Oct 26, 2010

Your Mission, if you choose to accept it....

Today was the first day of my 28 day series of radiation. As crazy as it sounds, I was actually looking forward to it. You know, after months of talking, planning, thinking, meeting, and praying about my treatment, I was actually going to START it. It was kinda a relief. I know this is going to be the easy part, and I am ok with that.

We finished moving this last weekend. And when I say finished, I mean that everyone who came to help carried their last load and went home on Saturday night. We are by no means completely done, but I would say we are 85% there. We will still be going back next weekend to clean the place, top to bottom, and take the last few loads to be donated or trashed.
Funny, but that is what seems overwhelming to me right now, not cancer. I suppose it is all in your perspective...and I hate cleaning. Especially when I don't get to enjoy the results! But I get to put that off for a few more days, and now my focus is just getting to my appointments on time for the rest of the week. My schedule is that I will be getting treatment every morning at 8:30am from tomorrow until December 2nd.

I met my new best friends today- Mary, Brent, Todd, and Nancy (Todd was in the control room and Nancy was not there today when I took this picture) I will see 3 of the 4 people every day.

It was pretty cool to see how modern medicine functions to kill of this nasty disease. I was really in awe of the whole thing.
It started off pretty normal. Sign in at the desk and wait to be called. I had barely sat down on the comfy couch when I heard Brent's cheerful voice Rachel, come on back! He was quite expressive the first time I met him and thought he was just trying to make me feel comfortable, I now get the impression that his favorite quote is "no bad days". Since I will be seeing him so often, I will let you know if this rings true ;) He then took me back to an internal office elevator and we went down into the "bat cave". Brent told me that they couldn't put the cement rooms on the 2nd floor due to weight, so the treatment rooms were under the parking garage in the basement. I like to think that this whole process is turning me into a super hero, so "to the bat cave" it is!
Once downstairs, I was told to put on the most beautiful gown I'd seen in a long time-it was most impressive- A lightweight raw silk fabric that seemed to drape and fall just so around my shoulders, with long double satin ribbons that tied up like a ballerina slipper to accentuate my waistline.... Ok, just kidding, it was standard hospital carded cotton with a faded blue print and my butt hung out of the back, but wasn't the first description a much better visual?!?

Inward the double doors swung, and we walked briskly down the ramp (still sooo bat cave-y and a little willy wonka mixed in) into the room. They had made a pillow for my legs to ensure proper placement, since I would have to lay with my left leg at a 45• angle. This pillow was made just for me and based on the multiple photos they had taken the week before.
I slid up onto the treatment table and they began to position me. Due to the nature of where my tumor was on my groin, I was not able to be very discrete during this portion. However, I assured them all that I was not shy and this was nothing that my waxer and baby doctor hadn't seen before. At this point, I was surprised they were even worried. I mean, we are curing cancer here folks, and you are worried about who can see my girl parts! Kinda silly to me...again, I suppose it is perspective.
Laying on the table, I was hoping that I would be able to get a little nap in, like I have in the past during the CAT scans and MRIs, but this was all just too cool to close my eyes for even a second. Once the nurses left the room and went up into their control room (they would be watching me from cameras located around the room) 5 laser beams came on- one from each corner of the room and one from directly above me. The machine opened up, moved around me, and wings came out that contained X-Rays. At this point, I felt like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible when he drops into the room filled with lasers to get the special computer chip. This was my mission and I choose to accept it!

The doctor came in to tell me that she was really happy with how everything looked and that she was surprised with how superficial my tumor had been. This comment was promising, as it meant that my radiation treatment would be more superficial than she originally thought. My bladder would not be affected (no peeing my pants!) and only 1/3 of my left ovary would be hit (no uterine involvement as originally expected) and only possible intestinal crossover (maybe I will have issues, maybe not). Then then placed a computer chip on my surgery sight that would measure the amount of radiation exposure to ensure the computer was doing what it was told to.
Then, I was left alone.
Well, at least there were no other humans in the room.
I know that God was with me- I could feel him. As I listened for the 5 long beeps that they told me to prepare for and the machine circled by body as I lay flat on a 18" table lifted 5 feet in the air, I prayed.
And I prayed.
I asked God not to offer me a simple layer of protection, but for a SHEILD of protection.
I know He brought it.

The whole process took about 1/2 hour, and the treatments after this should only take about 15 minutes. It was quick and painless. I mean, I went shopping afterwards!!
The aftereffects were not too bad, just a radial "stinging" feeling around the treatment sight that lasted a few hours. When I start to feel this, rather than think about it hurting, I just focused on the thought that the cancer cells were getting burned alive!! Killing the cancer one cell at a time.

I am so grateful to everyone who called, texted, facebooked, emailed, thought and prayed for me today. Everyday is a new day, rain or shine, and I am just glad I am gifted with each day. Because every morning means I get one more day with my hubby, one more day with my little, one more day to praise God for everything He has given me.

Looking forward to all of you helping me count down everyday to December 2nd!!

9 comments:

Beckie said...

To say that we are proud of you would be an understatement -- His grace exudes from every pore of your body.... we are with you every minute you're in the bat cave .... come out swinging Wonder Woman!!
Love you forever ... Mom & Dad

ray*ray said...

Rachel your such an amazing person !!! You inspire me to relax and enjoy life. I'm so glad Beau and I got to meet such a wonderful famly as yours... We miss you guys as neighbors already !!!

Brittany said...

Rachel,

As I read your updates I always cry...... Not a cry of sadness but a cry of amazement and awe. I wish I had half the strength you do and you amaze me. I can not even try to pretend that I would be in such a good place as you if I were going through all you have in the past year or so, starting with you dad. Just know that you, Trevor, that beautiful baby girl Vida, and the rest of your family cross my mind very often. You are always in my thoughts and prayers and I am proud to say that I know all of you. You all give me hope and the courage to face anything that comes across my path. I know I'm not the closest to you but if you ever need anything know that I would do my best to help. You have an amazing support team behind you and I look forward to counting down the days with you to the final "treatment" day in December!!! I love you and all your family!! Thank you for sharing your stories with me. I love to read them, to cry, to laugh, and to hope with you from afar!! XOXOXO

Soapylove said...

Hi Rachel! Thanks so much for these great updates. I think of you often! I'm so glad you have such a positive attitude, which I know will help your healing. I'm sure many other cancer patients will find your blog post and your writing will help them stay positive, too. Way to go, Ra! Big hugs!

Kell & Nick said...

Rachel...wow what an amazing experience and I love hearing about it through your own words! I too cry when I read your post as it is really touching and your outlook on life, your treatment and the mission you have been given...it is just so moving! I too am so proud of you and so moved by you! Thank you for sharing your story!!! You are in my thoughts and prayers during this journey and always!
XO
Kell~

Jeannie mutrais said...

My favorite comment , "come on now- we are killing cancer here!" I love you and am sending you and your family lots of love!!!!! You are amazing!!!

Wedding Tulle said...

As I sat this morning reading your words, I could feel your grace and love for life. I can not express in the correct words how much I truly admire you and your trust in God. I will continue to pray for you and your family. Much love to you beautiful super hero!
Bree

susan said...

Love your amazing attitude and testimony. Thinking of you and praying for you! XO

Kenny Wayne said...

Hey Ra,
I just read the comments and realized more of the 'Big Picture' that God is painting in our lives.
I cried like a baby. I want you to know that I love you as much as God does (if that is possible). Ra Ra, your challenges are not in vain. Even people who don't know you will be encouraged through your words. Keep them coming! Dad, aka "Gampa Ken'
PS. Every weekday morning at 8:30 your mom and I hold hands and pray for that Shield of Protection - and against the 'arrows' of the enemy. Amen!

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