Sunday, June 25, 2006

Radiation Week 2

This past week, I have been going into Dallas each day for radiation treatment. It has been okay. I have realized, however, that when people say radiation is easy, they are comparing it to chemo. It is easy when you think of it that way. But, I guess I was expecting no side effects, so when I came home Monday tired and with a little upset stomach, I was surprised. It is that whole expectations thing; it's all a mind game! I have gotten used to the side effects enough to expect them with a healthy dose of realism. I take it easy in the afternoons (my treatment is always at 2:45) and that seems to help. I have one more week, and I should be done.

My shoulder/neck area has been a little bothersome lately, some days much worse than others. I had a sonogram last week to make sure the vessels around my port were open, and they were. (My shoulder is hurting on my port side.) I have a scheduled bone scan on Wednesday so the doctors are having me wait until then to see what the scan looks like. Please pray for relief.

Speaking of relief...thank you for all your prayers concerning my feet issues. The chemo pills I take have a hand/foot disease symptom that made my feet feel bruised and numb. But, this week, I have had very little discomfort. Hardly any, actually! That is a big praise and answered prayer as I know many of you were praying specifically for this.

We had a great weekend with Jake's mother and sister coming down for a visit. It was wonderful to see them, and the girls had so much fun with new faces to entertain and play with. I don't think Sarah (Jake's sister) told them no once during the trip. This says a lot when after a full day of activities, children's museum visits, shopping, etc...Jadyn still wants to go play outside in 95+ degree hot Texas heat. (Did I mention that Sarah is 6 months pregnant!?) Still, she answered the girls every whim of cards, dress up, books, playing.... Grandma Satterlee made us yummy homemade tortillas for tacos and pizza from scratch too. Yummy! They left early this morning.

As we were on our way to church, Bryn said loudly, "Wait!" I quickly turned to see what was wrong and she said, "We forgot to see Sarah's baby come out!" I guess we will have to wait 3 more months for that.

Sorry for not writing in so long. Hope you have a great week. We will keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

All marked up

Just a quick note today...

I went to the radiation oncologist yesterday to have my scan and get marked up. I thought that it would be a small blue freckle tattoo, and it was. But, you cannot see the tattoo as it is covered by big sharpie marker marks. I have about 10 marks on my body to line me up for the x-ray and treatment next week. And just so the marker would not wear off, they stuck tape on each mark!

The facility was great and all the technitions and doctors were so supportive as they explained each step to me. I feel very fortunate to be in good hands.

Well off to VBS...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Guy Week

Katelyn went to Ferdie's Soccer Magic Camp in McKinney last week. It really helped on her foot skills. In fact when she came home she taught them to me. I plan on teaching them to Jadyn's new soccer team in the fall (she is moving to on all girls team with Arlington Soccer Association in the fall). Also, Katelyn and I will both teach them to her team in the fall. Katelyn will be a great teacher if she decides to do that as a career-- she has a knack for explaining things. I started summer school last week and so far it is been pretty easy. I think it is all about expectation: I expected my first year of teaching summer school at the junior high level to be really hard; if I had expected them to be the best-behaved, most industrious kids I might be pulling my hair out right now.

Jess didn't want to make the hour and half trip each way to McKinney, so she and the kids spent the week in a hotel. I think Jess might have fallen in love with McKinney, it has excellent parks, good shopping, and victorian style housing. My mom came into town for a short stay on the way back from a conference to spend the middle of the week with them. I made a few trips out there during the week, but for most of the week I had the benefit of an all guy house. Most nights went something like this what movie should I watch... hmm... action movie. At least for a little while our tv was void of Barbie, My Little Pony, and Care Bears. I really enjoyed some time to myself, but I was glad when they came home Friday.

Jess will have a scan this week. It won't determine the size of her tumors, but rather it will be a scan to help them determine how and where to radiate. We are little nervous about doing something unknown-- even with assurances from people who have been through it before.

A friend of ours (Jeremy) brought a keg over tonight and we're going to let the kids have some. Of course it's just Virgil's Cream Soda. I didn't even know they put soda in kegs, but I can't wait to try some.

I'm sorry for the long wait for the blog this week. Keep praying for us.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

X-Ray vision

Hi all!

Well, chemo just was not enough. I thought that, after all, if I am going to go through with this whole cancer saga, I might as well feel what radiation is like! I wouldn’t want to miss out on anything. Okay, well that is not really how it went…

I went to the radiology oncologist yesterday. Her name is Ann Spankler, and she has one of the best bed side manners of any doctor I have seen. She sat and talked with me for the longest time, answering all my questions with ease. She did not use one “doctor-ese” term, just explained the procedure, benefits, and side effects very clearly.

She has recommended that I have two rounds of radiation on my lower back and spine. Her goal would be killing the cancer cells that have accumulated and ease my back pain. It is a very small area to radiate (about the size of my fist) and so my side effects would be minimal. She mentioned nausea and tiredness, but said she would not be surprised if I had little to no side effects. When they scan and map out the area on my back they want to work on, they will tattoo a small blue dot that is the size of a freckle on me to pinpoint the area to radiate. My friend reminded my that my skimpy bikini would be out for the summer. I am so dissapointed, maybe next year! ha, ha...

It is a preventative procedure, so I have a lot of say into when and if I do it. I think after talking to Dr. Spankler and my family, it makes sense to start. It will try to begin my treatment the last two weeks in June. It will be Monday-Friday each week. She said from the time I make it into the office, the procedure should only take 15 minutes. She doesn’t know, however, that it will take 2 hours and 15 minutes because of my commute into her office! At first, I was dragging my feet at the prospect of driving all that way for 15 minutes, but after meeting with this doctor, I can’t imagine going elsewhere. And, it is only for 2 weeks. God is clearly in control. I like the new Carrie Underwood song, “Jesus, take the wheel.” I’ll be saying that literally as I make the commute. I know the people that drive into Dallas every day are rolling their eyes. Sorry, I’m spoiled with most of my life being so close by.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers; it was a very clarifying and good appointment. I will keep you updated on the progress.