The first treatment went well although it did cause some shortness of breath for a while afterward. That evening I was very tired. I hate to make confessions this early in the post, but I must tell you that I count. Yes… I count the period of time I am radiated at each position. They are radiating from seven different angles. On Thursday, each segment was for a period of approximately 10-12 seconds. On Friday, each segment was for a period of approximately 19-20 seconds with one angle being the length of 24 seconds. It burned. I could feel all of them burning on Friday, but the 24 second one, which is at an angle of about 33 degrees (thought you would enjoy that coincident) shooting from the left side/back area up through right of center… of the chest… was the worst…. Ouch! I could smell it too. They say it is painless and if you tell them that you can smell yourself burning… well… you must be an alien.
Friday afternoon was spent in my favorite chair… watching Hurricane Irma on the TV spin toward Florida with the mute on… with an 18 pound black and white cat laying on my chest. He always knows when I don’t feel well and to be honest… it is a bit comforting. The pressure and the vibration from his purring seem to actually help. I’ve had a few chills without fever which is rather normal for me while undergoing these treatments. I get very cold periodically without reason. It’s warm here… I’m cold. I go out on the porch and stand in the sun shining through the glass to warm up. It works… until nightfall.
I did experience some discomfort last night along with the weakness and for some unknown reason there was some pain in the throat and glands surrounding the throat area, although that is not an area of treatment this time. I also had a bit of nausea. (I hate that crap). I also had a severe coughing spell from two a.m. till nearly 3. This morning I am weaker than my normal with pain radiating from upper mid-chest around the ribs to the mid-back. At least that pain is where it should be… in the treated area. I’ve also had several severe coughing spells. I’m imagining that the pain is just the tumors croaking, withering away, passing into extinction.
While I count the seconds of duration of radiation, I always picture the cancer cells being destroyed… like tiny nuclear blasts blowing them to smithereens… whatever a ‘smithereen’ is. Isn’t it odd what one does for entertainment while undergoing medical procedures? I’ve tried meditation during the event, but the sound of the machine moving around into different positions and the buzzing of the zapper tends to prevent any form of success in clearing the mind. So I count. Of course, I always seem to have a coughing spell at the most critical of times and the techs have to re-position me on the table. I always feel badly about it, but after all, I do have a collapsed lung and cancer in areas that affect the lung and the bronchi… chances are… I’m gonna cough.
It seems a bit odd with all the mental anguish that I have wandered through over the past few days and weeks… but my spirits are high and hope is surrounding me in more directions than I can count. Perhaps it is all of those who are sending me their prayers, their love, their light… their healing energies… I can never express it enough that it is those very things that brings healing to one’s mind… to one’s physical being… to one’s soul. How can I ever thank all of you for what you have so unselfishly given of yourself? To many of you, I am but a stranger on a journey that has somehow crossed your path… and instead of passing me by… you have reached out your hand and offered to me your love. I am both honored and humbled by your compassion.
I’m looking forward to a peaceful and restful weekend so that I’ll be ready to face the week ahead, the first full week of treatment. My mind set is good in this moment and hopefully it will remain there. (I am getting a bit irritated with the constant cough, however). Knowing the odds are against me, just inspires me… for some unknown reason. Having an idea that the odds of survival are so very low, just gives me more reason to beat those odds.
Someday… I will become a statistic. Unless of course, they label me as ‘odd’… ‘un-normal’… not fitting into any category… kind of like my personality. My hope, of course, is that I am one of those rare statistics that tells the story of survival against insurmountable odds. After all… not counting three different types of skin cancer I have previously endured, I am now battling numbers four and five of different cancer locations inside the body. Given nine to twelve months to live with the neck and throat, six to nine months with the lung… and now with hilar and subcarinal tumors I have not been given a time frame… only that the survival rate is five to eight percent.
After all is said and done, how could I think that I could not beat the odds this time? Of course I can. I have all of you lifting me over the trenches. I know that there will be some of those trenches that are very deep between now and the next several months… and there will be times when I am feeling very badly, overwhelmed and discouraged… but I am determined to make that post in the spring of 2018 that tells you… We did it!
Until next week… I hope you all enjoy a most beautiful, happy, and healthy (unless you’re having too much fun to even consider the health thing)… weekend.