I noticed something early this morning. Every Sunday night I go to bed; sleep a couple of hours and wake up unable to go back to sleep. Finally; about 3am I give up trying and get up. While I am laying there I find myself thinking about Monday. Monday is chemo day followed by radiation. I think about how it is going to make me feel; knowing I will be dragging myself around by the scruff of the neck for 3 or 4 days and of course that makes me a bit depressed. This week I also thought about something my radiation team said to me on Friday. They said the doctor will be meeting with me on Monday and may recommend some boosters....meaning additional treatments. I was rather discouraged to hear this and found myself sinking into the abyss. But.....just before I got up I was reminded of my "theme song"...don't give up, don't give in, don't give up, don't give in. I got up and thanked God for the path He has given me to walk and the grace to walk it!
Today begins week 2 of chemo and radiation. I can't say that I am looking forward to it except it is just one step closer to my healing. But now; after last week; I have a little more knowledge about how to deal with the horrendous side effects....take nausea medication AS DIRECTED even if you don't feel nauseated, drink a ton of water and make sure the warriors are praying! I also learned that for me; a spoonful or 2 of peanut butter helps to calm my stomach....hooray for peanut butter!! I also met with the thoracic surgeon last week. Very informative. Talked about slicing and dicing (my words not his), tubes and more tubes and a 10 day hospital stay with several weeks of recovery time. definitely major surgery! Tomorrow (Tuesday) I will see a cardiologist for a "cardiac clearance" which sounds like some sort of a big sale LOL! Anyway....forward march.
Today; while sitting in the chemo room; I realized that I hadn't blogged since my PET Scan. Well, I have written stuff on Facebook if that counts. So, here are the results of the Scan. By the way, I learned the actual name and location of the thing. It is a "malignant neoplasm of the lower 3rd of the esophagus." It is at stage 2 and hasn't spread to any other organs except for 1 lymph node. The Doctor said the treatments would take care of the node. After 3 weeks of treatment I will be re-evaluated to see what the next step should be....more treatment or surgery. Anyway; back to the chemo room (which I refer to as the barn because of something that Kathy said). OK I will tell you what she said. While at the office getting test results she peeked in the room and said it looked like a bunch of cows feeding. So now when I think about chemo I see cows at the trough. But they get to sit in really comfy recliners! LOL. The nurse was amazed that I had no problems with my first treatment. God is good! Leaving the barn, it was now time to head to my Zapper appointment (my term for radiation). It was quick and easy except I think the technicians are wanna be artists because they kept drawing circles and arrows on me. Oh the fun!
I had the PET Scan yesterday...fell asleep in the tube thingy! Results coming on Wednesday. I am feeling a bit apprehensive about it although I don't know why. Also met with the radiation oncologist and the physician's assistant. Really liked them both. They took the time to explain and answer questions; plus they seem to have a good sense of humor! I will be meeting with them every Monday and will have treatment 5x per week M-F. Will get my chemo schedule on Wednesday. Kind of a lot to take in, but on the plus side....they want me to eat/drink a high calorie diet! Nobody has ever said that to me before!!! LOL.
Back from the Doctor. Heard a lot of stuff; almost too overwhelming to take it all in...probably that why they gave me a huge packet of information! Took blood to test stuff that they need to test for. They are now waiting for authorizations from insurance company to do Pet Scan, insert a port, and do chemo and radiation treatments, another endoscopy and possible surgery. They hope to do the Pet scan by the end of the week and will call me with appointment time. So basically there is no new news but I do feel encouraged after the appointment. They said I look good for someone with esophageal cancer! /blood pressure was good too! God is good.
I read a very short, very caring email this morning, It reduced me to tears...real, heartfelt tears. I don't know if it was the email that did it, the love that came through the email or just the stress of this week that caused this to happen. Or possibly the combination of the three. So its been kind of a emotional day for me. But, it also has been a good day. I talked with several coworkers and received many words of affirmation and comfort. It was good. I then spoke to a couple of people who I knew with out a doubt they would spread this news through the entire office. I did this on purpose. That was so I wouldn't have to repeat my story 500 times! So now everybody knows. Mission accomplished!
Monday I go to see the Oncologist who will do some testing, determine what stage the cancer is at and prescribe a course of treatment. The video below is the song I have chosen to for my theme song on the road.