Why yes, Sonja…….that IS the finish line just around the corner! Hallelujah and Praise be to God. And let me tell ya – I am more than ready to race across that finish line…….but the reality is I may cross it on my hands and knees rather than running or walking it cause goodness gracious this chick is tired…….really tired. But by golly I intend to get across that finish line one way or another…….sliding, riding, kicking and screaming…….whatever it takes…..by the Grace of God, I’ll cross it soon! It ain’t got to be pretty……..all I want to do is cross it! 🙂
So today when my alarm clock went off……..for the first time since I started radiation……I really just wanted to cut the alarm off, roll over and go right back to sleep. It took every ounce of energy I had to pull myself out of bed and get a shower……and I stayed in the shower til all the hot water ran out……cause getting out of the shower and getting dressed seemed like just too much of an effort. But I reluctantly pressed on and got myself ready to knock another one off the list. After today’s treatment, I am down to 8…….yes EIGHT…..JUST 8 more treatments. Halleluiah! We crossed this treatment off – but it took awhile.
For the past 2 weeks – I have walked in…….checked in…….sat down……and within minutes they’ve called me back to do my treatments and I’m in and out in no time. They really are a well-oiled machine over in the Cancer Center. Heck, yesterday, I checked in at 9:22, got called back at 9:24 and I was finished and getting dressed at 9:40 – that’s 5 whole minutes BEFORE my actual appointment time of 9:45. So I’ve told my friend Pat (who drove me today) to just drop me off at the clinic and run an errand or grab a bite to eat because I’d be in and out faster than we could park. You know what that means right? Well……it didn’t happen. When I got checked in this morning, the board showed that my treatment room was 30 minutes behind schedule. Okay – that’s not awful. But my therapist came out and apologized, but said they were having trouble with the machine today and that’s what had caused the delay. Truly not anyone’s fault – and honestly, the wait wasn’t so bad because there’s always folks to talk to. I finally got taken back for my treatment at 11:45 – so it was only a 2 hour delay. But once I got back there – they had me in and out in no time. I was done by noon. I was so afraid they were going to come out and say that they machine was completely down and I’d have to go home and reschedule. Thank God that wasn’t the case. I was happy to take a 2 hour delay.
Side note: (and this is a TRUE story). My friend Pat has taken me to numerous chemo and radiation appointments……and can I tell you that almost EVERY SINGLE TIME – something happens on HER days to prolong our stays. The first time my O2 stats were low and they ordered an emergency CT scan – which we had to wait for……and got home after dinner! The next time it took FOREVER for my chemo to thaw out that day……..and today, the Green Machine was acting up. I can’t tell you how much I hated texting her to say “yet again……there’s been a delay”…….it’s really become quite comical at this point! (Well – maybe not to her!) 🙂 But in true Pat fashion – she just smiled and said “the Lord evidently wanted us to spend a little more time together today”! And she drops me back off at home and says “let me know when you need me again”! Yes……I’ve been blessed!
As the old saying goes, I’m “in the short rows” now. And not a minute too soon. I’m definitely ready to NOT have my calendar planned out for me! I may not know how to act when I’m not headed to Durham every day.
The doctor told me on Friday that the next two weeks would be the worst. This week I continue getting the same treatment as always but the last 5 days I will get a “boost” and they will target the tumor bed during those 5 treatments. My skin has definitely become more sensitive as the “burning” has gotten worse. The one area near my collar bone is still the WORST and the back of my shoulder is quite tender. I’ve encountered some swelling over the past week and the doctor said that was to be expected and she has me taking ibuprofen 3x’s a day to help with the swelling and the pain. The last few days there’s been a shooting pain in my breast. It comes and goes – but it is quite uncomfortable and extremely annoying. Itching is the worst at night – I guess when I get all snuggled up under the covers, I get “just warm enough” for the itching to begin. I’ve taken a benadryl the last few nights so I wouldn’t wake up clawing myself. You know how when you get a sunburn and your skin feels really really tight……that’s how this feels too.
The area near my collarbone (above) is by far the worst and most painful……..
The picture above on the left is my upper back and shoulder – that’s the second most painful area at this time. The picture above on the right is my underarm…..it’s burned a bit, but fortunately not painful. That gray area isn’t a shadow – it’s really my skin looking like it’s molded! 🙂 But they say the skin in that area just turns gray for whatever reason!
But all in all……..the pain, discomfort, the traveling, the early mornings, the burning, the itching……it has not been unbearable. And when I find myself wanting to be a little whiny – I have to stop and remind myself that ALL of the pain and discomfort I’ve experienced – if I bottled it all up together would be but a drop in the bucket to the pain that Jesus endured on The Cross. THAT – was suffering. So if Jesus could endure The Cross for me (and you) – then I can definitely endure this with His help……..as it pales by comparison.
I’ve often said that I considered it quite an honor that God allowed me to be able to participate with HIM in the miracle of childbirth. And we all know that a typical pregnancy lasts 9 months. When you think about ALL the things that must happen to create a living breathing child inside your womb – it’s nothing short of a miracle. After I was diagnosed with cancer, I remember telling some friends that I felt like God was going to allow me to participate in yet another miracle with Him…….that he would heal me of this cancer and allow me to use my story to truly glorify Him. Today, as I sat and did the math (and yes, i checked my numbers several times because we ALL know that math is not my strong suit)…….this whole mess started in April 17, 2017……..and if all goes as planned, I should finish up treatment on Jan 22, 2018. You do the math behind me! 🙂 That’s a little over 9 months since this whole mess started. #truth I just chuckled to myself. Isn’t that just like God!?
We sang this song in church Sunday……..WOW…..did it speak directly to me. I love it! Hope you enjoy!
Love and hugs,
Hebrews 12:2-3 The Message (MSG)
Discipline in a Long-Distance Race
12 1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!