Well I enjoyed another small break from Duke Cancer Center and Doctor’s appointments…….I did have my 6 month follow-up with my surgeon last Friday (yeah – it REALLY has been 6+ months since my first surgery). She was very pleased with my progress and all was well with my visit. She said I will follow-up with her every 6 months for the next 2 years. At the end of my visit – she wished me well and said “can I hug you”? Now you know why I love her so much. She is just a wonderful human being. I’m still thankful God directed me in her path.
On Wednesday of this week I had my “radiation simulation”. Can you say LONGEST. DAY. EVER.??? Lying still is not easy for me – and lying still in an awkward and often uncomfortable position is even harder. We had to re-do things on Wednesday because apparently when I coughed once, my body moved ever so slightly (they measure everything in millimeters……so even the tiniest bit off can be a problem). So…..they let me get up and stretch awhile before corralling me on the table AGAIN. Goodness. I prayed constantly for patience, the ability to stay still……that nothing would itch……you know how it is when you KNOW you can’t move – something always happens. One thing I didn’t have to worry about was my hair getting in my face! Just a little peach fuzz up there right now! Definitely not long enough to cause a problem. I left there with my torso and chest looking like some sort of multi-colored road map. They marked and remarked me – I still have no idea what all these marks mean – but I’m thankful there are folks that do! 🙂
Because my tumor was in my left breast – I’m having to do “breath holds” during my radiation. Because the heart is closer to my left breast – they have me hold my breath for 15-20 seconds while they radiate my breast. Holding my breath moves both my heart and lungs out of the field of the treatment. There’s always the risk of some residual damage – but the doctor says my heart and lungs move out of the way nicely – so that’s a plus for sure. With my earlier pulmonary issues – she wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do the “breath holds” – but my breathing has gotten much better, and it hasn’t been a problem in the simulation or in my first round of treatment today.
It took me about an hour today on the table – but the next visits should not be so lengthy. They had to grab a few extra x-rays today as well as get me properly aligned and then my radiation oncologist came in to check me and make sure everything was just right. On my future visits, I’ll just go in, get lined up on the table and start treatment.
If all goes as planned, I should be finished up by January 22nd. I have a few weeks that I will be going 5 days a week – but with the holidays, I’ll have off Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King Day – so that’s three weeks I’ll only have a 4 day week. So it looks a little better on the calendar than it sounds! The main thing is Round #1 is in the books……..1 down and 29 to go. I plan to check off #2 tomorrow!
It’s amazing to stop and thing just how much has happened over the past 6 months. How far I’ve come……how blessed I’ve been throughout this ordeal……and the many wonderful people I’ve encountered along my path.
One of those wonderful folks is my friend, Miranda. Miranda finished up her treatment last November. She has been a wealth of knowledge for me – and I am so thankful for her. Well, earlier this week, Miranda put this on her Facebook page……
:: Heading to Duke on Friday. I’ve been having some issues and symptoms, so we are going to do an MRI. Any time a test or a scan is involved, I totally freak out!! It’s scary!! You try to stay super busy, so you don’t think about it. You try not to think about the worst case scenario, you try not to worry until there’s a reason, but it’s all IMPOSSIBLE!! So I just ask for your prayers, that it’s not a cancer related issue. ::
Please say a prayer for Miranda. I completely understand where she’s coming from. I hope I’m able to connect with her while she’s at Duke tomorrow…..but I know she’d appreciate your prayers. She’s been heavy on my heart the past few days.
So that’s it for now. The countdown is on. Ready to get this show on the road!
Joshua 1:9 New International Version (NIV)
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”