ve got left.
Seriously though, as cranky as I have been these past few days (weeks), I am still more thankful than frustrated. In the midst of the unexpected, God has tapped on my weary soul and reminded me that I never was in control in the first place. (A lesson I should have learned by now.) He’s always the one who has steered this ship. He’s got me right where I need to be, taking care of every detail, even though I fuss. I’m grateful that He ignores my whining and loves me anyway.
And I’m thankful my family does too, (but y’all, pray for them. I haven’t made it easy on them this week.)
I really love you people. Thank you for praying, encouraging, and loving me so well.
Soon; very, very soon, this will all be behind me and I hope to have a lifetime of loving and hugging and thanking all of you wonderful souls for your love and kindness. I can’t wait for that day!