Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Radiation Begins

I don't know if this blows anyone else away, but it does me. I AM FINISHED WITH 8 CHEMOTHERAPY TREATMENTS!!. I can hardly believe it. I am starting radiation treatments tomorrow. I will have 30 of them. Yesterday I went to get tatoos (VERY Small ones), so they will know where to put the radiation everytime. They say it is just like getting an x-ray, and it only takes about 5 minutes EVERY WEEK DAY. They told me that it will kill any cancer cells that could be possibly still hanging around where the tumor originated, and even though some normal tissue will get zapped too, it will regenerate and recover, where the cancer cells will not. Studies have shown that women who do not have radiation often have reccurrence of cancer near where the first tumor was, so they all believe this is the answer, chemo first, then radiation. I am ready. I don't feel nauseated anymore, I have gained back almost 10 pounds and my anxiety is 90% gone. I am a little bit tired, my energy level is not what it was, but I feel sure it will be sometime in the future. The radiation oncologist said this will probably make me more fatigued. I said well, we'll see, the only thing that has made me tired for the last 4 months is Benadryl. (that's what Dr. Lemon gave me to calm me down) I had several of the staff try to convince me NOT to compare myself with other patients, that everyone writes their own story, and there are so many variables, the every reaction is going to be a little bit different. I'll give it a week or two and then let you know how I am reacting. If I continue to have the positive input from all of you,, this is not going to cause me any trouble, and maybe I can get back to doing a few more normal things.
If only I could pay you back somehow for what you have all done for me. It's been incomprehensible that SO many of you have poured out your hearts with love and concern and prayers for me. I think I have already told you that I don't deserve it, but through the Mercy that Jesus Christ wants to show his people, He has allowed me to see and feel firsthand what Mercy feels like. I have learned so much through this experience. I am keeping a list, and at the end of the radiation, I am going to give you all the list, but I figure it's not completed yet, and I still have a few things to learn, but I will say this. I have learned that EVERYONE has good in them, and if they seem unkind or unfriendly, I can almost BE SURE that they are hurting somewhere in their personal lives, and they need kindness, not because they deserve it, but because we should show mercy like the Savior shows us.
Love, Kindness, Concern, Prayers, Fasting, and MERCY is what has gotten me through this, and as I look back on it, I think, "You know , that really wasn't that bad", then I read my journal and realize it was harder than I remember. Thank you for coming to visit me, it has lifted my spirits so much and it gives me so much courage to go on, and I feel like "YES, I CAN DO THIS"
I couldn't think of any pictures to put on this one, you must be sick of seeing my grandkids, but next time , I will think of something, that's my favorite part of other people's posts.
I leave you my love, more than I have ever had before for anyone, and I hope you don't get tired of hearing this , but THANK YOU SO MUCH, you have truly gotten me through one of the most frightening experiences of my life.
Love, Karen the Kancer Killer (that has lots of loved ones helping out with the demise of her cancer)


Ann Mitchell said...

WAHOOOOOOO!!! Finally, finished with chemo! My brother's mother-in-law went through this 3 years ago, and she said radiation is a piece of cake compared to chemo! You have been an inspiration to many! (I even thought about you as I was in the ER Sat for kidney stones!)

Shannon said...

I loved reading your thoughts today. I don't get to spend enough time with you anymore. I especially appreciated what you've learned about people who are not always kind being in pain themselves and that they need our mercy. It really makes me think about how I may have treated people who have been unkind to me in the past and it makes me want to be better.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to know the nausea is gone and the anxiety is diminishing. What a blessing. I, too, was touched by your thoughts on those who are unkind and agree that they need our love the most. I once heard it said that if we could have a glimpse into the life of any person (and have a full view of all of his/her pain, heartaches, and trials), we would instantly love them for who they are. God bless you with your first radiation today. You're in my prayers. Love, Monique

Whitney and Chris said...

Oh Karen! I am so, so, so happy for you to be done with that nasty chemo! It really is the best feeling in the world to look back at those yucky times and know that they are over! Thank you so much for saying hi to all my friends at radiation! It's been so long since I was a patient there, but I am still so grateful that I had such wonderful people to take care of me! And... I totally remember having tattos! Mine have been cut out now, but I could find my little dots for a few years after I was done with radiation! They are a funny little momento! It will be so nice to finally have everything over with in a few months, but for now, you are definitely in good hands! Hang in there and know that we are all still praying for you! You are one amazing lady!!!

P.S. Really short hair is SUPER easy and really pretty cute. It was a lot better than I thought! :)

Jake and Jen said...

Karen, I love you. You're such a trooper!

westfam said...

I am so thankful that you have such a positive attitude about all you have been through. You are an inspiration to all of us! Thanks for sharing this experience with us and helping us all to be more grateful for what we have.
Our prayers continue for you.

Lundin Family said...

What a wonderful post Karen, I needed that tonight. You have been such an incredible example of how trials make us stronger....so happy you are done with chemo and that radiation is much easier. Our thoughts and prayers are still with you ...can't wait for you to have this whole experience behind you!!
love you,
P.S. Have a great week-end in Las Vegas!!

Karen said...

A HUGE "YEAH." (is that even how you spell huge?) Karen I am so happy for you. Thank goodness for journals. Now we know how and why it is so important to write in one and keep one. This will all just be a "remember when" time, except for when you read your journal. And your posterity will learn from it to. Great job Karen. What are you going to do after radiation? A trip maybe?