Monday, November 25, 2013

When blessings and sorrows intermingle...


I have a complete swirl going around in my brain.  As I sat trying to pull it all together I was struck by the sheer volume of activities we attended these past few days, and the storm of emotions that surrounded parts of that.


Deciding to center myself before I got too far into my day this morning, I picked up my Jesus Calling devotional, by Sarah Young.

"...Walk with Me along the high road of thanksgiving, and you will find all the delights I have made ready for you. To protect your thankfulness, you must remember that you reside in a fallen world, where blessings and sorrows intermingle freely...


We had 5 hockey games between the two boys, 1 parent social for hockey, and I ended the weekend attending the Moorhead High School performance of Jesus Christ Superstar with a group of girlfriends last night.  


The play was fantastic.  I've heard huge accolades for the performances by many who have attended.  The entire production and ensemble was just spectacular!  Rick shot photos for the high school activities office and shared these with me from the first act.






(The young man in white, playing Jesus reminded me of someone…)



Jared Leto perhaps? 















There were some intense, graphic scenes, with stark and edgy images.  While at times I would be shrinking back in angst and sadness, at others, the sheer compassion and empathy I felt drew me in.  There were also many beautiful moments of dance and artistry that were beyond words.  Many in the audience were moved to tears by the end of the performance.  

The rest of the weekend was spent at the hockey rink.


One part of spending so many hours at the ice arena, is never knowing who you might run into.  Jordy Christian was our boys favorite high school hockey player for so many years.  My boys have worshipped him since they were 3 and 5 years old.  This summer he coached Nolan and his team.  Jordy has recently gotten married to beautiful Jessica, and started a new career a couple of hours from here. 

While acknowledging the talent and skill he has as both a hockey player and coach, what has always drawn my "mother" heart to him, is that he is exactly the kind of man I want my boys to grow to be some day.  

So my mother heart was devastated to hear that Jordy's long time neighbor and family friend, had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just two weeks ago, and she passed away earlier this week.  She was laid to rest earlier the day I saw him.

So he did, the very thing, that I've always said nourishes me and sustains me.  He went to his second "home," the hockey arena- filled with a community who would help him keep moving forward through the fog of grief he and his family are surrounded by.

And what was the one thing providing him and his family with a semblance of peace?  That they all knew where their friend was- in her eternal home with Jesus.  Jordy's faith runs deep and so did his friends.  

It also just so happens that Jordy's neighbor and friend?  Was an oncology nurse.  And who did Jordy see walking by on the 7th floor at the hospital?  Dr. Panwalkar.  

My world continues to shrink and expand.  Will you join me in keeping the Christian Family in your prayers while they mourn the loss of their longtime friend?



This boy had an awesomely fun weekend playing hockey.  His team won 2 games and tied one.  We had a wonderful time hanging out at a hockey social with the other parents of the team.  With the vulnerability I feel on a daily basis, its supportive to feel like others are willing to embrace us when our "blessings and sorrow intermingle."



I was more than ready to call it a night when I arrived home last night after the play.  But Rick was waiting up, ready to talk.  

It's Nolan, he said.  He'd spent hours after hockey last night, trying to console him, to counsel him, to help him through a rough patch.  It started with another coach that Nolan had last summer, who was killed by a train last week.  Nolan's been struggling with coming to some understanding about this.  Some very adult concepts are working their way into his very young teen life and his emotions haven't matured enough to cope with all of it.

He is adding this to so much "new" to contend with this hockey season.  A new team, filled with boys in 8th and 9th grade, that he doesn't know well.  He's been challenged.  He is trying to find his place.  To fit in.  To feel like he belongs.  

Thank goodness he still feels we are his soft place to fall.

I encircle my big boy before bed, in a strong embrace, that encircles all the way around.  Praying he knows, he matters, and believes- all shall be well.  


Infusion and Dr. P tomorrow.   








Friday, November 22, 2013

glimpses...


“You don’t need somebody to interpret for you what a beautiful sunrise it is. ”

-Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh


Just a few glimpses of grace from my week.  I love how you all express to me that you thought of me when you saw a sunrise, or a sunset these days.  Have I told you lately that you all are the coolest blog peeps ever?  




I wish someone could capture the pure giddiness that comes over my face when surprises like this tree top pot show up rather unannounced!  It had a card with a gift inside too and it was signed "Secret Santa." Love, love, love.  Thank you!  


I finally got outside this morning to get a quick photo of it- and the sun was dancing over my shoulder and I was jittery in my cold stocking feet trying so hard to capture both. My photos are less than stellar, but the joy they brought me is what counts.



This little stinker announced to us at 9:30 last night, after hockey practice, that he needed black pants and a white shirt and orange tie today for school.  He ended up in a too small shirt, with an overgrown tie, size 9 shoes and blue pants.  But the smile on his face?  Says everything was just right.

He is playing in 3 hockey games this weekend, with the first one later tonight.  Go Peewees! 



This is a short clip of the Patriotic Program performed by the 5th grade today.  Colton is standing in the last row on the left.  I loved the entire program!  It was filled with all kinds of songs we sang back in elementary school- including this one! 


video



If I'm being honest, its been a rough transition back to Tykerb.  Lots of nausea, my face is breaking out again, and I am feeling like I need to be steps from the bathroom most times.

I've also had a new troubling (to me) symptom show up.  Both Dr. Foster and Dr. Panwalkar were informed.  Neither one feels its necessary to do anything about just yet, or that its even a symptom of cancer.

Dr. Panwalkar's parting words to me were "You don't need to worry about it.  I'll make note of it." He smiled the entire time he said that.  So I left the worry with him.  Perhaps I'll never have to make mention of it again.

So, I've tried to not let any side effects, symptoms, etc, slow me down too much.   Distraction has been my constant companion and I've found I've been saved by grace in more moments this week than I can possibly say. 

Plus, some new endeavors are rumbling about in the distance.  I hope to able to share soon!  











Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chasing normal

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.” ― poem by Mary Jean Irion



It was the oily footprints going across the kitchen floor that started me scrubbing it- the old school way. The only way I used to do it as my mother hovered over, scolding when an errant swipe of mine missed the sticky spot she could see.  

Someone had cooked something on the stove, spraying "Pam" into the pan to prevent sticking.  But they sprayed not just the pan, but somehow, the floor and every other surface of the kitchen.  Oily footprints abound everywhere.

I scrub and scrub.  And with each swipe I grew more out of breath. I end up leaving squares, to go and pick up another less daunting task and then come back to do more, till finally it is done.

The sense of accomplishment fills me.  I am conquering something.  I am scratching something off my list.  Done.  Finished.  Completed. 

And so my day goes.  My "free" day of no clinic appointments. Open for me to catch up on all the things left undone the last 3 weeks.  Washing sheets for the beds.  Vacuuming the dog hair from the carpet.  Finding the kitchen table, lying buried with the remnants of our busy days- stacks of thank you notes half written, graded spelling tests, days of newspapers, and old clumps of hockey tape.

I work and work.  With Mumford and Sons playing "I will wait,"in the background and the words forming in my head for the email I want to compose for a friend, grieving the worst kind of loss, the loss of her daughter.  How can anything I say help soothe that, or make sense of that?  My prayers for her are just that she can do 1 day plus, plus 1 day, plus 1 day- and some days- 1 hour, plus 1 hour, plus 1 minute to the next.  

As I listen to the music, the words of Dr. Panwalkar are also replaying in my head.  "What is next, Vicky?  Does Shelby have something for you?"  He isn't referring to cancer, or treatment.  But me.  

And I shake my head side to side.  Pondering myself… what is next?  What am I meant to do next?  

I'm open… waiting.  Wondering.  

I'm spent by late afternoon.  I concede defeat, and stumble into bed, knowing, I may not be up and around the rest of the night.  The fatigue numbs my head, balls up in my back springing aches up and down, and renders me motionless.

A few things done… many more only partly done… so much left to do.  Will I ever be able to do it all again?  

Its late.  The boys are home from a long night of hockey practice and Rick is in the back printing room working long into the night. Always, he is working.  

Then I hear a commotion.  I need to make the bed with the clean sheets anyway, so I finally force myself up to the kitchen to see what the noise is about.

Its Colton, vomiting, all over my clean kitchen floor.  Everywhere, covered, again with stink and mess.  

I hurry him off to the bathroom.

Gather my gloves, my floor soap, my rags, still drying on the sink.

And beging scrubbing my floor again.  

"Normal day… let me be aware the treasure you are."












Friday, November 15, 2013

When the bell rings...

Ring this bell
Three times well
Its toll to clearly say,

My treatment's done
This course is run
And I am on my way!

~Irve Le Moyne















I hardly know where to begin- my grateful heart is bursting right now.  

This past week has been filled with surprises. 

In a way- it seems the bells have been going off all week.

First came all the cool stuff in the mail.  (See above.)

We also enjoyed more delicious meals prepared so generously by our friends.  We are well fed and grateful for the energy it has helped me conserve this week.

Rick's birthday was yesterday and we had a great dinner out.

I got a haircut and color from Amanda who gifts me with her time and talent so often.

I was so surprised to run into the secretary from my former Riverside Elementary School- Mrs. Jones.  She is 91 years old and as spunky as ever.  She said to me "I don't remember seeing you very often in my office- you must have behaved yourself!"  

Then I mentioned my mother to her, and she instantly remembered her.  "She gave me that coffee mug, and I still drink from it today!"  

I was also lucky enough to meet her daughter, who acknowledges that she reads my blog, and I was so touched by her kind and gracious words to me.  I know I will see her again soon.  

And today I completed my 15th and final day of radiation! 


My friend Heather, the charge nurse in radiation oncology, and one of the sweetest souls I have ever known, gave me the beautiful pink roses (above) after completing my last treatment session this morning.

Then she asked if I'd like to ring the bell.

Without even a hesitation, I embraced the chance.

I've been practicing my "word" so much, "embracing"seems like second nature.

Today, what I noticed, was how much- I was being embraced right back. 

Its true, for some, the ringing of the bell signifies a completion of treatment, in a way in which they may never have to do treatment again.

For me, I remain ever-hopeful, that while this latest chapter on radiation has closed, that re-visiting this form of treatment, is still a future option.  


My appointment with Dr. Panwalkar on Wednesday went well.   He had just read Dr. Foster's report and was encouraged by my radiation treatment.

He quickly went over my lab report acknowledging my counts have taken a hit, as would be expected with the radiation I've had.  But they aren't dangerously low, and should begin to improve again.  

I asked him what the plan was for treatment, and he said he'd like me to start back on Tykerb again on Monday.  

And then at some point in our chat, he casually mentioned he had read my blog.

I gulped.

Looked down.

Smiled.

Then said… "Welllll?"

He laughed and said…"Its good! You write well. And it was so nice, what you said about me."

And I laughed.   

Because he sounds so incredulous that someone would say kind things about him… and he has no idea …but I only know kind things about him.  What else could I possibly write?  

He concludes our visit by also mentioning he has run into someone who knows me.

He mentions being at the store owned by my cousin Rob and his wife Jana.

I smile even bigger.  

I imagine Jana somehow recognized Dr. P's name - maybe through the blog- and she mentioned me?

All I really know- is- its a small world.

The "bells" have been ringing all week long, reminding me of just this, and how lucky I am to still play a part.  































Tuesday, November 12, 2013

when it burns...

Its Monday and while the kids sleep in, I am rushing.  I race out the door and notice the iced over windshield of the van.  I grab the keys and start it, hoping to defrost and warm it quickly.  I need to leave for radiation now.  

But Superman is still getting ready.  And when he hollers up the stairs "I just need a few minutes."  I know I could be in trouble.  A few more minutes to him means he will do at least 6 more things before he is ready.  Like shaving, finding his wallet and grabbing hockey skates to sharpen- although he is our Superman, I marvel he thinks all that can happen in 3 minutes.  

So 13 minutes later, as I sit tapping my foot in the car waiting, he rushes out the door- past me in the car and out to the truck where he finally finds his wallet.  He gets into the van muttering about if he had only known where his wallet was he would have been on time.

But then his cell phone rings and he is cheerfully telling his client "Of course I can fit you in. I'm shooting photos late that night anyway, so what's a few more?"  

I can only snicker.  I won't change him, ever.  

It's that very "can-do" attitude that gets it done- that and a whole lot more.  Its just too bad the clock can't keep pace with his time.  

As it turns out, I arrive at Roger Maris precisely at 9, my appointment time.  As soon as I round the corner the techs come and tell me they are ready.  I scramble out of my clothes into a gown and rush into the treatment room.

"We're doing some things different today. You're getting a booster dose.  Its a booster shot to a smaller area of your lungs."

Not only are there numerous images taken, I see new parts of the machine come down and around me.  Its taking longer this time.

When the radiation is finally emitted from the machine into my chest I can totally feel it this time.  Its tight and I feel pressure and its heavy in my chest and it keeps going, and going, till I visually think I could explode.

"Well, take that cancer!" 

Finally they come in and swing my table around to begin the treatment to my node under my arm. This dance I know well.  I'm back in rhythm, knowing just when the table will shake, where the beams will go and when I am done.


I get dressed and am taken to an exam room to wait for Dr. Foster.

I'm coughing and coughing.  My lungs aching with an odd sensation in them.

The nurse asks if my skin has started to burn.  She asks to look, and I am shocked as I gaze down, suddenly seeing brightly sun-burned skin down the front of my chest.  She then asks to see my back and I am thinking, my back?  But then I go to the mirror, and oh, yep, I see.  My back- more pinkish red- but turning color also.  I am officially starting to burn.

I'm given a list of instructions and things to watch for.  The next two weeks after this one, the burns could worsen.  I need to call if it blisters or peels, otherwise I have my creams and lotions to use.

I also have my bmx- a solution I drink of mylanta, diphenhydramine, and lidocaine.  It numbs my lips, my tongue, my mouth, my esophagus, making food easier to swallow.  Its nasty and divine all at once. 

It seems counter-intuitive that I will be going back in the morning for my next dose of "burning."  The kind you normally try to prevent.  The kind you'd wear sunscreen for in the hopes of not getting.

The kind that will hopefully penetrate down below the skin, burning, scorching and torching, cancer cells- disintegrating them into charred remnants of only a skeleton of their former tumors.

And I hope, and I pray, that not too much collateral damage has occurred.  

Like breathing.  Breathing would be good.





This morning we leave on time.  Superman tells me he'll drop me off and then go and run an errand and be back to pick me up.


I'm a tiny bit terrified.  I haven't felt so exposed and vulnerable in a long time, like I did yesterday.

"Will you stay?"  I ask.  "With me, in the room. Just stand there in case I need you?"

He nods his head solemnly, up and down.  

"I will.  I would.  Anything.  I would do."

And its enough.  Just knowing he would, makes me feel not so alone, so exposed, so vulnerable.

He drops me off, offering to stay if I really need him too.  But I don't.  

I leave the treatment room today, feeling nothing but the remnants of broken and scorched tumors clunking around in my chest, surrounded by layers of love.  

12 down, 3 to go.  

Treatment, labs, a haircut, then Dr. Panwalkar tomorrow.


Joining Heather today at the EO, for Just Write. 











Friday, November 8, 2013

the things that have come alongside of me...


I've rebounded from my less than stellar week last week.  I've been slowing my pace down, stealing away quiet moments to read, write thank you notes, and be present with the boys.  

I completed week two of radiation with just one more week to go.  I will also see Dr. Panwalkar next week and we will see if he wants me to go back to Tykerb, or begin a new treatment choice.  We've talked over a couple of options, including Taxol which would mean losing my hair again.  But I am not focusing on that right now, knowing other options exist too.  


This lovely lady came into my infusion room on Tuesday and introduced herself as Donna, the artist in residence.  She is working on a quilt and was wondering if I would like to contribute a square for it.  

This was her prompt for guiding my thinking about the multitude of material scraps I could choose from.  

"What has come along side of you during your journey through cancer?"  

Wow.  My head sort of started to whirl with too many thoughts and had she asked me to write it down?  I would have instantly known what to do.

But how do you let a big question such as that one, lead you in picking fabric pieces that will somehow share a part of your journey?

Plus, let's face it, I've never considered myself an artist.



But Donna was a great mentor.  She started talking about bold colors versus muted ones.  And did any of her samples speak to some of the things I've noticed along my journey?

So I simply started to picking samples that spoke to me.  I loved one piece that had such whimsy and color to it, I could have used the whole thing.  Instead I cut two strips and- one wavy one, and one bold jagged edge strip.  She asked if they "framed" my square perhaps?

Yes, I told her- they reminded me of gratitude which has been my frame for the whole experience.

I then found a subtler green piece that tucked right underneath the borders.  Its felt like it "grounded" the piece, and to me it was like the earth and how I feel grounded lying prone so often.

But I wasn't quite finished.  I heard the drops of chemo dripping through the lines, coursing through my port into my body.  I then stumbled across a piece of fabric, bright red, filled with dots of all colors and sizes.  It spoke of "clarity" to me.  Those brief moments or interludes in which a bubble of perspective appears, a tiny window of hope floats by, mirroring the grace, or strength, or hope I need to grasp onto and carry off into the days of all my tomorrows. 





She pinned my pieces together and this is what my quilt square will look like, in the sea of all the others  walking this journey with their "things" that have come along side them.

We're all on a journey.  Have you ever considered what has come alongside of your journey?  











Monday, November 4, 2013

...grace and healing...


“I wish grace and healing were more abracadabra kind of things. Also, that delicate silver bells would ring to announce grace's arrival. But no, it's clog and slog and scootch, on the floor, in the silence, in the dark.” 
― Anne LamottGrace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith


Thursday's mess of swelling and pain in my shoulder and under my arm, turned into a another fitful night of sleep.  When I willed myself upright Friday, I instantly felt the surge of the contents of my stomach rise up.  I ran to the bathroom and vomited, over and over again.  Each time I'd manage to keep a few ounces of G2 down, they'd come hurtling right up at some point.  I called off radiation that morning.  How could I lie still for 30 minutes straight in the midst of my constricting and threatening stomach?

The radiation nurse called and did her best to try and convince me to come in, but I was cranky and having none of it.  It was noon the second time she called to see if I might try to come in.  But still no.  I couldn't fathom dressing, or standing upright, when I was weak and dehydrated.

I'm not even sure what time the next call came.

"This is Panwalkar... you need to come in," he says in to uncertain terms.  "You need fluids, and meds to rehydrate you and stop the nausea.  If you don't come soon, the clinic will close, and then you will end up in the ER and then they..."

I realize "they" could then admit me to the hospital... I interject... "okay... I will come in."

If Dr. P is telling me I need to come in, I know that I do.  Plain and simple.

Superman and I gather up "vomit" provisions, just in case.  I throw on a hat and sweats and run a toothbrush over my teeth.

I'm taken right back to the infusion center and an iv is started in through my port.  The anti-nausea is added in, they flip the lights off and tell my to try and sleep. I'll be there a few hours.

I'm startled awake when I look up and see the radiation team of nurses who have come to ask me one last time if I won't please come back and get my treatment done.

They'll take me by wheelchair and I can receive fluids and get zapped all at the same time.

I have become one of those.

The ones I see too weak to walk on their own.  That vacant and helpless look in their eyes as their ravaged bodies, try to fend off the beast.

Where is my gratitude?

Where is my grace?

Where is my gumption?

Why is this suddenly so foreign and hard for me to do?

I pray during radiation for grace to find me.



I'm taken back to the infusion center with merely 20 minutes left in my iv.  My nurse is leaving and the extended stay nurse is taking over.  I have had her before.

She leans over me and says "The look on your face tells me you don't want to be here."  

  “That which tears open our souls… may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond.”  Ann Voskamp


I glance up and read her name off her tag, "Joyal."  She is the one who grew up in my father's hometown.  I read her name again... "JOYal... and what I hear is grace, as I see my Dad's face.

Choose.  Vicky.  Choose.

I offer her a weak smile... My voice gravelly and low, "I'm grateful to be here actually, even though it doesn't show.  In almost three years of treatment, this is the worst I've felt, and that makes me feel extremely lucky- even though I am not expressing it well."

We finish up and the she has the Nurse Practitioner come in to see me.  I decline any further pain meds,  firmly convinced I'll stick with Advil if needed.  I am told to call or come back in, in the morning if more fluids are needed.  

But somehow I am more convinced I won't need to.  The vomiting and nausea have stopped.  I walk under my own power agin out into the cool air as I wait for Rick to pick me up.


While I rest Friday night, Nolan and his Bantam AA hockey team selected just two days prior, are playing in an early bird tournament at our home rink.  Here he is dressed for school on Friday.


By Saturday I am ready to attend his games. Here are just a few of his new team mates in action.


Carter...



Seth...


Joe...


Nolan almost pushing the puck through five-hole for a goal.


Hunter scoring a goal...


The team ended the tournament 2-2 and we all felt good about the potential they seem to have.

Rick and I went and finally put money down on a new mattress.  We pulled the old one off our bed and were shocked at the deep depressions in it.  We've been sleeping on an air mattress and although small, its been much better support than that old coil mattress.  

We did not go with the TempurPedic based on all the feedback we got!!  We went with an off brand and paid a fraction of the amount of money, but will still get the adjustable base and we're thrilled with that part of it.  Its due to arrive in about a week.  


Radiation treatment round 6 done- 9 to go!  


I just also need to say thank you for the grace being shown in and around me by so many friends and neighbors.  We've had a week full of scrumptious meals!  Thank you Angie, Heidi, Laurel, Jen, Suzanne and Stacy! 

I got the cutest box of breast cancer ribbon cookies from Jenny and we ate them all before I got a picture of even one.  

I've received cards and letters and texts and I know I am forgetting other blessings that fill my gratitude journal.  

And although I've been unable to sit and reply to each comment- they soothe my weary soul in more ways than you could possibly know. 

Radiation followed by infusion tomorrow.





Friday, November 1, 2013

beam me up...



Monday at 2 I walked into Roger Maris and stopped at the reception desk.  

How did this work again?

Do I check in?

Or go back?

How the heck could I have forgotten so soon?

I'm told to go back and sit in the radiation waiting room.

I'm greeted as soon as I enter the door.  The faces are all so familiar and yet I still struggle with names.

I'm given a gown to put on and then told to sit in the inner waiting room right outside the treatment room.

Within in minutes I am ushered back.  

There is my formed "bean bag" pillow (photo below).  Weeks back it was formed around me when it was warm and loose and I was sedated having come from the mri scanner.  

So with some help I'm ushered up and over the sides of the forms to lay on my back.  I notice instantly a bump protruding from the molded head form and down into my shoulder.

And then the final instructions are uttered.  

"Now reach back with your arms over your head and grab the white handles."

As I flounder for a position of comfort and they work to line my tatoos up with the machine... they then utter, "okay just 30 minutes or so, lie perfectly still and then you'll be done.

And off the techs go.

Its merely 20 seconds after they've left and the bump is now pressing into my neck and back causing a burning pain.  

The table jostles me into position.  The machine comes to life and begins to move all around me.  Its a little like when r2d2 comes to life in the movie Star Wars.  

The arms move around me.  Some come close to my face, click, click, then a beam is shot for a few seconds.  Then the big screen lowers and hovers in front again.  Then at some point the whole table goes sideways in a sweeping arc, while the other pieces move around me.  



And all I want to do is move my arms.  They are both numbing and feeling like pins and needles are piercing them. About half way through the techs come back.  I ask if I can move my arms and tell them about the spot pressing into my back.

They act instantly and allow me to move my arms.  But we will have to wait till we are done this first time to find the bump and try to soften it somehow.

At least I know its only 15 minutes and I can endure.

When the 15 minutes are up I instantly hear them tell me I can move my arms, but not to sit up yet.

They come and raise my shoulder and instantly see the reddened spot on my shoulder.  We figure out its from the crease between the blue hardened form for my head, the darker blue form for my body.  

On Tuesday they use blankets and cloths to fill in the area and I am so grateful.  While its still somewhat uncomfortable to lie with my hands behind my head, nothing presses into my shoulder any longer and that is immensely better.






Wednesday night.  The node under my arm is tender.  It zings pain throughout my shoulder and down my arm.  I try advil, warm baths, and massage.  It seems I can't buy relief this night.

So I turn to a small left over supply of Oxy.  I finally sink onto my lumpy bed and too exhausted to care what pokes me from the mattress, I drift into a fitful sleep.  

Thursday morning, the tech makes note right away that I am not my usual perky self.  I lift my arm to show her and she instantly notices, "oh its swelling, I see it."  

She makes note of it for the nurse.  As I am dressing the nurse comes in and after seeing it asks if I'll stay and see the doctor.

Dr. Foster is gone so I will see Dr. Biers.

I'm very impressed with how quickly everything goes.


Again- within minutes I am taken to a room and he enters shortly thereafter.

After examining the spot and reading my history he decides I should stay the course with radiation until Dr. Foster sees it on Monday.

"You seem to be having an acute response to the radiation.  We don't see it often, but it can happen.  It can also resolve just as quickly." 

He prescribes Tramadol for the pain.  I run a few errands with Rick while we wait to get the Tramadol filled.

I am more than ready for it when we arrive home.

I eat some dinner, take my meds and fall into a deep sleep.  

4 rounds down, 11 left to go.  



"Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are."
-Arthur Golden







When you get lucky

When you get lucky

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