This afternoon at 3:00 I have my first radiation treatment…this first treatment will be the longest because I never went back in and got the tattoos so they will have to spend some time finding the exact right spot to aim the radiation…I think as long as I go into it knowing it is going to be a longer process (at least 30 min or more) then I will better be able to get through it…but I will always hate having to be bare chested laying on a hard table with my hands above my head while people line me up like a deer in a scope to be poisoned…

I am praying that the next 17 treatments go smoothly and that my skin does not get too red, I do not want to have to stop treatment in the middle because my skin is getting too sensitive…I want this all to be OVER before the new year…I want to go into 2011 completely in remission with no more treatments scheduled…I want my hemolysis stuff to be resolved and I want to not have the hospital be a regular (you know WEEKLY) stop on the route that has become my life…these are the desires of my heart…
Mama4Real said...Praying you get your Christmas wish!!!
 
 
Someday…

Some great wonderful day…

When the sun is shining,

flowers are blooming,

little bunny rabbits are skipping merrily,

squirrels are scampering up trees,

and unicorns are spreading magic to all,

while beautiful music plays in the background…

that day…

on that magical day…

I
will
be
able
to again
use
THIS…
my hairbrush…

I miss you friend…
Amy said...What a sweet post, April! I can't wait until you can do that!
 
 
I totally forgot to write about last week’s doctors visits…

*

#1. Dr. R…radiology oncologist…I talked to her about the pros and cons of consenting to the radiation treatments…cons; it is EVERYDAY, a couple of weeks into it my throat will feel like food is sticking, my neck and chest may get red (which will result in stopping treatments for a while), there is an increased chance of getting breast cancer, fatigue, and aches in the neck…pros; killing what (if any) cancer that is still hanging around…

most (if not all) of these are no more severe than the effects of chemotherapy…actually most of them are much less severe…so in the interest in being practical I will start radiation treatments next Tuesday (November 30th)…

*

#2. Dr. M…oncologist…we just discussed my bloodwork…it seems to be getting somewhat better…he decreased my steroids by half (which is exciting)…but he was very clear to say that he does not thing we are done with this whole hemolysis thing…so we wait…I continue to get regular bloodwork, and have appointments with him every other week…

*

I’m nervous about starting radiation…I think that is why I have been a little jittery, anxious all week…yesterday after work it took me FOREVER to get tired and get to sleep…it is catching up with me right now, and I am sure I will sleep well tonight…

*

I have noticed a marked difference in my energy level the past couple of weeks…it has been SO NICE…I feel the healthiest I’ve felt in over a year…I know this will not become ‘normal’ for me until after the radiation treatments are over, but it is nice to have a taste of the future…

*

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving…have you put your Christmas decorations up yet? I think mom is getting the decorations down this afternoon, hopefully this energy will stay until next week so I can decorate the house…

 
 
This year,

I think,

I am really only allowed,

to be thankful for one thing…

because this is who I now am…

forever changed…

emotionally…

physically…

mentally…

and

spiritually…

better than I was before…

emotionally…

physically…

mentally…

and

spiritually…

Happy Thanksgiving!
Robin said...Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
 
 
Told to the nurse taking my blood: I’m in remission

To my new co-workers: I’m in remission

Announced, by the pastor, to the church: She is in remission

To my Sunday School class: I’m in remission

In an e-mail to my aunt: I’m in remission

In a card to my uncle: I’m in remission

To myself, over, and over, and over, again: I’m in remission…I’m in remission…I AM in remission…I am IN remission…I am in REMISSION…remission…remission…remission…remission…

no matter how many ways I try it on…the phrase ’I am in remission’ fits like a pair of gloves that doesn’t keep out the cold…you wear them because they are cute…you wear them because you are in a hurry and they are the first pair you see…they are not the gloves you go to when it is –10 degrees, and the ice is 1/4 of an inch deep on your windshield…they are not the gloves you wear when you shovel the front walk, or use to keep your hands dry when wiping the snow off your car (because your trunk is frozen shut and you can’t get to the snow removal brush…)

remission sounds great…it is pink and versatile (converting from finger gloves to mittens)…you show it off (“see my new gloves?”)…you might even get a matching scarf (“the doctor says my cancer has shrunk so completely there is NO scar tissue”)…it is something you buy on sale…the expense doesn’t do much to the budget…but they do a lot for your attitude…

it is not the waterproof pair…the pair that keeps your hands warm when the wind is biting…the pair that does not let the snow and cold in…that word would be CURED and that won’t come for 5 years and a lot of tests from now…

the word remission does not erase the emotion of the last year…I mean the cancer was aggressive…it TOOK OVER my face, neck, chest, and abdomen…it stopped me from being able to breathe or swallow…and caused me to cough up blood for days…having something so completely take control of your life, WITH OUT YOUR PERMISSION…messes with your head…

as I continue to get comfortable with this new word…remission…I can feel the stress of the last year start to slowly melt away…with each opportunity I get to share with someone the good news…it becomes less fake and more real…and one day soon…I will tell someone, or myself that ‘I am in remission’…and I will FEEL the excitement that I see on others faces…I will allow the thick skin that has built-up to thin out…I will cry, I will…but this time not because I am scared…not because I can’t breathe…and not because I am coughing up blood…but because I am relieved…the kind of relief that I think a parent feels when they find their child after having lost them in a crowd…

I will allow myself to exchange the pretty pink gloves for the practical waterproof pair…because I want to be warm again…

and in being warm…I will allow myself to expect more out of life…I will allow myself to start implementing all the lessons I have learned (and there are MANY)…and I will find purpose in the process…
4smartmonkeys said...I'm super happy for you!!!

November 10, 2010 at 7:47 AM  Rachel said...I am so thrilled to hear that you are in remission. You have walked a journey -- with bravery, faith, hope and joy. I am really, really proud of you.

November 11, 2010 at 1:21 AM  elena said...Such wonderful news! :)

November 11, 2010 at 10:06 AM  Lynnette Kraft said...PRAISE GOD!!!! What wonderful news April! So so glad I stopped by and read that. Just keep on rejoicing and hollering out - I'm in REMISSION! :)
Love,
Lynnette

 
 
“I have nothing but good things to report” ~Dr. M
today I am OFFICIALLY in…

REMISSION

now, what does that mean?

good question…

it means that there is no sign of cancer anywhere…the PET scan was clean…Dr. M said that the masses have shrank so completely that there is not even residual scar tissue…

it means my hair will get a chance to grow back…

it means that for the next two to three years I will be scanned, every three months, to make sure there is not a reoccurrence…then we will move to once every six months until the five year mark…at five years I can proclaim that I am CURED…I am sure after that there is a yearly check-up for the rest of my life…these scans will settle my heart I am sure…

it means, never again will my face look like this…
it means that lymphoma will never again get a chance to grow un-yielded, because WE ARE WATCHING…

*

Next week, I have an appointment with the radiologist…She wants to see and treat me on the same day…so next week should start my month of radiation treatments…Dr. M hinted that he thought I may not need radiation butalas it looks as though I will…

what does that mean?

it means that side-effects are not done…the radiation will make me very tired…

it means that I have to lay there without a shirt on while people zap me with…well, I know that it is radiation but I don’t really understand what it is…I think I need to do a little research…

it means that we will be making sure that any traces…seen or unseen…of lymphoma will be killed/buried/and stomped on…

*

my blood counts are still not normal and will continue to be monitored…I will remain on the one pill of prednisone and one pill of folic acid a day to keep it under control…and come in for blood work once a week…

*

Dr. M. said that the tiredness and lightheadness I am experiencing is not because of the abnormal blood counts…he attributes it to my body adjusting to being without chemo…it can apparently take months to really get back to feeling like you are healthy again…

*

Emotionally, I am kind of numb…happy, but numb…I’m sure a feelings post will come soon…

*

I don’t know if I covered everything or not…if you have a question feel free to ask...I am tired and sure that I forgot something…I can always come back and edit right?

here I am on remission day! see the beautiful tree behind me? almost all the leaves have fallen…so we will enjoy the bright colors while we can!
Pretty Little Paper Love said...YAY! Congrats! I'll continue to keep you in my prayers for sure! My dad battled hodgkin's lymphoma at our age, so I'm always worried for myself too. Keep strong!

Anonymous said...YAY YAY YAY! I would have called you back, but didn't have your new number with me when i turned my phone on after work. By the way, I laughed that you typed 'shit' instead of 'shirt'. HA HA
I validate your remission!!!!!!

Robin said...Yay!! So happy! I sent you a text, but I must not have your new number. Maybe next time!

Amy @ Finer Things said...Remission! You win "finest" news of the week. :)

Robynn's Ravings said...Honey, I'm so happy for you (though you still have some yucky things to go through). What GREAT news! Thanks for contacting me and I'm still not able to sit and battling 8-12 hrs of pain a day. But when I see your struggle I count my blessings and try to learn the lessons God is teaching. Thank you for sharing answered prayer!!!! 

P

Amy said...Woooooohoooooooo! I'm so happy to read this post. Love ya!

CindyC said...Hooray! Praise God! :)

JoyAnne said...Yay! Giving God the glory!

heather said...YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Still praying :)

Share said...CONGRATS!!!! I am so happy for you!!!
Nothing but good things ahead!!!

Lily Lestrange said...Wow, I am SO happy for you! I've followed your blog for a while now and to see that you won't have to suffer this for much longer makes me so happy, I'm glad you're getting better and I hope everything goes well for you!

Lily x

Rachel said...Congrats again!!!!

When Todd went through radiation he told our kids that he was secretly being made a super hero -- think spider man. :) He was very tired from it. The scatter radiation made it difficult to eat. His radiation doctor recommended blackberries to combat the nausea. And they worked.

Praying for nothing but good. :)
 
 
most of what I have been doing is this…

SLEEPING LIKE A

BABY!

Seriously, I’m not even trying…I went to bed around 12 last night and didn’t wake up until 4:30 this afternoon…I’m not even sure I got up to go to the bathroom in that time…and I used to always get up to use the bathroom when I sleep…

The biggest things I’ve accomplished is changing my sheets, washing all my clothes (just one load) and doing the dishes a couple of times…I am certainly not trying to win any awards this week am I?

Tomorrow is my appointment to discuss the PET scan results…
 

Hair

11/2/2010

0 Comments

 
 Hair…



my hair is still falling out…I don’t understand why…I haven’t had chemo in over a month…ok well I just checked and it has been three weeks…so maybe this is how it should be…either way I don’t like it! and remember when I said the best thing about being bald was NO bed head…well now that it has grown back a bit, I have constant bed head…I didn’t see that coming…