Well, for radiation anyway. I’m so glad I can say I only have 10 radiation treatments left! I was clueless in the beginning of treatments as to how much this would affect my body. It is all totally doable at this point, the side effects, while definitely there, are mild. They include: dry mouth, a constant bad taste in my mouth, food tastes not as great, headaches, redness at radiated area (down my right side of my face and neck), and tiredness. It sounds bad, but at this point it’s fine. My radiation oncologist wants to start me on an anti-seizure medicine that will basically block my pain pathways so that I don’t need to take narcotics in the upcoming weeks. I’ve been fortunate so far in that I started treatments on a Thursday and had breaks for weekends, Christmas, and New Years. But now I have my last 10 treatments all jammed in the next two weeks. So the side effects will come and come hard apparently. I asked him if there was any chance I wouldn’t develop the really bad symptoms and he basically said no. So I will take this anti-seizure medicine in the hopes that it blocks my pain pathways (or something. I don’t really know) I will probably start it on Monday and the main side effect is drowsiness. He said to be prepared to feel a little out of it the next few weeks. Great. I guess we gotta do what we gotta do!
I also learned the hard way that another interesting side effect of radiation is a weakened immune system. I got the stupid stomach bug! It was advised to me that I now stay home as much as possible and basically not go anywhere since it’s flu season. And we don’t even have cable!! Lol, but for real.
Also, I got to see my dermatologist yesterday and unfortunately she did scrape a spot on the right side above my ear that looks suspicious. It was all I could do not to cry. All I can think is what if this was the spot this whole time causing all the problems and we just attributed it to the other one? Or worse yet, what else is lurking on me that has yet to be found? There is a paranoia with this sort of thing that is hard to shake. I am choosing to continue to believe that God has this worked out for my good and that all of this is just a part of His bigger plan. So far I have no reason to believe otherwise, but as every day seems to get a little harder it’s just something I need to keep reminding myself.
There are two songs really speaking to me right where I’m at right now. One is a Christian song and the other isn’t and they touch me for very different reasons. The Christian one is “Already There” by Casting Crowns. This song is achingly beautiful and I take comfort in its message of God’s bigger plan. Here it is if you wanna listen: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Qtg9axTtNLg
The other song is “Pompeii” by Bastille. If you listen to pop music at all there’s no doubt you’ve heard it. It’s like someone got in my head and put my thoughts together very poetically – and with a catchy beat. Sometimes I get choked up listening to it because it hits so close to home. Here it is of you don’t know it (or if you like it and just want to listen): http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=V3WqMcvts3Y
I hope you all are staying healthy! Make sure you stay home if you have the flu and be sure to get to a dermatologist to get any funky spots checked! A friend of mine from high school, who is also in her 20s, just had a spot removed from her back that came back as melanoma. I pray this is where her battle with it ends. Get checked, guys!!