My dear family, friends and prayer warriors,
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel... only 2 more trips to Turlock for radiation therapy! My skin is so much very much not happy. Itchy, blistering, peeling--owie and yucky. My rad techs and doctor are completely awesome, and I will miss their daily encouragement and involvement in my treatment--though not the daily commute or damage to my skin. There is a bit of an 'after-burn' effect so my skin should start healing after next week. While wincing in pain, I am so very thankful that the technology and people exist that can fight this cancer beast. Every time I lay on that table I envision the game Galaga--and pray those rays are blasting those little bugger cancer cells out of my skin and body, and not letting one get by so we can move up to the next level!!!
There is definitely more to come. I have to get a cervical spine CT scan with contrast sometime this week because my hands are constantly going numb (including waking me up throughout the night) and we need to rule out badness going on. After an initial freak out when that order came in and some God-given insight by a friend, Brian and I truly believe that it is carpal tunnel symptoms coming back in full force. I was experiencing the same type of numbness throughout our move last year but it had dissipated with me not using my hands as much throughout all this treatment. However, I have been driving for about 3 hours and using my computer daily at work... plus the added side effects of the Taxol chemotherapy I had that causes neuropathy (numbness)... we are breathing a little easier going into the CT scan. Not that carpal tunnel is anything to snuff off, but we can handle that better than if something is wrong with my spine! So, prayers would be appreciated for that to get approved by insurance and the appointment made so we can get that taken care of asap, as well as a clear scan result.
My next check down at Stanford is on May 21, with a CT scan of my chest and abdomen to see if all the treatment we have been doing has prevented cancer from metastasizing anywhere else. This will be the appointment that either gives me the clear for the next 3 months or a new game plan. A second reconstructive surgery and removal of my ovaries are on the 6 month radar, but a clear scan to allow the healing process from treatment to begin. I, again, covet your prayers!
Still, I am awed by the incredible love and support we are surrounded by. EVERY time I fill my gas tank, I'm using a gas card from one of our amazing co-workers. I was just the recipient of donated sick-leave at my work, allowing me 30 more paid sick days--and it was maxed out in under 48 hours once the solicitation email went out. SO incredible!!! Meals, rides to Turlock, calls, messages, care... what a gift to me and my family... we are so well loved. I look forward to the time when I can be that for someone else... now knowing how much each of these little (and big) things mean to someone going through the ringer. I'm walking through this fire with a couple of my friends in their own cancer battles, and while I do not wish this road on anyone, I am glad to be there with them, for them, and lifting them up in prayer constantly.
I also have to say that it has been good to feel more a part of things lately... We are talking about summer plans and funs ways to celebrate being done with treatment once I feel better. Emmy finished her volleyball season this past week and started track. Zeke is getting ready to graduate 8th grade and move up to high school. Going on school field trips with Ethan and thinking about end of the year gifts for teachers has been fun. Being able to attend church and going in to work most afternoons after radiation has been great. My hair is starting to grow out and I've even stopped wearing my hats everywhere. (In my radiation waiting room, there are always those rumor mill magazines, and apparently, this short hairstyle is gaining some runway popularity--who knew?) One of my eyebrows is choosing to take it's time coming back, but my eyelashes are almost all the way back, and I've had to start shaving my legs again (I do have to say that was nice to not do the last 8 months!). I've also been working to get my patio decked out with pretty plants and furniture so we are ready for tons of summer fun. Normal (almost) feels good!
Now, just gotta get this skin healed up, get some sleep, and get a couple of clear scans... 💪