If you don’t hear much from me, no news is not necessarily good news. And last week was not good.
My radiation oncologist told me not to think about the third round of chemo. He said just focus on the next two weeks of radiation. He’s silly and obviously doesn’t know me very well! Of course I am worried about another round of chemo, but he is right. I should only focus on what is in front of me right now and right now, that is 9 more radiation treatments. SINGLE DIGITS!
I was under the impression that the third round of chemo was on an “as needed” basis. See, my treatment is concurrent meaning that when you have one, you must have the other. I have learned that that is not often the case for many cancer treatments. Typically you have one form of treatment (be it chemo or radiation) and then it is followed by the opposite form. For the type cancer I was diagnosed with, that is not the case. The radiation is the main focus, but for it to excel at its job, chemo primes the cells to receive the radiation.
So, it made sense to me that when radiation was complete, that chemo would be too. But NO, not so much.
Radiation is like a microwave that continues to cook after the timer has beeped. So even though radiation treatments will beep on October 26th, my neck and throat will continue cooking for some time after. Which is why weekends are not my favorite time. Although I do not have appointments on Saturday and SUnday, I can still feel the cumulative effects of the radiation with my raw skin and sore throat and quite honestly, Sunday and Monday mornings are really tender.
Which leads me to...another round of chemo to help that final cooking that the radiation needs to do.
The good news is, it’s not my numbers or blood work that requires a third chemo, it is just the protocol for this type cancer.
But truly, this is super disappointing.
Last week’s chemo KICKED MY BUTT. I don’t look forward to doing it AGAIN.
But, I also don’t ever want a reoccurrence so, there’s that.
Entering into chemo is like riding a wave in the ocean. It’s stepping one foot in and knowing that the wave will wash over you, cleansing your body with all it needs for radiation to work but in an instant that undertow scoops you up and throws you under and into the rocks. Water rushes all over your body and its hard (if not impossible) to come up for air when you need it. You can see the shore, but you can’t get there by yourself and you just pray that the current changes and drops you back on the beach. And finally when it does, you have lost days and memories and you’re left gasping for the air that was sucked from your chest.
And then it’s done.
And you’re not supposed to think about it again until you sit in that chair with the IV running, because what’s the point? Fear? That’s not healthy. Plus, every day until then you still have a job to do: eat, hydrate and get to radiation every day.
So, I will try not to think about it. It’s why I write about it instead. I drop all my thoughts onto this keyboard and let it spill out of my mind so that for the next 13 days I can attend 9 radiation appointments, putting one foot in front of the other.
In the meantime, I am envisioning full and complete healing. Because that is the job of this treatment, it’s why I am enduring each day, because I have every faith that it is doing it’s job.
I am mama of three beautiful babes; two sons whom I have the privilege of raising and my daughter who lived for 33 sacred days.