Nov 28, 2010


Our turkey day came and went way to fast for my liking this year...but the leftovers, ahhhh the leftovers! We finally cleared them tonight by making soup. It is almost done, and the smell around the house is just amazing!
Watching football, eating soup, hanging with the family. So many things to be thankful for. All this, and the thing I was most looking forward to this holiday (and the most thankful for) was the 4 days off from radiation. In writing this, I only have 6 more treatments to do and I will have completed all 28 days of radiation therapy.

It started off so easy. Showing up every day at 8:30, waiting in the waiting room for my special phone to ring. (sidebar- I was halfway through treatment when I realized that I had my own ringtone. The therapists in my bat cave know I'm there every morning once I scan in my bar code at the front desk, then, when they are ready for me, they call the "special phone". I really am like Bat Man, or Super Woman, lol) Walking through the upstairs hall, smelling the fresh coffee someone is always brewing, and taking my special elevator down, down, down to my chambers. Then, quickly changing into the gown, walking down the hallway to my metal stallion, I lay in position and begin my treatment.
10 minutes later- DONE.
Back behind the curtain to get dressed, and slyly sneak out the back entrance like I was never even there.

Everyone said it would get hard towards the end.
They told me I would start to feel tired and my skin would hurt.
It was going so well, I couldn't imagine these things would happen.
Well, I made it to the half way mark.

Then one afternoon at work, a wave of exhaustion came over me. The kinda tired that makes your eyes water and hurt, almost like you've forgotten to blink. Felt like first trimester pregnancy tired. And I knew it had hit me. It is the weirdest thing that something like radiation could make you feel this way. I still don't understand why, but it does, and every patient feels it. There is not much that seems to help. I am taking to bed earlier (9pm) and the hubby is being nice and taking care of the little every night, so I get to sleep right through, but I think the only light at the end of my tunnel is completion of treatment. But it is manageable, especially after living through the first 2 months of a new baby. Not much different, and I know it is only I push on through.

The next side effect was unexpected, but welcomed. (if you don't want TMI, skip this paragraph)

As a modern woman of 2010, I use my local salon the BeeHive, to take care of my own personal Australia. (You know, down under.) Every 4-6 weeks I am used to dropping a benjamin to clean house and keep Australia clean. The other day, I was looking in the mirror after my morning shower, and thought, hey, I don't remember picking that shape?! It was assymetrical and polka-dotty. Then I realized, it was just GONE! Smooth as a babies bottom. Wow, it was like free laser treatment. Women pay thousands of dollars for this, and I just had to get cancer! LOL. Looks like I will be saving a lot of money since after doing some research, it is most likely permanent and I am TOTALLY ok with that! This is one side effect that I will gladly accept.

Then there is my suntan. Well, suntan, sunburn- depends on the day and time of day that you ask. My skin is getting really red, and hot to the touch. This is why my 4 days off was really welcomed by me. Monday is easier, but as the week progresses, the intensity of the burn increases. It mostly feels like really bad razor burn and gets more intense towards the end of the week. I am using two kinds of "lotions" but I think their assistance is more mental than anything. Really, this is the only thing that is annoying enough that I will be really happy when this part is over.

So, with only 6 days left, I must say that this has truly been the easy part. All the side effects are minimal enough. I never want to be the girl who cried wolf so I am keeping my complaints to myself and saving my favors 'til the next season- weathering this storm as it comes. While I am looking forward to completion of radiation treatment, it means that the next stage begins. And while it is inevitable, it is intimidating. I know that God's grace with carry me through. I will be meeting with a new oncologist tomorrow and am really looking forward to building a new relationship that I hope will prove to be more positive than the last one.

As always, I will keep you updated!


Kell & Nick said...

I am so glad you all had such a wonderful thanksgiving! I am even more happy that in just a few days you can put the radiation behind you! You are so strong and you have weathered this storm with such courage, style and grace! I pray that your appointment tomorrow goes really well and you are on your way to recovery!


Jenna Tunes said...

I anticipate your oncologist meeting tomorrow, with prayer. May it be covered with His direction.
And secondly, I must say I'm pretty jealous of your laser treatment.

susan said...

Rachel- you are too funny and glad you can find the humor of a clean down under in all of this! Thinking of you and praying for you!! Hugs

beckiem said...

as always ... you fill our lives with laughter!! Only you -- move over Paul Poundstone, Ruth Buzzy, Tina Fey -- hey, the list could go on!
So very proud of your response in every tough time.
Love you forever.

PraiseYouMore said...

I met you a few weeks ago (GAP baby stroller section in the dressing room) while out shopping. We cooed over our VERY cute babies and shared our unique names for our beautiful girls. Mine is Ayvvabella and her older, by 18 months, big brother is Ryan. You told me about Vida LaRue and your cancer. I told you that I would be praying. I have been. And one night I decided to "google" your daughter's name in hopes for a Facebook account. Luckily, I found this. I have been praying for you and Vida. I hope all is well and I hope you remember me.


Rachel K. Miller said...

@ Melissa-
so glad you found me! I have to say that our cannot forget our "chance" encounter that day at the Gap. I know that God has connected us for reasons beyond our knowledge. I hope that my blog can give you inspiration and hope. I know just writing it gives me hope!! I am following your blog now too, so always know that I am a friend that is only a click away ;)

the pattern

Just as soon as you think nothing will ever be the same fall back into life's steady pace. L I F E  R E M E M B E R S  T ...