Warrior Stuff

Feel the Burn-Radiation Begins

May 31, 2016

It’s GO time!

Radiation starts NOW!

That t-shirt has become my new mantra “Be Brave.”

Really, there’s no other option other than to rally up and kill this cancer!

Chemo/radiation-

Week 1:

 So this bag of toxic pills showed up at the door one day.  My chemo pills came in the mail!  Crazy!  And these are some big pills.  I have to take 5 in the morning and 5 in the evening every day that I have radiation.  This chemo is called Xeloda and by taking the pills it means I won’t have to wear a chemo pump 24/7 for the next 5-1/2 weeks.  And chemo is taken while doing radiation because it helps the radiation to better attack the cancer.  I was very anxious about starting treatment, not knowing what side effects I would have.  I have to say that the first week was a bit of a let down.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that it was somewhat uneventful.  I think I had just built it up in my head so much that it was going to be horrible and awful and it wasn’t.  Radiation is fast and easy.  I check in, they take me back, I pull my pants down (yes, somewhat humiliating when the radiation techs are my age), lay on the table on my stomach (I’m put on a belly board so that my organs sort of fall into a hole so they are then kept out of the way of the radiation as much as possible), they close the ridiculously thick door, the machine moves around me for about 10 minutes and that’s it.  My spirits get a boost as I realize I can do this!

Week 2:

I am tired and have some nausea from the chemo pills, but I also have some good anti-nausea meds that help.  I am actually feeling less pain from my tumor by the end of week 2 which is amazing!  I can’t remember not having pain, it’s been there for so long.  And it also means that I am taking pain pills less often.  Yay!

I mentioned in a previous post about all of the help we received while I was going through treatment (click here to read it) and that my Dad drove me to radiation every day:

He’s the best!  Sometimes he would treat me to a smoothie or a hot cocoa after treatment too, depending on the weather and my mood!

Week 3:

UCI Medical Center you are starting to feel like my home away from home.  I have some really great nurses and radiation techs though so they keep it as fun as getting radiation could be.  I have to say, this week I’m starting to feel the burn a little bit.  I’m just hoping that it doesn’t get too bad.

Week 4:

Well, the start of Week 4 means that I am halfway done with radiation!  Boy I am hoping that the next half goes by quickly.  I am feeling the burn of radiation more & more.  My doctor has given me Silver Sulfadiazine Cream, the same stuff they give to burn patients.  It’s crazy to think that the radiation literally burns you.  And having the tumor be in your butt…well you can imagine that isn’t fun.  But my other symptoms have been manageable so I am grateful for that.  Also, I’m trying to stay busy by getting things done that I have been wanting to for a long time.  For example, Aidynn’s baby book!  Yep, she turns 7 in just a few weeks & I still need to finish her baby book.  I’m trying to stay busy with projects like that & trying to keep the girls entertained around here now that they are out of school for the summer.

Week 5:

Well, the burn from radiation is killing me.  It hurts so bad.  It’s making me bleed.  It burns when I pee because I’m so raw.  I am doing everything I can to stay comfortable-baths, creams & pain meds.  They help…sometimes.  I am trying not to think about the fact that my last treatment isn’t for another week and a half.  I know we are on the home stretch, but it still sounds like it is so far off.  Especially when I know that the symptoms of the radiation will just continue to get worse.  Pray for me!  I hope I can endure these treatments until the end.

I’m finding strength in this scripture this week:

I made it!  Last Day:

My last day of chemo/radiation was July 8th!  Yipee!  I am so glad that I made it through, I am so glad to be done!  But I am wishing that I was feeling a bit better & could celebrate more.  My butt is on fire.  It hurts so bad I just cry.  It hurts to walk, it hurts to sit, it’s awful.  Unfortunately it will take a couple of weeks for me to recover from the radiation.  Actually my doctor says that the burns will get worse before they start to get better.  It’s crazy how radiation works that way.  But, hey, I didn’t think I would be able to make it through to the end, but I did!
Now I get a 4 week break before the chemo-only portion of treatment.  I’m hoping that I can feel better during this break & do some fun stuff with my family.  I will also have another MRI on August 3rd, to check the status of my tumor.  Hopefully it’s gone or almost gone!
*To read about my second round of treatment, chemo, click here.
*To read from the beginning of my cancer journey, click here.

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