No more radiation for me

Hallelujah!

35 treatments have come and gone.

I’d like to say it was easy and went by fast. I mean, it kind of did go by fast. It seems like I just started. At the same time, throughout the last seven weeks, it got progressively harder.

It became harder to revolve my life around the daily trip to Stephenson Cancer Center and harder on my poor skin (it really hurts).

Me ringing the bell after my last treatment of radiation. (Notice my new hair-do.)

Me ringing the bell after my last treatment of radiation. (Notice my new hair-do.)

My last day of radiation had a rough start to it. It is a long story, but it was a morning when I was painfully reminded about how much this cancer process is out of my control, how much it sucks and how hurtful people can be without truly intending to be.

I was pretty upset during the drive to my office, but had tried to compose myself as I pulled up.

I was greeted by Jonnette – one of Koch Comm’s team members – who asked me if I had seen the front of the building. I had driven a different way so I hadn’t … and was, quite frankly, worried about what she was referring to. We have had everything from hurt pigeons to resting vagrants on our porch. Hesitant, I walked around front with her only to see this:

IMG_2347 IMG_2348It was a perfect way to turn my day around. How could I be so lucky to be surrounded by people like this at work?

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And, I got honks all day long – both actual car horns and virtual honking!

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And love from people I don’t even know:

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Pretty awesome, right?

My evening end with being greeted with beautiful flowers from my mom and dad and a nice dinner with Alan and the kids.

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Now, I focus on three things:

1) Healing – I’m in quite a bit of pain. The skin around the scar from my lymph node dissection is opening up. It hurts really bad. The skin surrounding the scar is badly burned, and it hurts a lot, too. I’ve taken pain medication to sleep for the past week because I cannot get comfortable. Just walking irritates it because my arm swings back and forth and rubs the open wound and irritated skin. Add to that the hot days when you sweat … well, that feels pretty awful, too.

2) My next steps. We fly out (due to the continued generosity of the American Airlines Executive Platinum group) on Monday to go to Houston. When we get back, I expect to have a better idea of the timetable and the type of reconstruction surgery I will have. I need these things to be solidified because it is easier for me when I can see resolution and ending to this whole mess.

3) Getting back to normal until the next surgery. I have at least three months to have my life return to some sort of normalcy. I’m really excited about that because last year at this time, our lives were full of stress and fear of the unknown. It is hard to get excited about the holidays when you are not sure how you will be feeling or if you will even be able to make it to the family gatherings. If you remember, we were in the hospital a lot around the holidays, and at one point, we weren’t sure I’d be released in time for Christmas.

I’ve hit another milestone in this process. Radiation is over! And even though I don’t feel good, it feels good to know I’m about two-thirds done with this craziness.

Stay tuned for the next steps.

PS — Alan posted a pretty awesome blog a week ago. He accidentally turned off the ability for readers to comment when he published it. We corrected that. If you feel so inclined, take a read and leave a comment. We have really seen a lot of evidence of God in our lives in this past year.

 

11 thoughts on “No more radiation for me

  1. I feel pretty lucky to have been able to meet you right then, right there, for just that purpose. Not to mention Kym in her car, at the light – honking – right then as you saw it. Makes me think about the bigger purposes we all share with one another, and God’s impeccable timing.

    You’re an amazing person, Jenny. Way to show everyone how it’s done!

  2. Alan’s post was amazing. God moves in strange ways sometimes. We should take all the love and blessings we can get. Time to rest and heal. Love you both!

  3. Praying that you heal from the radiation burns quickly and that you’ll get your energy back soon. Love your new hair.

  4. Hi Jenny!

    You don’t know me, but I’ve been keeping tabs on you and learning from your strength. (Bill Adams has made this possible).

    Like everyone else in the world, I’ve got my problems, but it’s how I face them that can either make me capable of knocking them down to size, or crumbling and succumbing to them. How do I do that? It’s by learning from strong people like you. People like you who don’t fear sharing their experiences, no matter how ugly, or brutal, teach people like me how to be a person of integrity and dignity no matter HOW difficult any obstacles that face us are.

    There are people in this world whom are looked up to, whom everyone tries to be like. Well, you are one of those people. I will constantly try to follow your example of how a good, loving, strong human being should be. Thank you. From a person you’ve never met, thank you.

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