Well now that I’ve built a sufficient amount of suspense I figure it’s time to finish my post about radiation. 😜 Clearly I’ve already failed at keeping space in my life post-chemo, as I’ve managed to fill my schedule with the coinciding rise of my energy levels.
Anyway, as many of you already know, I decided to move forward with radiation. It was pretty much a choice between two evils and I had to make a decision. I felt much more confident in my new radiologist’s opinion paired with my personal research so I decided to give it a go. Because Duke has had statistically significant success with shorter lengths of radiation treatment and lower levels of doses, my treatment consisted of only 11 sessions, every weekday for a little over two weeks. Other than the discomfort of laying in a body mold (pictured below), I experienced very little short term side effects. After about a week and a half in, I started experiencing a decent sore throat as they had warned me was common. I initially thought I was just not chewing my food enough before swallowing it, ha! Luckily this did not become much of a big deal at all, as my length of treatment from start to finish was fairly short. The side effects are cumulative so the longer you have treatment, the worse your side effects become. Overall, it was much easier than chemo thankfully.
Each day I would drive 35 mins, leave my car with the complimentary valet (more perks if you have cancer!), go in for treatment and be out in less than 20 mins. The experience was efficient and relatively painless, now I just have to pray for no long term side effects! 😁
It’s been about 2 weeks since I finished my last treatment. Pretty wild to think about. As I assumed on the front end of this journey, time always passes whether you want it to or not (in this case, definitely wanted) and I am so grateful to be on the back end of this road. Whenever I talk to anyone about being out of the woods and done with treatment, I truly am so grateful and in awe of the support I had. People often tell me I’ve been so strong and positive throughout it all but that part’s been easy when you’re set up for best case scenario. My heart aches for all those who have it much worse than I did. With the exception of a crappy hospital stay, everything went pretty smoothly. Obviously having any kind of cancer is not ideal but I feel so lucky to have had the people in my life that dropped everything to support me; other than making it through the physical pains, every need of mine was met in some way or another.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all that we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to him be the glory.” Ephesians 3:20-21 Many of you have commented on my faith throughout this. As I have mentioned before, I am eternally grateful to have a God whom I can cast all my fears and worries onto. I was talking with a friend the other day about how crippling fear is. It infiltrates so much of our lives and brings forth endless amount of damage physically, emotionally, and mentally. Throughout this experience I was able to see how God had set me up with all that I could possibly need, both before and then during it all. What a petty thing to worry about my day to day discomfort when there is so much else going on in the big picture. When you are able to take fear out of the picture, it is incredible what doors open. And once you’ve been through something that you know could cause significant fear, it’s hard not to worship the one who takes that burden from you!
So here’s to all of you, who stepped up in one way or another and helped me in more ways than you’ll ever know. I will be forever grateful.