Tuesday, September 6, 2011

#18 is today!!!!

August 16 email to prayer partners:

After today I will only have 10 treatments left!!! Hard to believe that this is even possible!

Radiation is going well...or at least better for me than most of the people I have met at the Cancer Institute.

Finally wore Dr Caudell down and broke through the "professional" barrier yesterday! Super excited about that! Up to now, I have felt like a name at the top of a check list. Until yesterday, he came in, checked off his list, and said "See ya next week".

So yesterday I told him that I understand that everything that happens to me is not a result of the radiation. HE seemed relieved that I had come to this realization. (He obviously does not know me very well) He sorta grinned and i said "BUT...we still need to discuss some things... First, I feel nauseous and have for about 3 days." He said "I didn't cause that" so I said, "Well, I'm gonna need you to fix it." I said "it feels like morning sickness..well, i guess you don't know what that feels like, do you...hmmm...i just feel like "bluh" all the time...like I MIGHT puke any minute...I'm not liking it much" He laughed and I laughed and now everything is so much better! So we went over all the meds I am on and whether or not they could be causing the nausea and he prescribed something for me to take if it does not ease up.
AND I FINALLY got some answers on some other things too!!!!!!
He told me yesterday that my voice will be better when this is over (remember when we started there was a fear that I would lose it entirely and possibly for ever) I am over half way through with radiation and my voice is actually improving (sort of) over what we started with!
And here's what I learned about his feelings about the side effects.....
They rate all sorts of things to determine the toxicity of the radiation. A rating of 0 is healthy (no effects) and a rating of 5 is dead. (I told him, "Let's avoid a 5, deal?") A 4 rating means you are hospitalized. He said he expects me to be a 2 or 3. He showed me the chart of side effects they use to determine this and right now I am at 1 for my voice and 2 for my throat and 1 for my skin (on my neck). He expects me to be a 2 on my neck and possibly a 2 for my voice and 3 for my throat. He said "you are over half way through and maintaining your weight well" I told him that I am particularly gifted in that area. I think that won him over. I am no longer a row of check marks beside a list of symptoms. Hee hee (I'm the crazy person...which is okay)

He said that singing in the choir will be a long shot, but that he anticipates me having a speaking voice that is suitable for clear phone conversation. Super super super excited about that...and we'll see about singing in the choir.

Taking Loratab every 6 hours or so for pain. Eating really soft stuff...without a lot of salt or spice... and have upped my caffeine intake to fight the unbelievable fatigue. The fatigue has been the worst part. I have never been so TIRED!

I asked how he will know that the radiation worked. He said that they will check by looking in my throat starting 2 months after radiation is over to determine if the cancer is gone. This is what we have been doing all along. Still not totally sold on this answer, but didn't want to push my luck. I will address it again later.

Will see Doc S again on Friday so he can assess the damage to my throat.
I feel MUCH better about the whole thing now that I have connected with Doctor Caudell. I don't know how to explain the difference, other than to say that we actually had a conversation rather than me sitting there and him talking at me.
There are lots of other things going on too! God is just blessing my heart left and right this week! It's time for a blog entry on In The Battle, so I will go into that more there.
For those that read my ramblings on a regular basis, you know that I have strong convictions about forgiveness, spiritual warfare, about God having a plan, and about God's way being the BEST way....even when His way doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Not sure if I have actually put the following thought in print, but thought I'd leave you with it today...
As people, with our sinful nature, we want revenge. When most of us think of, or speak of, God "taking care of" someone who has wronged us, we are usually thinking along the lines of "What goes around comes around." I have experienced a beautiful new truth about God that is contrary to this train of thought. I have learned that when GOD works, people are restored to HIM first...and when a person is restored to HIM, they are naturally inclined to mend relationships with the people in their life. God's goal is not revenge, it is restoration. We would be wise to make this our goal as well. I have already put too many words on this page, so I will close by saying that this is just one more way that God has SHOWN me that HIS ways are truly best, especially when they go against my human-ness. (HA! That sorts rhymed!)
Thank you so much for sticking with me and praying for me all this time!
I am certain that YOUR PRAYERS get me through each day!
Love you all!!!!!
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