Sunday, June 27, 2010

Almost 1/3 of the way through radiation!

It's been awhile since I've posted, so I thought I'd give an update.  I have done 10 of 33 radiation treatments now, so after Monday, I will officially be 1/3 of the way done!  I'm really looking forward to that.  So far, it hasn't been too bad, although my skin is starting to show just the smallest hint of pink on the radiation site.  You can join with me in praying that the burn doesn't get too bad, because if it does, then I will need to take a week off, and I really want to be done by July 29th!  No particular reason, I guess, except that pushing it back a week pushes cancer junk into yet another month of 2010, and I feel that 7 months of this is quite enough!  Maybe even more than enough. :)

Last weekend Dave and I got to go to Minneapolis for my best friend's birthday.  It was the first time we'd taken a trip since all of this started, and while I still took more naps than usual, it was SO MUCH FUN.  Life felt a little more normal, and it was great to celebrate with her!  We also got to squeeze in dinner at my aunt and uncle's house, complete with cousins and kiddos and all.  It was such a refreshing weekend, and so wonderful to be able to spend it with friends and family.

This past week, I had to get bloodwork done.  We all know that I HATE needles, and that still hasn't changed.  In fact, the ONLY person I ever want to touch my port is Leona, from the Cancer Center clinic where I got my chemo.  So, instead of just having someone do it at the hospital where I go for radiation, I asked if I could get it done by Leona instead, to which they said yes.  So, I got to go back to the Cancer Center for something other than chemo!  Let me tell you, that was much more fun.  I got to hand over my sharps container of all my shots, and give the rest of the shots I hadn't taken to the doctor.  WOO HOO!!!  Now the only kind of needles left in my house are the kind used for sewing and knitting.

While I was there, I went back to see if my favorite chemo nurses were there.  And I ran into my friend Katie as well!  We ended up talking for awhile, and the patient that Trish was working with joined in too.   We talked about some of the side effects that we had experienced, and I was even able to give her some tips on make-up that I've used to try to look more "normal." It was SO energizing to be able to help someone else, and it felt so good to finally be in a position where I could say to someone else who looked nervous, "You WILL make it through.  Chemo might be tough, but you WILL be ok."

Also, when I was there, Katie and I were talking more about her non-profit organization that she started, Katie's Crusaders.  The organization was founded (this year, actually!) to help local people fighting cancer who need help with all the medical bills.  I think that's an incredible cause.  I started adding up the cost of all my treatment....without insurance, beating cancer would cost me over 120,000, just using some rough, conservative estimates.  Thankfully, we have insurance, and our costs have been more manageable than that.  Katie's Crusaders is having their first 5k walk/run to raise money for people who are fighting against cancer who don't have insurance.  For all of you in the Des Moines area, I'd love for you to join me!  It's September 18th, and you can register for it here.  Check it out, and you can go on Facebook and invite your friends to come too!

Finally, an update on my hair.  It's still mostly soft fuzz right now, and it's coming in dark!  I think another month, and I might be able to go without my scarves sometimes.  Maybe.  I'm really looking forward to that!  I'm starting to get a few little hairs growing back in my eyebrows, and more eyelashes too!  Both of them are very short, and very fine, so I'm thinking it could be awhile before they're really back.  I'm taking extra vitamins, though, just in case that helps them go faster. :)

With that, I'm off to church.  I am at a point now where I've been able to go every week, and I really treasure that.  It's wonderful to be able to join with others in worship and thankgiving every week.  God has given me so much, and has provided for us in many, many ways!

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