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


  1. I know the feeling that sometimes life is just so hard, and pain is such a great leveler. I am in tears for you. I wish I could make it better, make it go away. Your path is a tough one, only you can walk it. Just know how many you have touched with your journey, your strength, your beautiful self. Hold on.

  2. Keeping you in my prayers. {{HUG}}

  3. Hi Vicky, I am in AZ BUT ...thinking about your bed...Russ and I also have a bed that is not old, but not the most expensive.. Knowing how much beds are, I thought I would pass on to you what I got and Love...It is a 3-4 inch extremely dense foam pad. It weighs a lot, is extremely heavy to lift...not anything like an egg carton. It is amazing, you lay it on the mattress and put a cover over it and you have a great sleep!!! I think I paid 140 for it but sure beats 6000 for a new one! Just thought Id pass that on. I hope all goes well, I love you and hope you are still enjoying your MOM-CAVE!!!!

  4. Hello Vicky, reading about your first treatment, with the protrusion causing discomfort for your back, and the awkward position of your arms - oh, I could almost feel it.

    Your description of the machinery doing it's thing - wow, really amazing to think about.

    Over all, as I read this post - I'm struck again how you bring us along with you, but there is never a hint of feeling sorry for yourself. Just a matter of fact accounting of this phase of the journey. You have a wonderful way with words.

    My heart is with you, my prayers are there too - and I just have to say again: I wish it were not this way for you Vicky. My hope is that this response to the radiation clears up very quickly.

    Oh, and the photos up top, of you and the beautiful horse -- so lovely!

  5. True grit! May your body receive these treatments and produce a healing.

  6. Sending love, hugs, thoughts and prayers to you, my precious friend. Praying that the doctor is right and it will resolve itself quickly. Hang in there!!!

  7. Lots of prayers & love headed your way, and Angels on your shoulders. My best to you Vicky. Many HUGS..

  8. Sometimes, after reading your post, I am at loss for words. Sometimes, I stand up and walk around..thinking about you. Sometimes, I argue with the man upstairs on your behalf. (yes, argue! this is NOT blasphemy. It is how close my connection is...with him. I simply say, "Ok, Lord you can send angels to hold her up through these treatments, and let the feathers be like downy pillows for her arms and shoulders). Sometimes I really wish I could take on some of what your going you don't have to 'feel' it all....sometimes, sometimes, sometimes, But my dear beautiful Vicky, ALL the time you make me reach higher, you humble me, and you are prayed for and respected beyond what you can begin to comprehend! You are honesty and Grace in action. Here is praying and wishing you, that the next treatment will be like downy wings...and that the lords arms surround you in a huge embrace of comfort and peace! Much love and many hugs!!!

    1. Oh Peggy Sue,
      Thank you for putting into words the pain and anguish I feel in reading that this is happening to our dear Vicky. I too argue respectfully with our dear Lord and ask Him to send His angels to help her. I too wish I could take some of this on me so she doesn't have to feel it all. And like you, Vicky helps me to reach higher. She IS honesty and Grace in motion. I just kept nodding, and saying "Yes, me too" as I read your post.
      Loves to you, Peggy Sue,

  9. I have been wondering how this week was going, and I was surely hoping for better news! I am certainly praying that you find some relief (I actually find that Tramadol is a good painkiller!). So grateful that the doctors were on top of it.

    Side note: the new blogwear is gorgeous. I know I said it before, but I LOVE that horse - they are the most beautiful creatures in my opinion.

  10. 11 to go… i cannot imagine. i will be thinking of you! lots of love!!

  11. Prayers and more prayers. Words so often fail me but please know you are held in many hearts.

  12. Oh my dear friend, sweet Vicky
    As I read this post and you described their order to, "Now reach back with your arms over your head", I let out an audible, "Oh no!!!" I remember how that hurt you so in a prior medical procedure. The tears started to roll as I read of the rest of this post. I am TRUSTING God Almighty that He is holding your body, heart and spirit as you endure this adversity. I am so, so sorry you are having to go through this.

    I am praying constantly and believing His promise that All is well!
    Loves and hugs, dear one.
    Your friend Linda

  13. hugs and prayers to you Vicky :-/

  14. I found myself scrolling...and scrolling....wanting to read that this discomfort and the swelling are gone from you. I find myself getting angry....but I don't know who to be mad with.
    It can't be the doctors or the technicians.
    It can't be God.
    But I feel exasperation, and I am wondering, "Isn't it natural to feel this way when someone you care about is hurting?"
    I'm just laying it out here as honestly as I know how, sweet friend. I'm venting....and like a pressure cooker, I know that "steam" must escape or there will be a big mess.
    But...the calm takes over, and I know that this isn't about me or my feelings. This is about how He continually molds and shapes.
    Our God knows what He is doing and why. I pray that as He continues to do a marvelous work through you, that He will grant you more comfortable days than uncomfortable ones and that He will always be ever close to you and your every need.
    I pray that for you.
    I love you, sweet friend.

  15. I thought about how brave you are, while I was going through testing in the ER. I don't come anywhere near brave enough and when they told me they were admitting me, I left against medical advice. Just couldn't do it!

    Wishing you all the best and you are in my prayers and have definitely been in my thoughts!

  16. Just tears and more reminders to just pray for every last thing. I've been in that position where my arms are numb or there was some point of discomfort that I wasn't quick enough to speak up about and then the test or whatever is off and running. But you Vicky, you, just keep on keeping on. I know He provides the grace we need to endure when we need it, rarely ahead of time. Trusting Him with your next treatment and your next and the next 9 after that. I'm glad you got some good meds. Nothing like good meds!! I am amazed by you and send my love to you dear woman who feels like a sister in so many ways. XOXO

  17. Every time I read your posts, I think about what an amazing woman you are Vicky. Life has not been easy for you or your family, but you still manage to smile. You are truly a beautiful person. I'll be thinking of you during your 11 additional treatments. Hang in their Vicky......

  18. Just keep going girl! We are all right there with you every single step of the way! Sending hugs your way!!! (always… :-))


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