Thursday, January 26, 2012

Doctor, doctor give me the news....

So I met with my radiation oncologist on Tuesday afternoon. I had met him one time right after my surgery, but don't really remember much of what he said other than radiation will follow chemo for 33 treatments. He again echoed the same, but filled me in a bit more on the process. Next Monday I will go in for SIM scan for the doctor to locate exactly where they will be giving my radiation. I will also be tattooed, but I'm not sure if that will happen Monday or right before I start radiation. I should be able to start a week from my scan so that would put my start date Feb. 6th, however Dr. Doctor isn't as anxious as I to get started so I may have to wait another day or so to begin. (Side note: Dr. Doctor isn't actually my radiation oncologist name, but a little joke we have because my Dr. has his MD and his PHD, he is very smart)

We have been so blessed with help thus far for the kids, and while we haven't had any lack of offers radiation makes things a little tricky being that its every day . So the plan for now is for me to get up and go very early every morning that is possible. Nate gets the kids on the bus usually so nothing will change there, but my hope is that he can get Max off to school on M,W, & F, and that I will be back in time to pick him up at 11:15. On Tuesday and Thursdays as his work schedule allows Nate will stay at home until I am back around 9:00-9:30 each morning or take Max to our wonderful babysitter Lisa who has been helping out through chemo, and she will watch him until I get home. Right now 1 week off of chemo I have a lot of ambition and more energy then I've had in months. Although I'm still not up to par, the difference is there. I've been told by my NP that I will feel the effects of radiation through fatigue. Also, while the actual treatment is not painful  the side effects will be far more so then chemo with the burning of my skin and sore throat, enough to which I've been told I will probably only want to eat soft foods once it begins. So I hope that I can endure this all well and get through each day as upbeat, and energetic as possible. I'm so ready for this all to be over, and begin a normal life once again.

On an unrelated note: We've only had one showing for our house so far, and while a bit discouraging I am still very excited at the thought of getting back to Goshen, family & friends. It has given me something to plan and look forward to as well as concentrate on beside cancer and treatments.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Phase One- COMPLETE!!!

CHEMO IS FINISHED!!! I am so happy to be able to type those words!! My last treatment of chemo ended today. Although I'm trying not to get ahead of myself because I still have 6 long weeks of daily radiation to get through and then a few other minor things to do after that, but that is less than half the time if took for chemo so I'm hoping it will feel like it goes quickly!
Some other positive news that we talked about today besides it being my last treatment was that my cancer came back hormone positive there are some other big words to describe that, but basically what it means is that my cancer grew and survived on estrogen. This is good because it means that by forcing my body to suppress the production of estrogen it increases my chances greatly of the cancer not coming back. The chemo has already pushed me into menopause, but because I'm done my body may revert back to normal so once radiation is done I will start taking a pill (tamoxifen) for 5 years daily so that it will suppress those hormones, and my oncologist is considering a 2-year monthly injection that will suppress my ovaries which is basically like having a non-surgical hysterectomy. That isn't the greatest news since for the last 4 years I've been wanting to have another baby, but I know that birthing a child isn't the only way for us to grow our family, although through-out the last 5 months God has given me a peace about not being able to give birth ever again.

On another note, about 2 weeks ago we made the decision to put our house on the market and move back to the Goshen area. Although, Columbia City has been extremely supportive through-out the last several months, since even before my diagnosis my heart has ached to be back closer to family, and as soon as I found the lump on my breast and knew that it was abnormal I told Nate, that if it was cancer I wanted to move back. Nate has been gracious, supportive, and loving and finally honored my request despite his own wants so as soon as our house is sold we're headed home it will be a bitter-sweet ending to this journey, and my prayer is that we are honoring God through-out the entire process.

As we move forward I would ask that you pray specifically for me as I travel to and from Goshen daily beginning in February and for the family that will buy our house, that they will be as blessed in this home as we were. Also for our family as we prepare the house for each showing that it is not stressful, and once sold that the transition for the kids is smooth.
Everyone that is done with treatment gets to ring this bell!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Year...

Happy New Year! At this time last year I never imagined that this year would bring me hoping for a new year full of hair, energy, and a cancer free bill of health. As I lay here in bed rounding out the first day of the new year (which was a great one) I can't help but hope this year is full of amazing new things. I WILL finish my treatments,  I WILL have hair again, and I will also send my baby off to kindergarten and become a Mommy with no kids at home. I am sure there are a lot of other things I will do, but those 3 are the ones that are in the forefront of my mind right now.

If I was able to do anything I want this year it would be to start the new year cancer-free, but since that will have to wait I am choosing to start it out healthier- no dieting, but eating better, trying to exercise when I have the energy, and also trying to take the gifts God has given us through the last several months and use them to our benefit and his glory. Gifts such as family time, a strong marriage, and being more aware of how I can help others who are walking this road of cancer. I don't know in what capacity that will be, but I hope that my eyes have been washed clean so that I can see it clearly.

This last year has brought us to our knees and my prayer is that in the year to come we will stay on our knees!